Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

RCZC Board Minutes 02.04.2009

Red Cedar Zen Board of Directors

meeting minutes Wednesday, February 4, 2009

full value contract

We commit:

  • to maintaining physical, psychological, and emotional safety
  • to working together to foster both group and individual goals; giving the group what it needs and individuals what they need.
  • to speaking and listening fearlessly to one another and fully talking things through.

In Attendance: Jeff McKenna (President), Tim Burnett (Spiritual Director), Brian Davidson (Secretary), Mary Apple (Prospective VP), Stephen Beckham, Joan Dow, Latona Mallard

Our Guest’s Business

Guests: No specific business was brought to the board meeting from our guests. The Board expressed gratitude for their energy and engagement, and hope that as a board they can provide the necessary support to match their initiative.

Our Old Business

Renter Outreach Letter:

The letter was presented by Brian and read to the board. The board asked Stephen Beckham if he wished to take over this project as a member of the Sustainability Workgroup. Stephen suggested that the letter needed a contact person/protocol. Stephen expressed interest in obtaining a bulk mailing license for mailings and for use by the Sustainability Workgroup.

decision: The letter was approved and Stephen Beckham will take over the project.

decision: No decision was made on the bulk mailing license, but the board would be pleased to address a formal proposal by the Sustainability Workgroup if they deem it necessary.

action: Stephen Beckham will revise the letter and send it to the board for final approval via e-mail.

action: Stephen will identify an appropriate contact person and protocol, make arrangements with the individual, and add the information to the new letter.

BIMS Membership Agreement: (Discussion)

This item is moved to February 4th to allow Don McClary to take Latona Mallard’s position as building manager. Don was not available to attend. Latona told the board that the BIMS board only recently met, and the membership agreement was not reviewed yet. Latona said that BIMS seemed to understand that their rent would decrease if the hall found more renters, but the language is not clear in the agreement.

decision: To clarify, the agreement it will now read: BIMS will match the Red Cedar Zen Community payment to the Red Cedar Dharma Hall building fund, which pays rent, utilities and other essential building expenses, up to $800 per month. If and when financial conditions allow for payments lower than $800 per month from RCZC operating funds to the RCDH building fund, BIMS will be notified so that their matching payment can be reduced for the same month(s) in which RCZC's payment to the building fund is less than $800. BIMS' monthly payment will not drop below $500 under this agreement.

action: Latona will amend the agreement, send it to the board for a final approval, and submit the revision to BIMS.

Landlord Renegotiation (Tim & Jeff)

Tim will contact the commercial real estate agent who helped in the search for the dharma hall for advice in hiring an appraiser to determine if our current rent is above or below market. This information will be used in formulating our strategy for approaching the landlord.

action: Waiting for Tim to start this process.

Our New Business

Budget Reports and Developing the Process: (Review and Discussion)

As a way of understanding our financial workings more clearly Tim distributed and explained the financial statement for January. (see 2009 January Report.xls spreadsheet here: Finance Workgroup) In particular the way funds are transferred from the operational accounts (RCZC) to the Building account (RCDH) as the way we "pay the rent". The January report was very positive but it is a small slice of time. The need for budgets and broader projections was discussed.

decision: All of the workgroups will require some sort of a budget to meet their needs and the Board needs an overall budget to track our financial health. To initiate this process, each workgroup will be asked to submit, informally, a needs assessment and budget to get an idea of where the groups are starting from.

action: Tim, Brian, Greg, Jeff, and Mary will approach their respective workgroups and ask for the needs assessment and budget. Each board member will report back at the March meeting.

action: Greg will meet with the Finance Workgroup to create a first draft of a 2009 budget and will supply the board members with copies of financial statements for 2008 to share with the workgroups so they have a budgetary framework..

A Logo for Red Cedar Dharma Hall: (Discussion Brian)

After the minutes from the last board meeting were sent out, some members of the sangha were concerned and/or confused about creating a logo for RCDH. The all of the concerns were addressed and discussed in depth by the board, and it was determined that the previous minutes did not clearly reflect the decisions of the board. For clarity, the decision is posted below.

decision: There is no proposed name or logo change for the Red Cedar Zen Community. However, Red Cedar Dharma Hall does not currently have a logo. The board is creating a logo for the Red Cedar Dharma Hall. The board solicited input from all who practice within its walls. This logo will be placed on a sign in front of the building and on official Red Cedar Dharma Hall documents. Red Cedar Zen Community will continue using its name and logo for all of its business.

Minutes and the Sangha and the Full Story: (Discussion Brian)

The board minutes do not fully reflect the ongoing business of the sangha and the efforts of the workgroups. However, an engaged sangha wants to have access to the whole story.

decision: No changes will be made to the format of the minutes. Before the minutes are sent out to the sangha, all members of the board will review them and send their feedback to the secretary. Minutes will not be presented to the sangha until the final draft is approved by all members of the board.

action: Brian will explore other methods of communication with the sangha that provide a more complete story of ongoing sangha business. Brian will bring these methods to the board in the form of official proposals.

Volunteer Email News (Proposal Tim)

Tim proposed the occasional creation of a workgroup email update. This would alert the sangha to the volunteer needs of each workgroup allowing people to respond as they are able. It would also highlight some of the unseen efforts of the workgroups and provide a mechanism for expressing our gratitude.

decision: A one time emailed letter will be created with the option to continue if it meets the needs of the sangha.

action: Tim and Brian will compile a list of the specific volunteer needs of each workgroup, identify some of the major work already being done by the groups, and put together this one time email and consider ongoing options.

Regular Additional Meeting: (Proposal Jeff)

This item was not addressed due to a lack of time.

Our Workgroups


Vice President (proposed)


Spiritual Director


meeting reflection

on relationships, process, values and mission

of good value


upholding the contract

sangha on the horizon

next assembly: Wednesday, March 4th 2009

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