Rev. Bert Sumikawa

Sunday Family Service & Remembrance Day

Rev. Bert Sumikawa gave today’s Dharma Talk at our Sunday Family Service. Today was also our Remembrance Day service for March, which is held on the fourth Sunday of the month. Remembrance Day is an opportunity to remember family, friends, and even pets who’ve gone before us.

As a reminder, no service will be held at Windward Buddhist Temple on Sunday, March 31 and April 7, 2019. On March 31, please join us at the Hawaii Betsuin’s Taste of Hongwanji & Spring Bazaar. We will be selling our famous takuan, mochi cupcakes, and bitter melon namasu.

Sunday Family Service & Remembrance Day

Wrapping up the month in which we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and we observe Hoonko, Shinran Shonin’s memorial, Rev. Sumikawa shared the 7 masters of Jodo Shinshu. Today was also our Remembrance Day, in which we remembered family and friends who passed before us in the month of January.

Sunday Family Service

Rev. Sumikawa welcomed the new year in our first family service in 2019. It is the year of the pig, the twelfth of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle. It is a year to reflect on the previous 11 years and period of joy and relaxation. He also shared Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii’s theme for 2019, “Embrace Change: Transformation (Walk in Peace).”

We celebrated January birthdays today. One member, Patsy, is celebrating her 95th birthday. Happy birthday!

After refreshments, which included ozoni, we held our monthly First Sunday activity. This month, we made botamochi (ohagi), a Japanese sweet made with glutinous rice, rice and sweet azuki paste.


Sunday Family Service & Remembrance Day

Today marked the second-to-the-last Sunday service in 2018. For today’s Dharma Talk, Rev. Sumikawa spoke about the Christmas holiday and how it’s a time to reflect on the interdependence of all living beings. It is a time to enjoy every family gathering and cherish the time together. We need to embrace each day with appreciation, as every gathering is a once in a lifetime moment, never to be repeated in exactly the same way again.

As today was the fourth Sunday of the month, we started the service with our monthly Remembrance Day. The names of those being remembered for the month of December were called and family members offered incense.

Group Ginger prepared today’s refreshments

Group Ginger prepared today’s refreshments

First Sunday Family Service

Rev. Sumikawa gave today’s Dharma Talk. He shared that the appeal of Buddhism is that we are able to apply many Christian or other belief systems principles to our own. There are many similarities and differences in each other’s approach in words.

We celebrated December birthdays today. Happy birthday Betty and Margaret!

After service, there was a very special guest. Santa (and his 100% recyclable beard) visited with the kids and adults and gave everyone a bag of holiday treats.

Our “First Sunday” craft activity was decorating ornaments with glitter. Each ornament was unique based on the colors that were mixed.

Sunday Family Service

As we get ready to enjoy the Halloween festivities this week, Rev. Sumikawa spoke of the hungry ghosts and the three poisons, greed, hatred, and delusion. Living your life free of greed, hatred, and delusion allows for the release of ignorance and the way of wisdom.

Sunday Family Service

In his Dharma Talk, Rev. Sumikawa explained the role of the sangha in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and its importance to our temple.

Obon/Hatsubon & Remembrance Day Service

We held our Obon, Hatsubon, and Remembrance Day service, remembering and honoring those who passed before us. For Hatsubon, the names of the members who passed in the last year were called and family members offered incense. That was followed by our Remembrance Day calling of names of those who passed in July or August of any year.

In his Obon Dharma Message, Rev. Sumikawa spoke of the history of Obon in the Jodo Shinshu tradition. Obon is a festival of memories and joy. We gather in joy, remembering all of our ancestors, without whom each of us would not exist.

If you go back 10 generations, you have 1,024 direct ancestors. Going back 20 generations, that's over 10.2 million direct ancestors. If any one of those individuals were missing, you would not exist. 

Kailua Hongwanji's Obon is on Saturday, July 28. There will be no service on July 29 (Bon Dance clean up), no services in August (summer break), and no service on September 2. Our next Family Service will be on Sunday, September 9, 2018. 

Sunday Family Service

In today's Dharma Talk, Rev. Bert Sumikawa discussed wisdom and compassion. We need both. Buddhism is not about being nice. It's about being real and seeing things as they really are.

Sunday Family Service

Rev. Bert Sumikawa gave the Dharma Message at our Sunday Family Service. We learned how geese support each other when they fly in a V formation. 

  • Behind the leader, each goose provides additional lift to the one flying behind it

  • The goose in the front, who doesn't get the benefit of reduced air resistance, expends the most energy as the leader of the formation.

  • When the lead goose becomes tired, it falls back and another steps in seemlessly as the leader.

  • Geese constantly honk at each other, encouraging those flying in front.

  • If a goose in formation becomes unable to continue, it falls out of formation. But it doesn't do so alone. A couple others will accompany the injured goose until it's able to return or dies.

Geese are able to fly farther because of their ability to work as a team. Like geese, our church depends on members working together and supporting each other. 

After the service, we said aloha and best wishes to Amy Eggers and her family, as they embark on a new adventure in California.