Betsuin Board Highlights

San Jose Betsuin Board of Directors Meetings

Thursday February 14, 2019 and Thursday March 14, 2019


submitted by Joyce Iwasaki


Mission Statement


The mission of the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin is to learn and to share the Jodo Shinshu understanding of the Three Treasures

Buddha, Dharma and Sangha


The intent of the Betsuin Board Bullets is to highlight Board actions, decisions, special events and projects.  Please contact the Betsuin Board officers, directors or the ministers for details on any item.


Motions from the February Special Board Meeting – February 14, 2019


Since the February 14, 2019 Special Board Meeting Highlights were not submitted to the March Dharma Newsletter, the following are motions that were passed at the February Special Board Meeting.


It was moved, seconded and passed to accept Gloria Yamauchi and Amy Lin-Furukawa as new Betsuin Board members.


It was moved, seconded and passed to accept the request from the College YBA group for the use of the annex during October 11 – 13, 2019 for an activity.


It was moved, seconded and passed to accept the request from Suzume ne Gakko for use of the annex on July 18, 2019 from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm.


It was moved, seconded and passed to send a gift of $150.00 the New York Buddhist Church on their 80th Anniversary observation.


It was moved, seconded and passed to give Reverend Fujimoto the Betsuin-owned laptop he’d been using.


It was moved, seconded and passed to follow the BCA recommendation of covering $333.00 per month for Rinban Sakamoto’s IRA contribution retroactive from January 01, 2019 and going forward.


It was moved, seconded and passed to negotiate a contract with the architectural firm, Cody Anderson Wasney, for the limited purpose of conducting initial research with the City of San Jose on the regulations, restrictions and compliance of concepts for the Education Building and surrounding parcels.


It was moved, seconded and passed to accept the recommendation of Rinban and Betsuin President to add Alvin Hironaga to the Komon Group.


It was moved, seconded and passed to accept the request from Fuji Tower to have their holiday party at no rental fee charge in the annex on December 04, 2019 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.


It was moved, seconded and passed to sponsor the Nikkei Matsuri tempura booth.


It was moved, seconded and passed to accept the Research and Planning Committee’s Betsuin Facilities Use Agreement recommendations and updates.


It was moved, seconded and passed to give Lori Higashi of the Betsuin Finance Committee to have read-only access to the Betsuin QuickBooks data.


Highlights from the March 14, 2019 Board of Directors Meeting




It was moved, seconded, passed to accept the February Special Board Meeting Minutes as corrected.


It was moved, seconded, passed to approve the establishment of a separate restricted fund account for maintenance and capital improvements.


It was moved, seconded, passed to approve to establish separate bank accounts for Adult Buddhist Association, Dharma School and Sangha Support.


It was moved, seconded, passed to approve to adjust a staff personnel wage issue.


It was moved, seconded and passed to give $1000 gift from the Betsuin to Rev Carol Himaka to help her with expenses related to her current medical condition and in addition, to gift the 2019 Hanamatsuri osaisen collection for the same purpose.


Special Guest Presentation


Greg Aso, Betsuin Member and Golf Committee Chair, made a presentation on the 12th Annual Betsuin Golf Tournament.


Date:        June 11, 2019

Place:        San Jose Country Club

Dinner:    Betsuin Annex catered by Kubota Restaurant

Benefiting:    Generations Phase II


Participate by:    Golfing in the tournament

Attending the Golf Dinner

Become a Tournament Sponsor

Become a Hole Sponsor

Selling/Purchasing Special Raffle Tickets

Donating Raffle Prizes


More information is posted in the event flier. For additional information, entry forms, donation and sponsorship forms, please contact at


Minister Report

Akiko Rogers, an IBS student and Minister Assistant at Senshin Buddhist Temple, is the guest speaker at our Hanamatsuri Service.

Rinban Sakamoto has begun the Minister Assistant Program at the Betsuin. The three identified Betsuin candidates will be allowed to enroll in the September 2019 semester of the CBE Correspondence Course which is a two-year program Ministers Assistants are encouraged to take. There are only 15 students that are allowed in the program each semester and only three Minister Assistant candidates are accepted each semester.

Education Committee

2019 FDSTL (BCA Federation of Dharma School Teachers’ League) Conference

Coast District is staging this conference which will be on April 26, 27 and 28, 2019 at the Holiday Inn San Jose – Silicon Valley and at the Betsuin. The theme is I am a link … heal ourselves, Heal the world with speaker Gregg Krech of the ToDo Institute. Registration packets and additional info are in the BCA website. The Coast District Ministers and leaders are encouraging not only teachers but all interested people to attend. Emi Tsutsumi and Jacque Yamaguchi are coordinating hospitality room food and drinks with all the Coast District temples.

Betsuin Security


“Emergency Handbook” is being completed. Copies will be given to Dharma School teachers and Japanese Language School staff. Copies will be available to any other organization upon request.


All office doors should be locked when only one person is in the office.

Robbery/burglary prevention meeting with Officer Rich Saito was held on February 10.  15 people attended.


Communications Committee

Correct information on any website is essential and is being addressed for the Betsuin website. An initial step for people and organizations is to have correct info posted is to email their info to and cc Kevin Kitagawa at as well. Most people have been emailing information to Mitchell Beutler’s personal account which is extremely full of other messages which makes it difficult for him to manage information specifically for the Betsuin website.

Dana Club Report

Past Activity – On Wednesday, February 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, fifteen members of the Dana Club along with volunteers from other organizations sorted and boxed 25,500 pounds of donated oranges at the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Past Activity – On Saturday, March 9, the Dana Club (DC) sponsored the Yu-Ai Kai birthday party for those seniors with birthdays in March and April. Dennis Akizuki was the MC with entertainment provided by Mas Nishimura on keyboard and his son, Kyle, on flute. Cake and tea were served by the DC members to all attendees followed by several games of Bingo, where prizes provided by DC members were given to all.

Future Activity – On Wednesday, April 17, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the Dana Club will again be sorting donated food items at the Second Harvest Food Bank. If you are interested in helping with this effort to support the local community, contact Al Hironaga at

Future Activity – On Saturday, April 27, the Dana Club will be helping the Rebuilding Together organization to repair the house of someone in the community who needs help in making the repairs. During this biannual Rebuilding Day, many organizations will be helping to make improvements to many homes across the nation. If you are interested in helping with this project, contact Al Hironaga at

EcoSangha Report

Earth Day 2019 – The EcoSangha is completing plans for the Betsuin Earth Day, which will be held on Sunday, April 21, 2019. The guest speaker at both services will be George Matsumoto, PhD, of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, who will speak on ocean ecology. Many displays, demonstrations, crafts, recycling, book exchange, raffle, snack sales and other activities have been planned for the Dharma School student and adults. Winners of the Earth Day Art Contest will be on display.

Recycling – The EcoSangha continues to collect gently-used shoes, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) inkjet and laser printer cartridges and white Styrofoam pieces for recycling. Those items can be deposited in recycling boxes located in the Betsuin office, in the annex lobby or in the large gray wooden box with the EcoSangha logo in front of Lotus Preschool.

Garden Committee Report

Volunteers in the Garden – Thank you to Stan Kawamata for pulling the weeds in front of the annex building, to Dave Pascual for adding a new shrub to the planter in front of the hondo and to Sus Ikeda for trimming the Japanese maple trees in front of the office. Thanks to these volunteers, the Betsuin’s gardens continue to look great!

Buddhist Churches of America (BCA)

2019 BCA Ministers Association and National Council Meetings

The BCA Ministers Association Meeting and the National Council Meeting took place on March 05 -10, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. Official Delegates from the San Jose. Betsui were Rinban Sakamoto, Ed Nodohara and Joyce Iwasaki. Mrs Kathy Sakamoto also attended.

Major issues include:

FY 2020 BCA dues assessment of $142.94 per member was approved.

The following recommendations from the BCA Strategic and Financial Planning Committee were approved:

  1. Report the progress on the following items to the National Board and the National Council at every meeting moving forward.
  2. Renegotiate the current Jodo Shinshu Center loan with the BCA Endowment Foundation.
  3. Recommend the BCA Budget and Finance Committee make maintenance of the BCA properties a yearly budget item that cannot be eliminated and would reasonably meet yearly needs. this proposal is intended to discourage viewing the maintenance budget as an item that could be reduced to reinforce shortfalls in other areas of the BCA budget.
  4. Be open to negotiate with any BCA-friendly organization that might be interested in buying or leasing the headquarters building (in part or in whole) with the expectation that BCA could become a tenant in the building and pay rent to the new owner/leaseholder.
  5. Support the Endowment Foundation’s plan for a new capital campaign to raise funds to pay off the debt on the JSC loan and raise money for other endeavors.
  6. Embark on a campaign to raise $1 million for the following items:
  • Headquarter’s elevator clutch and door sensor ($30K)
  • JSC upper parking lot leak repair ($450K)
  • 2019 dept service (JSC loan payment) $25K
  • Repairs to the Bishop’s parsonage ($75K)
  • Pilot project to livestream dharma talks to the temple in Central California District (equipment purchase) ($25K)
  • Contingency ($286K)

Total ($1000K)

A recommendation from this committee that was not passed was:

  • Sell the Bishop’s parsonage in Belmont. Use the proceeds from the sale to buy or rent appropriate housing for the Bishop. Use part of the proceeds to pay down the SJC debt to the Endowment Foundation. Invest part of the proceeds to fund a property maintenance account.

The BCA Ministerial Affairs Committee adopted the recommended updates minister monthly salary guideline.

Additional Information: Ministers Association Meeting, IBS Symposium, Presentations, Workshops, Dharma Messages

The annual BCA National Council Meeting and the Ministers Association Meeting provide a wealth of learning and sharing opportunities. The BCA Ministers meet for one day over a span of two days with their specific agenda, updates and issues.  IBS (Institute of Buddhist Studies) presented a symposium open to all focusing on presentations from Dr Lewis R. Lancaster and from Dr Scott Mitchell. CBE (Center for Buddhist Education) presented a workshop focusing on LGBTQ issues related to personal experiences within the temple/organization environment and to the Buddhist perspective in general. Workshops focusing on BCA Archives and Historic Preservation, how to help ministers plan for retirement by the BCA Ministerial Affairs Committee, BCA Propagation and Membership best practices, and understanding how the BCA Endowment Foundation functions.

All delegates were required to attend a Mandatory Harassment Training Seminar presented by Camille Pating of the San Francisco Buddhist Church.

Service dharma message speakers were Bishop Kodo Umezu of BCA (Opening Service), Rev Takashi Miyaji of the Tacoma Buddhist Temple (Closing Service) and Rev Ken Fujimoto, recently retired BCA minister (Eitaikyo Service).

2020 NCM hosted by the Northwest District: February 12 – 16, 2020

Coast District Council

CD Delegate and Alternate for the Joint Selection Committee of the Next BCA Bishop

By August 01, 2019, the CDC will select one district delegate and one alternate to serve on the BCA Bishop’s Selection Committee.  This BCA committee is comprised of 8 ministers and     8 lay members to bring forward a recommendation to the December 2019 BCA National Board Meeting for consideration. If the Board accepts the recommendation, it will report the approval and make a recommendation at the 2020 National Council Meeting and request a ratification. If approval occurs at the 2020 National Council Meeting, the information is sent to the Monshu for approval and appointment. The new bishop will take office on April 01, 2020.


Each BCA district’s ministerial representative and alternate will be selected by a vote by the district ministers. Each BCA district’s lay representative and alternate will be selected by a vote by each district council.


CDC The Nembutsu Family Conference is scheduled for Fall 2020 with Watsonville as the host.


Next CDC Meeting is set for Thursday April 25, 2019 in Mountain View.