It has been six months since we have been able to meet at the Temple. As many of us have serious health issues, it may be a while before we can come to the Temple to greet our friends in person. We had hoped that Rev. Ouchi would be “back to work” but his paperwork is still waiting to be processed as we have been told that Immigration is working with critical staff only.
Sadly, during this time, we have lost members of our Temple family. The COVID-19 pandemic
has affected families, businesses, schools and our health. The pandemic has made us stop,
rethink and revise how we do things.
You will see many changes at the Temple. With new Ontario government protocols designed to safeguard us, there is physical distancing, 30% capacity restriction of any room, keeping attendance records, wearing of face coverings, completion of health questionnaires, hand sanitizing, signing up to attend services at the Temple, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting to name a few. As a result, services needed to be modified, classes and meetings cancelled and areas of the Temple closed. Many thanks to Donna Nakano and Paul Aoki, our Religion co-chairs for organizing the Temple reopening and organizing the services.
Sunday, September 13, 2020, was not our normal Rally Sunday. For the Temple reopening, a small group of dedicated volunteers greeted and introduced attendees to the new protocols at the Temple. The service was also our first “official” live stream service. Thank you to Jeff Wilson Sensei, Joanne Yuasa Sensei and all of our volunteers who made this possible.
With the restrictions for gatherings, reluctantly we will be cancelling our November bazaar. New fundraising ideas are being discussed and will be announced in the near future. Celebrations for TBC’s 75th anniversary are also on hold. You will notice that the office door has been converted to a Dutch door (split door). Our office staff has health issues and we have had to restrict access to the office area.
Although many of us dislike change, the pandemic has made us rethink how we live our lives. If we are working, we may be working from home. We have had to restrict our “social bubble” and unable to see family and friends. We have also had to change the way we shop. On a more positive note, we are able to spend more time at home with family. There is less traffic and air pollution. We are also finally able to make the changes that we had thought and planned a while ago. We have learned not to take things for granted and to be more appreciative. During these extraordinary times, we need to realize and accept that there is a new “normal” that comes with many “bumps in the road”.
This year has resulted in a significant decrease in memberships and donations. Please renew your membership and if you are able, donate to Toronto Buddhist Church.
Thank you to all for your patience and understanding.
President, Toronto Buddhist Church