Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

November 2011 Minutes

Dear RCZC Members,  Here are the minutes from the November Board meeting.  Your interest is appreciated.

Red Cedar Zen Board of Directors                         Meeting - Nov. 2, 2011

Board Minutes                                                                                   

PRESENT: Jeff, Tim, Talus, Joan, Edie


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.

review agenda and set time limits

Our Guest's Business 

Marti's comments under Financial Report

Old Business

The board reviewed a number of brief items, including progress reports on projects:

  1. Dana Box for donations to the Garden - Edie will make this.
  2. Garden Work Days - Jeff is organizing Saturday morning work days from 9:30 -12:00 on the following dates: 11/5, 11/19. 11/ 26, and 12/3 or until the garden is completed.  All members are invited to participate and contribute to the garden's formation.
  3. Phone contact list for Center renters.  Sometimes building renters have trouble using our door code, so we will provide a contact list of people to call for help, to be placed by the front door.  Joan will complete this project.
  4. The committee creating an Annual Fund letter is moving forward as planned, and a first draft will be available for review by mid November.  The RCZC brochure is being revised with the aim of printing copies by the end of November.
  5. The membership letter and new form have been printed and are now available at the Center. Kate and Kevin will be available Wednesday evenings in the lobby to give information about membership and take applications/checks. A banner with the words "November is Membership Month" will be in the lobby soon. The monetary goal for the membership drive is to get at least $200 per month more than what was received from memberships this past year (2010-2011).
  6. The new contract with BIMS has been drafted and edited.  Talus will finalize it and meet with BIMS to complete the process.
  7. There has been no further progress by the finance committee on the application for non-profit status for RCZC.
  8. Volunteers -  The board reviewed our policy regarding volunteers and agreed that while it is reasonable to expect volunteers to follow through on the tasks they have agreed to do, we must also realize that volunteers have other commitments in their lives and may have times when they cannot be as responsive as is ideal.  We encourage all our volunteers to communicate with their workgroup leaders and/or board members when a task or role becomes too burdensome.  There may be ways to define the tasks differently or have others take some of the responsibility.  In this regard, given Building Manager Alborz's very busy schedule, the board discussed asking him to be responsible only for rental bookings and asking Don McClary to be responsible for building maintenance.  Talus will take care of this change.

The board also reviewed our philosophy about volunteering: Our workgroup structure encourages volunteers to define and carry out tasks as autonomously as they are comfortable doing.

We respect our volunteers' ability to carry through on the tasks of their function, but we also encourage them to ask for help when and if they need it.  As our membership is growing, our needs and opportunities are always evolving. Thus, modification and fine-tuning of our roles is somewhat continuous.  We encourage everyone to speak up with new ideas for what to do, to invite new people to help with tasks, and to ask workgroup leaders and board members for help when things aren't going as smoothly as is desired.  Multi-directional communication is key!        

New Business

1. Financial Report. Please see the website for the quarterly report, the membership letter and attached explanation of our annual income and expenses.  Talus reported that throughout 2011 we have been about $200 per month in the red.  Thereby our membership drive goal of bringing in $200 more per month will help us break even until the fall of 2012 when our monthly lease will decrease and the rental payment by BIMS will increase, giving us a little more leeway than we have had to date.

Marti noted that our 2011 budget contains the budgeted income line item of $1000 from fund raising, which we did not do this year; she asked if we want to eliminate this line item in our 2012 budget.  Because we are creating an annual fund drive, which will occur in April each year, the board decided to retain this line item and evaluate the income amount during the budgeting process.

Regarding 2011 income, the board was gratified to note that $15,926 came from membership and friends' donations; plus there was $2853 in miscellaneous donations.  We thank all donors!

2. New Monthly Programs.  Tim reported that the practice committee has agreed to sponsor a Public Program on the first Saturday of each month, starting at 9:30 and including zazen instruction, zazen and kinhin, and a speaker.  Marti has agreed to be the public program coordinator.  We will invite Buddhist teachers locally and from around Washington to speak.  The program will begin in February, with Tim as the first speaker.  In March, Norman will be the speaker (as he will already be here for sesshin).  The board believes that this program will be a great community outreach and give many more people the opportunity to learn about Buddhism. At a future meeting, the board will address the budget needed for this program.

The board agreed to initiate a second program, a monthly Sangha Work Day on the third Saturday of each month.  Usually these work days will be for Saturday mornings only-such as the Garden work days starting in November.  Sometimes, if there is a major need, we may extend the work period beyond the morning. Tasks will be deeper cleaning than is usually done, workgroup tasks that can be more efficiently and enjoyable accomplished by working together, and other building and practice maintenance tasks.

3. Sangha Voices.  On the fifth Wednesday in November (11/30) following zazen, we will have another of our sangha conversations.  The board is open to suggestions for topics, which can be placed in the Suggestion Box in the lobby or communicated to a board member or brought up spontaneously during the conversation on the 30th.

4. Annual Meeting.  The board set the date for our annual meeting.  It will be the first Saturday in January - 1/7/12, 10 am to 12 noon with a potluck lunch to follow.

5. Dharma Hall Association Annual Meeting.  Although this organizational entity eventually will be phased out, it continues as a nonprofit shelter for us.  The meeting this year is on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 6:00 pm.  Tim has drafted the required updated description of our organization for this meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 pm.

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, December 7, starting at 5:15, downstairs.  Visitors are welcome.



Edie Norton, Secretary

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