Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

November 2012 Board Minutes

Red Cedar Zen Board of Directors                         Meeting - November 7, 2012     

Board Minutes                                                                                   

PRESENT: Jeff, Talus, Tim, 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

Old Business

1. Website and Technology Workgroup.  The board discussed the need for more volunteers for the Technology Team-to update our website, to train and help non-techie volunteers when they have problems, and perhaps to evaluate how all our software programs are working together, making changes where needed.  Tim will get together with Terry Thompson, Kevin Connor, and Talus to begin working on the above elements.  Talus and Edie will meet to update the website workgroup pages. 

2. Conflict Communications Planning.  Jeff contacted the Conflict Resolution center to see how it might be a resource for us in developing a sangha approach to resolving conflicts.  He will follow up on researching the center's short course on conflict management.  Possibly Jeff and Tim will preview the course.

The board's goal is, together with the sangha, to assess the sangha needs for communicating in conflict situations and to develop a process for resolving conflicts.  We hope to get input from everyone at our Annual Meeting (the first or second Saturday in January) on how the sangha would like to handle conflicts in the future. Our aim is to put in place a process by the spring of 2013.  In the meantime, board members have committed to addressing any conflicts that might occur, by meeting with the individuals involved, hearing their concerns, and problem solving together.  We also want to look at conflicts from the perspective of our zen practice, referring to the Precepts as our guidelines in how we work with our minds and how we honor each other.

3. Back Door Steps.  To improve safety at the back entrance to the storage area in our building, the board's intention is still to construct wooden steps. Jeff is taking the lead on this.

4. 501(c)3 Application.  This project is temporarily stalled due to lack of time for the committee to meet.  However, all the tasks are defined, so the committee (Talus, John, Valerie) will be moving forward shortly.

5. Back Garden. Work was delayed over the summer because we couldn't find the plumbing valve in the building so we could hook up the garden watering system.  However, now it has been located, so work can go forward on : finishing the garden plumbing, modifying the pump box so it is less obtrusive; and laying the pavers.  Tim will ask Don for help on the plumbing connections.  Jeff will have some time to work on other aspects that are needed.  No more weeding will be done because the weeds will help hold the soil through the winter. We will resume weeding and planting in the spring.

New Business

1. Financial ReportTalus reported that while our Balance Sheet as of September 30, 2012 show that we have current assets of $44,362, our third quarter Profit and Loss report (July through September) shows a loss of $4,456.  Our income was $10,652, and our expenses were $15, 109.  $1,124 of expense was for our annual insurance; $500 was for retreat expenses over and above retreat income, so the net loss third quarter was $2,832.  The board discussed that this may be another indicator that we can use more income from members and friends. However, the net income for the second quarter (April through June) had been $4938, so over the two quarters we actually have broken even.  The apparent loss in this third quarter is largely a matter of the timing of income and expense.

2. Building Cleaning.  The board discussed whether or not we are keeping up with the needed cleaning in our building.  Currently, we clean the building every Saturday morning with a crew of 3 - 5 who attend Saturday morning practice. Members are encouraged to join in these efforts so that we can get even more done.  BIMS cleans once per month before their Tuesday evening program.  They are assessing if they can do more cleaning.  So for the present, the board felt that we are doing an adequate job of maintaining a clean and usable building.

3. Public Talks.  Tim reported that he has let go of doing the Saturday all-morning program every month. He has taken November off; December will be as part of rohatsu; January probably annual meeting in that slot; February we're busy with practice period.  So we restart with again in March with Norman, then Bob in April, maybe a new visiting teacher in May. 

4. Annual Meeting.  The board is considering either Januarly 5 or January 12 as the date for the annual meeting.  Talus will confer with the Finance committee about their preferred date (because they must prepare the financial reports); and Tim will check with BIMS to see if we can trade the second Saturday with them.  The date will be publicized as soon as it is known.

5. Thank You's to Our Volunteers.  Jeff concluded the meeting with the observation that whereas the board necessarily focuses on what hasn't been done yet, it is wise of us to remember the many, many tasks and projects that are being done every day and week and month.  Things really do run quite smoothly in our organization, despite the very busy lives and schedules of our members.  So we are grateful to everyone who gives of their time and talent to help our sangha thrive and our zen practice deepen.

In keeping with Jeff's words, the board decided also to make a practice of thanking various individuals every month in these minutes, just to point out the quiet and invisible contributions so many sangha members make every week and month. (Please forgive us if we don't mention everyone each month.)  Deep bows to the following volunteers: 

·   Don McClary for his rapid response to repair needs, his terrific research, and his expert fixes.

·   Elizabeth Caldarelli for her beautiful flower arrangements for the altars

·   Marti Bartlett for her devoted bookkeeping and Saturday Ino leadership

·   David Lynch for his service as Tenkin and his work on the Membership workgroup

·   Kate McKenna in her new role as Ino and for her warm support of sangha members

·   Ian von Fischer-Benzon for responding to phone and email messages

·   And to our current Wednesday night orientation teachers-Kevin Conner, Jeff McKenna, Marti Bartlett, Kate McKenna, John Wiley, Bob Penny

meeting reflection

on relationships, process, values and mission

of good value


upholding the contract

sangha on the horizon

Meeting adjourned at 6:30 pm.  NEXT MEETING: December 5, 5:15 pm, Dokusan Room


Edie Norton, Secretary


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