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Together, as One Sangha, We Are Making a Difference

Sangha, one of the Three Treasures of the Truth, continues to be an important, valuable part of our Shin Buddhist practice. 


Together, as one Sangha, we practice and learn from each other, we support and assist one another, and we share in both times of joy and sorrow. Compassionate action is demonstrated at both the BCA national level and the local temple levels.  


It never ceases to amaze me when I hear the stories of your Dana. Recently, on Dec. 31, 2023, the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple Sangha members were victims of an arson fire. This tragic event has led to an outpouring of support.  


Well wishes have been conveyed, donations have been contributed toward the Seattle Betsuin Arson Restoration Fund, and the White River and Tacoma Buddhist temples have offered their facilities.  


At the national level, you have also made contributions to the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii’s Lahaina Fire Victims Fund, the BCA Social Welfare Fund, the BCA Dana Fund, and the Dharma Forward Campaign.  Together, we are making a difference.  Thank you for your continued support! 


In 2019-2021, the Buddhist Churches of America and the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) were recipients of the Richard A. Bloomquist Estate.  Bloomquist’s encountering of the Dharma led him to bequeath his estate to ensure the Dharma would be accessible and shared.  


BCA is indebted to the efforts of past BCA President Rick Stambul, IBS President Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto and the late Richard Endo for their efforts in pursuing the funds.  


An ad hoc committee was formed and chaired by Stambul. Upon completion of the distribution of funds in 2021, the committee was disbanded. In 2022, Stambul informed me that additional funds from the Richard A. Bloomquist Estate were discovered.  An ad hoc committee was once again formed and chaired by Stambul. 


I am pleased to announce — and with deepest gratitude — to Stambul that the BCA and IBS are once again recipients of Dana from the late Richard A. Bloomquist.  A full report will be presented to the BCA National Council. 


The 2024 Minister’s Association and National Council Meetings, “Embracing the Dharma with Hope & Joy,” will take place on Feb. 16-17 and Feb. 23-25. The Northern California District temples are the hosts with the planning committee, which is led by Allan Yamashiro. 


This year’s format will be a bit different from previous years. The BCA Minister’s Association meeting will be held virtually on Feb. 16.  The next day will also be held online with the President’s meeting, Town Hall session and workshops.  


The following week, Feb. 23-24, the national meetings will be held in person at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento. Yes, we will be back in person!  


The last time the NCM held in person was in February 2020 in Renton, Washington.  I am looking forward to seeing ministers and lay leaders again, and having the opportunity to meet new leaders in person and to network.  


Following the conclusion of the meetings on Feb. 24, the IBS Symposium will be held in person and online. Please join us for a presentation by Dr. Scott Mitchell as he discusses his new book, “Making of American Buddhism,” with Rev. Dr. Takashi Miyaji.


The NCM events will conclude with the BCA national Eitaikyo Service at 10 a.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 25. The service will be live-streamed, allowing our BCA Sangha to take part as we pay reverence to all who have made it possible for us to receive the Dharma and Shinran Shonin’s teachings. 


Rev. Ron Miyamura, BCA’s newest minister emeritus and former Resident Minister of Midwest Buddhist Temple, will be the guest speaker.  The 2024 NCM will be a wonderful event as we begin BCA’s 125th  anniversary celebration year.

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