Ministerial Movement

There was some movement among ministers this year in Canada. Two ministers, both Canadians, will make their homes in two new cities.
First, the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada is happy to welcome Rev. Christina Yanko to the Toronto Buddhist Church in Ontario. Rev. Yanko is originally from Claresholm, Alberta. She was recruited by the late Rev. Dr. Leslie Kawamura while she was studying with him at the University of Calgary.

She is currently working towards completing her PhD on the development of Pure Land Sutras in 1st century CE at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She completed her Kyoshi certification in Kyoto in 2012.

She and her husband David have a young son named Atticus.

Rev. Yanko joins Rev. Tomofumi Fujii at the Toronto Buddhist Church.

Almost simultaneously, Rev. Michael Hayashi leaves Toronto and transfers to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Rev. Hayashi was at the Toronto Buddhist Church for over two years. Wanting to be closer to home (B.C.), Rev. Hayashi has accepted a reassignment to the Manitoba Buddhist Temple. He will be under the guidance of Rev. Fredrich Ulrich.

Like many Japanese-Canadians, he grew up in a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist home. His grandfather, with whom he lived, was the lay-minister at the Thunder Bay Buddhist Church. This connection would become the roots for his future.

In 1992, Rev. Hayashi attended Lakehead University receiving an Honours Bachelors of Arts (English) and Education (Ontario Teacher’s Certificate).

With the encouragement of his family, Rev. Hayashi went to Kyoto, Japan to study at Ryokoku University in 1997 where he received a Master of Arts in Jodo Shinshu Theology. Rev. Hayashi has been a minister at several Canadian temples in his career.

Both ministers are excited for the challenge and the opportunity. If you are a member of either congregation, please lend them your full support.

JSBTC 2013 Annual General Meeting - Message from the President

The 2013 JSBTC AGM was held in Lethbridge on April 27th, 2013 at the Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta (BTSA). At this meeting, the delegates approved the appointment of Bishop-elect Reverend Tatsuya Aoki from Vancouver Buddhist Temple and elected new members of the National Board.

Annual meetings of the JSBTC

The Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada would like to thank Bishop Grant Ikuta and his family for the sacrifices they have made during his two year leadership where we saw many developments including amongst others, the support of the World Women's Buddhist Convention 2015 in Calgary and the placement of Christina Yanko as a resident minister of Toronto Buddhist Church.

The National Board thanks the Steveston Buddhist Temple (SBT) for their support and accommodation in allowing Reverend Grant Ikuta to serve his past term as the shared Bishop and Temple minister.

Minister from across Canada meet at the Buddhist Temples of Southern Alberta

We are in deep gratitude to incoming Bishop-elect Tatsuya Aoki and to the Vancouver Buddhist Temple for their agreement to host the shared bishop position for the next two years. In choosing a new bishop to serve the dual role of temple minister and bishop, the JSBTC Director's Handbook provides a process to ensure that the nominee is capable and willing, that the host temple is willing to endure unforeseen sacrifices and that the nominee will be supported by the serving ministers in Canada.

At the AGM, the National Board put forward Reverend Aoki as the single minister that meets this criteria. This process requires a lot of agility, coordination, conflict resolution, contemplation and self-reflection for everyone involved. While there is an effort to be as transparent as possible, there is no doubt that private matters become important in a decision and must remain confidential.

Newly-elected Members of the Board of Directors of the JSBTC

The new board is keen to avoid conflicts of interest and regrets that we were unable to follow the delegates' guidance to select a President that is not from the same temple as the Bishop-elect. As a member of the past board and witness to the process, I thank and congratulate the new Minister Association Chair, Reverend Fujii and past-President Dave Ohori for their integrity, perseverance, diligence and resolve in working successfully with the Ministers, the National board and the temples involved.

On behalf of the National Board of the JSBTC, I express sincere appreciation to the Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta family for their hosting of the AGM, pre and post AGM events and to the delegates, retiring directors and officers, retiring MA Chair for their contributions and leadership.

I look forward to everyone working together to make Jodo Shinshu Buddhism accessible for all Canadians.

Living in the dharma with hands together…

Greg Chor,
President, Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada

Hamilton Re-Opens, New Location

Bishop Ikuta (Socho) from Steveston, British Columbia, presided over our Official Opening Ceremony/Hanamatsuri and April Shotsuki service of the Hamilton Buddhist Temple at the Hamilton Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre at 45 Hempstead Drive, Hamilton on Sunday,  April 14th.  

Fujii Sensei, our resident minister and Roy Kusano, the president of the Toronto Buddhist Church, also attended, along with other members of the Toronto Buddhist Church.  It was a full house!  A new Buddha statue was also shown for the first time at the service.  Thank you to the Toronto Buddhist Church for loaning this beautiful statue to us.  

After the service, there was plenty of Japanese food prepared by the women Hamilton Buddhist Temple members. Thank you to them. It was totemo oishi! Thank you to Chris Hourmouzis for all his work in preparing the new room.  

Thank you for attending this wonderful event and starting us off on the right foot, at our new temple location!