KCC Sangha Meeting Notes from Sunday, December 13

December 13, 2020

Submitted by Willa Rabinovitch

• Board recruitment:
Sangha meetings at KCC usually range among a variety of topics, and while that was true for December’s meeting, discussion focused for a large part of the meeting on Board recruitment. This reflects the importance of increasing the size of the Board, usually greater than its current membership of five. Four members have stepped down in 2020, before the ends of their terms.

The Board is developing onboarding procedures which include a mentorship program. Doug Dunlap, who is leading this effort, pointed out that some new Board members have found it difficult to integrate themselves into the Board, so the decision was made to welcome and assist them in a more structured and purposeful way, bringing them up to speed on process and history. An orientation handbook is also being developed. Past and current members at the sangha meeting pointed out that members benefit by being a part of policy development and decision making, they have more contact with the resident lama, and they get to know the sangha in a deeper way. Attendance at Board meetings is currently via Zoom and appointees can continue to attend remotely when the Board resumes meeting in person. Term limits are three years; two consecutive terms are allowed by the by-laws.

Phil Wallin is a current Board member who has been active in encouraging KCC members to consider joining the Board, or to nominate candidates. KCC by-laws require input from the sangha, and set membership on the Board at between four and fifteen; at least five more members are needed to replace those whose terms will be completed at the end of 2021. Phil reported that there are not many nominations so far. Nominations can be made by contacting board@kcc.org.

• Reopening KCC’s Portland Center:
Board member Linda Besant addressed the ethical and practical issues of returning to study and practice together at KCC’s Portland Center. A plan for response to the pandemic has been in place since May, modeled on the State governor’s guidelines at that time. This plan does not address response to availability of a vaccine. Linda reported the sense from the community, anecdotally, that people feel conservative, careful rather than eager to gather. KCC has a large number of older people among the membership, with higher risk status. Events and practice periods will continue to be available via Zoom. Input regarding reopening can be addressed to board@kcc.org.

• Retreat opportunities at SCOL:
Individual retreat continues to be available at the Ser Chö Ösel Ling, KCC’s retreat center near Goldendale, Washington. The center can accommodate three individuals or three groups in Covid bubbles, with each having their own kitchen and bath facilities. Contact SCOL Staff for further information.

• Fantastic website upgrade:
KCC has a newly designed website. It’s clean and bright looking, but still has KCC’s feel. Jennifer Chang led the effort, which began in April and was completed in December. The team met at least once a week during the project. They selected Sharon Columbo of Columbo Design as developer. (Please see “Gratitude” article in KCC’s January Newsletter for more information about the website update team and the new KCC website.)

• KCC operations in transition:
Linda Besant pointed out that the website upgrade effort is representative of KCC’s evolution from a sangha with Board members performing most or all the tasks – KCC has become too large and complex for that model. The organization now has Linda Grove as Executive Director, and the Board of Directors is becoming more focused on policy and envisioning, with staff and teams of volunteers performing tasks. Strategic planning that will reflect KCC’s changes and growth will be underway soon.