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.
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.
Upcoming Services & Activities
Sunday, February 11, 2024 - 10:00 AM - Nirvana Day, February Shotsuki, & Family
Welcome Lunch for Rev. Majima served following service.
Tuesday, February 13, 2024 - 7:00 PM - RBC Board Meeting
Dharma School's Grandparents' Tea
The Reedley Dharma School students honored their grandparents at the annual Grandparents' Tea on December 3rd. Students presented their grandparents with a photo gift and shared lunch together following the service.
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Welcome to Rev. Mieko Majima, our new BCA minister serving the Central California temples and churches. She will be be residing in Reedley and making it her home base. Please come to her first service in Reedley on February 11th and meet her! We will be acknowledging Rev. Nakagawa's retirement at a later date.
3 Takayama Family Memorial Service 11:00 am
11 Nirvana Day, February Shotsuki, &
Family Dharma Service 10:00 am
Welcome Luncheon for Rev. Majima (following service)
13 RBC Board Meeting 7:00 pm
14 CCBWL Meeting on Zoom 7:00 pm
17 Conference Room Reserved -
Hirahara Family 1:00 pm
22 - 25 - BCA National Council Meeting in
Rev. Nakata's Message
February, 2024 Newsletter Article
What is a Rinban?
Hello to all Central California Nishi Hongwanji Sangha friends! We have already jumped into the month of February. I have actively been conducting many ministerial duties by visiting members’ homes, care homes, welcoming newcomers to temples, visiting & reaching out to local students and hosting study classes since New Year Day. I am so grateful to see and to talk to many Sangha friends during the Year End and New Year, Oshogatsu. I especially wish to express my deepest gratitude to you for providing me with your Oseibo. Thank you so much! I am so glad to serve you as a minister for Central California.
As I announced at your temple and church board meetings, I was officially appointed by Bishop Marvin Harada of the BCA as Rinban of Fresno Betsuin Buddhist Temple, effective on March 1st. The Fresno Betsuin Board approved the Rinban accession service on March 31st. I know it is Easter Sunday, but I hope you can make it! We will also dedicate March 31st for the acknowledgement of Rinban Nakagawa’s retirement. Rev. Nakagawa has tirelessly dedicated his time and energy for our Central Cal Sangha and Buddhist communities. We must show our gratitude to his 11 years of ministerial service to Central California.
A numbers of board members of the CC temple and churches have questioned if I become the Rinban, do I only work for the Fresno Betsuin? The Central California District (CCDC) has its unique minister sharing system, called a hub system. This hub system was created by the former Bishop Kodo Umezu and the CCDC members. When I arrived in Central California from Los Angeles in 2019, I signed a contract to agree with the hub system. Since I moved to Central Cal, I have been working at multiple churches with Rinban Nakagawa. As long as my signed contract remains, my ministerial activities will continue as they are. As I mentioned above, besides Sunday services at the various CC temples and churches, I have been enjoying multiple events and gatherings such as a BWA trip, a Dharma School beach party, packing Bazaar bento boxes, helping cook chow Mein for food bazaar and so on. So please continue getting along with me!
I have been introducing my puppet, Kanamochi for the Dharma School talks at Sunday services. I personally think he is much more popular than me! He looks like a set of layered Mochi used for the New Year, which you probably remember seeing in the Onajin altar at the New Year Day services. Please check our Central Cal YouTube Channel to see what he looks like.
I also would like to introduce Kanamochi to our newsletter readers.
I call his name as usual at the Sunday service to make him come out for our conversation. ‘Three, two, one… Kanamochi~’
Kanamochi: “Howdy howdy, how is everyone? My name is Kanamochi.
Rev. Kaz, your introduction was too long. I’m worried that I don’t have enough time to talk!”
Rev. Kaz: “Oh, sorry Kanamochi. I was expressing my gratitude to all CC sangha members.”
Kanamochi: “That is good! It is always important to show your sincerity.”
Rev. Kaz: “Thank you Kanamochi”
Kanamochi: “By the way, Rev. Kaz, I heard you were promoted to the Rinban of Fresno Betsuin. Congratulations, but even though I’ve been enjoying learning about Buddhism in Dharma School, I really don’t know what a Rinban is.”
Rev. Kaz: “I’ve received the same question from a number of Sangha members. The Rinban position originated about 10 years after the passing of our founder, Shinran Shonin. At that time, his remains were buried at the Ohtani Byodo. (Later, it moved to the present location, the Ohtani Hombyo Mausoleum. Please type shorturl.at/ejqJK on your phone, you will see Ohtani Hombyo on YouTube). For security reasons, Shinran Shonin’s daughter Kakushin-ni placed the wall and a keyed gate at the entrance of the shrine. She did not hold the key by herself, instead she asked her children to equally rotate the key holder duty per month or year. You may know the Nikkei term TOBAN which has the same meaning as Rinban. It means rotating the duty or assignment.’
Kanamochi: “Yeah, I heard the word TOBAN for Dharma School assignments, such as Toban for refreshments, or Toban for Oshoko, right?”
Rev. Kaz: ‘That is correct! The Rinban/Toban system was first introduced by Kakushin-ni and later it was opened to not only relatives of Shinran Shonin, but also extended to Shinran Shonin’s devout disciples. Since then, the position of the Rinban carries the symbol of unity and harmony of Jodo Shinshu as a deputy of Gomonshu-sama, the Abbot of Jodo Shinshu (Shinran Shonin’s descendant). One of my particularly important duties as the Rinban is to share the mission and message delivered by Gomonshu-sama.’
Kanamochi: “Are you really a devout disciple?? Hahaha, just kidding you!”
Rev. Kaz: “Well, I try to be! About 28 years ago in Japan, I started on the path of Jodo Shinshu ministry, and I was transferred to the BCA, the North American district of Jodo Shinshu. Since the beginning on my journey of Jodo Shinshu, I have tried to be humble and hardworking, not only to the
propagation of Jodo Shinshu, but also by showing my face and putting myself to work at various fundraisers to support temple and church activities as much as I can, just like Shinran Shonin did. I am not a master, guru, teacher, sensei, or scholar of Jodo Shinshu to be respected. I am just a lifelong student on life of Onembutsu which I have learned from Shinran Shonin. I simply demonstrate the Jodo Shinshu teachings with my actions.”
Kanamochi: “Please keep up your good job, Rev. Kaz! In the next issue, please tell me what a Betsuin is.”
Rev. Kaz: “Ok, I will. Thank you for making an appearance up in my article.”
Websites for Dharma Talks
Just click a church/temple below for the link.
Watsonville Buddhist Temple
The 2024 Reedley Buddhist Church Cabinet and BWA Cabinet
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. Mieko Majima
Email Webmaster: email@example.com