Jikan wrote:tktru's post raises a number of questions. It's significant that the congregation approved; did the idea rise from the bottom, so to speak, or was this something proposed by the leadership of the temple that met with the agreement of the membership? If so, then what was behind the sentiment behind the decision? &c.
I'd say that events like this will become more and more common, as the Japanese Buddhist institutions realize that the demand for memorial services outside of Japan exists only in the context of immigrant communities. As the immigrant descendants grow uninterested in grandpa's religion and either convert to christianity or just become downright atheists, the temples become purposeless and then a shift becomes necessary as to provide the good ol' Buddhist training in order to establish true foreign lineage holders.
So far, in the west, when someone qualified to teach tries to establish one's lineage separate from the Japanese institution because of divergences, things become very chaotic. It becomes easy to overestimate one's qualifications and fall into personality cult, as we can see mainly in Soto-shu but also in Tendai-shu. Soto-shu has come to understand this and has, for instance, united the old Dendokyoshi and Kaikyoshi certificates into a single thing (among many other things) which makes things easier for everybody. Tendai's Jigyodan is going in the same direction, as demonstrated with the establishment of NY Betsuin.
Let us hope Kyoasan finds this out soon enough!