NEW YORK BUDDHIST CHURCH
"A Message About Health and Safety"
NYBC ONSITE ACTIVITES SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
After careful consideration and recognizing that many of our regular attendees and visitors are elderly and may be particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, the New York Buddhist Church will be suspending all Church-sponsored group activities held at the facility including Sunday services until at least May 15.
We will be continuously monitoring developments in order to assess future actions and the timing of re-initiating regular events and activities. We are hopeful that we can continue to serve our sangha (community) by using alternative communication channels.
We have postponed our SOKAI (Annual Membership Meeting) at this time, will reschedule for later date.
Please continue to visit our website to check on updated information relating to the re-initiation of our regular activities and schedules.
If you need to discuss an emergency situation with our minister, please contact Rev. Earl Ikeda at 917-833-2945, or you can leave a message at (212) 678 -0305.
For the latest COVID19 developments, prevention tips and what to do if you suspect infection, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) websites or talk to your medical provider.
Here are some informational links:
While we respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we are offering our Sunday services on live stream. Please visit NYBC Facebook Page for live stream services, and the NYBC Youtube Channel for recorded videos.
A Message from Reverend Earl Ikeda
While the coronavirus outbreak gives great cause for concern, it also provides us the opportunity to wake up to the reality that we are not alone. Everyone is in the same situation. It is bringing out the good in us, and it’s also bringing out the not so good. Negativity thrives on chaos, confusion and stress, and it’s important to find ways to turn that negativity around into a more positive condition.
How can we do that? I believe wisdom is the answer. In Japanese Buddhism, the word is chi-e, taken from Chinese characters, adopted from Sanskrit, both representing wisdom. One is externally learned (acquired knowledge), and the other is internally realized (inherent wisdom that turns into compassion). We all have the seeds deep within us to awaken to this truth.
Medical professionals and public officials are doing their very best to bring knowledge about how to protect and control the unknown, and we should earnestly follow their guidelines and instructions. We need to seriously consider what they say, internalize it, and practice it for the sake of everyone. By genuinely doing so, this practice turns into the virtues of compassion that will be shared with everyone.
When we do things out of ignorance negativity prevails, but when we do things out of wisdom/compassion, negativity cannot persist. By putting our personal ego aside and through deep listening, we can hear what we need to hear, and we can do what we need to do.
In these troubling times we will all need to make difficult decisions that will have an impact. Wisdom is the answer for making those decisions thoughtfully and responsibly and in such a way that the outcome will be positive, reinforcing the true reality that we all need each other, and we all need to support each other, especially now.
Namo Amida Butsu
*(to read more weekly messages from Rev. Earl, please go to the BLOG page)
To Board members, Affiliates and Temple Leaders,
Please note that we have taken the following actions to address health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus:
- Ramped up cleaning and sanitation throughout the temple, with a focus on heavily used surfaces including chairs in Hondo, all washrooms, kitchen, and 2nd floor refreshment area. Sanitation supplies have been placed throughout the Temple for everyone’s use. Please communicate with Karl, Nancy or Rev. Earl regarding proper procedures for cleaning and disposition of cleaning cloths, sponges, etc.
- Fliers on correct hand cleaning protocols have been posted throughout public areas, please follow these procedures for your own and everyone else’s safety. Antibacterial soap has been provided in washrooms, as well as paper towels. When leaving, please use paper towels to open door, then discard outside of washroom. This will aid us in keeping doorknobs clean.
- Announcements at service to include request those who are ill to refrain from coming to Temple; explaining and asking attendees to use CDC sanitation protocols; replacing handshakes with “Gassho”
- The White Elephant Sale fundraiser has been cancelled by the ABA for March 21st
- For all affilliated organizations, organizers have asked participants that they not attend should they feel ill or show any symptoms. We should take the same precautions for all events scheduled to take place on NYBC premises for the foreseeable future.
- Rev Ron Miyamura has obtained agreement with Eastern District leaders to cancel the scheduled April Eastern District Council meeting, to be replaced by a meeting prior to the September EBL in New York.
- We are obtaining ongoing information about actions being taken by community and public organizations. For now, the actions are consistent with ours. We are not yet at stage where we need to suspend our activities, but we are keeping a close eye on the situation in New York City.
We are reviewing other possible actions, including broader communication via email blast. We encourage everyone to take all sensible precautions based on facts and available information from the CDC, while discouraging overreaction and panic measures.
Board of Directors,
New York Buddhist Church