Reedley Buddhist Church
The Reedley Buddhist Church was established in 1936 with the Rev. Rijun Katsueda becoming the first resident minister. After World War II and the relocation of the Japanese residents, the church was rebuilt in 1952-53 and the Rev. Gibun Kimura became the third minister. In 1961, the Sunday School classrooms, conference room, office, and restrooms were started and completed in 1962. A boyhood statue of Shinran Shonin was donated by Mr. Seichi Hirose of Japan and placed in the U-shaped garden. The entire project was completed and dedicated on April 15, 1967.
Rev. George Shibata, our retired resident minister, began his association with the Reedley Buddhist Church in 1975 and completed 37 years in December, 2011. Rev. Hidehito Sakamoto was appointed as resident minister in March, 2012, until December, 2013. From January, 2014 through July 2015, the church was under the supervision of the Fresno Betsuin. In August, 2015, Reedley had three ministers under a shared system of the seven temples of the Central California District Council of the Buddhist Churches of America: Rev. Kakei Nakagawa, Rev. Alan Sakamoto, and Rev. Matthew Hamasaki. The shared system is coordinated by the Central California Ministers' Association, the CCDC Ministerial Advisory Committee, and the staff of the Fresno Betsuin. In December, 2016, Rev. Alan Sakamoto retired from the BCA. Rev. Matthew Hamasaki left in January, 2018, to become the minister in Sacramento, and Rev. Kaz Nakata was assigned to the Central California in August, 2019. At the present time, Rev. Nakata is the supervising minister of the Reedley Buddhist Church.
The church renovated the conference room and added a new kitchen facility in 2004. They added a new wrought iron fence surrounding the property in 2006, updated the hondo in 2007, and completed a storage building next to the small kitchen in 2008. The social hall bathrooms received an update in 2010 and in 2011 the grounds between the hall and the Japanese School building were graded and decomposed granite was added. In October, 2017 the church grounds between the hall the Japanese School building were cemented, and in January, 2018, a solar panel system went into service to minimize the utility costs. During the Covid pandemic, safety measures were taken and an AED was installed in the conference room, touchless features were added to the restrooms, and PPE were added so the members could safely return to church.
The membership is approximately 100 members. The Buddhist Women's Association, the Reedley Dharma School, and the Jr. Young Buddhist Association remain active and support all activities sponsored by the church.
The Reedley Buddhist Church welcomes you to join us at any service and encourages new members to join our organization.
There are services online each Sunday at 10:00 AM. Please follow the link: https://mobile.twitter.com/fresno_nishi You can also watch the service afterwards since they are recorded.
SERVICES & ACTIVITIES FOR MARCH
Sun., March 12, 2023 - Combined Ohigan, March Shotsuki, & Family
Dharma Service - Lunch following service
Sun., March 26, 2023 - CCBWL Conference in Fresno
Camp Dharma at Keola
The Reedley Buddhist Church will be sponsoring Camp Dharma at Keola once again! All church members, former church members, Dharma School students, church friends are invited to attend! It will be held on July 7 - 9, 2023 at Camp Keola at Huntington Lake. Click here to view and/or download the information and registration pages.
10 Prep for A Taste of Bazaar fundraiser
- slicing meat 10:00 am
11 Combined Ohigan, March Memorial,
& Dharma Service 10:00 am
12 BWA Meeting 12:00 pm
12 Prep for A Taste of Bazaar fundraiser
Skewering beefsticks after service & lunch
12 CC Jr. YBA Meeting 2:30 pm
15 Reedley BC Board Meeting 7:00 pm
25 Conference Room Reserved - Tsuji
Family 10:30 am
Rev. Nakagawa's Message
March, 2023 Newsletter Article
Rev. Nakata's Message
March, 2023 Newsletter Article
Shotsuki, The Monthly
The following words by Doshu of Akao, well-known as the
Myokonin who was guided by Rennyo Shonin, are handed
down as follows:
“As a matter of daily concern, you should never neglect the morning service at the family altar; you should make monthly visits to the nearest temple to worship the Sect founder, Shinran; and each year you should make a pilgrimage to the Mother Temple….”
The marvelous Myokonin lay follower, Akawo-no-Dōshū, was a person who met Rennyo Shonin in the15th century. He knew Shinran Shonin's teachings and lived, embodying the spirit of gratitude, and came closer to Buddhahood.
By the way, I am worried that some of you may think that all people become Buddhas when they die. This is not true. If that were true, Christians and Muslims would also become Buddhas. Buddhism is not a religion that teaches such self-righteousness.
Needless to say, the goal of Buddhists is to become a Buddha, and it is only Buddhists who can become Buddhas. Shinran taught that a person who says, "Namu-amitābha," wholeheartedly, is a true disciple of Buddha. This is because such a person has come to know the true heart of the Śākyamuni Buddha.
We recite the Nenbutsu and chant the sutra on any occasion. In Jodo Shinshu, everything we do, whether it is financial offerings or Dharma offerings, is nothing more than the service of repaying the Buddha's kindness. However, the precious Dharma that is proclaimed through such Dharma causation is not in vain. Because of its precious virtues of the Buddha, those who come into contact with such Dharma causation, whether they are themselves or others, ancestors, or descendants, are bound in some way by a deep connection and certainly receive their precious benefits.
Now that we are holding the Shotsuki Monthly Memorial Service with our personal memories, the only thing we can do is to say the Nenbutsu. First of all, let us recite the Nenbutsu earnestly. If we do this, we will feel that we are firmly connected to the life of the deceased. For what purpose is the Memorial Service held? Is it so the deceased can enjoy the Pure Land or so they can attain Buddhahood?
I can say that all Buddhist services, fundamentally, are a chance for us to send these words: "Thank you for raising me" to the beloved deceased. I really feel that I was raised by the daily casual words and actions of many people. Therefore, the service to remember the deceased is conducted with the reminder: "Thank you for raising me" to the deceased.
All people who attend the Shotsuki Memorial Service today are those who had some kind of relationship with the deceased on the Shotsuki list. It is not that they may or may not be directly related to you in any specific way but that they may have made you aware of something important. All Buddhist memorial services are occasions to say, "Thank you" and "Please continue to work with me," at the same time. It is not a place to confirm the farewell in this life.
Shinran Shonin once said:
“Those who reach the state of pure happiness,
Return to this mundane world of the five defilements,
Where, like the Śākyamuni Buddha,
They benefit sentient beings without limit.”
If you could emerge your individual Buddha-nature through Nenbutsu living, you will surely become the Buddha in the next stage, and you will return to the mundane life of this world, and as if you were Shakyamuni Buddha, you will work to liberate people from their suffering and troubles.
Those who have passed on to the state of perfect peace and utmost joy will return to the heart and mind of those who are closely related, after becoming a Buddha without interval. In our heart, through the memories of our parents and other people with whom we are closely related, we are going to examine our own egoistic and self-satisfied thoughts gradually. Then our Nenbutsu turns sounding as, "Oh, yes, that's right." Death is not the end of a person. The true and real life of the deceased will always be with those who are closely connected, forever. They are always alive in our hearts.
For 2,700 years, Jodo Shinshu has been a continuous tradition of the essence of Buddha-dharma, and since the moment of Śākyamuni Buddha's intone of the Nenbutsu, "na mō mi ta ba", the unique dharma experience through Nenbutsu Practice has continued regardless of historical and cultural background among Nenbutsu practicers. Countless people have attained Buddhahood and have already returned to some world.
I suppose that the sounds "na mō mi ta ba" may suggest the origin of the universe and the motive for the life process. It is worth it to try it, isn't it?
“Thank you, thank you… the
importance of visitation”
Hello to all Central California Nishi Hongwanji Sangha friends! February was another stormy month with rain, thunder, and hail. When the hailstorm passed over my house, my daughters were so excited to see the nickel sized hailstones and ran out to the backyard with their umbrellas. While watching them jump around and hearing their screams of excitement, I recalled that in my childhood I did exactly same thing as they were doing. How did you react during the storms, in your childhood? When you see me next, please share your memory with me!
In this article, I would like to share my experience on “visitation”.
Currently I have been enjoying conducting two monthly services at two assisted-living facilities, Vintage Gardens and Fairwinds.
At the Vintage Garden service on the first Friday of each month, about 30-40 residents gather. I am not only conducting the service with chanting and Dharma talk, but also, I walk amongst the residents while I sing old songs and dance like an entertainer. I always stay until the last resident leaves from the social hall by greeting each resident. A lady pushes her walker to approach me. She always holds my hands for a while, then says “thank you, thank you. Talk was good.” She is Mrs. Mukai of Fowler. When I deliver my Dharma message, she always looks at me. She nods when I talk about Shinran Shonin and Namo Amidabutsu. I know she is not sleeping, because when she nods, I see her reciting “Namo Amidabutsu”. When I see the participants nodding, I feel so grateful that they are enjoying their life as Buddhists. Another lady comes up and shares not only what has happened since my last visit to the Vintage Garden but also shares her childhood memories. I am always amazed at how she remembers her childhood.
At the Fairwinds service on the third Monday of each month, about ten residents gather. After a short 15-minute service in the “TV room”, we move to the other room for discussion. Even though we only have one-hour, the gathering starts at 9:30 and sometimes lasts till 11:30. One of the ladies, Mrs. Yoshimura, a member of the Fowler Buddhist Church says, “you always explain things with everyday simple English so we enjoy learning and talking with you. That is why we often forget how long we talk”.
Now you know why I have been enjoying visitations.
This month is exactly the third year since the Covid-19 pandemic was declared. Since last year, CC temple and churches have been resuming their services. Recently, when I conducted a Sunday service at a church, a gentleman approached me after the service and said “oh, reverend, finally I could see you. I had been hospitalized for a while, although I wanted to talk to you.” So, I replied to him, “oh, sorry I did not visit while you were hospitalized. You could have called the church or me, so that I could have visited you when you were in the hospital”. He was surprised and said, “I didn’t know you do visitations.” I replied, “I do. I am here in Central Cal for that reason.”
In the previous temple and district where I served, I was making various visitations under the social welfare committee. I often drove to houses, hospitals, and assisted living facilities, sometimes with the BWA ladies. It is great that people are attending services at temple and churches, however there are people who are unable to attend for various reasons. Our Jodo Shinshu founder, Shinran Shonin often made visitations, instead of waiting at his home during his life in Northern Tokyo area. If you or someone that you know would like to see or talk with a Central Cal reverend, please contact me! I would be happy to visit and talk with you!
Websites for Dharma Talks
Just click a church/temple below for the link.
Fresno Buddhist Temple (Twitter)
Monterey Peninsula Buddhist Temple
New York Buddhist Church (YouTube Channel)
Oakland Buddhist Temple (YouTube Channel)
Orange County Buddhist Church (Online School: Everyday Buddhist)
Orange County Buddhist Church (Homepage)
Orange County Buddhist Church (YouTube Channel)
Orange County Buddhist Church (Podcast)
Oregon Buddhist Temple (YouTube Channel)
Buddhist Church of Sacramento (YouTube Channel)
Salt Lake Buddhist Temple (Facebook page)
Buddhist Temple of San Diego (YouTube Channel)
Buddhist Church of San Francisco (YouTube Channel)
San Jose Betsuin Buddhist Church (YouTube Channel)
Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple (YouTube Channel)
Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple
Watsonville Buddhist Temple
A TASTE OF BAZAAR
April 23, 2023
Click here or on the flyer to download a copy of the order form.
Reedley Board Meetings
The Reedley Buddhist Church Board started the year having their meetings online using Zoom, but moved to in-person when everyone was fully vaccinated. They have met each month and discussed ways to improve procedures when we return to on site church services and activities.
The restrooms have been updated with touchless faucets, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers. Doors to the restroom do not have any handles as they are being changed to push only. An AED defibrillator was purchased for any emergencies as well.
Church services resumed, but depending on the local health directives, this will change from month to month. We may be sitting further apart, but at least we'll be together to listen to the Dharma.
2035 15th Street - P.O. Box 24
Reedley, CA 93654 Phone: (559) 638-2146
Email Church President,
Rev. Kaz Nakata
Rev. Kakei Nakagawa, Rinban
Fresno Betsuin Buddhist
Email Webmaster: email@example.com