~Kobe Church Membership Meeting~

On August 20, Kyoshu-sama, his wife Mayumi-sama and Masaaki-sama visited the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial and Reconstruction Monument within the city of Kobe.

At the monument, a plaque engraved with the names of those who passed away in the disaster is displayed in an underground space. There, Kyoshu-sama and his family met with Johrei members who were surviving family and who were stricken by the disaster, then received an account of the conditions during the devastation. After paying a floral tribute, those present prayed the Zengen Sanji.

From the afternoon, Kyoshu-sama and his family were welcomed at the Sannomiya Conference Center, in which the Kobe Church Membership Meeting took place with approximately 250 people assembling.

Kyoshu-sama explained the details that led to his message delivered at last year’s Beginning of Spring Service on February 4, from how Izunome Kyodan came about to what circumstances he finds himself in, as well as his feelings on the matter, in a thoughtful and attentive way.

He said, “There are people who accept this faithfully, people who resist, saying they are confused and wonder why such-and-such is necessary, people who oppose, saying that the church is turning into Christianity, etc., people who do not clearly declare their stance, saying they are neutral; there have been many reactions. I believe they were forced to react.

“To tell you the truth, [God] is confronting us and by making us declare our stance, he is encompassing everyone and everything, forgiving and saving everyone and everything, welcoming all into heaven, and saying I will use all in the work of making all things new. I believe that this is what we are seeing now.”

Lastly, he closed his message by saying, “Together with all of you, not only myself but also my wife Mayumi and Masaaki, as well as his wife Mami, together with all of you, I would like to go forward on this path of faith that Meishu-sama is truly wishing for.”

After, a member representative expressed words of gratitude. Then all participants sang “Goin’ Home” with lyrics written by Kyoshu-sama. Finally, Kyoshu-sama and his family took a photograph with the participants and exchanged handshakes. With joy and deep emotion, the meeting came to a close.

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