2020 New Year’s message from President Pieper Toyama

Building Healthy Sanghas:
Embracing Generosity and Openness

Note: This message appears as part of the introduction to the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii’s 2020 calendar. When you receive your calendar, please reflect on the three suggested actions below.

HHMH President Pieper Toyama

Every year, over many weeks, five individuals gather to discuss, ponder, select, write, and review. And the result of their efforts is the Hawaii Kyodan Calendar that will be distributed soon. Alan Kubota, Stephan Doi, Yumi Suzuki, Rev. Kazunori Takahashi, and Bishop Eric Matsumoto toiled mightily to bring us this calendar out of a personal commitment to inspire us.

This year they committed their best efforts, using the theme Building Healthy Sanghas and the slogan, Embracing Generosity and Openness, to carefully select photographs and words that move us to action. But in works such as this, the challenge is to transform inspiring photographs and lofty words into real and everyday actions that touch others. If we fail to take on this challenge, the theme and slogan and the hard work of these five individuals easily vanish from our hearts and minds even as we turn the pages of the calendar. Then the commitment of these five good people who gave us this calendar will hold no power.

Let us not allow this to happen. I suggest that we all consider the following as each month unfolds.

  1. When we turn each page to a new month, let us take the time to really look at the picture, every object, every person. Let us see the act of generosity or the act of acceptance and openness embedded in the picture. Let us see the reflected warmth and joy of the sangha in the photograph.
  2. Then in the days that follow, let us use the picture of the month to inspire us to be generous and open and joyful with others. Let us transform opportunities in the fleeting moments of our lives into action. And here I think of simple actions as a hearty, “Good morning,” a smile full of warmth, and a gentle touch of reassurance.
  3. And in the moments when we have transformed the lofty phrases of our theme and slogan into tiny, real and true actions, let the sound of Namo Amida Butsu flow through us.

If we take the time and commit ourselves to perform these three acts, the pages of the calendar will breathe Namo Amida Butsu into our lives. Our sanghas will grow healthy because threads of generosity and openness will begin to bind one member to another. And we will have made the commitment of Alan Kubota, Stephan Doi, Yumi Suzuki, Rev. Kazunori Takahashi, and Bishop Eric Matsumoto real and true.

Namo Amida Butsu
Pieper J. Toyama, President

See Also
2020 New Year’s Greetings from His Eminence Gomonshu Kojun Ohtani
2020 New Year’s Message from Bishop Eric Matsumoto