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Youth Corner: 2009 Summer Regional Training and General Assembly

In July, North America's Sukyo Mahikari Youth Group gathered for the Summer Regional Training and 4th General Assembly. Fifty-five members from all over the United States and Canada gathered at regional headquarters in California for this significant set of events. Over the course of four days, youth group members engaged in many activities to help strengthen our relationship with God and the holy masters, and with each other.
Day 1 began with a study class by the regional director on the New Year's teaching by the acting Oshienushisama, followed by introductions from the Regional Youth Group Coordinator and Youth Group staff. Later on, all the participants were divided up into groups for self-introductions. For the second day, youth group members participated in study classes given on Yoko Gardening, the Significance of Marching Drills, and Expansion. A member from Hawaii gave an informative lecture on emergency preparedness and survival, while a youth group member who retired to become a staff member recounted his days of training at the staff training institute in Japan.


On day 3, while some the youth group members participated in rehearsals for the artistic presentation for the Sukyo Mahikari 50th Anniversary Ceremony, the rest of the members spent the morning offering community service at San Clemente Beach. The second photo with this article shows us in our work clothes getting ready for the beach cleanup activity. Working with the Surfriders Foundation, members spent several hours combing the beach for trash and recyclables.
Upon returning to Headquarters, the members participated in expansion role-play. Imagining that they were at a press conference for Sukyo Mahikari, several members practiced answering questions as the "press secretary," while receiving guidance from staff members on how best to answer questions in this type of situation. Afterward, members participated in study classes on the Art of True Light, and Pure Love. Dinnertime was spent watching skits created by each group based on the New Year's teaching and the theme for the regional training: "Resolutely give Light!"
On the 4th day, the General Assembly was held. Just like a ceremony, prayers were offered. We received a "Congratulatory Message and Instructions for the General Assembly" by the Executive Director of the Sukyo Mahikari Youth Group at World Headquarters, Mr. Suzuki. Then, the center director of Miami spoke to us about the courage and commitment to their ideals of the founding fathers of the United States. We don't have to fight in a revolution but we were inspired by how much change in the world can take place by a bloodless revolution of Light.
During the General Assembly, 15 pre-youth group members were promoted to official youth group members. One of these members offered a resolution on behalf of her fellow candidates, earnestly proclaiming the resolve and dedication each person would strive toward as Youth Group members. An experience story was also offered by a member from Florida, recounting her persistent efforts to practice the teachings and goals of the youth group for this year.
After the Regional Director's congratulatory message, all members and staff linked arms and joyously sang "Seiki no Asa" ("Dawn of the Holy Century"), the theme song for the Sukyo Mahikari Youth Group. Then the Summer Regional Training and General Assembly came to an end, and it was time to take the group photo and write reflections on our wonderful experiences during the previous few days.

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