My Dear Friends,
Last weekend we had our annual new years blessing to pause and reflect on this last year and to set our intention and bless the upcoming new year. As the monks and I chanted, I looked out into the temple and felt my whole body full of gratitude and deep love for all of you, my family. I felt like I was in a room full of my closest friends, people who share a common desire to go within, follow a path of meaningful compassion and dedicated to adding more love to the world.
I also realized so many people were missing because I now travel and teach around the world, expanding my circle of love. I want each of you to know that even if you were not at our Blessing Ceremony physically, I blessed you all and you were with me in spirit.
The work of the Blue Lotus Temple is of vital importance. Locally and around the globe, we are fulfilling our core mission to promote individual peace of mind, compassion for all beings, spiritual growth, and an ethical way of living. You are central to that mission… the only real way to promote these things is for us to practice them in our daily affairs… the real work always begins and ends with ourselves.
I am so grateful for your generosity throughout the year. Many of you offer a monthly pledge and for this the Temple is able to thrive with some assurance that we can continue our important work. It’s very difficult to run an organization as large as this on the passing of a basket or on the spontaneous generosity of individuals… although those gifts are tremendously vital to our success, monthly pledging is critical for our long term survival.
If you are already a pledger, I ask you to consider upping it, even just a little. We are growing and expanding our reach every day and with growth comes new expenses. If you are able, we really will make good use, I promise you this. If you are not yet a pledger, please consider. The month of January, we will be doing a pledge drive… I am totally committed to having our pledges equal that of our monthly expenses. The relief and security of this would bring me so much peace. If you are unable to offer your support financially, we always welcome any other kind of service you can offer… We believe the support and love and spiritual direction is priceless and no matter what, YOU ARE WELCOME HERE.
If you have any concerns or questions about pledging, please talk to one of the monastics, or write (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the office (815 337-7378).
On behalf of the worldwide Blue Lotus Temple Community I thank you for your ongoing love and support and I wish you the happiest new year. May we all join together in making a world that is well, happy and peaceful.
In Gratitude, Bhante Sujatha
Frequently asked questions about The Blue Lotus Temple’s Sustainability.
Q: What does the money people pledge go towards?
A: The temple’s monthly expenses, which include our mortgage, utilities, repairs, supplies, and the general operating expenses associated with running a facility open seven days a week with hundreds of people coming and going weekly.
Q: Do the lay people get paid who work at the temple?
A: Our temple is totally run by volunteers. Through selfless service, people donate their time and talents to keep us going and delivering the services we’re committed to.
Q: What is the mortgage payment on the Temple itself?
A: $2000 per month.
Q: How much money does it cost to run the temple a month?
A: It’s about $7000 a month if we are running on a minimum and pinching to get by. This doesn’t cover many of the renovations or expenses and it leaves us in a position where when things break we can’t always fix them… however, it’s what we need to survive at a minimum!
Q: Does the temple pay for all of Bhante Sujatha’s travels?
A: Quite the opposite. The work Bhante does actually brings revenue to the temple. In all these years, Bhante has never taken compensation for his efforts, instead he brings money back. He’s constantly advocating for us and encouraging others to contribute. None of his travel or living expenses comes from the temple.
Q: Does the money from the temple all come from the local community?
A: No. In fact, nearly all the money for our major renovations and even our down payment came from out-of-state folks who don’t even use the temple but believe in our mission and want to support Bhante’s mission. It’s incredible that so much of the place we call home was donated by people who just wanted to support us.
Q: Why do I see ongoing construction projects like the new bathrooms, etc., if the temple is in financial need?
A: Individual donors have made restricted gifts for specific things. The bathrooms are the result of a single gift for this purpose only, (and we’re so thankful!)
Q: What upcoming expenses are coming our way?
A: This is an old building in significant disrepair. We’ve made huge strides but we have a long way to go. For example, the basement just leaked again and we’ve gotten preliminary estimates which we can’t afford. We’re always seeking solutions, but it’s a huge problem. Our windows are failing, the driveway deteriorated over this harsh winter, etc. The list is ongoing – we are a constant work in progress!
Q: What can we do to support the Temple?
A: Pledge! Even if it’s only $10 bucks a month, we really need your ongoing pledged support. We simply can’t keep relying upon our donation baskets. WE need to know what we can expect each month so we’re able to plan and focus on what matters. If everyone donated $10 a month, we’d need only 500 people to do it. If everyone did $25 a month, we’d only need 200 people. At $50, we only need 100 people! We serve thousands of people annually – and we’re making such a huge impact in each other’s lives. We’ve got to give where we live!
PLEASE HELP TODAY…go here to make a donation.
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