안녕하세요 Annyeonghaseyo! (Good evening!)
In the early morning hours of November 4th, the fog enveloping the city of Miryang gradually disappeared with the light of the sun, greeting the day with clear blue skies. For members of Korea, the long-awaited Grand Ancestor Service and 30-Year Anniversary of the Korea Headquarters Membership Meeting with Kyoshu-sama took place with approximately 600 people gathering, including over 100 people from pilgrimage groups from the United States, Germany, Mongolia, and Japan (both from Su no Hikari Kyodan and Izunome Group).
At 10:30 am, following a leading car, Kyoshu-sama and his family arrived by car at the Korea Headquarters. He and his family responded to members’ voices of “Welcome!!” and “Kyoshu-sama!” with smiles, waving their arms, and shaking hands and then were guided by Rev. Yun, President of the Korea Headquarters, into the headquarters.
The service began at 11 am. The service officiants entered. Rev. Sin, head of liturgy serving as officiant, read aloud the Opening Prayer for the Monthly Service and 30-Year Anniversary of the Korea Headquarters Membership Meeting. After Kyoshu-sama offered the pine branch (symbol of appreciation), all attendees prayed the Amatsu Norito under the lead of Kyoshu-sama, followed by the singing of Meishu-sama’s hymns.
Continuing on to the Grand Ancestor Service, the officiant began with the Invitation to the Spirits. After the Opening Prayer was read, all prayed the Zengen Sanji and sang Meishu-sama’s hymns. After the reading of Meishu-sama’s teaching, “The Kingdom of Heaven Is at Hand, Repent, for the End of Night Draws Near,” Kyoshu-sama channeled Johrei.
After the officiant conducted the Returning of the Spirits, the video “The Path of Korea Headquarters” was shown. Through photographs, the video introduced the history of missionary work in Korea beginning with the Kyoshu-centered Shinsei (new birth) movement that began in 1987 at Busan Church establishing itself as the Shinsei Busan Church through their work today.
Next, Rev. Yun, President of the Korea Headquaters took the podium. He said, “Since we have established the Korea Headquarters, today is the first time that Kyoshu-sama has come here. Thank you so much. I thank you from the bottom of my heart…The members and ministers of Korea, together with members around the world, will go forward in the same spirit as Kyoshu-sama.”
Next, Rev. Shirasawa, President of Izunome Group, took the stand. He said by calling out, “With this missionary visit to Korea as the beginning, Kyoshu-sama is planning to visit North America, South America, and Europe. Finally, all around the world, the path is opening for us to serve in the work of the true salvation of humanity, that is, succeeding the divine work of all humankind being born anew as children of God, as Messiahs, following the example of Meishu-sama who taught us about being born anew as a Messiah. In order to fulfill this mission, in the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, let us pledge today to God, Meishu-sama and Kyoshu-sama to serve in this divine work. And joining hands with members all over the world, let us boldly, cheerfully move forward.”
After a member’s testimonial of gratitude, Kyoshu-sama took the podium with great applause. First mentioning “The Path of Korea Headquarters” video that was shown, he then said, “Through your reports, even after many twists and turns, beginning first with the pioneers, you believed in the divine light of Meishu-sama shining brilliantly within you, overcame many hardships, were cultivated by Meishu-sama, have held important the torch of faith from the one and only God, the true parent of our lives, and conveyed this to others—I cannot help but feel that you were able to reach today precisely because of all this.”
He then expressed his joy by saying, “My heart trembles with amazement, deep emotion and gratitude as I meet all of you members here at the Korea Headquarters and to see so many people right before my eyes who wish to share the same spirit as I.”
Next, he imparted guidance to us saying that Meishu-sama has opened our hearts and freed us from a human-centered faith, permitted us to turn our thoughts toward God even if just a little, and is always guiding us with great love.
Furthermore, he mentioned that at the time Meishu-sama announced the birth of the Messiah, he stated the words, “On my part, I have become much younger.” He did not just say, “I have become much younger,” but he included the words “on my part.” I believe that Meishu-sama was casting a question to each one of us, “how about on your part? Have you become younger like me?” Then Kyoshu-sama called on all the attendees by saying, “If you have been made to think so, should we not respond to Meishu-sama by saying, ‘Together with Meishu-sama, on my part, I have become much younger, too! Thank you, Meishu-sama!’? Let us respond to Meishu-sama now, shall we?” Then the venue became one and all together, everyone responded, “Together with Meishu-sama, on my part, I have become much younger, too! Thank you, Meishu-sama!” and a big round of applause erupted.
Finally, Kyoshu-sama closed his message with the following guidance saying, “With Meishu-sama who is within us at the lead, let us tirelessly serve in the work of making all things new, in this entirely new work of salvation of God who creates the future.”
Next, the Korean members’ chorus group took the stage and together with all the attendees, sang in Korean, “Divine Light Hymn” and in Japanese, “Goin’ Home.” The prayer hall resonated with singing voices of praise for God’s great love and Him warmly welcoming us as His own children.
Afterwards, Kyoshu-sama and his family visited each floor, exchanging handshakes and friendlily addressing all the attendees.
At the end, everyone gathered outside the headquarters and a commemorative photo was taken. People called out “Together with Kyoshu-sama!” a number of times and on Korean soil, everyone determined anew to be born anew as a true child of God under the guidance of Kyoshu-sama based on the teachings of Meishu-sama.
Comments from this day’s attendees include, “I teared up when I was listening to Kyoshu-sama’s message—I felt the happiness of my ancestors.” And “I would like to strive in my efforts in divine work by of course, continuing with daily prayer but also in order to become a true child of God, a Messiah.” Afterwards, a meeting over lunch took place at a restaurant with the overseas pilgrimage groups within the city of Miryang. Kyoshu-sama and his family had friendly exchanges with members from each country.
On this day around dusk, up in the skies of Miryang, a rainbow cloud or “zuiun,” as written in the Zengen Sanji (In the sky overhead, birds of Heaven will be seen flying, and rainbow clouds will float along, portending happy events) made an appearance. From olden days, known to be a good omen, the same occurred between the end of August and beginning of September when Masaaki-sama visited the refugee camp on his missionary visit to Germany. Being Izunome Group’s first overseas missionary visit by Kyoshu-sama, the “rainbow cloud” was an appearance promising an auspicious event—members gazed at the sky with deep emotion.