Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

Red Cedar Zen - Board of Directors Meeting Minutes 

DATE: August 28, 2019 5:00 PM
PRESENT: Bob Rose, Chris Patton, Bernadette Prinster,  Hannah Sullivan

ABSENT: Tuli Candela, Tim Burnett

Approval of minutes:

Bernadette offered a point of clarification: we will want to look at next year's budget after most of the year goes by for analysis.  Otherwise, minutes were approved.

Encouraging Words: 

Bob passed on from Tim, his message to the practice leaders.  Tim feels strongly that a proposed Sunday practice conclude by noon.  This will increase some expenses; it's a complex issue that will need smoothing out.

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


The 3rd quarter report will be mailed to the Board when completer later in September and be posted on line.

The current bookkeeper, Ed Wayt, has indicated he will likely depart at the end of the year.  The Board agreed that by October 1 we will have several names of people who could replace Ed in 2020.  Extending Ed's contract beyond August 25 (as budgeted) will incur slightly more administrative expense.

The Finance committee (Bob, John Wiley, Bernadette and Ed) will meet September 25 to begin budget planning for 2020 and discuss new ways to monitor income and expenses.  Bob reminded us that now that we have changed our bookkeeping to Quickbooks, when we're looking at a budget, we need to take note of budget items that vary by +/- 10-15%.  The Board treasurer needs to report those variances to the Board ASAP.

Membership:  Regarding membership payments, the switch from Paypal to Affinipay took place in late June.  Getting all members to switch over to Affinipay (the internal payment system in Wild Apricot) will likely take several more months to sort and sift through the changes.  Terrill reported by email prior to the board meeting how many members have switched.  Chris offered to rework the letter that is sent.

A discussion of the membership list followed.  Bob inquired about the possibility of extending the invitation for membership to those names on the larger mailing list similar to how it is used in the Annual Appeal.  The Board discussed how people are identified on the larger email list and if there is a Friends of Red Cedar category?  How this list is maintained and kept current and what potential the list has for future use is a conversation that should include both Tim and Terrill at the October 2 Board meeting.


BIMS meeting - a combined BIMS and RCZC leadership meeting convened on August 12, 2019

BIMS is struggling to get their chairs out and Scott reassured that he will finish building the chair roller for them (he had had an equipment issue in his welding shop).

We talked about the landlord issue and renegotiating the building lease: we have been paying fair market value per real estate consultations, and have improved the building putting in an estimated $10,000 of labor and materials over the years. We will be requesting a continuation of our lease at the current rent while accepting annual increases. We agreed to keep BIMS leaders informed as lease negotiations with the landlord continue.

A possible weekly Sunday Zen program (to start after the Oct. 2020 lease renewal) was discussed and BIMS explained that the Sangha Mamas program meets on Sunday mornings. A question was raised about whether the Sangha Mamas is an independent group or truly part of BIMS as they seem to have separate leadership and the BIMS leaders told us they are a BIMS project. Concern about RCZC needing to bump Sangha Mamas should a weekly Zen Sunday program begin was discussed during and after the meeting. We agreed to consider whether such a Sunday program could be shorter or start later so that both programs can fit on Sunday morning (the Mamas meet 8:30am-10:15am). Whatever they do, they are fellow dharma practitioners, reminds Bob. AND YET our organization is devoted to Soto Zen practice, so in the end, our first obligation is to that. Tim informed the Board by email of his initial discussions with the Practice Leaders group (former shusos) and that his impulse is that if we offer a Sunday program it should be a pretty complete taste of Zen similar to the Wednesday night program and starting after Sangha Mamas would have it run over the noon hour which is problematic such that it will be difficult to have Sangha Mamas and a new Zen Sunday Program coexist on those mornings. Plus 30 minutes between programs is building policy. But a simpler program might be able to fit in. More discussions with our sangha at all levels will follow before any decision is made.

We continue to explore our own options for the future in the building after our current lease ends in one year.

Next meeting August 28. 5PM

Respectfully Submitted,

Hannah Sullivan

Board Secretary


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