April Board Bullets

Posted by:

Betsuin Board Bullets

April 03, 2014 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.


  • It was moved/seconded/passed to accept the March meeting minutes as corrected.
  • It was moved/seconded/passed to approve the “Generations” (fundraising) Committee proposal of using $2.7M (cash and guaranteed donations) as the “Go/No Go” decision threshold for Phase One of the renovation/construction project. A decision will be made by July 10, 2014.
  • It was moved/seconded/passed to hire Vance Brown Builders as the General Contractors for Phase One renovation/construction project, at a total cost of approximately $350,000.
  • It was moved/seconded/passed to soon announce an alternate facility proposal to all annex users during construction.
  • It was moved/seconded/passed to table the request from ZIPCar (car-sharing company) to rent two Betsuin parking spaces.

Ministers Report – Rinban Fujimoto

  • Our Spring Ohigan service with Rev. Kojo Kakihara, from the Tacoma Buddhist Temple on March 16th, was well received and he enjoyed his time with us. His messages were well received by all in attendance.
  • On Sunday, April 6th, the Betsuin’s next major service was held, Hanamatsuri, the birth of Prince Siddartha who would become the Sakyamuni Buddha. This one service began at 10:00 am and brought all generations together. This gave people the opportunity to see the different facets of our temple Sangha and to hear the Dharma together.
  • The Federation of Dharma School Teachers’ League’s conference was held on April 26th, at the Mountain View Buddhist Temple, hosted by our Coast District. The theme for this conference was: Shinran’s Journey, My Journey, Our Journey, with a focus on the teachings of Shinran and how it ties into each of our lives. A representatives meeting was held on Friday, April 25th, and the conference activities were held on Saturday, April 26th. The district committee was busy this past year in preparing for a meaningful and educational session for all in attendance.

Annex Renovation / Generations Fundraising Reports – by Todd Tsudama

  • Please read Todd’s renovation / construction and fundraising updates in another section of this Dharma.

Membership Committee Report – Dennis Akizuki

  • The Membership Committee developed a new membership dues structure which is set up to bring more participation, support and excitement to our organization. Details will soon be available.

Human Relations Committee Report – Janice Doi

  • The HR Committee has been working on staff job descriptions and has reviewed the proposed job descriptions with the staff. The staff provided their input for each of the four descriptions. These descriptions were presented to the Board Members for review. The Committee is asking the Board to approve the job descriptions during a future Board Meeting, as this will be the basis for future performance evaluations. The Committee will be reviewing the performance evaluation form and process with the staff next week.

Budget and Finance Committee Report – Ted Nakano

  • The Budget and Finance Committee has been working on revamping the financial reporting process to help Board Members understand the organization’s income and expenses, including payroll and tax obligations. The Committee, with the help of staff, is working on sound financial procedures so that funds can be easily tracked. Initial improvements with reporting and tracking have been implemented. The Committee realizes there is still a lot of work to be done before our financial reporting process is complete.

Dharma School Report – Steve Sorakubo

  • The Dharma School Teachers are planning ahead for the next school term and anticipate the need to fill teaching positions, specifically for the sixth and seventh grades. Please contact Steve Sorakubo (ssorakubo@sbcglobal.net) if you are interested in these as well as other teaching opportunities.

EcoSangha Report – Al Hironaga

  • The Betsuin’s 2014 Earth Day was held on Sunday, March 30th. The guest speaker was Rev. Dr. Shoyo Taniguchi, who retired from the Southern Alameda Buddhist Temple. Following the 9:30 am service, the Dharma School students, teachers and aides rotated through the various activities and displays during their normal class time. Adults participated in the activities and viewed the displays at 11:00 am following the adult service. A featured display this year was a solar cooker designed by a woman from San Jose that uses the sun’s rays to cook food. Other activities included: several children and adult crafts, Aquaponics display, worms composting, T-shirt bags, Master Gardeners seed saving, table lamps made from e-waste, Green Ninja videos, a book giveaway, and a display by the 8th grade Dharma School class. There was also a sale of various types of omusubi, refreshments and raffle tickets for various items, including a stay in SF. In addition to the collection of printer cartridges and small electronics, the EcoSangha also collected used household batteries and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs, which are considered hazardous waste. The EcoSangha will dispose of the items at a Santa Clara County Hazardous Waste Disposal site.
  • The EcoSangha is continuing to recycle used and surplus unused inkjet and laser toner printer cartridges, cell phones, iPods, mp3 players, digital cameras, video cameras, GPS devices, radar detectors, iPads/tablets, eBook readers, PDAs, and video gaming systems/games. A collection box is in the Betsuin office with a second collection box located near the Lotus preschool entrance.

Dana Club Report – Al Hironaga

  • On Saturday, March 15th, the Dana Club sponsored the birthday party at the Yu-Ai Kai center for seniors born in March and April. Dennis Akizuki served as MC, and Cindy Sakuma and her Ka Hale O Hali’imaile dance group provided the entertainment, while other club members served the refreshments, conducted the Bingo games and issued the Bingo prizes. The prizes for the Bingo games were donated by Dana Club members. The Dana Club has received a nice thank you letter from Julie Hubbard, the Yu-Ai Kai Activities Coordinator.
  • On Wednesday, April 23rd, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, members of the Dana Club sorted food items donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank. The sorted foods along with produce sorted by other groups will be distributed to needy local families and food kitchens. Scoutmaster Stan Kawamata encouraged Boy Scouts who are at least 14 years old to show Scout Spirit and practice being “Helpful” by participating with the Dana Club. Youth volunteers can get community service credit by participating.
  • On Saturday, April 26th, the Dana Club worked with the Rebuilding Together organization to repair the house of a needy local family.

Board Development Committee – Joyce Iwasaki

  • One of the responsibilities of the Board Development Committee is to provide information and opportunities for Board Members to enhance their leadership skills. This Committee recently offered the following: Effective Communications (facilitated by Christopher Glover at the 2013 Nembutsu Family Convention), Fundraising Workshop for Board Members (facilitated by Bruce Davis on Nov 07, 2013) Fundraising Workshop for New Board Members (facilitated by Bruce Davis on Mar 06, 2014), Fundraising Presentation during the Board Meeting (facilitated by Bruce Davis on Mar 06, 2014), Board Member Responsibilities Training (presentation by Erin Bradrick, Attorney at Law on Mar 13, 2014).
  • The Committee asked the Board Members to complete an evaluation survey to help plan and execute future training and workshops.

Golf Committee Report – Joyce Iwasaki

  • The Seventh Annual Betsuin Golf Tournament is set for June 09, 2014 at the San Jose Country Club. Proceeds from this and previous Betsuin Golf Tournaments are designated to the Betsuin Building Fund.
  • Tournament entry forms are in this month’s Dharma and in the Betsuin Office. Entry deadline is May 25th.
  • Tournament and Hole Sponsor packets are available as well as raffle prize donations. Companies, businesses and individuals interested in supporting the efforts in these ways can contact any Board Member, Committee Member, or Office Staff for additional details.
  • The special raffle is offered again this year. Up to 300 tickets will be sold at $50 per ticket. First prize is $4000 with ten prizes of $100 each. All Board Members, Committee Members and Office Staff are selling these tickets.
  • The Committee is looking for volunteers for this event. Please contact Joyce Iwasaki (j.iwasaki@yahoo.com) if you can help with day-of tasks such as at the registration table, signage on the course, all-day duties on the course, photographer, dinner set up in the annex, support personnel during dinner.

Jr League of San Jose Volunteer Recognition Luncheon - Joyce Iwasaki

  • The Jr League of San Jose Volunteer Recognition Luncheon promotes voluntarism and recognizes those individuals who have so generously given their time, energy and skills to improve the lives of others. More than 600 community members and dignitaries regularly attend this event. The Junior League of San Jose honors those who strive for greatness and work to implement positive change in their community.

Under the leadership of Terry Oshidari, the SJ Betsuin has requested to honor Mr Stan Kawamata and Mrs Reiko Iwanaga at this event.

The 45th Annual Jr League of San Jose’s Volunteer Recognition Luncheon was held on Friday, April 25th at Villa Ragusa in Downtown Campbell. Out of the Betsuin Public Relations budget, $350 has been allocated to purchase a table of ten for Mr and Mrs Stan Kawamata, Reiko Iwanaga and guest, Rinban and Mrs Fujimoto, Reverend and Mrs Sakamoto, Todd and Fran Tsudama. Due to prior commitments, Rinban and Mrs Fujimoto were not able to attend. In their place, Reverend and Mrs Nishimura attended.

  • Reiko Iwanaga

Reiko is being acknowledged for her work with the Padma Girl Scout Award.  She actually worked with Rev. Hogen Fujimoto and later, Jean Wilson to start this program at SJBC in the 1970′s.  She has been teaching the Brownie Padma class since 1975 and continues to this day.  All supplies and teaching materials are donated by Reiko.  She keeps in touch with the girls and they also see her as the Obon dance instructor which makes her a very positive role model for the Girl Scouts of Buddhist faith.  She should be recognized for her long-time commitment to the young girls/women of the Temple.  Remember that statistically, it is the mother who determines the religious practice of the family so Reiko’s work with young girls helps us to bring commitment to SJBCB in the future.  Her award is under the category of “Leadership.”

  • Stan Kawamata

Stan Kawamata has not only been a long-time committed Boy Scout 611 Scoutmaster, but he has always been an ecologically oriented person who walks the talk.  He has encouraged the Scouts and the Sangha to practice the ideas of recycle, reuse, reduce, rethink.  He is a charter member of the EcoSangha but he has just brought his way of life to the group.  He and Harriet already live their lives in a very thoughtful and caring way towards taking care of our Earth.  He shares his feelings with the Temple by recycling plastic bottles, helping with the EcoSangha’s Nike shoe drive, composting, recycling toner cartridges, educating Sangha about recycling or reusing, and generally being a good example on campus.  He is a man with a mission of educating people to make a difference in their world by making small changes that can have a large impact down the road.  Stan’s award is under the category of “Ecology.”