I hope the start of 2023 has gone well for you, your family, and friends.

As President of the SJ Betsuin, I don’t really have power like a superhero (wish I could websling around the city and take down bad guys like my favorite superhero, Spider-Man), but I am more like Peter Parker (yes, I’ve always been a little nerdy) who has to deal with the pros and cons of everyday life and believes that “with great power comes great responsibility”. I really don’t have great power, but I do take the responsibility of being the President very seriously, and I promise to do my best over the next two years.

I believe one of my responsibilities is to continually look for ways to improve the Betsuin. Our ministers always talk about the concept of impermanence (that things always change) and so we need to continually look to improve ourselves as doing things the same way all the time doesn’t allow us to keep up with all the changes that life delivers. This month I’d like to ask for your participation in contributing ideas to make the Betsuin better.

For example, as VP of Operations the past 2 years I chaired a committee that oversees the facilities, safety, security, and property management of the Betsuin. During one of these meetings, one of the committee members (Mike Mori) suggested that we set aside a day for the Sangha to help us out with some projects as there were too many for our Wednesday volunteers to deal with. The committee thought that was a great idea and our first San Jose Buddhist Church Maintenance Day was born.  It was held on Saturday, October 22nd, and under Mike’s guidance it was a tremendous success as 100 volunteers showed up to help us with various cleaning, painting, gardening, and handyman projects, as well as some electrical and plumbing issues. This wouldn’t have occurred if Mike hadn’t proposed the idea in the first place.

Another idea that came up in the last Operations Committee meeting was to place a list in the monthly Dharma newsletter of items the Betsuin needs that maybe a member of the Sangha could help us with. I brought this up at the January board meeting and I received a suggestion that we could also add skills that we need to this list (for example, the Betsuin could use the help of someone who knows graphic design). I hope to start including this list in next month’s 

Dharma newsletter.

So, if you have any ideas to include in this list or some other idea that you think would benefit the Betsuin, please let me know by emailing me at president@sjbetsuin.org. I cannot guarantee that every idea will come to fruition, but I can promise to give each idea serious consideration.

I hope you had a good New Year’s Day and somehow survived all the rain that our area has received this month. Thank you for all that you do for the Betsuin.