April 2013 Board Bullets

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Betsuin Board Bullets

April 04, 2013 Betsuin Board of Directors Meeting

by Joyce Iwasaki

The intent of the Betsuin Board Bullets is to highlight Board actions, decisions, special events and projects.  Please contact the Betsuin board officers, directors, or the ministers for more details on any item.

Prior to the April Board Meeting, Aloha Buddha, a DVD, was shown for the benefit of the Board members. This historical documentary, winner of  “Best Documentary” at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2011, tells the story of Japanese Buddhism in Hawaii. Information includes historical temple buildings, many of which have fallen into disrepair, been demolished or abandoned altogether as well as the history of Buddhist followers, practices and adapting to life in Hawaii.  In the early 1900’s, Buddhism was a major religion in Hawaii, with about 50% of the population belonging to one of 170 temples across the islands.  However, according to the 2010 census, the number of Buddhists in Hawaii has shrunk to less than 5%.

  • Correspondence

A letter from Leon Kimura, San Jose JACL President, was received by the Board President and Members of the Betsuin Board announcing that the 2014 JACL National Convention will take place in San Jose at the time of the SJ Obon festival.

  • Motions

It was moved/seconded and passed to accept the March 2013 minutes as corrected.

It was moved/seconded and passed to augment the original previous authorization of $20,000 for initial architectural research and schematics with an additional $10,000.

It was moved/seconded/passed to amend the above motion to include information that the funds will be taken from the Betsuin Building Fund.

It was moved/seconded and passed to cover the expenses (the sum of $750) for Rinban and Mrs Fujimoto, Rev and Mrs Sakamoto, and Mr and Mrs Steve Doi to attend the May 10, San Jose Taiko’s 40th Anniversary Dinner to act as official Betsuin representatives at the Betsuin table. Funds are from the Public Relations budget.

  • Membership Committee Report  - Dennis Akizuki

The committee met on March 23rd to work on obtaining rosters of all Betsuin affiliated and sponsored organizations to begin to analyze and understand the scope of membership, and to understand how and where people participate in various Betsuin activities and organizations.

  • Education Committee Report - Mas Nishimura

As per last month request from Todd Tsudama, the Facilities Project Timeline Chair, Mas Nishimura presented the 2013 Education Committee Objectives:

Continuing/Adult Education

Re-establish the Open Door Café as a venue for Dharma School parents’ communication and Buddhist education

Continue to foster practical Buddhism through the Tuesday Night classes

Increase membership attendance

Increase overall attendance

Children Education

Conduct a Gatha Sunday session to teach/foster gatha understanding and appreciation

Offer a summer Dharma School program


Continue to coordinate Obon Buddhism 101

Open the hondo during Nikkei Matsuri

Outreach to local university and college aged adults

Partnership with the Betsuin Communications Committee

Makes gathas available on the Betsuin website

Increase the number of dharma talk postings on the website

  • Infrastructure Committee Report – Ruth Shikada

Cody Anderson Wasney Architects submitted a schematic design proposal for review.

  • Notice of Proposed Amendment for the Betsuin Bylaws – Janice Doi

Under our bylaws section 10.1, the Board must be given 30 days notice before a vote on a change to the bylaws. A memo was distributed at the Board meeting for this purpose.

In order for the Betsuin to apply with the Board of Equalization to obtain an Exemption for property tax on the parsonages and facilities used for religious purposes, the Betsuin needs to include an irrevocable dissolution clause in the bylaws.  Currently, our bylaws  state our property will go to the BCA (Buddhist Churches of America) however our articles of incorporation do not state that the BCA is an organization organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes and is tax exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The proposed bylaws changes will correct the existing wording in our Betsuin bylaws to reflect the above in two stages with the changes in the Articles of Incorporation coming at a later time.

  • 2014 Giving Campaign Report – Roy Yamanouchi

All Board members are expected to donate and participate in the fundraising effort.

The Giving Campaign Committee asked the Board members to think about and list people in their personal circles each can reach out to and are willing make personal contact with those on their individual lists.

Budget and Finance Committee Report – Ted Nakano

The Betsuin Paypal account is now available.  Fundraising donations and membership pledges can now be implemented by Randy Suzuki, Office Manager.

  • Girl Scout Discussion – Roy Yamanouchi

Roy distributed a timeline of events that led to the decision of some Girl Scout families and scouts to leave Troop 60782. This information is helpful to the Board members to better understand the set of circumstances, decisions and actions.

  • San Jose Taiko’s 40th Anniversary Dinner – Joyce Iwasaki

May 10, 2013

DoubleTree by Hilton, San Jose

San Jose Taiko began at the Betsuin as a YBA activity and has grown into an international Japanese American taiko group.

To celebrate San Jose Taiko’s 40th Anniversary and the long term relationship this group continues to have with the Betsuin, it was recommended to sponsor a table of ten and to cover dinner costs of Rinban and Mrs Fujimoto, Rev and Mrs Sakamoto, and Mr and Mrs Steve Doi.

  • Human Relations Committee – Janice Doi

Prior to this meeting the Human Relations Committee emailed a DRAFT employee handbook for members to respond with comments and suggestions.  The committee will take feedback into consideration.

The Betsuin holiday schedule is in review.  The committee is working on a recommended schedule for eventual Board approval.

  • Ministers’ Report – Rinban Fujimoto

The Coast District Jr. YBA Conference was held at the SJ Betsuin on Saturday, March 16, with the theme Harry Potter and the Path to Enlightenment.  The District youth and advisors showed creativity in organizing the workshops and in setting the mood to fit the theme.  CD YBA hosts this conference every two years. 210 people registered for this conference.

The Federation of Dharma School Teachers’ Leagues (FDSTL) will be having their annual conference on April 26-28, in San Mateo, hosted by the Bay District.  Many of the teachers and both ministers will be attending.

Next year’s FDSTL conference will be hosted by our Coast District and work is under way to plan for this.  The theme for the 2014 Conference will be: Shinran’s Journey, My Journey, Our Journey.   The sub-theme is, Join us in looking at Shinran’s journey – his life and insight – to better understand our own path.

  • Communications Report – Joyce Iwasaki

Committee members are: Dennis Akizuki, Roy Batchelor, Janice Doi, Rinban Fujimoto, Joyce Iwasaki, Mas Nishimura, Reverend Sakamoto, Roy Yamanouchi.

Support Committee members are: Al Hironaga, Kevin Ross, and Michael Stock.

Roy Batchelor conducted a tutorial for a group of videographers to record the Sunday dharma talks and to post them on YouTube linking them to the Betsuin website.

  • Ministerial Affairs Committee (MAC) – Joyce Iwasaki

The Betsuin Ministerial Affairs Committee has been re-established after a long hiatus.  Members of this committee are: Allan Hikoyeda, Al Hironaga, Steve Ichinaga, Joyce Iwasaki and Sumi Tanabe.

Al Hironaga was appointed as committee chair and Board representative.  Joyce Iwasaki was appointed committee secretary.

The committee met on April 03, 2013.

At this meeting, it was agreed that initial order of business is to determine and define the goals and responsibilities of this committee.

  • 2013 Betsuin Golf Tournament Report  - Joyce Iwasaki

June 03, 2013

San Jose Country Club

Check in:    9:30 am

Start time:   11;00 am

Entry forms are located on the Betsuin website, in the Office and in the April and May issues of the Dharma. Entry deadline: May 19, 2013.

Hole in One – courtesy of J. Morey Company and SJ Betsuin Golf Committee


Special Raffle – $50 per ticket (only 300 tickets will be sold)

$4,000        first prize

$  100         next ten prizes

The Board members and Golf Committee members are securing tournament and hole sponsors as well as raffle donations.  Additionally, each is selling special raffle tickets, some are golfing while others are volunteering at the event.

Dinner will be catered by Kubota Restaurant and will take place in the Betsuin Annex.

Golf Committee:     Greg Aso, Rinban Fujimoto, Mas Horiuchi, Denise Imamura, Peter Imamura, Rod Iwamura, Joyce Iwasaki, Bud Mine, Steve Onishi, Bob Terasaki, Larry Utsurogi

  • Dana Club Report – Al Hironaga

Dana Club members are helping the Rebuilding Together organization during their Spring Rebuilding Day on Saturday, April 27.  Club members will be assigned to one of many homes of elderly and disabled people in the local area who need help with their home maintenance and repair.

Dana Club members will be sorting food at Second Harvest Food Bank on Wednesday, June 12, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.  Please contact Al Hironaga if you can volunteer (limit 15 per volunteer group).

  • EcoSangha Report  - Al Hironaga

The Betsuin Earth Day activities will be held on Sunday, May 5, 2013.  Reverend Sakamoto will be presenting an appropriate Dharma message during the 9:30 family service.  Following the family service, there will be displays and activities in the gymnasium and on the Sixth Street property.  The EcoSangha has been working closely with the Betsuin Dharma School in planning the activities to ensure that there are appropriate activities for the different age groups.  Dharma School students will be participating in the hands-on activities during their regular school times and parents and interested adult members are invited to attend the activities following the Dharma School sessions.