Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

Red Cedar Zen - Board of Directors Meeting Minutes 

DATE: May 1, 2019 5:30 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Bob Rose, Chris Patton, Bernadette Prinster, Hannah Sullivan, Tuli Candela, Tim Burnett
ABSENT: none
VISITORS: Connie Martin

·      Approve board meeting minutes (3/6/19) approved by consensus. 

·      Approve agenda for 5/1/2019 Approved; noted that Bob will make the agenda available to board members and presenters several days prior to our next and future meetings

·      Teacher's Comments  “May we all meet in service to our practice”

·      Treasurer's Report

o   Status of systems updates Moneyminder will be closing down.  Quikbooks is up and running.  More of Wild Apricot will be used to simplify our bookkeeping and multiple site use.

o   Other services and trainings from contract with Ed Ed is very efficient and now that the greater picture of RCZC’s finances have been gathered, organized and made transparent for membership, he will have a lighter workload.  However, in office hours he has been most helpful.  Bob Penny, Judith, Bernadette, Elizabeth are among those who have received good training.  Hannah is lined up as well.  We agree that Ed should maintain office hours for the forseeable future.  He is also in communication with Terrill regarding membership, and Terrill’s (and Desiree’s) work should be reduced by around 80%  Ed also made it easier for some people to work with the on line class on the heart sutra.  Reach Ed through the website under “about” then “staff”.

o   Quarterly report (1st Quarter)

  • ·       Old Business
  • o   Review updated budget for 2019 (see document)
  • o   Thanks to Bernadette for all the work she did with Ed to bring this into a simple, understandable document.  The issue of “where to put new blinds” for example, was quickly fitted with its “furnishings and equipment” line item.  Noted that with things this clear, we might better review and analyze how our money is used.
  • §  Adopt if appropriate.  Adopted by motion Chris, second Hannah, all in favor.
  • o   Lease
  • §  Update from Jim Sands, realtor  Bob met with Jim, whose research shows that our current rent is comparable to like offerings, such as Haskell Business Center, 4th Corner Quilts,  at appx. $1/sqare foot.  A few things that might be brought to Riaz are that we have around $30,000.00 in materials and upgrading of the building and that our presence is a stable force in the neighborhood.  Additionally all labor has been donated.  *action item* : Bob Rose to ask Bob Penny to research the specifics of the increased value of the building. *Action item: Hannah to send thank you card to Jim Sands*
  • §  We have agreed that once we have assembled our background information, we will meet with Riaz to extend the lease on mutually agreeable terms for 5 years (2020-2025) with a subsequent right to renew for an additional 5 year years as part of the contract, effectively a 10-year lease.  
  • § 
  • §  Discussions w/ BIMS
  • §   BIMS currently contributes a little under 1/2 of our monthly rent.  In meeting with their Board President Linda Booth, our board president Bob Rose reported they have some concerns about integrating the practice needs of BIMS  with those of the Red Cedar Zen Community.  Bob suggested to Linda that a periodic meeting (twice a year?) of a small committee from each board would aid in maintaining good communication.  This is especially important as we begin to negotiate the new master lease and as we determine the best arrangement for a BIMS sub-lease in the upcoming period. Bernadette, Scott and Bob will be the inital contact group for this dialog opening effort.
  •  *Action item: Bob Rose Bernadette and and Scott to request a meet for tea with BIMS elders/reps.*(see letter sent by Bob to Linda booth on Wed. May 8
  • Our intention for this meeting with BIMS is to explore possibilities for sharing the building as we go forward
  • o  
  • §  Info sheet on iimprovements  (see above re: Bob Penny researching)
  • § 

o   Membership Work Group update (Wild Apricot is currently set up to receive money and eliminate all of the various other methods of payments.  It is also possible we could eliminate pledges vs/ payments, which would remove tremendous followup)  Bob offers a nice template used by Skagit Land Trust that could work for us.  We might also approach members on the basis of what membership is worth to them.  The payment provider has been changed to Finipay.

o    Finally, a brokerage account is set up.  Ken appeared at end of meeting with a document signed by the appropriate individuals that will allow the account to activate.)Please note the following legal statement that is necessary to begin our brokerage account:

o   “On January 1st, 2019 the membership of the board officially changed from Ken Oates, President, Christopher Patton, Vice President, Talus Latona, Treasurer, Bernadette Prinster, Secretary and Tuli Candela, Member at Large, to become Bob Rose, President, Tuli Candela, Vice President, Bernadette Prinster, Treasurer, Hannah Sullivan, Secretary, and Christopher Patton, Member at Large. This change was made by the standard process of Red Cedar Zen Community of recruitment by the board to fill the position, followed by a comment period from the membership at large and then installation on the board if consensus is met. Furthermore, the board has decided, for the purposes of establishing a brokerage account only, that John Wiley will be listed as Vice President for the purposes of that account, due to his position as a member of the Finance Committee.”


  • ·       Practice Committee Updates  (See also minutes from 4/19/19 Practice Committee meeting).
  • o   Practice Committee membership and scope changes
  • §  Add Retreat Manager and Registrar
  • §  Reduce Practice Leaders representatives from 3 to “1 or 2”
  • §  Responsible for both the practice coordination (putting on retreats) and consideration (advisory to Tim)
  • §  Guiding Teacher commitment to consultation (request for comments) from Practice Leaders about any significant change in forms and program.  Connie attended the meeting to voice her objection to the change in practice committee.  She noted that historically this was the senior body of spiritual advisors to the teacher, and now it is basically a retreat planning committee with maybe a senior student.  Some members have not passed the lay ordination stage in practice and that seems antithetical to senior advisors.  Chris brought clear questions regarding why the committee changed.  Tim noted that historically all advisory was done by those who had been Shuso, and when the group became large, Practice Committee split off, adding, one by one, Ino and Tenzo.  This addition of retreat manager and registrar completes the retreat committee, and matters put to committee by guiding teacher have been put to request for advice from practice leader group one month prior to bringing to practice committee.  While Connie felt rushed, Tim felt he had done due diligence.  Chris requests a trial period with review in one year.  Hannah requests at least two Practice Leaders on the committee for history and continuity.  Bernadette suggests we discuss again after Little Samish.  Chris notes that in traditional zen, , our guiding teacher would be taking orders from Soto Zen headquarters, and we would not be negotiating these issues.  Here in American Zen we are interacting as we go, not to be taken lightly, but with understanding.
  • o   Wednesday evening service to have Service A & Service B alternation
  • o   New terminology for membership how have been shuso: Practice Leaders (formerly Senior Students)
  • o   New “Associate” practice positions – understudy, fill in as needed, hopefully on deck for next rotation
  • §  Associate Ino – Bob Penny
  • §  Associate Retreat Manager – TBD
  • §  Associate Tenzo – TBD
  • §  Associate Registrar – TBD
  • o   New Sangha Trips Coordinator practice position: Rei Greene
  • §  Sangha Trip to Seattle Buddhist centers under planning for Oct 18-20
  • o   Schedule Updates:
  • §  Big Samish – with cancellations we hope to empty the wait list (PC considered going above 75 people with the proviso that some would not have dokusan with Norman but that may not be needed)
  • §  Little Samish (June 30- July 3) – oryoki with our team cooking under Tenzo Bob. Note that all cooks need a State food handlers permit (easy and cheap)
  • §  Next meeting: June 5 @ 5:30
  • § 
  • o   Respectfully submitted, Hannah Sullivan, Secretary
  • o   (these corrected minutes are sent to board members and Nomon only; please read through and see if the corrections you suggested have appeared here.  I will anticipate your ok (or correction).  Thanks, H
  • o  
  • o   Bob’s letter to Linda Booth:

Greetings Linda-

I want to follow up on the conversation we had at the Dharma Hall library a number of weeks back.  We didn't have a board meeting in April and just, finally, all met last week.  As a board agenda item, we discussed the proposal I suggested to you at the close of our meeting - that we foster and improve our inter-board communications, particularly during this lease negotiations period, through periodic joint meetings.  The Board of Red Cedar Zen Community was very much in favor of this idea and suggested that Bernadette Prinster (treasurer), Scott  Allen (facilities manager) and I meet with you and some of your board, to open this dialog.  If this is still of interest to you and the BIMS board,  we would be open to suggestions for convenient dates and times.  

In that same vein, we are still assembling some baseline information before we sit down with our landlord, Mr. Riaz Monjazeb.  Our realtor has confirmed that the current rent is pretty comparable to similar sized spaces that are available on the market.  That gives us a certain degree of confidence as we enter these negotiations.  We are also trying to estimate the value of the improvements we have made during our tenancy to demonstrate the appreciation we have contributed to the building during our tenancy.  

My apologies for this delayed communication but I wanted to make sure the board supported my ventured invitation.  I trust your board will be equally interested in clear communications and a mutually supportive relationship as we begin these negotiations.

We look forward to hearing back from you and the BIMS board of directors.

Three bows, turning the Dharma Wheel-

Bob Rose, President

  • o   Red Mountain Zen Community Board of Directors

Next Board Meeting

  June 5, 2019 at 5:30pm - Red Cedar Dharma Hall, dokusan room

respectfully submitted, Hannah Sullivan, Board Secretary


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