Hello Sangha Families,
I have kept the goals and objectives of our Sangha Teens group below in case you are new to visiting this site. I will post updates above as often as I can.
Sangha Teens is a youth Buddhist group that focuses on teaching middle school aged members about the fundamentals of Buddhism. We meet every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month.
MEETING NORMS- The STs present discussed and agreed upon four norms to guide our group in in meetings as well as outings:
1) Have Fun- Of course, but always remember our manners and values. We represent Pasadena Buddhist Church and are always being watched by the community (especially the "elders" which is everyone older than 12 years old at this point!)
2) Everyone has a voice- Remember, what matters to someone else is just as important as what matters to you. Listen to everyone's opinions and be thoughtful of how you react if you disagree. For the most part, majority will rule in decision making, but if something is deemed necessary that all have a say, we could email for opinions. If it is something that needs to be decided in a timely manner, we will act based upon those present.
3) Resolve conflicts openly and honestly- Be sensitive to others feelings. If you have an issue, bring it out in the open, don't let it stew and get worse. You can always ask for help from an adult about sensitive issues, but try to have an open and honest line of communication between each other.
4) Include everyone- Treat others like you would like to be treated. No one likes to be left out or excluded. Even if it is another temple ST, include them with us if they seem to be left out somewhere.
THEMES- We have three:
1) Sangha (Religion)- The reason we are a group to begin with. We will attend services and Special Services as often as we can. We will meet together as a whole Dharma Group immediately after service and also meet with Reverend Unno for our religious guidance, hopefully at the first service of the month.
2) Service- We will do what we can to provide service to the temple during fundraisers, Obon, mochitsuki, etc. We will be included in Dharma School's months of chairing service. We will also pursue outside sources of service (see Service Project ideas below)
3) Social- This is probably the most important aspect of our preteens' existence right now. I have already been in contact with the Senshin Sangha Teens advisor. Since we are a small, busy group, we will coordinate activities with Senshin and Nishi Sanghas.
ACTIVITIES- Senshin has invited us to go on two separate field trips with them to see Buddhist art at the Norton Simon and the Pacific Asian Art Museum, both in Pasadena. I'm hoping that they will attend our service before one of the trips. They also said we could join them for some theater productions (Cold Tofu-Comedy, East/West Players, and Grateful Crane) as well as workshops (cooking, crafts, music, etc) that they have planned once or twice a month. I think it's a good idea to join them because our group is so small and with busy schedules, it would be difficult to plan something and EVERYONE (all five, so far) show up. So, I'll let you know dates and times and if you can make it great, if you cannot, no problem. In addition, we hope to be invited to the OCBC Casino night and Gardena Sports night again. It takes A LOT of work to plan one of those kinds of events and I dont think our STs are quite ready especially with parents dividing their time between Dharma and Sangha.
SERVICE PROJECTS - In addition to serving the temple, I would like to venture out to serve the community, such as visits to Keiro, feeding the homeless, activities with temple preschools like Higashi's Lumbini Center, packing food for the needy, etc. If your ST has any ideas or you hear of anything that sounds good, let me know and we will discuss it at our meeting and plan accordingly.
WORKSHOPS- While I think we should shoot for workshops that emphasize Buddhism or Asian culture, I'm open to anything that sparks the interests of our STs. Any ideas, skills and interests are welcomed. We already have a connection to "Ranger Ray" (Masumoto) for hikes and camping.