Council Summaries December 2014

This is a summary describing work of the temple’s major decision-making bodies during December 2014. A governance notebook with approved minutes is filed in the temple’s transition office. A list of current Council members and areas of concern, individual charges to leadership and temple job positions are listed on the website.

Board of Directors

The Board met on December 18, 2014, with a required quorum present. Discussion of committee reports began after a period of silence and check-in. No member concerns were submitted.

Property Report

Although construction activity is slowing down for the present, metal roof installation for the Sodo is awaiting decrease in wood moisture content and will then proceed. The City has assigned us a point person to oversee and hopefully ease the permitting process. The permitting for Siskiyou Street improvements are closer but not yet complete. In January, a construction trailer to be used as our portable office building will go in.

The HHR is getting traction with a lender, moving that process forward. DRZC may apply for a bridge loan, as a stepping stone to a larger construction loan for cohousing, to be paid back over time by DRZC and Siskiyou Cohousing LLC.

A large grant application is about to go in for brownfield cleanup funds.

A new Lotus Blooming campaign has begun and “Teas & Tours” are scheduled to begin in January.

For the future it may be that we need to update and make available our fundraising plan and generally have more printed materials ready for individual donors and groups who express an interest in DRZC’s development. We might need to develop talking points and presentations that especially touch on what we do and what we offer to the community in the way of solving problems. The Board agreed to focus on fundraising issues at our next meeting.

Treasurer’s Report

The year-to-date budget deficit is $35K, down $5.5K from expected. Pledges are stable and donations are up from $3K to $9K. The treasurer is optimistic.

The Board voted for a raise for the temple’s part-time bookkeeper.

Economics of Happiness Conference

DRZC is partnering with this event that is emphasizing on environmental sustainability, local food production, and parallels with our development project. The cost for the conference is $85 and it runs Friday, February 27 to Sunday March 1 at the the Unitarian Church on SW Main Street. The Board would like to staff our display table at the conference with sangha members. It should be a great fundraising opportunity. Tours of our site, including transportation from downtown, will be offered March 1st from 9am to 1pm. A group will be formed to plan the tours and develop talking points. This is a Dharma School Sunday so we need folks who won’t be involved at Jason Leigh or Dharma School to lead tours and provide rides to the property. We hope that some Dharma School activities will be visible to visitors.

InterCouncil Mandala Review Committee

A comprehensive review of the Mandala Model is planned, soliciting comments from all the councils and including a review of the various mandates within the organizational model, focusing on what is and is not included in a council’s mandate and how each council fits in the larger organizational model. A broad view will be taken, and written feedback should be gathered by April 1st, focusing on changes needed, what’s working and what is not working.

Dharma Council

The council met on December 4th. A question concerning the Sangha Film Series was discussed and the council members agreed that the activity will continue on hiatus until space possibilities open up.

Reports from other councils were reviewed, including a question from the Mandala Council on the Related Groups Liaison and a leader for the Taking Your Seat sessions. The Liaison must be a lay disciple. A disciple is now interested in the Taking Your Seat opportunity.

Timely Business Items: An appointed representative from the Dharma Council will serve on a committee convened by the Board to consider changes to the mandate of the Ethics Council.

General Issues: Several sangha members are interested in a work group developing opportunities for young adults within the sangha.

A Dharma Council work group is forming to consider by whom and when the liturgy is changed.

Future agenda items: Do we need to begin the Sunday schedule earlier for Hossen in January and/or perhaps have a reception/celebration at Siskiyou House afterwards. Details on where and how we will hold Jukai and Denko-e will need to be worked out.

Calendar items

Decisions completed

  • 2015 Wednesdays “Precepts”
  • 2015 Wednesdays “Daily Scriptures”
  • 2016 Spring Seminary, “History through Texts”

Discussed but not completed

  • 2015 Spring “Term Student”
  • 2015 Sangha Forum (DC)
  • 2015 “Taking Your Seat”
  • 2015 Fall Wednesdays “Foundational Teachings”
  • 2015 Fall Seminary Lotus Sutra

Not discussed

  • 2016 January Wednesdays
  • 2016 Spring Precepts
  • 2016 April/May, Wednesdays
  • 2016 Fall Seminary: General Studies: “Buddhist View of the Body”

Mandala Council

The Mandala Council’s meeting was held on December 28 and began with a moment of silence followed by a check-in and update by each family representative.

The group was given an update on what is happening on the InterCouncil (ICMRC). The ICMRC would like us to look at our mandate and determine if we think changes need to be made and guidelines have been sent out on how to do this. We are to recommend changes by the beginning of April. This is made an action item for the next meeting.

The Dharma Council would like the Related Groups Liaison position to be filled as soon as we can. Invited are suggestions of Lay Disciples who might be interested.

The group spent time reviewing the administration portal of the Volgistics tool and members are encouraged to consults this tool for the latest status of DRZC volunteers and the service positions they currently hold.

Also discussed was the question of criteria to use to promote an Intro Workshop assistant to leader. A small group is working on this.