Monthly InterCouncil Summary
This is a summary describing the month’s work of the temple’s three major decision-making bodies. 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 the temple website.
Board of Directors
A quorum of eleven of twelve voting members of the Board of Directors and three guests were present at the meeting June 5, 2014.
Property. The contract has been signed with Semble and we are aiming to have things in place for the loan process to move forward by the third week in June. We need a bond for the public street improvements to receive the city permits to proceed with construction on the temple. We are considering having the contractor and excavator sign on also and they are glad to do so. We have been awarded two Metro grants through the Nature in Neighborhood program, totaling slightly over $100,000. These resources will be used for the pathway through the site and a variety of projects with local schools, using the site as a field laboratory and providing Dharma Rain with meaningful data. A solution for two permanent spaces and a modular office is also moving forward. The Board is still considering the possibility of financing through New Market Tax Credits. A letter asking members to pursue funding sources through personal contacts and friends will go out.
Treasurer’s Report. A financial statement was reviewed covering two reports: Ongoing Operations and Building. We are doing okay in the first category, with expenses higher than last year as we transition. There is cash on hand from property sales early this year. On the Building side, we are working with variables and changes as the project progresses and reporting on expenditures vs budget is challenging. This is an area we are actively working on. While membership numbers have been declining slowly, donations and attendance are level with prior years. Filling the Membership Director position should help.
Transition Communication. Talks are on hold for now. Web “Milestones” are continually updated and carpooling is organized through the SSN. A peer-led Hawthorne-area meditation group is forming. The Our Move page on the website will be kept current.
Emergency Preparedness. We are planning to purchase an Automated External Defibrillator device and schedule CPR training in the coming months.
The fees for the Dharma Garden program will be kept the same.
A speaker from Uganda will be sponsored so that he may participate in the program about gay rights in Uganda to be held at Multnomah University.
Agenda Items outstanding until the August Board Retreat. Changes to the Ethics Council Green Book, the Abbots performance review, a roster of candidates for the Board election, changes to local banking, data storage and retention, and Prison Program oversight.
The Dharma Council met with six members present.
End of Life Study Group. A workshop is planned for the fall although dates are not set. One section will deal with bedside care and another with planning and preparation for one’s own death.
Wednesday evening program. After listening to several suggestions, the group decided to keep the schedule simple and end at 8:30pm. A simple altar will be prepared and set up by the sacristan.
Sunday morning recording. Many questions remain (outlets, amplification, quality issues etc.) but we would like to make this happen and record the talks as a way for the sangha to stay connected.
Seminary distance teaching. The Monmouth group is considering offering a seminary level class to be taught by the resident teacher. Dharma Council decided that credit students will follow the seminary pathway and pay the same fees. Any group members who choose to attend without credit will be classified as Dharma Studies students and charged $25.00. Consideration of fees for distance seminary classes centered around the growing prestige of the DRZC seminary program itself, the infrastructure and volunteers.
Mentoring Algorithm. The group took a look at a preliminary sketch of an algorithm towards Leadership Development in the sangha, to be led by 3 or 4 fully empowered seminary instructors meeting with those heading into leadership roles as they move through the algorithm. The Mandala Council would be involved and would report to the DharmaCouncil twice a year. Seminary classes will be planned 2-3 years ahead so that teachers and assistants will be offered appropriate opportunities and other leadership positions will be recognized. The complete sketch is made part of the minutes of the meeting.
Other agenda items. Class leader and assistant assignments for next year. The need for a new Seminary Advisor. David Douglas High School meditation group is asking for and receiving support from Dharma Rain. Dharma Council elections are coming later this year. A notebook for DC minutes will be kept in the transition office.
The Mandala Council met on the Siskiyou property and considered the following:
Seminary Student Advisor. The search for a new advisor is developing and will next include the Dharma Council in the discussion and final approval.
Sunday Services support from the MC has included building a sturdy wooden hand truck that holds 20 or more zabutons and building a teacher platform. The shuso recommends that for the sake of simplicity, it will be best if latecomers enter the hall quietly when they arrive.
CPR and First Aid certification for all ordained monks are in process. The First Aid kits need replenishing and this will be completed shortly.
Guestmaster/Gaitan Team needs a team lead and more members serving in that role, as we are still a little light to be comfortable.
New office spaces are up and running with no problems.
The group discussed reaching out more to new people, and especially considering that in the transition to a new location, not everyone is coming to us through zazen. We now have HHR members, students from Madison HS, volunteers from Friends of Trees and the VBC and a whole host of other groups coming and going on the property and in the office. A brief and cordial greeting from members would go a long way toward making these newcomers feel welcome.