K. Ken Fujimoto
Item #1 – As people can see and have probably heard from other sources as well, the renovation project is progressing well. We should be able to meet the target date of June 10, for the completion. As part of this, we are planning an “in-house” opening ceremony on June 12. In the event that there is a delay due to inspections and such, we will plan to do this on the first Sunday after the okay to go in is given. A more formal event will be held later in the year, but at this ceemony we will have a short service in the annex and our members will be able to see all the improvements.
However, though the construction is going well, we still have funds that need to be raised. Most of you have probably heard, but a $1,000,000 line of credit was procured to guaranty the contractors that we would have the funds at the end of the project. We do not want to utilize this line of credit. We hope our members and friends will step up and help us to meet all of our expenses so we will not have to take out this loan. Though loans are a part of operating a business, there are no tax advantages for a non-profit such as our temple to take out a loan. Servicing such a loan will greatly delay our being able to begin the second phase, the education building component of our temple improvement plans.
We have made great progress towards the first part of our goal through the generosity of so many of you. We have a ways to go yet, but it is not an insurmountable task if we all pull together. Please consider as generous a donation as you can to help us meet our obligation. If you have already donated, please encourage others and additional gifts are always welcome.
Item #2 – During the summer, we will have an Introduction to Our Temple and Teaching class after the Sunday Family Service. We are planning on having five sessions beginning after our Obon Services. The plan is to cover basic etiquette; how to enter and exit the temple, how to do oshoko, the proper way to gassho, how to listen and take part during readings. Other sessions will include the description and explanation of our altar, basic Buddhist concepts, fundamental Jodo Shinshu thought, where differences can be found and why. We will also cover the organizational structure of our temple and the relationship with the national and international organization. This is intended to be an introductory class, but anyone and everyone is welcome. Look for more details in the July issue of the Dharma.
Item #3 – As many of you may know, we often see college students come to the temple as part of a class assignment. Most of the time, a student will contact us at the last minute and want a temple tour and an interview with someone. Sometimes it is so bad that they call the day before or the very day their assignment is due. Some get upset when our schedule, because of funerals or other services, will not allow us to accommodate them.
A few weeks ago, we were contacted for such an interview, but the students in this case, did things as they should be done. They contacted us a couple of weeks before and asked if one of the ministers would have time to talk to a group of them after the service and set up an appointment to do this. Something came up so two of them were unable to make the appointed time, so they contacted us before the appointed time and set another meeting when the temple was open and one of us was able to speak with them. They had done their research and had good questions to ask. It was not a case of, “Tell me all I need to know about Buddhism in 30 minutes.”
When things are done properly, it leads to a more productive and meaningful session. If you have children, grandchildren, nephews or nieces that are in college and need to visit a temple anywhere for an assignment, please teach them the proper way of contacting the temple so that their time and the temple they visits time can be optimized.
© May 23, 2016