More from the Buddhist Churches of Canada AGM

Delegates at the 2007 Annual General Meeting in Calgary voted to change the name of the Buddhist Churches of Canada. The new name will be the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada. Evolution brought about the change. Delegates wanted recognition of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism in the title and also have the word “church” removed. Following the Second World War, Japanese-Canadians used the word, “church” to assimilate their religion in Canadian society. The change in name will go into effect following approval by Industry Canada.

Sadly, the Board of Directors accepted the withdrawal and closing of the Alberta’s oldest temple. The Raymond Buddhist Church has closed its doors after 78 years. Raymond members will attend one of the remaining four Alberta temples. Together, they form the newly amalgamated Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta. The group has purchased land in the city of Lethbridge and hopes to complete construction of a new building in 2008.

Calgary also hosted the first gathering of representatives of the Living Dharma Centre. Led by Dr. Leslie Kawamura of Calgary, a Board of Directors was chosen to begin work on projects, programs, and activities propagating Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.

The BCC Women's Federation will continue to support a Jodo Shinshu Hospital in Kenya. BCCWF members appreciated the presentation by Rocky Oishi who had photographed Kenyan Buddhists in their activities.

The Ministerial Association introduced their theme for 2007. “Encounter the Dharma, Namo Amida Butsu” will include the creation of a full-size wall calendar. Sponsorships for each month of the calendar will be sold to raise money for the BCC Sustaining Fund.

The Vancouver Buddhist Temple will host the 2008 general meeting. If construction is complete on the new Buddhist temple in Lethbridge, Southern Albertans have volunteered to host the 2009 meeting with the Manitoba Buddhist Temple as a backup, if required.