THE LIGHT OF THE BUDDHA
Steveston Buddhist Temple
4360 Garry Street Richmond, B.C. V7E 2V2
May 2005

CALENDER OF EVENTS

MAY 2005
01 (Sun) 2:00 p.m
09 (Mon) 7:30 p.m.
15 (Sun) 10:30 p.m.
20-23 (Fri - Mon)
29 (Sun) 11:00 a.m.
30 (Mon) 7:00 p.m.
May Memorial Service (Shotsuki)
May Board Meeting
Gotan-e & Infant Presentation Ceremony
BCJSBCF Retreat (Manning Park)
Spring Food Fair
Obon Odori Practice Begins

JUNE 2005
05 (Sun) 2:00 p.m
13 (Mon) 7:30 p.m.
19 (Sun) 9:00 a.m.
June Memorial Service (Shotsuki)
June Board Meeting
Temple Clean-up



INVITATION TO INFANT PRESENTATIONS SERVICE (HATSUMAIRI)

Do you have a baby or know of a baby who was born in the last two or three years? If you do or if you know someone else who does, please ask them if they would like to attend our Infant Presentation (Hatsumairi) Service at the Steveston Buddhist Temple on Sunday, May 15th at 10:30 a.m.

This is an opportunity for parents and child to come to temple for the first time together and pledge to live the Buddhist way of life.

THE PROCESS OF SOCIETAL FULFILLMENT

I would like to quote from Takamaro Shigaraki Sensei’s book “A Life of Awakening”, again. This is a part of the conclusion of his book.

“--- it will involve our efforts to create a world in which individual benefits can be obtained only when everyone is able to benefit together. This process, I believe, is none other than to live the path of the bodhisattva – a path in which self and other are one – the basic spirit of which is found in the bodhisattva’s vow: “As long as all living beings have not yet attained enlightenment, I will also not attain Buddhahood.”

As I reflect upon this, I have come to believe strongly that Miyazawa Kenji (1896 – 1933), a writer of Japanese children’s literature, truly lived the path of a bodhisattva, for he possessed prayers for human fulfillment and prayers for societal fulfillment. He was born in Iwate prefecture during Meiji period to parents who were devout Jodo Shinshu Buddhist. By the time Miyazawa was three years old he could recite Shinran Shonin’s entire “Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu” (Shoshin-ge) from memory. As a middle school student he was deeply fascinated by A Record in Lament of Divergences (Tan-ni-sho). Finally, he came to read the Lotus Sutra and was strongly drawn to the Mahayana Buddhist idea of the oneness f self and other. This Mahayana Buddhist principle finds passionate expression in many of his literary works. Here is an example:

If the entire world is not happy, then there can be no individual happiness. Our consciousness of the self must expand gradually from the individual to the group, and then to society and the universe. Is this not the kind of path that ancient sages also treaded and spoke of? In this new age, the world is becoming a single consciousness; it is seeking to become living organism. We are able to live with truth and vitality when we become aware of the existence of the universe within ourselves, and seek to live in accordance with it. May we always search for true happiness in the world, for searching is our path.

This passage was written by a person who clearly understood, and lived, the principles of Buddhism. As we learn Shinran Shonin’s teachings of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and live on the Path of the Nembutsu we would do well to reflect on the path of Miyazawa Kenji and to embrace his aspiration. ---”

In Gassho, Nariyuki Hattori



MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT - Larry Ryan

I’d like to start off by thanking everyone in advance for all the help they are providing in organizing the BCC AGM. A good many of us as I write this, are gearing up for what promises to be a gruelling week. Last minute details such as food items, beverages, soup bowls, stationary supplies, nametags, transportation, table set-up, entertainment and many others are being checked and re checked. Roy Akune and his committee members have taken on monumental tasks. Again thanks.

The AGM will address such subjects as The Living Dharma Centre, BCC bylaws, BCC Centennial Celebrations as well as the BCC budget. I trust all participants will comport themselves with a great deal of Buddhist forbearance.

By now you have all heard that Hattori sensei and his family will be returning to Japan. I’m sure we wish them all the best. The board and advisors are meeting with the Bishop with a view to finding a replacement sensei.


Inter-Temple Affairs

Steveston Buddhist Temple was pleased to have had Reverend Shindo Nishiyama of Hawaii as our guest minister for Hanamatsuri. We enjoyed an informal potluck dinner with him and his family in the classroom.

The Vancouver Buddhist Temple Dharma students will be joining us at the Tsuito Hoyo service, which concludes the BCC AGM.


BCC UPDATE APRIL 2005 FROM THE OFFICE OF THE BISHOP

April is the month of Hanamatsuri (Buddha’s Birthday Celebration) across Canada. Personally I had a chance to join Vernon Sangha on April 9th and Kelowna Sangha on April 10th with their Hanamatsuri. It was nice to see a lot of young children with their parents and grandparents in these commemorations.

Also in April we have Annual General Meeting which will be hosted by Steveston Buddhist Temple from April 20th to 24th. The minister and members have been working hard to welcome the ministers and delegates across Canada.

I had annual visitation to Montreal, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Calgary from March 26th to April 7th. It was very fruitful in the sense of Lay Leader Program and BCC Centennial promotion. In Montreal there were three participants in the program; Shig Kojima, Shirley Shikatani, and Masahiro Abe, two in Thunder Bay; Bonnie Blake, Thomas Stone, six in Winnipeg; Marc Battle, Grayson Harris, Sanday Scott, Colin Salie, Kiyoko Ulrich, and Jim Hisanaga, total of 11 people.

According to the latest information, Yasuhiro Miyakawa Sensei’s father Takeo passed away on April 11th in Japan and his funeral will be 17th. Miyakawa Sensei was able to see his father in time and he will be back to Kelowna on April 20th.


FROM THE TREASURY - Bud Sakamoto

Membership is the most valuable asset of the Steveston Buddhist Temple. Without members the Temple would not exist. For more than 10 years, the membership has been declining and now the majority of the members are probably over the age of 50.

With the declining membership, the revenue to operate the temple will also decrease. A review of the operating costs reveals that taxes, water, heat light, salaries and other expenses are always increasing with the cost of living index and are almost impossible to reduce. Bingo has been generating enough money to offset the deficit. However, the Bingo operations can’t continue without members.

Membership will be the single most important issue that will need to be addressed in the next few years. The reality is that once membership drops below a certain threshold, the Temple will not be able to operate. Therefore, it would appear wise to be proactive and to begin to address the issue of decreasing membership.

The single most important and difficult question to ask is how do we go about increasing membership? With a solid membership base the finances of the Temple would be secure.


FUJINKAI NEWS - Hiroko Yoshihara

Fujinkai members were involved in several activities in the past month. Toban 1 assisted by Mrs. T. Sakai prepared 34 bentos for a tour group from White River Buddhist Church. Warm appreciation for this has been received from Lily Kato. The trip to the Chinese Buddhist Temple on Steveston Hwy and to various stops in Steveston were enjoyable. Toban 1 members also prepared the otoki lunch for Hanamasturi service. On the Gulf of Georgia Cannery opening day on April 2, three Fujinkai members served manju and green tea to approximately 170 people who attended the opening of the new exhibit.

Invitation has been received from The Richmond Hospital Foundation for presentations to the donors on Wed., May 11 at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments and entertainment to follow. From funds earned from table rentals at our November Craft Fair and sale of the Kamloops JCCA cookbooks, the Steveston Buddhist Temple WA were able to forward $6,000 in January to the Richmond Hospital Foundation.


DHARMA SCHOOL NEWS - Genevieve Iwata

Family service women and some younger members met to learn how to make Mikasa manju. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot. We managed to freeze some for the AGM and donate some to Rev.’s family. We hope to have future manju and sushi making sessions. They probably won’t happen until after the 100th year anniversary. We would like to thank Michi Tanigami for the lesson and her patience. We’ll try to get her back for future sessions.

We would also like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Matsuno for teaching us how to make a special delicious mochi dessert.


CHOIR PRACTICE

Fridays at 7:00 p.m.
May 6th & 27th
June 3rd & 17th

Please come out & have fun!

Flowers for the Nokotsudo Memorial Garden welcome.


MS Word Version: May 2005 Newsletter

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