Northwest District Buddhist Convention and 75th Anniversary of IOBT September 2022


September of 2022 will be here soon and we are trying to gear up for A BIG EVENT that combines the 75th Northwest District Convention AND the 75th Anniversary of Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple.  The theme for our event is "Reflecting on the Past; Looking to the Future." 

This is our poster announcing the event.  It has pictures of all our IOBT resident ministers from our first minister in the upper right to our current minister in the upper left.  Can you name them all?!?
Poster for 2022 NW Buddhist Convention Sponsored by Idaho Oregon Buddhist Temple with pictures of previous ministers Reverends  Shibata, Ohata, Takemura, Hirota, Hasegawa,Tada, Fujimoto, Hirano

As we begin the planning stages of this event, we are filled with a sense of uncertainty.  There is so much we don't know about what the world will be like in 2022.  Will the corona virus continue to challenge the safety of large gatherings?  Will our conference need to be virtual, like the Oregon Buddhist Temple's convention was this year?  If we have a face-to-face conference, will the switch to a fall convention schedule (it used to be winter) affect how many volunteers we have, since we rely on our many members and friends who are busy with harvest that time of year?  If it is face-to-face, will people feel safe traveling?  If it is virtual, will our older members and friends want to deal with the technology? How do we balance the need to be both safe and connected?  With all these questions, it can seem hard to get started. 

But then I think about the Issei and Nisei who founded our temple 75 years ago (this photo was taken at the groundbreaking on Jan 13, 1952 after years of fundraising and planning):

Ground breaking for  Idaho Oregon Buddhist Temple Ontario Oregon on Jan 13, 1952 Temple members and dignitaries on snow covered lot


When they set out to raise the money to build our Ontario, Oregon temple in 1947, shortly after the end of World War II, they were also facing all kinds of uncertainty.  Although some of our founders had been in the area for several years, many more had recently moved into the area after having been released from internment camps where they had been incarcerated during the war.  Many were just starting their new lives here without money or possessions. Some were newly married and raising children. And yet they were willing to take a chance and make an investment in their future, their family's future, and their community's future. They wanted to share the teaching of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism with their families and their communities. 

January 12, 1952 Japanese Community Hall Ontario Oregon Temple Members and Dignitaries at event to honor the groundbreaking for the new temple building Children in front row, adults in back row. visiting ministers on stage/altar area in back

Thinking of the risks that our founding members took and the difficulties they faced helps put our current uncertainty in perspective.  People have always faced challenges and sharing the Dharma is not always easy.  

Compared to what our founders did for us, putting on a convention is a pretty small commitment!  We honor our founders and all those who came before by doing our best to share the Dharma and the story of our temple's history with others through our convention and anniversary celebration.  

So, with a sense of joy, gratitude, and dedication to the Dharma, we are beginning to plan next year's convention. 

Do you want to help?  We would love to have you join us!  Because  current technology makes communication so easy, you can help from wherever you are, so please don't be shy about offering to help. Leave a comment or email us at info@iobt.org if you would like to volunteer.  (We would also appreciate your leaving a comment on the blog if you or a loved one are in one if these photos or if you have a temple memory to share.) 

Rev. Anne Spencer
Assistant Minister, Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple
Ontario, Oregon 




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