Alpha…beta…delta…mu….  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would need to remember all those names and symbols.  I thought I was through with the Greek alphabet when I finished school!  I guess not.  It’s amazing how much the Coronavirus has and continues to mutate.  But wait….did we skip some letters?  Or did I just forget the order of letters?  Nope.  Did a quick search (admittedly only on Wikipedia) and discovered that there are a whole bunch of other variants including gamma, eta, lambda and others that were just not as serious as the more well publicized ones that we all have become too familiar with.  

Because of the delta (and now mu) variant, our facilities remain closed for large indoor functions.  We are very fortunate that our Dharma School and Japanese Language School teachers are so flexible that they can continue to hold virtual classes so as not to unnecessarily expose the kids.  We are allowing some small funerals and memorial services in the Hondo (less than 100 people) so that is a step in the right direction.  Of course, there are no otokis.  We have also had some other gatherings outdoors here at the Betsuin.  The Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Jr. YBA have had outdoor meetings/gatherings.  Other organizations are also beginning to think of new outdoor events.  Even if this is a small step, it is exciting to see the beginnings of activity at the church once again.

There are still many activities that must be held virtually.  On October 24, 2021 from 10am to 1pm, the Watsonville Buddhist Temple will be hosting this year’s Coast District Nembutsu Family Conference.  The guest speaker will be Rev. Harry Bridge from the Oakland Buddhist Temple.  Please register and join us for this virtual event.  Registration is due by Oct. 10th.  See additional information later in this Dharma and on our website.

We hope that everyone has already renewed their 2021 membership pledge.  If you have forgotten, please take this opportunity to renew and remember that you can always renew online.  We will soon begin the 2022 membership drive in November of this year.  For the 2022 year, we will be making some modifications to our renewal process.  These changes will provide you more flexibility in how you can renew your membership and will be similar to many other common online payment options.

So, continue to do your part to help get this pandemic under control.  Remember that we must continue to protect both ourselves and others.  Until we can beat back this pandemic, the virus will continue to mutate and we will get additional reminders of the Greek alphabet.  I really don’t want to get to those letters that I have never heard before.

In Gassho,