Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

January Minutes

Red Cedar Zen Board of Directors Meeting – January 2, 2013
Board Minutes
PRESENT:  Tim, Talus, Edie; Jeff excused

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. Membership.  Edie updated the board on the 2012 membership drive. As of 12/29/12, we have received $17,000 in pledges toward our goal of $20,000.  Edie is current on thank-you emails and record keeping for Members and Friends, and hopes to finalize the membership tracking for this year by the end of February, producing a 2013 directory in March.

  1. Fire Safety Inspection.  Tim reported that the city fire department inspected and issued RCZC a Fire Operational Permit in late December.  The board extends deepest thanks to Don McClary who stewarded this unexpected project to its successful conclusion.

New Business

  1. Budget. Talus presented the 2013 budget and the profit/loss statements summarizing all of 2012, both developed by the Finance Committee.  Overall the new budget looked very good to the board, who are very pleased that, in Talus’s words, “our margin (income over expenses) was a shade over 5% for 2012 with total expenses of $67,700.  Both income and expenses were within 1% of what they were in 2011.

The proposed budget for 2013 anticipates $66,800 in expenses with an 8% margin. This includes anticipated changes in income and expenses, plus a $900 adjustment for maintenance of zen accoutrements (zabutans, oryoki, makugyo). (Margin is the non-profit corollary of net profit, which gets saved for long-term sustainability).”

The board discussed various proposed item amounts—for example, ways to reduce mailing expenses for the membership drive and annual fund (send out postcards to all on our mailing list asking people to opt in if they want to be on our post office mailing list so we can reduce postage cost); ways to economize on retreat food costs (continue analyzing more exact amounts needed per person for meals and shop more efficiently).  The board also suggested that we increase our outreach budget from $150 to $250, perhaps using any gains from Membership efficiencies to outreach.

The board adopted the Budget for 2013 without changes. The budget and  profit/loss statements can be found on the RCZC website, under Workgroups and Finance.

  1. Board Positions.  Edie said that she would like to step down from the board as one way to reduce her RCZC volunteer workload.  The board accepted her resignation, effective in February, and talked about the need to rotate several volunteer positions this year—board vice president, board secretary, bookkeeper, tenzo, membership coordinator, plus several task oriented roles. Registrar will also be open later this year. We will talk about these at the Annual Meeting January 5 and ask people to consider volunteering for the open roles.

  1. Practice Period and Upcoming Sesshins. As Tenzo, Edie has determined that having the oryoki lunch soup made ahead of time is essential.  With soups already done, cooking practice during sesshin can happen with the spirit of mindful practice. For the big Feb.-Mar. sesshin, we are now recruiting people to prepare and freeze the soups, working together on Sunday, Feb. 3, 10 am–2 pm. Help Wanted!  Please volunteer with Edie.

  1. Annual Meeting Planning. Tim explained his and Jeff’s plans for the sangha discussion about how to communicate when a conflict occurs between/among sangha members.  The board liked their approach to this topic, which will help us apply our Buddhist practice to help us resolve problems together more effectively.

The board decided that the two-hour annual meeting should go as follows:

  • Welcome
  • Financial report
  • Volunteer needs
  • Discussion topics suggested by sangha members
  • Conflict resolution overview and discussion
Board Thank-you’s to Volunteers.  The board is always grateful to our volunteers, who keep us going month after month, but this month we especially thank the Finance Committee for preparing the 2013 budget and Profit/Loss reports—Marti Bartlett, John Wiley, Valerie Davenport, and Talus Latona—You did a great job. Gassho!

meeting reflection
on relationships, process, values and mission
of good value
upholding the contract
sangha on the horizon

As is traditional during Practice Period, the board will not meet in February, and the March date is yet to be decided.


Edie Norton, Secretary

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