You are amazing! The outpouring of concerns to our Dharma friends and those impacted by the Lahaina wildfires epitomizes the strength of Sangha.
Whether you made a donation directly to the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii (HHMH), to the BCA Endowment Foundation, or participated in a sponsored event by your temple, collectively a difference has been made in the lives of many.
The HHMH is grateful for the enormous support received. Updates on the distribution of funds and actions of emergency relief support can be found on the HHMH website at https://hongwanjihawaii.com. Please continue to keep Lahaina in your thoughts as they face their long road to recovery.
In addition to the donations collected through the BCA Endowment Foundation for the HHMH Maui Wildfire Relief Fund, BCA made an initial donation to the HHMH through the Social Welfare Fund. Thanks to the Dana of many through the years, a portion of the Social Welfare Fund is saved for disaster relief efforts. Even though we do not wish for such tragic events to occur, it is comforting to have the funds available.
In October, the Endowment Foundation sends a letter on behalf of the Social Welfare Committee. Donations received are designated for specific causes to aid those who have been deprived of life’s basic needs. If you have not already, please read the article in the September Wheel of Dharma on Page 6 by BCA Treasurer Darlene Bagshaw.
The article explains the efforts of the BCA Social Welfare committee and the impact this program has recently made. For almost 44 years, this committee has provided hundreds of grants to vetted nonprofit organizations who are providing the necessary resources because of you and your Dana.
Let us continue this compassion in action. Please join me and together as a Sangha, we can make a difference for many around the world!
On Sept. 8, I had the privilege to meet Rev. Giei Sasaki and his wife, Mrs. Mari Sasaki. Rev. Sasaki participated in the International Ministerial Orientation Program (IMOP) coordinated through the Jodo Shinshu International Office (JSIO).
IMOP is a training program for ministers from Japan. It is an opportunity to learn what it is like to be an overseas Kaikyoshi minister, especially for the BCA, to experience living in the United States and to visit nearby BCA temples for services, events and meetings.
Rev. Sasaki is a professor at Ryukoku University in Kyoto and his family temple is on the shore of Lake Biwa. It was an honor to have a discussion with Rev. and Mrs. Sasaki.
As I shared the importance of collaboration between the BCA ministers, lay leaders and staff, working together to share and sustain the Dharma in the United States, Rev. Sasaki was filled with ideas of various programs.
His passion and desire to spread Jodo Shinshu Buddhism was evident. He was also inspired by his experiences in visiting BCA temples and interactions with the ministers, members and staff. Rev. Sasaki expressed how grateful he is to feel the Jodo Shinshu spirit alive and well here.
Thank you to all who welcomed Rev. and Mrs. Sasaki and their son, Eiki. Thank you for showing them the value and importance of BCA’s Sangha as we walk together on our Jodo Shinshu path.