A little over a 100 years ago, the Issei came to America to create a new life for themselves and part of that life was the Church. Temples sprouted up like the cherry trees and strawberries they planted and cultivated. Like in Japan, the church was always the center of the community, a gathering place for celebrations, weddings, obons, festivals and funerals. In times of prejudice, it was one of the few places you were always welcomed. Through the good times and bad, the church was always there. After WWII, it served its purpose once again, as a hostel for returning families and service men. In more recent times, due to the overwhelming support from all of our organizations, we were one of the larger BCA donors to the Tohoku Tsunami relief effort. I’m sure if any of those original issei’s were alive today, they would be very proud of what they started. Without your grandparents and parents, this church would not be what it is today. Now it’s your turn.
As members of the San Jose Buddhist Betsuin, I’m sure each of you have attended at least one of the aforementioned events here and I’d bet many of you got married here. It is now our turn to ensure the Temple will be here for the next 100 years and make sure our future generations will have a place to worship, gather, meet their future spouses, get married, attend lotus, go to a dance, dance at Obon, eat mother’s day breakfast here and in some cases, hold your funeral services here. You have the power to step up and create a legacy for those who came before us.
As we get ready for another year of Dharma school, Judo, BWA, Girl and Boy Scouts……we will also launch the Generations Capital Campaign on September 7th which is also the first day of Dharma School and Organization day. There will be a short informational presentation and some fun events too. We have a plan to raise $10M over the next 5 years to renovate our Church campus. It’s broken into 2 distinct phases. Phase I is a full Annex renovation that includes a Seismic and Accessibility upgrades, Kitchen Remodel and infrastructure replacement like Electrical, Plumbing, Gas and HVAC. The current cost estimate is $3.8M and am planning on breaking ground right after the 2015 Obon and finish before the 2016 Obon. Phase II focuses on replacing the Education building that will meet our future needs and will require the balance of the fundraising efforts.
To date, we have risen $1.7M and with your help will hit our phase I goal by the spring of 2015 and the $10M mark by 2019.
Please join the SJBC Board, Ministers and Sangha by donating as much as you can to continue the legacy that your Parent/Grandparents created and to help ensure the Church will be here for your parents, children and many Generations to come. Its families like you who can make this happen and I’m proud to be your church president.