Change, Vision, and Engagement in 2016
We enter 2016 shaped by the theme: EMBRACE CHANGE: NEW VISION, and this vision for the future is to be borne out of our engagement with each other and our communities. Let me share two thoughts on this theme. First, let us be guided by the Jodo Shinshu concept of Ondobo Ondogyo. This perspective of life is based on the idea that we are all fellow travelers. That lay members and ministers are on the same journey. We make our way by supporting each other, by sharing the joys and burdens of our travels. We engage with each other to set the direction of our journey and how we will travel together. To live the meaning of Ondobo Ondogyo, lay members and ministers must work with each other to set and share a vision of the future. This will mean engagements that are happy and productive as well as engagements that are unhappy and frustrating. Our egos will make sure that our journey together is not perfect. But this is the natural process of engagement that must not deter us from traveling as one Sangha.
Second, as you travel through 2016, find opportunities to engage in the life of your temple that make sense to you in your life right now. Your engagement may be as simple as attending Sunday services or it may extend to participating in a few temple events. It may even include joining a committee to plan an activity or even serving as a chairperson. Better yet, it may grow to becoming an officer of your temple. Set a vision for yourself for 2016 and embrace the changes that you create.
Namo Amida Butsu
Pieper J. Toyama