Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

July 2011 Minutes

Red Cedar Zen Board of Directors         Minutes from two Meetings - July 6 & 20, 2011

PRESENT: Jeff, Talus, Joan/Jeff, Tim, Joan, Edie

VISITORS: None/Marti, Alborz

encouraging words

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.

Our Guest's Business

none/garden fund raiser

Old Business

1. BIMS Commitment.  Jeff and Tim met with BIMS Steve Hansen and Linda Booth to ask them what time commitment BIMS would be willing to make to subletting in the context of our considering a longer term lease between Red Cedar and Riaz.  BIMS discussed this and told us that they are willing to make a 3-year commitment at $1000 per month rent to begin October 2012, plus monthly payment of 1/3 of the utilities bill (which they already are doing along with their $800 monthly rent payment).

2. Lease Agreement.  Given BIMS' commitment, the board voted 4 - 0, with Talus absent, to renew our lease at $2200 per month with a 2% annual increase to begin October 1, 2012; until that date, we will continue our current monthly lease payment of $2520.  Tim will convey this decision to Riaz.

3. Shambala Sangha Interest.  The Shambala group has expressed interest in the possibility of sharing space at Red Cedar.  After some discussion in which it was felt that it might not be possible to integrate and coordinate a third practice group in our space, we decided, before making a final decision, to ask Shambala what their space and time needs actually are.  Tim will communicate further with their representatives.

4. Tax Status.  No update. Talus and Marti will present a plan for moving forward.

5. Volunteers.  Tim will update the organization wall chart with the new information we have gathered.

Edie continues to look for and recruit volunteers for various tasks.  She has posted a list of quick housekeeping tasks on the bulletin board downstairs by the office door.  If individuals have a few moments and want a task to do, they can check on the list; after doing the task, they are asked to record the date so that others can gauge when it might be time to do the task again. 

Edie, as Membership support board member, will act as the clearinghouse for recruiting volunteers.  If you need help or see a job that needs doing, please contact her.

Edie will develop a way for zazen orienters to follow up with the people they have oriented in order to encourage them to continue to come to meditation. 

Phone and email messages are moved to the Vice President's domain, and Joan has been doing these tasks.

Under Building Workgroup, Toi has agreed to track and replenish building maintenance supplies (in addition to being shopper for sesshin meals).  Joan is taking this on temporarily for July and August; Talus and Joan are developing an inventory list.

Under Finance, Talus will invite Valerie to take on the task of preparing and sending out receipts to donors (formerly under Membership). 

Under Zendo and Programs, Tim has been talking with Karen about her needs as registrar and also with Jeff Krajewski about helping with registrar duties. 

Under Samish Retreat, Jeff observed the need to delineate the Retreat Manager role from that of Tanto. Jeff will arrange a meeting with Tim, Talus, Chris, and himself.

6. Arts Event.  Planning for the in house arts event scheduled for Saturday, October 1, 7 - 9 pm is on track.  Fifteen members will take part. Sangha members, their friends and families are invited.  Publicity will follow in September.          .           

7. Building Use Scheduling.  Building Committee to review procedure for scheduling use, rental rates, notification of confirmation timeliness, and posting and announcement of events.  Talus will meet with Alborz.

Marti noted that the building seems to have quite a few rentals but it is not clear that rent money has been coming in to us.  After some discussion, it was agreed that probably the payment system has not been clear.  Alborz will follow up with renters to make sure they are paying the rental amounts and are labeling their payments properly so that the amounts can be tracked and recorded on our books. Also Alborz will be invited to a Finance Committee meeting to discuss and develop a tracking system.

8. Fund raising strategy.  The board briefly discussed the proposed annual fund raising strategy (to include an update letter to our e-list about our activities and a revised brochure). Even though we might not ask for donations every year, we do want to keep all our friends informed about our growing practice, so that in the event that we want to raise money in the future for, say, purchase of a building, we will have an informed and supportive constituency. Edie will convene a committee to begin research for this.

New Business

1. Majestic Dharma Forest Garden Fund Raiser.  Alborz told us about the new nonprofit, the Majestic Dharma Forest, he has organized, and the fundraiser he plans at Red Cedar on Sunday, August 7 to raise initial money to start a back garden.  The garden will be based on Bob's design and be developed in phases in half of the current parking area behind the building.  It will have raised beds, trees, a cedar fence, a walking path, benches.

The Majestic Dharma Forest is a nonprofit with the purpose of developing beautification projects around the community.  This will be its first project. 

The fundraiser on August 7 will feature 10 local massage therapists offering massages for $70 each, of which $50 from each massage will be donated to the project.  The sessions will be one hour each and occur between 10 am and 6 pm in the meditation room. Please see the Red Cedar email publicizing this event.

The board considered what the relationship of Red Cedar Zen Community should be to the Majestic Dharma Forest organization and to the fundraiser.  It was decided that an interagency agreement would be drawn up, explaining that the garden is owned and maintained by the Majestic Dharma Forest organization.  The details of this agreement are still to be worked out. Tim and Alborz will request a letter of authorization from Riaz, the landlord, stating that the garden is an approved, permanent improvement on the property.

For the immediate time period, all funds raised August 7 will go directly to the Majestic Dharma Forest organization.  Red Cedar Zen will not be a co-sponsor of the fundraiser, though it will donate the use of our space. The board will discuss any monetary contribution Red Cedar might make at an upcoming meeting.

The development of the garden will provide an opportunity for zen students to do work practice.  Members are invited to take part in the fundraiser or to donate money to the project directly or with their labor as the garden begins to develop.

The board meeting was adjourned at 6:30 pm. NEXT BOARD MEETING: AUG. 3, 5:30


Edie Norton, Secretary
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