Minister’s May 2017 Message

Life keeps moving

and so do we, into an

unknown future, one

step at a time.

~Rev. Dr. Seigen Yamaoka

Another Obon is just around the corner and the machine is at work overtime. There is a new technology being tried and it is called a Go Fund Me page. The expense of putting on such a large event is very expensive and we are trying to find ways of defraying the cost. This is being used for a couple of reasons. Of course one is helping on the cost but another is to deepen the awareness of the festival and Guadalupe Buddhist Church. We are not a large church and our members are maturing and it is becoming more difficult.

We can only try to involve not only our members but also our local businesses that we patronize. It is a good form of advertisement. However, we as members must also fill our responsibility to the church. It may be in the form of folding napkins, skewering meat for yakitori, or feeding the masses day before and on the day of the festival. Even if we cannot stand for a period of time, we have chairs and appreciate all and any help possible.

We do not give or share our gratitude to the “people behind the scenes” who work so hard and diligently to make this festival fun and successful. It begins with the initial meetings. If not for Esther, there would not be meetings. Her usage of technology has influenced our connections to each other making it so much easier and quick. Because of her regular job, she had to move a distance away, yet she is still bringing us together. How often do we share our gratitude to her? She tries to have meetings after Shotsuki Hoyo so it can be convenient for us. She carries a file folder with all information in it. We would like to share our thank you to Esther for her diligence and hard work.

Then there are the publicity people. Do you know who they are? There are several, like Gene, Doug, and LaRay. We are so fortunate to have Latitia who designs our posters and flyers. Their knowledge of computer use has saved us so much time and problem solving.  However, have we taken the time to share our gratitude to them?

We have four Odori teachers who are so patient and kind. We should be thanking them for setting up the dates and place of practice but especially for making us look good as we dance. They have been sharing their time with us every year, two hours, once a week for 5 weeks for many years. Their faces are familiar and their names are Sophie, Kathy, JoJo, and Joanie. They even bring snacks and drink to practice. We should be thanking them each practice. When was the last time we shared our thanks with them? They really do make us look good!

We also have the people who take the time to prepare our strawberries, bake shortcakes, cook teriyaki, make onigiri, make wontons, make the sauce, stuff them, fry them. When the weather is hot we are so fortunate to be saved by ice cream. They bring the freezer, fill it with some of my favorites. We share our thanks to Wataru and Jodee.  And there are those who help where help is needed. They are numerous. We have to thank the Alices, Daves, Dans, Wendys, Patsys, Sumis, Jasons, Keiths, Kims. Dougs, Colleens, Brandons, Brians, Deans, Francescas, Matthews, Masakos, and so many other people. Our Sangha at Guadalupe BC is great! I am so proud to serve as minister there.

I am not saying we do not “monku” but who does not “monku?”  Thank you all for everything you do to help our Obon Festival to be successful, fun, and entertaining. I share my Namu Amida Butsu with you all!

Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano

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