Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

October 2012 Board Meeting

Red Cedar Zen Board of Directors                         Meeting - October 10, 2012           

Board Minutes                                                                                   

PRESENT: Jeff, Talus, Tim, Edie

VISITORS: Dave Lynch

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  - See Membership

Old Business


1. Technology help.  Edie reported that Kevin Connor and Terry Thompson are willing to be "technology gurus" when volunteers who are not technically expert need help.  (This is to relieve Tim of the this "go-to" tech role that he has played for so many years.)  Talus, who also has expertise in our software systems, also volunteered to play this role.  Tim will contact Kevin, Terry, and Talus to meet to update them on our software so everyone can be working from the same script.  The goal is for at least one of them to be able to help a volunteer when he or she gets "stuck" trying to work with our various software systems in their volunteer roles.

2. Communications in conflicts.  Tim reported on the major work the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA) has done in developing an Ethics Policy, which includes recommendations on how to deal with conflict. SZBS recommends that all sanghas adopt the approach they have developed.  Concurrently, our board reviewed a paper describing Thich Nhat Hanh's approach to conflicts and agreed that we would like to establish a similar process, which would include 1) education for all sangha members about working with conflict from the perspective of Zen practice (i.e., following the precepts), 2) development of a step by step process that all members can follow when conflict arises, and 3) appointment of one or two "ombudsmen" to be resources to sangha members in cases in which individual efforts to address conflict have not been successful. 

Jeff will look into the possibility of providing training in conflict resolution.  Tim will recruit one or two senior sangha members to develop the role of ombudsman.  The board will continue researching approaches and methods for communicating effectively when conflict arises with the plan of developing a process and sharing it sangha wide.

3. Repair of stairs to storage area at back of building.  Our intention is still to construct new, safe stairs for that entrance.  Jeff has been trying to get in touch with Alborz but so far has not managed to have that conversation.  Jeff will keep trying.

New Business

1. Membership Drive.  Dave and Edie are now preparing letters to go out in November to our email list, asking for member and friend pledges for 2013.  The board reviewed and approved the letter Dave wrote to send out as the first communication in this year's appeal.  We also discussed the nature and level of our need for financial support for the coming year. We decided that we will be more explicit about the giving levels we recommend and also how people might evaluate what their contributions could be.  We settled on a three-step process for the campaign: 

            1. email letter from Dave with links to website Member and Friend applications, and request to renew or join online.

            2. email letter from Tim including links and request to renew or join online.

            3. Snail mail both letters, with info sheet on membership options, double sided membership and friend form.


Edie and Dave will prepare the materials; board members may play a role in the solicitation processes. Dave will make announcements about the drive each Wednesday evening in November.

2. Finance.  Tim asked Talus to check to see that as of October, RCZC has begun to pay the reduced monthly rent as contacted.

3. Mindfulness Northwest.  Tim stated that his new organization, which is using the Hall now for three simultaneous classes, is committed to having a low impact on our facilities-e.g., cleaning up after classes, seeing to it that glasses are washed and put away again, etc.  Tim requested that RCZC Board members let him know if they notice any impacts on other users from Mindfulness Northwest's activities.

Tim also asked permission to borrow cushions for his two (Mindfulness) off-site retreats scheduled Oct. 27 and Nov. 10-11. The board agreed to this request.

4. Wake-up bell for Samish.  Jeff showed up the new bell he purchased for our Samish sesshins.  It's like Paul Revere's bell and should wake everyone very nicely! 

meeting reflection

on relationships, process, values and mission

of good value


upholding the contract

sangha on the horizon

The board meeting was adjourned at 6:30 pm. 


Edie Norton, Secretary

NEXT BOARD MEETING IS NOVEMBER 7, 5:15 pm in the Dokusan Room.

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