first Sunday

First Sunday Family Service

Bob Nishita's Dharma message for today's First Sunday Family Service was about judgement. We often judge others based on how we see things from our point of view. When you point at someone, three fingers are pointing right back at you.

Bob also talked to us about being different. All of us are different and that's a good thing. Can you imagine if all of us were the same? We'd be arguing and agreeing with ourselves!

After celebrating July birthdays and refreshments, today's First Sunday family activity was making shaving cream and glue ice cream cones.

We celebrated July birthdays

Rev. Noriaki Sumi visited us today. Rev. Sumi was Kailua Hongwanji's minister from 1985 to 1987. From left to right: Rev. Kuniyuki, Rev. Sumi, Keiji Kukino, Rev. Sumikawa

First Sunday Family Service

Dr. Michael Jaffe gave today's Dharma Talk, "The Science of Happiness." He shared photos of the people of Bhutan, which measures the level of happiness of its people. Happiness is a core philosophy of the Buddhist nation, which measures and tracks its Gross National Happiness.

We celebrated June birthday and, after today's service, we decorated hand-shaped cards for Father's Day as our First Sunday craft activity.

Sunday Family Service

Today’s Dharma message was given by Rev. Bert Sumikawa.  His message was regarding Mother’s Day.

Rev. Sumikawa said there are a number of Sutras that express reverence towards one’s mother and about the mother-child relationships.  He drew memories of his own relationship with his mother.  While he was young, she seemed strict and would occasionally scold him.  But, she would do things that he would later realize she did those things because of her love for him.  

He recalled that he was participating in a 5th grade May Day program and he needed to wear a white shirt which he didn’t have.  He didn’t tell told his mother until the night before.  Although she scolded him for telling her so late, she bought material and supplies that night and he woke up the next morning and found a brand new shirt for him.  She reminded him again to not wait until the last minute to tell her he needed something.

After the service, we celebrated birthdays for the month of May.  Because there was no service last Sunday, we did the First Sunday Activities today – Mother’s Day flowers and yarn leis.

First Sunday Family Service

Joy gave us a picture-book summary of the Oscar-winning movie Coco. Many of the events of the  film from Disney/Pixar takes place around the Mexican holiday Día de Muertos, or The Day of the Dead, which is a time for families to remember family members have died. Joy described the parallels to the Buddhist Obon, where we celebrate and honor the spirits of one's ancestors.

After the service, we celebrated Hanamatsuri (flower festival) by making flowers out of recycled plastic bottles and paper, as well as dyeing eggs in colorful shades of spring.

Happy Birthday to our April birthdays!

First Sunday Family Service

We welcomed (back) Rev. Bert Sumikawa to Kailua Hongwanji Mission for his first family service as our resident minister. Rev. Sumikawa most recently was the resident minister of Mo’ili’ili Hongwanji Mission. For his first Dharma Talk, Rev. Sumikawa shared his journey from growing up in Pearl City and Kailua, to becoming a pediatric dentist, and, after retiring from his dentist practice, becoming a Shin Buddhist minister. Read more about Rev. Sumikawa in the March newsletter.

After the service and refreshments, members of all ages participated in a First Sunday craft activity. We used bleeding tissue paper to create colorful spring artwork, each one individual and unique.

We celebrated our March birthdays. Happy birthday!

First Sunday Family Service

For today's Dharma Talk, Rev. Kuniyuki reviewed a fundamental teaching of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths.

  1. Life is suffering (dukkha) 
  2. Suffering is caused by greed, anger (aversion), and ignorance (not knowing)
  3. Stopping suffering can be achieved by eliminating greed, anger, and ignorance
  4. The way to eliminate greed, anger, and ignorance is the Eightfold Path

After the service, the sangha participated in First Sunday Family Activities. This month, members young and young-at-heart enjoyed a variety of Valentine's Day-themed crafts including valentine visors and heart-shaped pillows. 

We celebrated February birthdays. Happy birthday!

First Sunday Family Service

Rev. Kevin Kuniyuki of the Buddhist Study Center has been temporarily assigned as overseer minister of Kailua Hongwanji Mission during the months of January and February 2018. Welcome Rev. Kuniyuki!

For today's Dharma message, Rev. Kuniyuki shared the story of how and why he became a Shin Buddhist minister. Over the next couple of months, Rev. Kuniyuki's Dharma messages will cover the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

Members with birthday in January were recognized and celebrated. Happy birthday!

Following the service and refreshments, we participated in a couple of First Sunday craft activities. We painted "Year of the Dog" posters, which were put on display in the temple. We also made fire-breathing dragons using toilet paper rolls and streamers.

First Sunday Family Service


Prudence spoke about Bodhi Day, explaining so the children (and adults) could understand why we observe Bodhi Day. She based her talk on the book “Prince Siddharta.” Pictures projected on the wall added to her talk and captured the attention of all. 


First Sunday Family Service with Guest Speaker Dexter Mar

Dexter Mar was our guest speaker at today's First Sunday Family Service at Kailua Hongwanji. Dr. Mar is a Hawaii Betsuin Certified Ministers’ Lay Assistant who serves the Betsuin temple and Honpa Hongwanji of Hawaii buddhist temples with buddhist education programs through the Buddhist Study Center. Mahalo Dr. Mar for your informational and inspirational talk! Dr. Mar's Dharma Talk, "Experiences Along the White Path," can be replayed below.

Families participated in several First Sunday activities. Upon entering the temple, everyone wrote down something that they were thankful for on an assortment of leaves. The leaves were hung from our Thankful Tree and is currently on display in the temple. The second activity was making paper-bag turkeys, which were stuffed with popcorn.

Finally, the children and several of the most senior attendees planted amaryllis bulbs. The bulbs will be kept at the church and will hopefully bloom over the next several weeks, just in time to be taken home for the holiday season.

First Sunday Family Service

For today's Dharma Talk about greed and its role in causing suffering, Prudence shared Should I Share My Ice Cream?, a book in the Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems. The dilemma faced by Gerald the elephant as he debated sharing his ice cream with Piggie, and the surprising outcome, was one that both kids and adults could relate to.

Rev. Umitani & family

After today's service, we had, not one, but two fun First Sunday craft activities. First, we made paper spider hats complete with bulging eyes and eight creepy legs, each one uniquely decorated.

The second activity was making slime using glue and a secret ingredient (hint: it was saline solution). Everyone chose their own colors and added their choice of glitter to make it sparkle.