Monthly Service : June 16, 2013

Good Morning, everyone! Happy New Day, Week & a special, "Thanks" for attending this, our 2nd monthly service for June. I hope you are all enjoying good health & in excellent spirits.

A few days ago I was honored to help inaugurate United Airlines 787 Dreamliner Service from Denver to Narita. On Sunday, June 9th, I flew from Chicago to Denver with two United Airlines staff members, Mrs. Kyoko Taguchi & Mr. Michael O'Connell. Through United Airlines' thoughtfulness Mike-san was assigned to accompany me as my official guide throughout this entire trip to Denver & back. The Inaugural Service was scheduled to be held at 10:00 am on Monday, June 10th at Denver International Airport (DIA) Gate #32. My entire visit to Denver was filled with Kami's awesome workings.

The adventure began at Chicago's O'hare International Airport. We made an appointment to meet each other at the Premier counter at 3:30 pm. Before seeing me, Taguchi-san happened to see the airport's global services supervisor named Steve. He helped us get through boarding security the easiest way possible & helped us at the boarding gate too. I had brought many important items to use in the service. They included a framed copy of the Divine Reminder, a purification staff called Ohnusa in Japanese, a small stand (Tamakushian), two square plates called Sanbo & a double layer of red & white sweet rice cakes or Kagamimochi. Things that we commonly use in Konko worship. Steve-san talked with a flight attendance about where to do store these items for our trip. The attendance arranged to have them stored in the crew's closet. Even better, United Airlines put me a first class seat.

I discussed details of dedication service & procedures, etc. with the event staff during a late dinner at Holiday Inn where we stayed overnight. I also met all the people involved with setting the altar the next day, including a few that just happened to pass by.

The Inaugural Service started a little after 10:00 Monday morning. There were a lot of media people, with many TV videographers & photographers waiting to record the service. I began with "Solemn Greeting" & then faced the altar to read "Ceremonial Prayer".

Thanks to Rev. Kishii of Toronto & Mr. Ben Vose the ceremonial prayer had a great impact on the audience.

Rev. Kishii brought dedication prayer to our 2013 Spring Tenchi Kane No Kami Grand Ceremony. He'd used it when he conducted an Inaugural Service from Huston to Narita for Continental Airlines in 1999. Using this prayer I rewrote my ceremonial prayer for this United Dreamliner dedication. Mr. Ben Vose edited it so wonderfully & impressively that I would like to share it with you now:

"Divine Parent of this vast & wonderful universe we live in, it is with utmost reverence that we come into your presence: For countless generations we, your children who live between Heaven & Earth have dreamed of the possibility of soaring like the birds in your beautiful sky. One hundred-ten years ago this year, that dream came true when the Wright Brothers made the first successful flight approximately the distance of the wing span of the graceful air ships we celebrate today.

We gather this morning to humbly ask your sacred blessing inauguration of the 787 Dreamliner daily, non-stop service between Denver International & Narita International Airports. This intercontinental service from Denver to Narita becomes a reality today after more than twenty years' effort & cooperation of the State of Colorado, the City of Denver, & United Airlines as well as cutting-edge technological quality of 787 Dreamliner fleet.

Our sincere appreciation & prayers are offered as modest gestures for the unlimited blessings received each day. Our gratitude is herewith expressed to the unceasing works of the vast & infinite universe which is both sustainer & creator of life. Let us all accept & respect that life given so freely & generously by our Divine Parent.

We take these few moments to acknowledge those individuals who were, still are & who will be continuously instrumental in foreseeing & planning this event as a new departure point for advancing the goodwill & good works amongst all peoples of the world.

May the Divine Parent of the Universe accept with great joy & pleasure our modest gesture of appreciation. & hereafter, may this new service safely proceed with your blessing to bridge the Pacific. May United Airlines grow as the leader toward a new age of East-West mutual development. May their efforts be useful to all people & may their value & reputation as a reliable airline company continue to prosper.

Together we pray this with utmost reverent & profound sincerity to the Divine Parent in whom we are so blessed. Pray wholeheartedly. The Divine Favor depends upon the sincerity of your prayers. On this very day & in every moment to come of this wonderful service which allows us our lives & hopes to soar like the birds... we so pray."

I then performed the "Purification Rite." Holding the purification staff I moved toward the 787 Dreamliner aircraft. I blessed four cabin sections & the cockpit inside the plane, waving the staff back & forth from right to left. The Denver Taiko group performed three different routines in front of the stage as I blessed the aircraft. Their drumming was so strong & elegant that the sound of Taiko echoed throughout the whole airport.

Then the dignitaries presented the Tamakushi offerings. Five distinguished guests including Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper & Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock offered the Tamakushi bows to Kami as a symbolic representation of our true hearts.

The service so greatly impressed many in the audience that some very interesting things happened following the formal service. A manager of All Nippon Airways, known in the travel buisness as ANA, came to me & said, "I was very much impressed with your service. I would like to ask you to do this kind of service for us when we need it."

Some of the United Airlines employees wanted to take my photo with them, saying, "I haven't seen such a beautiful ceremony before."

To my joy, I saw Mr. Yoshio Ishida, sales manager of Angle Press, Inc., which publishes a weekly newspaper named, "Jangle," for the entire Midwest area. As I was talking with him some news media crews asked him to move closer to the Dreamliner. They also let me go down on the tarmac with him, wearing an official media vest. It was a thrilling chance to see the Dreamliner plane from only about five feet away. Mr. Yoshida took a photo of me right beside that beautiful, grand new airplane. When that 787 Dreamliner took off for Japan, I prayed & prayed for it with special feeling in my heart that Kami would be sure to give this Dreamliner plane extra special protection.

I have returned to Chicago with a strong determination that I would do my best to be of greater service to Kami & people in the world just like this graceful, hi-tech, 21st Century manmade bird of Heaven.

[Return to Sermons]

[Return Home]

Copyright (C) 2013 Konko Church of Chicago