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Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2023

Happy New Year! On behalf of the BCA Executive Committee, warm wishes for 2023 are extended to all. We look forward to opportunities to connect with you and continue to offer many Dharma programs for all.


On Dec. 3, 2022 the BCA National Board meeting was held virtually. Thank you to all who attended and submitted reports. This meeting is an overview of the year of the various programs for the BCA, IBS, JSIO and CBE, as well as preparation of business matters for the BCA National Council Meeting in February.


One of the highlights from the meeting included reports pertaining to the ministerial growth for BCA. BCA Bishop Rev. Marvin Harada acknowledged all those who made the 2022 Kyoshi training and certification program possible. BCA has nine new Kyoshi ministers. Some aspire to become Kaikyoshi ministers.


Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto reported that student enrollment continues to increase at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Fall 2022 enrollment is at an all-time high, which includes six BCA ministerial aspirants in the degree programs and 16 students enrolled in the Certificate in Shin Buddhist Studies.


The Center for Buddhist Education has held one of four MAP training sessions to prepare 12 Minister’s Assistants who aspire to receive Tokudo ordination. Rev. Jerry Hirano stated the Tokudo ordination is scheduled to take place in Japan during December 2023.


The Jodo Shinshu International Office (JSIO) reinstated the International Ministerial Orientation Program (IMOP) last September. After a three-year hiatus because of the pandemic, two ministers from Japan, Rev. Yukari Torii and Rev. Hiroya Sato, participated in the three-month program to learn about overseas ministry. According to Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara, some of our BCA Kaikyoshi ministers are alumni of this program. As you can see, with the teamwork of BCA, IBS, JSIO and CBE, along with the dedicated students and alumni who desire to share the Dharma, the ministerial growth for BCA continues to flourish.

Following the business reports, small discussion groups were formed. This was an opportunity for the attendees to meet, share and discuss how their temple and church continues to adapt to reopening. The seven groups were facilitated by the BCA Executive Committee. Concerns and successes were shared among all groups.


Temples and churches are providing hybrid services. Many feel virtual is here to stay even though it does take time to prepare for, equipment to invest in and assistance to run it. Some are seeing pre-COVID in-person attendance numbers while others have experienced a decrease. How to encourage members to return to temple was shared. Those who have updated their website have seen an increase of visitors to their services.


It is important for temples to be prepared to welcome the newcomers. As temples reopen and begin to offer in-person activities, the common message was to continue to have safety protocols and the common concern was the number of volunteers available. Through this type of networking, the hope is all temples and churches will be able to find ways to continue to reopen that works for their Sangha and community.


Next month, the 2023 National Council meetings will take place on Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 24-26. There will be online opportunities to attend workshops on February 18 and the National Eitaikyo service on February 26. Please note it on your calendar. We hope you will join us.


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