Annual Meeting 2017. February 4, 2017, 10 am-12:30PM. Red Cedar Dharma Hall
2. Introduction of the current board of directors: Ken Oates, President; Chris Patton, Vice President; Talus Latona, Treasurer; Anne Mikkelson, Secretary; Jaren Hoppe-Leonard, At large member.
3. Spiritual director: The transition of Tim to Guiding Teacher, Norman's reasons for it and the plan for a ceremony were covered. The contract and stipend for Tim were reviewed and questions answered regarding the change in Tim's status on the board. Tim will continue to attend board meetings, but will no longer have a voting role. His work as Guiding Teacher will be overseen be the board. His stipend has been increased to $1000/mo and will increase by small amounts yearly. Members who have questions about the contract or wish to review it should contact Ken Oates.
4. Financial report: The financial status of the sangha was reviewed by Talus. We have a projected margin (excess funds) of $5310 for 2017, but this presumes an increase in membership payments. The financial report will be made available on the website.
5. Membership report: Terrill gave the membership report, which will also be available on the website. We have 60 members currently, this is an increase of 4 from 2015. We gained 9 members, but have lost 5 for this net increase. 44 of our members are fully paid in their dues, the majority of those pay automatically through PayPal, WECU or automatic bill pay systems. Discussion ensued regarding ways to remind people to pay their pledged dues without seeming too aggressive. A small group meeting was held after the annual meeting to further work on these ideas.
6. Discussion: Extensive discussion occurred regarding social activism and ways we can express our bodhisattva vows to save all beings in these troubled times. Various ideas were expressed regarding where the line between social action and political statements lies and also where the line between what should be done by individual members vs. the sangha as a whole lies. In terms of what the limits are, we want the sangha to be nonthreatening and inclusive, even if a diehard Trump supporter comes to join, but we support activism by sangha members. In certain situations, the sangha as a whole will lend its name to a cause, but the situations will need to be reviewed on a case by case basis. There are some legal limitations in place (at least for now) on direct action for specific candidates or ballot measures. Most of the sangha members feel social action in the community is important. Tim pointed out that just by maintaining the sangha as we currently do we provide a place of support, kindness and compassion.
We have considered declaring ourselves a sanctuary for individuals at risk with the current administration's policies. A work group consisting of Andrea Thach, Jaren Hoppe-Leonard and Marilyn Withers has been formed to work on what this would look like, and they will present their ideas at a sangha conversation night.
7. Volunteers: Thanks was expressed to volunteers, practically all of those in attendance volunteer in some capacity. A list of available positions was distributed. An email will go out from the board asking members if they wish to remain in their volunteer position or if they would like to change to a different position.