Alberta Buddhist Conference

The Alberta Jodo Shinshu Sangha held its 29th Alberta Federation Conference at the Lethbridge Lodge and the Lethbridge Honpa Temple from November 9-11, 2007.

The special Guest Minister was Koyo Kubose Sensei of the Gyomay Kubose Foundation in Chicago Illinois. He gave a most interesting talk on “” to express the conference theme of “Embracing Buddhism” (Oshie wo Itadaku) in the simultaneous act of our embracing Buddhism as well as of the act of Buddhism embracing us. For his Sunday service dharma talk, he explained the significance of “ok” (the mudra or hand gesture of Amida Buddha) in the context of Jodoshinshu.

Other speakers at the conference were Dr. John Harding, University of Lethbridge and Sensei James Martin, Calgary Buddhist Temple. Socho Fujikawa gave an update of BCC activities.

At the conference banquet, hosted by Mr. Haji Sugimoto, Mrs. Toshiko Takeda and Mrs. Heidi Konosu were presented with the “Award of Gratitude” (Kansha-jo) for their untiring and subtle contribution to Buddhism in Alberta and in Canada. The term “subtle” is used here to describe that these two ladies quietly and unobtrusively worked for the betterment and progress of Jodoshinshu in Canada. Never have they complained about their participation in the church nor have they ever demanded to be noticed. They were always-ready and ever-lasting in their concern for the benefit to all. Congratulations to both. Unfortunately, owing to Mrs. Konosu’s Nirvana, she was not able to be recognized in person.

Mrs. Takeda receiving her “Award of Gratitude” from Socho Fujikawa

The Southern Alberta Buddhist Choir, that Mrs. Konosu single handedly established, entertained the attendants under the directorship of Mrs. Lorita Ichikawa with its harmonious presentions of 1) Sen no Kaze (A Thousand Winds), 2) Mojiji (Dream Autumn Dreams), 3) Mura Matsuri (Village Festival), 4) Sieya (Splendor of an Evening Sky) and 5) Circle of Life and Nembutsu. The choir was accompanied by Sololist, Charlotte Ikuta; Pianist, Jennifer Koba; and Flute & Drum, Andrew Ichikawa.

Watch the Southern Alberta Buddhist Choir perform “Seiya” (Splendor of An Evening Sky).

from L to R. (Dr. Kawamura, Socho Fujikawa, Sensei Izumi, Reverend Kobose, Sensei Ikuta, and Sensei Martin)

The conference services were led by Sensei Izumi (Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta) and assisted by Reverend Kubose (Chicago), Sensei Susumu Ikuta and Sensei James Martin (Calgary Buddhist Temple), and LDC Director Leslie Kawamura (BCC & University of Calgary).