President’s article for March

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The Generations Campaign is nearing the end of the beginning.

I say that because the gym/multipurpose room/kitchen retrofit and remodel is just the first step of a plan to help ensure the long-term future of the temple and the Sangha. As we complete the initial phase, we must keep an eye toward the equally important second phase of Generations: A new building across from the Hondo that will be the home of a wide variety of activities such as Lotus Pre-School, Japanese Language School, Library, Dharma School and scout.

That is why we must aim high in our fundraising. The goal is not to raise enough money to pay for the first phase, but to raise enough for the entire plan. If we are fortunate enough to raise more money over the next four-to-five months than we need to pay for the gym project, the remaining amount will be put to good use planning and paying for the second phase.

And when we finish the second phase, then will come another challenge. We have been emphasizing the construction and remodeling of buildings. We must also focus on strengthening our Sangha in order to keep the temple vibrant, engaged and relevant. We will need the best minds and effort of the Sangha to do that.

I’ll be writing more on Generations next month.


Betsuin Keiro Kai

This year we will be paying our respects to all of the elders in the Sangha with the first Betsuin Keiro Kai, which was approved by the board at the Feb. 4 meeting.

For years the Buddhist Women’s Association has each year been honoring its members who are over the age of 80 with its own Keiro Kai. The BWA members have graciously agreed to end their Keiro Kai so that the Betsuin can honor all the temple members – men and women – who are octogenerians or older.

The Betsuin Keiro Kai has been scheduled for Sept. 25. Under the leadership of Special Events Co-Chairpersons Emi Tsutsumi and Jacque Yamaguchi, planning for the event has just started. We will be announcing more as the party planning progresses.

For those who are eligible (or will be by Sept. 25), please mark your calendars and plan on attending. It should be fun!


Visiting minister

As many of you may now, volunteers have been fixing up the cottage across the street from the church office (and next to the Education Building) to house new BCA ministers for their orientation. The first of these ministers – Rev. Nariaki Rajan Hayashi – will be with us for about three weeks this month before he moves to his first assignment.

Rev. Hayashi will be asked to speak at the Spring Ohigan Service on March 20. Let’s all welcome him warmly and support him, especially during his first sermon.

We expect to host more ministers in the future, but as I write this, no one else is scheduled to come for an orientation visit.

In Gassho.

Dennis Akizuki