1. Welcome-Tim Burnett welcomed the sangha members in attendance.
2. Financial Report-
A. General Finances-Talus Latona presented the current financial status of RCZC, and the budget for 2018. We have a planned margin of $4,469 for this year’s budget, and our current cash reserve is approximately $100,000. Discussion ensued regarding investment of our cash reserves in something other than a savings account, and the consensus was that the board should investigate this further. Efforts to recruit a new bookkeeper were detailed.
B. Annual Appeal-Chris Patton presented the results of the annual appeal. 700 letters were sent out at a cost of $735. The appeal brought in donations of $2178. This year’s appeal will also be in the summer to avoid conflicts with other charities asking for money in December, but will be all electronic to see if we can raise a similar amount with lower cost. General approval for this was agreed, but suggestions for keeping the calligraphy thank you cards and working to send thank you notes more promptly were made.
3. Membership Report-Terrill Thompson presented the status of membership. We have increased members from 60 to 70 over the last year. Income from membership has increased, but we still have issues with people forgetting their dues. Discussion ensued about whether having a rolling membership date or a specific date was better, no specific consensus was reached. A movement to revitalize the Welcome group, to be led by Kate McKenna and Scott Allen was started.
4. Program Plans-Tim reported on his efforts to focus and empower the senior students so that they can offer more programs, give practice discussion and be mentors for the sangha, and on the reorganization of the practice committee. A preliminary program calendar for 2018 was distributed. The sangha expressed appreciation for the “Getting Started” and “Going Further” pages on the website, and suggested they be made easier to find. Edie Norton brought up her plans for working on “Accessible Zen” to help people with physical barriers to Zen forms to be able to continue practice.
5. Volunteer positions-Ken Oates introduced the board and highlighted the webpage listing volunteer positions. There will be an effort to review and update this list by the board in the coming months.
6. Update on charity and outreach- Tim gave a short review of the Interfaith Coalition Housing Program to help mitigate the effects of homelessness in Bellingham. This will be evaluated further to determine what the program would need from RCZC. He also updated us on the project many of the sangha members helped with last year to help out a family in Kenya.