Monthly InterCouncil Summary

October, 2013

This summary describing the work of the temple’s three major decision-making bodies is published regularly. Each of the three major bodies of the temple mandala, the Board of Directors, the Dharma Council and the Mandala Council meets monthly and provides notes to be consolidated for a report to the general sangha. A governance notebook with approved minutes is filed in the temple office. A list of current Council members and areas of concern, individual charges to leadership, and temple job positions are listed on this site, under “About Us -> Organizational Structure.”
The councils each presented at the Fall Sangha Forum on October 20 [listen to the recording]. Fall council elections, member concerns, issues involving Siskyou and formation of an Emergency Preparedness Team with members from each group were matters considered in October by all three groups as well as the intercouncil group.
The InterCouncil Mandala Review Committee (ICMRC) is a standing committee formed from members of the Board of Directors and the Dharma and Mandala Councils.
The ICMRC group worked to pull together the agenda for the Fall Sangha Forum, with specific agenda items to be presented by the Dharma and Mandala Councils as well as the Board of Directors. Two further opportunities scheduled 10/23 and 11/17 were noted at the forum for members who wish to talk with Board members about property concerns.
The Emergency Preparedness Team is not completely formed. Names of temple members from various cohorts were put forward and they will be contacted for service.
Volgistics is set to include fields for keeping track of who has attended the Mental Health Education training. Attendance lists will be kept for this purpose and must also be sent to the Board.
Discussed fall elections. It was noticed that the Board is not using the word ‘slate’ and is not presenting appointed positions. The Dharma Council is using the word ‘slate’ and may or may not present appointed positions.
The members of ICMRC are taking back to their groups an overall charge to improve clarity in communications, especially identifying contact persons, detailing tasks and tying particular areas of concern to the individual Council’s mandate.

Board of Directors

The DRZC Board of Directors met with all voting members present and spent a good bit of time in a robust discussion of the Ethics Council mandate and the function of that group. The group’s chair was present and issues included a confidential grievance and reconciliation process versus a disciplinary process, and various topics around Ethics Council jurisdiction. These issues will be explored further.
The Election Committee reports that candidates for the ballot were finalized and the Board edited the wording explaining the new election process. A new Board Trustee has been appointed to begin service at the first of the year.
The Treasurer presented a new budget for the Siskiyou development project and it was approved unanimously. She will step down from the Corporate Treasurer’s position at the end of the year and a replacement will be sought from the sangha. It was unanimously approved that the temple hire a bookkeeper to assist with tracking the Siskiyou project, which has doubled the Treasurer’s workload.

Dharma Council

The Dharma Council met and finalized an election slate that will be sent out listing newly proposed and appointed members. The Council will have 8 members.

The group considered calendar questions around a venue for Denkoe, and decided to negotiate for the use of the zendo building or hold the retreat at the Dharma House. An assistant for 2014 spring seminary was identified.

There won’t be a 2014 spring Term Student program due to space and work project considerations but creative ideas for Spring 2015 are already brewing.

Wednesday classes for Spring 2014 are set: Seven Factors of Enlightenment (7 classes) and Empathic Listening (2 classes).

Several questions around seminary were considered including a proposal for independent study content to be included for seminary credit. The issues around this question were explored at length, noting first that seminary policy states that none of the ten core classes may be challenged. All must be completed. A consensus formed that seminary policy will reflect that independent study in the Dharma may include study groups but seminary credit will not be made available for independent projects. The Council also will encourage seminarians to meet with Fumyo on a regular basis and that teaching opportunities and ideas for non-credit study and classes be part of these conversations.

A formulation of criteria for the development of instructors is nearing completion with the Council in consultation with Fumyo. It could include both measurable such as satisfactory seminary completion and more subtle elements such as relationship with a teacher, experience with and evaluation by a mentor, guidance through seminary and the development of the capacity to teach over time.

Note that the updated Mandate and the new Confidentiality Policy are now linked from the Dharma Council page on the web site.

Mandala Council

The Mandala Council met and confirmed that, although more contacts are planned, three temple members have agreed to serve on an Emergency Preparedness team. The team will be added to Volgistics. The goal is a first meeting by mid-November.

The committee completed a long job list review.

  • Additional workshop leaders are needed and clarification from the Dharma Council on requirements for this position will be sought.
  • All job descriptions should be added to Volgistics.
  • Need new Sangha Support Coordinator, volunteers for Opener and remastering and uploading.
  • The Daoren Circle has developed a good spreadsheet for recording and describing assets and it will be uploaded for further use.
  • Waiting for specific dates for the moving process before setting more action steps.

Volunteers are needed and the Council wants to develop the resource of seminary graduates and members of the Taking Your Seat group.