The Sunday after Bodhi Day Evening Service was our Shotsuki Hoyo for December.
Shotsuki Hoyo is a Memorial Service dedicated to the observance of people who have passed away that month. At our temple, Amida Sutra is chanted, and names of the
deceased friends and families are read out loud, as Sangha members walk up to the koro to offer incense.
For this December Shotsuki Hoyo, Yukaiya shared his experience of how much he has gained from staying in the very competitive band in his high school. He encouraged the Sangha kids/youths to go try out and stick to what you want to do, and what amazing people you get to meet through that.
As for the Dharma Message, OBT welcomed Socho (Bishop) Kodo Umezu of BCA to share a talk. Umezu Sensei started his message explaining that the Letter Sho ( 祥 ) of Shotsuki, has a very positive meaning; to celebrate, to appreciate, to embrace. The message throughout reminded Sangha to embrace everything, to appreciate everything, as you embrace Buddha.
Umezu Sensei led the Dharma Exchange in a more casual "Question and Answer" style after the service. There were many interesting questions asked from the Sangha,
from basic questions on Buddhism, to what BCA sees in future.
Umezu Sensei also gave a certification ceremony for Ken to become a Minister's Assistant. Oregon Buddhist Temple now has three Minister's Assistants: Etsu, Brenda and Ken, to help out Reverend Sugahara in sharing Dharma messages.