The North America Temple Presidents meeting was held in Dallas, TX on the weekend of Jan. 13 to 15 this year.
(New Vrindaban Temple President Jaya Krishna das and New Vrindaban GBC member Tamohara das)
An overall very positive and uplifting mood prevailed last weekend at the North America Temple Presidents’ meeting in Dallas. There were more than fifty leaders from Canada and the U. S. present. Some of the young Dallas school children opened the weekend with kirtan and prayers.
(On the left, New Vrindaban GBC Malati dd)
The seminars then began with Srila Prabhupada disciples relating some instructions that Prabhupada had personally given them regarding management and preaching. One devotee said that Prabhupada told him “a temple president is blessed to be given the honor to serve the devotees. On the other hand, if anything goes wrong in his/her temple, then it is the president’s fault!”
One reason for the positive spirit at the meetings is that the Youth Fund settlement case that had been hanging over all of ISKCON for many years has come to a close. Devotees can now move on in a big way to fulfill their goals for preaching and serving. As a matter of fact, the movement is gearing up for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary in 2016.
Many “bhakti vriksha” groups have been established throughout the country. These are outreach programs organized in people’s homes so that small groups can come together and learn about and discuss topics about Krishna as well as chant together. New Vrindavan’s traveling preacher, Yugal Kisora Prabhu has organized fourteen such bhakti vriksha groups throughout many states.
Some new officers in our movement have been appointed, such as the child protection officer who is Lilasuka dasi from Alachua, FL, and the Divisional Director of Accounting and Regulatory Compliance officer, who is New Vrindavan’s Kuladri das. The new North American Communications Director is Kesava Prabhu, a very fired-up devotee from Toronto, where the average age of the congregation members has interestingly changed over the last few years from 50 years old to 25 years old.
There are many college outreach programs running successfully in Gainesville, Toronto and L.A. to name a few. It was brought up that such youth-oriented activities are important for creating the future leaders of our movement.
The distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books is increasing all over the country.
The care of devotees is very important and there were discussions about the most effective ways to do this.
A highlight of the weekend was a drama headed by Bhaktimarga Swami about Jagannatha Lila. Maharaja had 3 new actors in his small troup and they did a fantastic job.
The weekend closed with a short memorial for Yamuna Dasi, who continues to inspire us to carry on our service to Srila Prabhupada in a sincere way.