The 2017 Workshop (Aug. 18th-20th ) was held in conjunction with the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the BCA Center for Buddhist Education’s Summer Pacific Seminar. The subject was “Shin Buddhism: Current Challenges and Future Prospects.” Friday’s activities included a “Q&A on Course Topics” with Rev. Jerry Hirano, Rev. Ai Hironaka, and Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara. About 25 students attended. It was followed by two lectures: “The Essence of Jodo Shinshu” (Rev. Jerry Hirano) and “What is a Dharma Message?” (Rev. Ai Hironaka). A ritual and chanting session with Rev. Kuwahara and Rev. Anan Hatanaka then followed. An evening service, dinner and book talk / signing with Rev. John Paraskevopoulos were the remaining activities of the day.
On Saturday, the Pacific Seminar commenced with a service and lecture by Rev. Paraskevopoulos entitled “Shin Buddhism: Current Challenges and Future Prospects.” The program developed with guest speakers, David Quirke-Thornton of the UK, Thais Campos of Brasilia, Rev. “Ashma” Uma Lama Ghising of Nepal each describing their own personal journeys to Jodo Shinshu and the state of Shin Buddhism in their respective countries. This was followed by a concluding message from Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto of the IBS and open discussion with participants and speakers. The event closed on Sunday with a morning service and moving Dharma message by Rev. Ai Hironaka. The last activity was a panel discussion with guest speakers who stated what they had learned through the dialog with the Workshop and Seminar participants. Two Correspondence Course students received their course completion certificates on Sunday.