Message from Bishop Kodo Umezu

On April 25, 2015, the country of Nepal was struck by a 7.8 earthquake. This disaster has left in its wake a tragedy beyond our comprehension. The enormous loss of life, the damage to the country’s infrastructure, and the effect on the livelihoods of the people of Nepal as well as many of its neighboring countries, is tremendous. Our hearts and thoughts go out to all those who are suffering as a result of this tragedy.

The Kathmandu Hongwanji, headed by Rev. Sonam Wangdi Bhutia, has always been involved in helping their community. In the wake of this disastrous earthquake their priority continues to be helping the community, in spite of the damage to their temple building. They are asking us to help support their efforts. I want to ask you to respond to their call for help.

As we respond to the call from Nepal, we must remember that tragedies and natural disasters happen constantly, all over the world. Let us remember that we are part of the world community and be willing to help at all times and in all situations. I ask that your temple or church be mindful of people everywhere. I want to encourage you to support not only this effort, but to engage in social welfare efforts in your communities as well.

Rev. Kodo Umezu, Bishop
Buddhist Churches of America
April 27, 2015

Donate online to the Kathmandu Hongwanji herelogo_exlink

The following “Buddhist prayer” written by Rev. David Ryoe Matsumoto (Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, California) was offered at a gathering of Buddhist monks, nuns, ministers and scholars at the Harvard Divinity School on April 25, 2015

Placing our palms together, we reflect upon the horrible tragedy brought by the earthquakes in Nepal.

• May we open our hearts and minds to the death and suffering of so many beings—fellow humans, animals and other forms of life.
• May we open our eyes to seek to understand the extent of their plight.
• May we open our ears to hear their cries of fear and pain.
• May we open our hands to offer our actions, in whatever way they may be of help.
• We once again call upon all of the enlightened ones throughout the ten directions to guide us in our responses now and in the days to come.
• We invoke the Name and virtues of the Tathagata Amitabha, receiving once again the boundless wisdom and compassion of the Buddha of infinite light and life.
• We ask that our hearts and minds, our hands and lives may be able to manifest that wisdom and compassion in care, support and service to those suffering and in pain in Nepal, wishing

That their suffering will come to an end;
That their lives, families, homes and communities may be safe and well;
And that the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha will bring peace and freedom to all beings.

Namo Amida Butsu

Message from BCA President Dr. Kent Matsuda

The BCA received word from Rev. Sonam Wangdi Bhutia shortly after the initial earthquake in Nepal. Although his temple (the first Jodo Shinshu Temple in Nepal) suffered damage, he is concentrating his efforts in helping his neighbors and community.

The BCA has already sent $15,000 from the BCA Social Welfare Funds. This initial donation will help the Kathmandu Sangha with some immediate needs.

Please join us in collecting donations so that we can send additional funds as the full extent of this tragedy unfolds. We thank everyone for their support.

Dr. Kent Matsuda, President
Buddhist Churches of America
April 27, 2015