Monthly Service in July : July 20, 2014

Good Morning, everyone! Happy New Day, Week & a special, "Thanks" for attending this monthly service for July 2014. I hope you are all enjoying good health in excellent spirits.

By any chance do you remember what is special about today for KC Chicago? This is the day 5 years ago when we were officially recognized as not-for-profit organization. It was officially recognized as a church to help guide people of Illinois in fulfilling their lives with Kami. Our efforts have not been all that we might have hoped, but today this church firmly stands to help people in difficulties through Mediation. To that end I will do my best to develop peace & joy in my heart to manifest mutual fulfillment between Kami & people in Chicago & beyond.

This year we will have our KCNA conference in Toronto. KC Chicago will serve as co-host church. I am most happy to welcome Mr. Tim Ogawa, president of our believers' association to this year's conference, as my official assistant.

Before the conference proper begins we will have Youth Camp for the young believers between ages 13 & 17 years old. Young Adult Seminar will follow for those from 18 to 25 years old. There will be a Family Camp for youngsters under 12 to attend with their parents. Spirituality Bridge is for anyone who wants to know more about the Konko Faith & deepen their experience. It will be held the day before the conference. I am one of the staff responsible for this year's Spirituality Bridge. I've planned with Dianne Yoshida & Megumi Segawa, the other members of my group.

This year Spirituality Bridge will focus on one of our Founder's most important teachings: "Everything that happens is Tenchi No Kami's doing."

This will also be the title of Rev. Motoo Tanaka from Tokyo, who deliver this year's KCNA Conference's keynote speech.

As we speak, I am now preparing some materials to help in discussing this teaching from wider view of 26 participants of this program.

Here is one of them. It is the excerpt from ‘Term-Dictionary of the Konkokyo Sacred Book.'

It says, "All creation that arises between Heaven & Earth & everything that happens to human lives is the embodiment of Kami's workings & is a gift from Kami.'"

"Everything that happens is Tenchi No Kmai's doing." (Memoirs of KD 21, 13-1)

"I will see to it everything goes well, therefore your family is to be sincere & single-hearted." (Record of Revelations 25, 1-2)

"We thought, "How could Kami do anything as He pleases?… giving or taking life, & inflicting or curing sickness." (Teaching 1, Rev. Sugi Ogiwara 8, 5)

I believe the phrase, "Everything that happens is Tenchi No Kami's doing," is one of the core teachings of our Founder, Konko Daijin. In it Kami's true nature is revealed in its most complete depth. When we clearly understand this teaching, we can grasp the essence of our Founder's faith.

The reason why it has been difficult to pay much attention to this teaching in the past is because we have been able to find only a little explaining this foundational revelation in the teachings our Founder gave to his followers through personal Mediation.

One example of this teaching was a reference by Rev. Sugi Ogiwara in the third quote mentioned above.

I found the second example in the collection of teachings handed down by Rev. Haruo Tsugawa. The expression of it is a little bit different from Kami's doing, but the meaning of it is the same, I think. It says, "Though you well know that mountain ascetic priests came to this Hiromae & took away the offerings, you mustn't react in anger. Kami's power can easily clear away these kinds of troubles. The priests still come here often, but since I see it as Kami giving them offerings, I can never get angry." (Teachings 2, Rev. Tsugawa 19, 1-2)

Rev. Masao Takahashi was one of the prominent leaders of Konkokyo. It is hard to know just how many people were influenced by the depth of his wonderfully sincere faith. In one of his writings he says, "Every existing thing is beautiful & everything that happens is good." Elsewhere he writes, "When there is difficulty, there is the Way."

Rev. Ichiro Takahashi is his oldest son & one of the great researchers of Konkokyo. Rev. Ichiro Takahashi died at his age 50. He was still young & died even though his father was still alive. His father Rev. Masao Takahashi said to him at his last minute, " Ichiro, what a wonderful life you have spent!"

Perhaps Rev. Ichiro Takahashi's best known work was the publication of his book, titled, "Notes of Searching Truth." In it he says, "Ikigami Konko Daijin was sent as the light & the true central source between the human world & the world itself. I reverently realize that Ikigami Konko Daijin appeared in this world to let us understand that everything & every happening alike is Tenchi Kane No Kami's doing."

I think the world view of the Konko Faith will be achieved when we; as Konko believers, affirm & prove through our practice of this faith, that everything that happens is Tenchi Kane No Kami's doing. Thank you!

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