Good Morning, everyone! Happy New Day, Week & a special "Thanks," for attending today's service. This is our 1st monthly service for February, 2013. I hope you are all enjoying good health and in excellent spirits.
This year Konko Headquarters will celebrate the 130th Spiritual Birthday of our founder, Konko Daijin. A series of special Anniversary Grand services will be held in Japan at the World Headquarters four times from Oct. 3 to Oct. 13.
Konko Headquarters started the new faith initiative in 2012. The Konko Churches of North America has now adopted it as part of it's celebration of this very special 130th anniversary year. What this faith movement seeks to accomplish in believers around the world is very important because it expresses the central core concept of the Konko Faith.
The literal title of this new program is translated as, "Let us live a fulfilled life with Kami & humanity," from the Japanese (Kami-Hito-Aiyokakeyo-no-Seikatsu-Undo).
The purpose of this faith program will focus on the things which can more perfectly help people become more fulfilled. Perhaps more importantly, it states as clearly as possible those things which, when fulfilled, will be most pleasing to Kami. Taken together they make this year of faith training vitally important.
Remember in our first two January services each member was asked to randomly pick a teaching of our founder; or one from the teachings of my mentor, Rev. Soichiro Otsubo. I prayed asking Kami to give each of you the teaching that Kami most wanted you to think about & put into practice for the balance of this year. Today I'd like to tell you of the teaching Mr. Tim Ogawa picked.
Tim's the president of our Believers' Association. In this capacity, Tim-san is the representative of us all. Therefore, I believe, his teaching is not only for him but also all of us. Kami wants all of us to put not only our individual teaching but also this special universal teaching for us all to put into practice in our daily life in 2013. Even more, I believe his choice is foundation of this congregation to the new faith project titled, "Let us live a fulfilled life with Kami & humanity."
His teaching is one of Rev. Otsubo's that says:
"Praying each to the other---
Together polishing and being polished
There's nothing to compare with---
The joy of this day."
This poem, when Rev. Otsubo wrote it, was actually a description of the ideal relationship between a husband & wife. When we try to live a fulfilled life in relationship with Kami & humanity, that relationship will be like a mirror of the union between husband & wife. By the way, Rev. Otsubo actually gave this poem of teaching to his wife, Isoe Otsubo, in their later years as her birthday present.
What kind of relationships will be between a parent & child when couples pursue lives fulfilled with the support of Kami and humanity? Our founder said, "Parents pray for their children and children pray for their parents. Like Heaven and Earth, practice the mutual reliance of Aiyokakeyo."
The teaching I picked was: "This faith can be propagated with just one umbrella." This is one of Konko Daijin's teachings. Through it I realized Kami's earnest wish for me this coming year. Kami wants me to develop an unbreakable peace and joy in my heart through everything that happens to me & spread this faith with the wonderful fruits that grow from it. My peaceful & joyful heart (Wagakokoro), I believe, is the umbrella of this teaching of our founder.
One of Rev. Otsubo's briefer-interpretations of this teaching says:
" * This faith can be propagated by sincerity alone.
* This faith can be propagated by getting a Wagakokoro.
* This faith can reach blessings with the single heart of Kami.
Singular sincerity, Wagakokoro and Kami's single heart are rather difficult. The ease and serenity that comes from a faith seeking the sincere, single-hearted Wagakokoro transforms every single thing into blessings. As when taking an umbrella upon going out and being at ease whenever it rains or shines, in the same manner the ease that is born of a trusting heart will open the way to every single thing."
Together, throughout this year,... let us deepen our hearts in the course of each & every day. Through each & every thing that happens to us, may we try to live a fulfilled life in harmony with Kami & humanity.
As we succeed, I believe we will thus be led to a happiness & prosperity that will reveal the fulfilled lives Kami intends for us to live.
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