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Thank You for Keeping Our Jodo Shinshu Legacy Alive

I had the opportunity to meet with our Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) staff at its in-service meeting on Nov. 1. 


Organized by BCA Director of Operations Gayle Noguchi, everybody gathered at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley, California. It was a time for sharing, learning, bonding and celebration. It was wonderful to hear chatter and laughter. The morning began with the employee recognition of two staff members.  


We celebrated the one-year anniversary for administrative assistant Angela Bartolacci and the 10-year anniversary for accounting assistant Gregg Sera. 


Noguchi had some fun activities for everyone to get to know each other better. The main part of the in-service was a discussion on the core values of working for BCA. Words that described the staff’s working environment included supportive, patience, mutual respect, mindful, constructive, and communicative. 


We have a very dedicated staff who go above and beyond their specific job responsibilities. They want to be here for BCA. There was also a discussion on the BCA’s vision and strategic plan regarding governance. 


The Executive Committee has implemented a plan to have staff liaisons to each BCA committee. Some of our staff have already been engaged with some of the BCA committees. Each committee has a staff liaison as a part of their team. With the support of the staff, we hope for improved efficacy and communications. The meeting ended with a luncheon.  Special thanks to Noguchi for coordinating this important in-service for our staff.  

Following lunch, the staff was back in action, demonstrating going above and beyond, as employees met with BCA Endowment Foundation Director of Development Michiko Inanaga. 


Final logistics were discussed and planned for the Chef’s Table event. On Nov. 10, over 80 people gathered at the Jodo Shinshu Center for “Chef’s Table — Taste of the Dharma.”  Delectable dishes were prepared by Bishop Rev. Marvin Harada, Rev. Michael Endo, and CBE Youth Coordinator Koichi Mizushima.  


Attendees were treated to entertainment by BCA Endowment Foundation Executive Director Hideaki Mizuno, the band Sangha Plus, and a fireside chat with Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto and Rev. Marvin Harada moderated by Michiko Inanaga.  


It was a wonderful evening reconnecting with Dharma friends and meeting new friends. Thank you to Michiko for her leadership in coordinating a memorable event. Special acknowledgement to the over 30 volunteers, which included staff from BCA, BCA EF, and the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), for their part in the success of the event. To the attendees, thank you for your presence and your continued Dana. As one Sangha, together, everyone moved the Dharma Forward. Your support allows BCA a path to develop the way Dharma is shared in the United States, for the IBS to cultivate our ministry, to make effective change, and to continue Shinran Shonin’s teachings. 


As we come to the end of the year, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you for all that you do. I see churches and temples thriving thanks to the efforts of their ministers, leaders and members. We have Sangha across the continental United States, which includes our BCA Individual members.  There are various programs to be enjoyed by all ages. We have a rich tradition that embraces all. Thank you for keeping our Jodo Shinshu legacy alive through your selfless giving and compassionate action. 


Wishing you a wonderful, memorable holiday season.

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