The June 2021 BCA National Board Meeting took place via Zoom on June 5. Rev. Marvin Harada, Bishop of the BCA, commented on the shortage of ministers in the BCA.
He acknowledged that some ministers were supervising up to four temples. There are 10 BCA members who are waiting to go to Hongwanji headquarters in Kyoto in get their Kyoshi certification from. At least six of the aspirants have indicated that they would like to become BCA Kaikyoshi.
Rev. Harada has met with each full-time minister to discuss how they have been able to get through the pandemic. He is now in the process of meeting with each temple president and discussing their concerns as we start to reopen our temples.
Rev. Jerry Hirano, director of the Center for Buddhist Education, has noted that every seminar the center produces has more than 100 participants and that many come from all over the world. The second annual BCA virtual Obon Dance will take place on Aug. 15.
Dr. Scott Mitchell, Dean of the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), reported that the IBS held its virtual graduation on May 21. Eleven people completed their degree or certificate program. Rev. Dr. Seigen Yamaoka was honored for his lifetime of service to the IBS and was given the title Professor Emeritus. The IBS had 44 students enrolled in the Spring 2021 semester. On July 1, the IBS is expected to become a full-time member of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
Hideaki Mizuno, executive director of the Endowment Foundation (EF), reported that the Growth Portfolio realized a gain of 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2021. The Growth and Income Portfolio had a gain of 1.4 percent and the Income Portfolio lost 0.9 percent during that time. The custodial management fee charged by the EF will decrease to 0.6 percent on the Growth Portfolio, 0.51 percent on the Growth and Income Portfolio, and 0.39 percent on the Income Portfolio.
Rev. Kuwahara, director of the Jodo Shinshu International Office, announced that the JSIO became independent from the BCA on Feb. 1. There are currently 40 people enrolled in the Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course.
Jeff Matsuoka, BCA Treasurer, noted that as temples begin to reopen, he hoped that BCA committees would continue to meet virtually for at least half of their meetings. The BCA was approved for a second draw from the Paycheck Protection Program and received more than $217,000. The BCA will be making a loan payment of more than $148,000 to the EF, decreasing the total loan outstanding to $3.3 million.
Robert Matsueda, BCA Facilities Manager, informed the Board that the lower level parking lot at the Jodo Shinshu Center (JSC) has been cleaned out. All lights and sensors in the garage have been repaired. The interior leaks from the upper floor decks and the lower level parking garage have been repaired. Robert noted that our security guard has done an outstanding job in preventing unauthorized people from entering the JSC, chasing off vandals, and removing graffiti on his own initiative.
Gary Mukai, Chair of the Propagation and Membership Committee, reminded all temples to report those temple members under the age of 30 to the BCA with the annual census. Tom Nishikawa, Chair of the Student Financial Assistance Program indicated that the Program will need to undergo major revisions in how the restrictions to the individual funds are managed. Also, some funds will need to be contacted so that there would be more uniformity in how money would be available for candidates needing financial assistance. Nishikawa said he hopes the end result of the revisions will be more money available for eligible candidates.
The National Board approved the revised charter for the Social Welfare Committee. The committee will now have non-delegate at large members and will review applications for grants needed for natural disasters and developing humanitarian crises. The board approved the charter for the Music Committee. The board approved the Ad Hoc Real Estate Committee’s request to rent out the former Bishop’s parsonage in Belmont if a suitable renter became available.
Judy Kono, Chair of the Communications Committee, announced that the Temple Website Building Workshop would be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. PDT July 31.
Rick Stambul, Co-Chair of the Bloomquist Estate Ad Hoc Committee, gave the final report from the Ad Hoc Committee, and BCA President Kent Matsuda dissolved the Ad Hoc Committee.
Devon Matsumoto, President of the Young Buddhist Editorial, presented the YBE’s constitution and fielded questions about the document.