Minister’s Message – March 2020

“Spring work is going on

with joyful enthusiasm”

~John Muir

Can you believe that we are entering the third month of 2020 already? Many people cannot believe it is already March. The good news is, Spring is just around the corner and the weather is becoming more agreeable. With the weather being more agreeable, we can now get out of the house or start our Spring cleaning.

Growing up, my mother always had us “air out “the house, air out the mattresses and pillows, do a thorough house cleaning and dust every piece of furniture in the house. She also readied her vegetable garden. However we were lucky that we did not have to drink a spring tonic.

My mother had a “green thumb,” so we always had a bit of Spring in the house year round. However it was during this time that we had to take all her plants down, clean the leaves, and clean off the cabinets where the plants were kept. She would take so much time re-potting her plants and reorganizing their place. She believed that plants also needed a Spring awakening.

I guess that is why her plants thrived and were so healthy. She cared for her plants as she cared for the family. We were healthy, well cared for, and well nourished. She took us to church, although we fought her all the way. My parents wanted us to be “well-rounded” individuals. Of course, my father being Catholic wanted us to attend mass on Sunday and my mother being Buddhist wanted to send us to the Buddhist church. Instead, my father sent my brothers to a Japanese Seventh Day Adventist Church because he knew so many people there. My mother sent us to a local Japanese Christian church, only two houses away from ours. For my siblings and myself, we did not want to attend either.

Eventually we were allowed to travel on our own path. My siblings married into different cultures and followed different paths. However to my joy, I was able to perform the marriage of my sister and that was because I came “cheap.” We follow what fits into our belief. It was through Namu Amida Butsu that I found my way and continue to learn from this path.

We all dabble in various philosophies in our lifetime and we learn. There are many people still searching and we welcome them to our church. It is our compassion and warmth that bring so many travelers back to Guadalupe. It is heartwarming to see how new people find comfort among our Sangha, due to the openness of our members.

We do not have a welcoming committee in the lobby, greeting newcomers. We have members who see a new face and they jumped in there to talk with these folks. There is no hesitation and they are always invited to stay for our “light” luncheon after service. Guadalupe is known for the food that we share. I sometimes wonder if it is the food that brings them or the search.

Whatever the case, we share our Namu Amida Butsu in gratitude for what we continue to hear and learn. We share our Nembutsu with others seeking truth. We are an inviting Sangha, who want others to find their way. Namu Amida Butsu and happy Spring.

Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano

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