Since our president Michael Moran is on retreat, it falls to me - your vice-president - to write this quarter’s “President’s Column.”
Board of Directors
At our January board meeting we elected our 2012 officers. Besides Michael and me, we have two other officers. Carole Maurer graciously agreed to continue as Treasurer; she has been our Treasurer for many years and her precision in keeping track of our funds is immensely appreciated. It has, at times, been an overwhelming job. Fortunately Carole now has seasoned assistance from Lorelei Eggli, who helps with deposits, and Kristie wells, who does the data entry and bookkeeping.
You may not be aware that over the years seemingly the most difficult job for us to fill is that of Secretary. Denise Kangas saved us by agreeing to be the secretary for 2012. The board breathed a huge collective sigh of relief when we heard she was willing to take this job. After all, if we don’t have a record of the board meeting, we can’t have a meeting.
The board, once again, spent time discussing our balancing act of having enough time for tea and socializing given the constraints of no food or drink, other than covered water, in the sanctuary and having enough time for our Sunday program. Staying later doesn’t seem realistic since people want to get home for dinner. Starting earlier might cause conflicts with some of the performances at Unity. We thought we had it solved with our move to the dining area, but once we realized there was no heat, that was no longer an option.
So our latest experiment is to try shortening the program by about 5 minutes. We will try to have tea and perhaps goodies almost every Sunday. To allow more time for socializing, the opener will ring the bell to reassemble approximately 15 minutes after we break. This will normally be between 6:50 and 6:55pm. We will only have this shortened program if a Sangha member is presenting. For visiting teachers we will return to the old format of reconvening around 6:45pm. Most likely there will not be something to eat on those nights and we may not have tea. There will occasionally be nights (such as March 11, 2012) when we know the program is going to be very long, and we'll simply have a 5 or 10 minute break with no tea. Sometimes the meditation period might even be shortened.
We still plan to have tea and snacks most Sundays, and need to share the responsibility of providing the food. Please let Sylvia Alcon (email@example.com) know if you are willing to bring snacks some Sunday.
The board appreciates feedback on these changes. We know we can’t please all of the members all of the time, but we do try. I would also like feedback on something we no longer do. On the night of the January board meeting, the program in past years has often been a recap of what had taken place at the meeting, including introduction of the new board and officers. We haven’t done this for two to three years now. There haven’t been any complaints so I assume these reports are not missed, but I am curious.
This year we want to start early on the annual picnic. I would like members' feedback on whether they prefer French Park in SLO or the park in Santa Margarita, where we had the picnic last year. Should we keep it in September and risk it being quite cool by evening, or try for July or August and risk having the weather too hot? I am also looking for volunteers to help on the picnic committee. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have some amazing visiting teachers coming in 2012 for our weekend retreats. Click here to see the retreat schedule. Please mark your calendars now so you don’t miss out on these unique opportunities. I don’t know how the retreat committee attracts such well-known teachers to our little corner of the world, but I’m happy they do. Hope to see you there.
May 2012 bring each of us just what we need to support our continuing journey on this path.