Welcome to the Buddhist Churches of America Homepage!

Whether you are a visitor looking to learn about Jodo Shinshu Buddhism or a long-time member at one of our 60 temples across the country, we invite you to explore the online home of our BCA community.

With churches and temples throughout the United States, we offer many exciting and educational programs for all ages. Founded over 110 years ago by pioneering Japanese immigrants, our Sanghas are vibrant communities embracing people from many walks of life. What brings us together is the desire to live our lives in the spirit of Amida Buddha – the Buddha of immeasurable Wisdom and Compassion.

The spirit of Amida Buddha touches all people and gives us the courage to live our lives with peace.  We hope you will find the resources and information you seek here.

BCA Mission Statement



In the Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

In October 2016, many countries in the Caribbean and areas along the southeast coast of the United States as well were devastated by Hurricane Matthew. This disaster has left in its wake a tragedy beyond our comprehension. The enormous loss of life, the damage to infrastructure, and the effect on the livelihoods of the people affected is tremendous. Our hearts and thoughts go out to everyone who is suffering as a result of this tragedy.

As we respond to the call for help from the survivors, we must remember that tragedies and natural disasters happen all the time, all over the world. We should remember that we are part of the world community and our temples and churches should be mindful of people in all areas. I want to encourage you to support not only these relief efforts, but to engage in social welfare efforts in your community as well.

In Gassho,
Rev. Kodo Umezu, Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America

King Bhumibol Adulyadej 1927-2016

On behalf of the Buddhist Churches of America, I would like to offer deep condolences to the people of Thailand on the loss of their king, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was a revered figure who served for 70 years as the King of Thailand. As a Buddhist leader, King Bhumibol often used his personal and moral authority to resolve political crises that threatened national stability. King Bhumibol is credited with contributing to the economic and social development of Thailand and to strengthening friendship and cooperation between Thailand and many other nations.

In 1935 his father, His Majesty Prajadhipok Sakdidej, or King Rama VII of Siam (former name for Thailand) gifted a portion of the Holy Relics of Shakyamuni Buddha to the Buddhist Mission of North America (former name for Buddhist Churches of America). These are housed today in the Stupa on top of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco.

The earthly life of King Bhumibol ended on Thursday, October 13, 2016. Now he lives in the Dharma and continues to guide us. Namo Amida Butsu.

Rev. Kodo Umezu, Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America

The Harmony of Human Community

Imagine a country lying in absolute darkness with many living beings blindly rushing around. Naturally they will be frightened and lonely as they run about without recognizing one another.

Then let us imagine that suddenly a superior person with a torch appears and everything around becomes bright and clear. The living beings find great relief as they look about, recognize one another, and happily share their companionship.

When the world of human life lies in the darkness of ignorance, those who have no light of wisdom in their minds wander in loneliness and fear. They do not know how to associate with their fellow humans in peaceful harmony, and they are naturally miserable and afraid.

“A superior person with a torch” refers to Buddha assuming human form, and by his wisdom and compassion he illuminates the world. In this light, people find themselves as well as others and are glad to establish human fellowship and harmonious relations.

Thousands of people may live in a community, but it is not one of real fellowship until they know each other and have sympathy for one another. A true community has faith and wisdom that illuminate it. A true community is a place where the people know and trust one another and where there is social harmony; it is harmony that gives life and meaning to every community.

Paraphrased from The Teaching of Buddha, chapter two.