The Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) is an incorporated religious organization of American Shin Buddhist affiliated with the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha Hongwanji denomination within the Continental United States.
The BCA is governed by Americans of the Shin Buddhist faith through a Board of Directors comprised of the Bishop, the Board President, the Ministerial Association Chairperson, district-elected Board members, Board members-at-large and representatives from the recognized BCA-affiliated organization.
The American Shin Buddhists within the State of Hawaii have a separate jurisdiction and administration because of the historical separation at the time of its founding since the Kingdom of Hawaii was not a part of the United States. The Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha denomination is organized as the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii , headquartered at 1727 Pali Highway, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.
The Buddhist Churches of America national headquarters serves as a regional center of the World Fellowship of Buddhists and is a supporting member of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP).
Statement on the Killing in Charlottesville, Virginia
On August 12, 2017 at a white supremacist rally, a neo-Nazi drove a car into the people protesting his ideology. He killed a woman and injured 19 other people. It was very deplorable and sad to see this incident in Charlottesville, Virginia. I would like to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to the victims’ families and friends.
The action that we witnessed was caused by anger and hatred deriving from a sad American historical background. We, as American citizens and residents, are experiencing the heavy karmic effects of our past history. We should be reminded of the American doctrine that all people are equal, as we often hear. We should turn to the core values of each individual’s religion or faith to find the way to live harmoniously.
No matter what path we walk, we know that we should not get angry or hate others. We know that we want to love everyone. And at a time like this, we all ask why this happened and how we can stop this type of human behavior.
We, as Buddhists, come to hear the urging voices coming from our teachers in the midst of this world of suffering ⎯ this world of samsara. The Buddha is standing with us with tears in its eyes, urging all of us to turn to the Infinite Compassion and Wisdom in order to transcend love and hate. Transcending love and hate does not mean that we eliminate our feelings of love and hate. It means that we recognize and understand that these powerful emotions exist within each of us; they are part of our human condition. We seek to encounter people who feel deep sorrow for our human condition and aspire to attain something worthier.
When we are touched and moved by the Vow of the Buddha to save all beings from suffering with Infinite Wisdom and Compassion directed at us to find the True and Real World beyond our foolish thoughts, we begin to live our lives with humility, understanding, and concern for one another.
Ultimately, we are all within the World of Oneness. Let us start with each individual to help create a better community by hearing the Compassionate Call from the World of True Equality.
Namo Amida Butsu,
Rev. Kodo Umezu
Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America
Ignorance and blind passions abound,
Pervading everywhere like innumerable particles of dust.
Love and hatred arising out of accord and conflict
Are like high peaks and mountain ridges.
(Collected Works of Shinran, p. 400)
When we reflect on the establishment of the Vow,
We find that the Tathagata, without abandoning sentient beings
in pain and affliction,
Has taken the directing of virtue to them as foremost,
Thus fulfilling the mind of great compassion. (CWS, p.408)
Welcome, and thank you for visiting our website. It is not by accident that you are reading this message. It is, in fact, due to your past karmic conditions.
Nothing happens without a cause or causes and conditions. You may be here because of family influences, a school assignment, or casual Internet surfing. Regardless of the reason, your visit is appreciated and it may even change your life.
I invite you, if possible, to visit a temple or church close to where you live and feel the warmth of the Buddhist Congregation called the sangha.
Let us find the true meaning of our lives through learning the Dharma taught by the Buddha and successive teachers. I assure you; their words of wisdom will inspire you and give a new dimension to your life.
Once again, thank you very much for your visit.
Yours Truly in the Dharma,
Reverend Kodo Umezu, Bishop
Buddhist Churches of America
BCA President’s Message | January 2017 Message
Happy New Year
Happy 2017 to all. On behalf the Buddhist Churches of America I wish all of you good health and happiness throughout the year.
Much of what will happen in 2017 will be determined by our actions. Good or bad, happy or sad, we seek a balanced, harmonious life.
We can all live a life of harmony by just letting go of the past and let the teachings of Shinran Shonin flow into our lives. This is not easy for we all have our attachments. However, what is the most important is living a Buddhist life filled with gratitude.
Attend your local temple services and listen to the richness of Shinran Shonin’s Teachings. Go to our BCA website, where you can find and explore the many BCA Temple websites and read and listen to our minister’s Dharma messages. Watch the videos on the Center for Buddhist Education channel on YouTube.com. Read the monthly Wheel of Dharma to discover the joy that comes from our Buddhist practice and to find out about events, seminars, and programs that are happening within your district and at the national level.
The Buddhist Churches of America appreciates all the BCA ministers and all of its member for helping spread the joy of the Dharma throughout our Sanghas and broader communities. I hope you will continue to share our unique message with all who seek the Buddha’s teachings.
President, Buddhist Churches of America