Sukyo Mahikari
home learn visit courses faq about member
Harvest Celebration in Chicago
The Chicago Sukyo Mahikari center held a Harvest Celebration and open house on September 11, 2011. Family, friends, and members were invited to an outdoor BBQ and potluck featuring local, organic produce from our yoko gardens, home gardens, and local farmers' markets. We were able to serve all natural meats for the BBQ.
One of the most beautiful aspects of the Chicago center is that our center is located in a natural environment. It's as if Su God gave us a Garden of Eden in the middle of the modern world. As you approach the center from the street, you go up a long driveway surrounded by lush trees and flowers. The center is totally surrounded by a beautiful forest, where we often see deer coming out to greet us as we enter the grounds.
The open house included an introductory lecture about Sukyo Mahikari given by our center director. The Harvest Celebration also offered special activities, such as outdoor games for the kids, a tour of the yoko gardens and center grounds, and a continuous schedule of sessions for people to receive Light.
The members worked hard and overcame obstacles in preparation for the event. Many of the guests and members commented on the harmony and joy everyone experienced at the event. Our yoko gardens are a wonderful example of the fruits of the work offered for months by many adult members, our young adult members, and even our children's group. They planted and cared for broccoli, garlic, potatoes, various varieties of watermelons, cantaloupes, many varieties of peppers, parsley, three varieties of basil, onions, five varieties of squash, okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, and eggplant. They were able to experience the joy of harvesting many things from the garden for this celebration and share them with the guests and members who attended.
We set up a big, festive tent on our center grounds. Some of the members, wearing big white chef's hats, staffed the grills, and one of the members set up his DJ equipment to add music to the festivities. The beautiful flowers and vegetables were also used as creative centerpieces. Tablecloths were made with great efforts by some of the members. One of the members had found burlap coffee bags for free from a local coffee shop and used them to create the tablecloths.
So many members talked about stepping out of their comfort zone to plan and participate in the activities and invite guests. These are some of the comments and experiences from the guests and members:
  • "As I drove to the Festival I prayed to Su God to be used in any way needed to offer a successful event that would support the North American region's goals of establishing a larger spiritual development center in the region. The minute I parked my car, I was asked by one of my fellow members to help take care of her guest while she was offering service of transporting members to and from our alternate parking area and the center. I laughed to myself that God had given me an assignment so quickly. Throughout the day I felt true joy as I observed all the members offering various forms of service together to promote the success of our event. I noticed the broad smiles on everyone's faces and the children enjoying their special activities. I was reminded that true happiness comes from giving of yourself. In the end, we receive back tenfold through God's great love."

  • "I invited five friends who came to the center for the first time. They are devout member of a Japanese religion. They said they had a valuable experience and learned many things. One of the guests said that after receiving Light he felt relaxed and his painful condition went away. The guests loved the nice atmosphere and delicious organic food."

  • "One of the members who hadn't been practicing in recent months explained that the September 11th festival allowed her family to experience Sukyo Mahikari in a new way. She said the atmosphere was warm, friendly, and loving. We felt as if we belonged to the organization. We began to feel we were home again. The teachings seem to have come alive. I think we can begin to practice the art of True Light again as a family."

  • "At a group meeting prior to the celebration, we decided to create a prayer list of people that we were inviting to the Harvest Celebration and offer daily prayers for these individuals. One member in the group ended up welcoming fourteen guests. In all, our group brought a total of twenty-three guests to participate in the celebration."

  • "I was on the planning committee, and was also a part of the service team that painted the sheds and railings. Although it seemed like a stretch to spend so much time in preparation, with no days off, I am really glad I was able to participate in all the service before this event took place. I felt the event truly helped us to change and unite as a center. After all the service beforehand, I was enthused and anticipated welcoming others to the celebration."

  • "My wife invited two of my sisters, who had not been to the center before. After one of them received Light, the chronic back pain that she continually suffers from disappeared. Another friend of mine, who came for the food and comradeship, was glad to receive Light. He asked me if he could come back to receive Light and bring his daughter."

  • "I invited my yoga friends. One said that she felt so relaxed. My yoga instructor commented that the yoga community would find this interesting."

  • "From where I was sitting on a perfect sunny day, I saw animated people of all ages talking to each other, children playing games, some of the members cooking great food in white chef's hats, one of the members playing lively music acting as our DJ. My thought was, it looks like a Grandma Moses painting."

  • "I stepped out of my comfort zone and sent flyers to about thirty-five people in the business community and fifteen people in the mental health hospital where I work. Many didn't know about my activities with Sukyo Mahikari. Some responded and said they couldn't attend but might be open to an activity in the future. I felt excited about "planting seeds" for a future activity. I was happy because many of them had never heard of Sukyo Mahikari and I know they will at least go to the website now to find out all about it."

(C) Copyright Sukyo Mahikari 2008 - 2017

Sukyo Mahikari Centers for Spiritual Development is the registered trademark of the Bishop of the North American Region of Sukyo Mahikari and is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. All rights reserved.

Sukyo Mahikari is an Affiliate with the United Religions Initiative (URI) of North America