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Monday, June 27, 2011

Taiko Drums, Dancing, Summer Foods Burst Into Bloom at 65th Tacoma Buddhist Temple Bon Odori

Above: Colorful yukata such as these modeled by these lovely young ladies shown in a snapshot here provided by organizers of the 2011 Tacoma Buddhist Temple Bon Odori may become a part of your own summer Bon Odori Memories.

Our lives in the South Sound are often busy and action packed, so we are especially lucky to enjoy such splendid scenic outdoor venues close at hand to savor a few moments of the quiet, serene and beautiful. You're in luck because the best of both worlds can be on your plate on Saturday, July 30, from 5:00 p.m – 9:00 pm at the annual Tacoma Buddhist Temple Bon Odori Dance and Food Festival.

For decades festival organizers have warmly extended a welcome to members of the public and persons outside the temple who might want to attend. It's a much-looked forward summer treat and bonding experience on my family's summer calendar for a number of years. Take friends, your family or even a neighbor to enjoy traditional Japanese festival dancing, music, memorial candle lighting, taiko drum demonstrations and plenty of delicious Japanese edibles.

The Bon Odori (or O-Bon) has it's roots in tradition with a much loved custom in the more leisurely days of summer in old country to set aside a special time each year to enjoy, connect, remember, celebrate and honor friends, family and fellow townsfolk in our lives who have since died or come before us.

Locally the Bon Odori has been ably hosted by Tacoma Buddhist Temple for sixty-five years and has played a rich part in the hearts and memories of many area citizens beyond its original following in the Japanese-American community over a half-century ago.

A brand new feature of this year's festival will mark the opening of beer garden offering adults and their guests an opportunity to sit back and enjoy sake or local beer. Tacoma Buddhist Temple is located three blocks west of the UW Tacoma campus at 1717 Fawcett Street. Mark your calendars and plan to attend! For more information about the Tacoma Buddhist Temple and the upcoming Bon Odori click here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Living The Truth

Today, in the Roman Catholic Church we remember proudly Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist. Here is a reflection from Living With Christ, "..daily companion for praying and living the Eucharist:"John the Baptist is like a first draft for Jesus. They were alike in some ways: they were cousins, almost the same age; both came from the desert, urging people to a different way of life..."

I am proud to know John the Baptist because he knew his strengths and limitations, that he was called to tell the truth to his community and that he was willing to die for that truth.

He is one of those wonderful human beings who move me to speak and act respectfully, with intergrity, and compassion every day. I would prefer to hide in a corner and, watch other folks trying to love themselves, others, and life. Today I shall try to be a little more compassionate.

What do you think of folks like John the Baptist?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sunny Summer Afternoon

School is over. Teachers getting their grades in. Students who are choosing to clear and clean and attend to various parts of the school during the summer take time on this sunny day to eat and talk.

Lots of life happening here this quiet day.

Teachers will be getting ready for next year. Young folks will be working and, hopefully, enjoying friends and families.

Summer school will be starting soon.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pentecost... ???....!!!


When I was a boy in Texas (1940-1952) I enjoyed going to church on Pentecost Sunday because when the service was over the whole family would come together for a big meal and then we would go to a movie.

In my seminary years I enjoyed worship on Pentecost because I was beginning to appreciate that God loved me and, if I did what I was told to do sincerely and as best I could, I would probably go to heaven after I died.

After Martin King was assassinated I enjoyed worship during the Pentecost Season because I was finding more and more people who were willing to work with me to make this world a better place for everyone.

Today I enjoy Pentecost because I am experiencing God loving me through the open, unconditional love women and men of all races share with me and the peace and joy I feel as I choose to unconditionally share my time and resources with other human beings.

What does Pentecost mean to you...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Get Local Business Fest Supports and Highlights University Place Businesses and You Can Too

University Place, it's time to get local!

The city of University Place is holding a Get Local Business Fest  on Saturday, July 30th from
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on the Market Square directly in front of the new University Place Library. All University Place businesses and citizens are cordially invited to participate in this exciting event that blends information, community building, and fun all into one.

Local business participants will have the opportunity to showcase their products and services. Retailers, service provides and home-based businesses are all encouraged to join the festivities.

For University Place residents, at this free event, you will have the chance to meet and learn about all the great businesses in your community. Shopping locally not only supports the local economy, but it helps a community thrive and grow. 

There's more. All proceeds from the Get Local fest benefit a local non-profit organization: the University Place Community Supported Parks and Recreation. This terrific organization supports youth, teen, and senior citizens in the community.

Want to get involved? For more information or to reserve a vendor space for $100, please contact Patty Mannie at 253-208-0135 or email her at

Monday, June 6, 2011

No Reason To Cry

Two more weeks of school here at Bellarmine. I remember the last few weeks before the summer started just dragged. I did not know what the summer would bring and I really was not looking forward to final tests but I was looking forward to the school year being over.

At the same time I could look back at another year when I and my classmates had worked really hard in the classroom, the sports field, in various community services, in various moments in the band or the glee club or the debate team, and see that, just like the students in the arts class at Bellarmine whose wonderful drawings are shown above, we had shared our gifts and time wonderfully well.

Thank God for giving us many chances to share our gifts, for our families, friends, classmates and their families and friends who affirmed us, and for fall and winter and spring and summer.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

From Liberty To Freedom-- Six Civic Principles

In his wonderful book, A Black Way of Seeing, Paul Robeson's son, Paul Robeson Jr., lists six principles which I would like to practice daily.

1. Strive for excellence, try to be the best that you can possibly be. Aim for perfection instead of merely tring to "beat" others.

2. Success without advancing the interests of our people as a whole, without helping those who have fallen behind, is worth little.

3. The human race is one family, with diverse but equal members having different cultures, and a deeper understanding of one's own culture will inevitably lead to a better understanding of other cultures.

4. Personal growth is the mother of greatness; but its price is pain and perseverance.

5. Temper strength and power with gentleness and compassion; balance courage with wisdom.

6. Don't go along to get along. Be willing to do what you know is right.

I found this wonderful book at the Tacoma Public Library, Main Branch.