2016/06/23 VIMS Council Minutes

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes

Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

Sandra’s home

Brock, June, Sandra, Bruce, Rhonda

Absent with Regrets:


Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:

Motion from Sandra to approve the agenda.  Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (April 24th, 2016):

There were no changes to the distributed draft minutes from the April council meeting.  Motion from Sandra to approve the minutes.  Carried.

Note: There was no council meeting in May.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
  • The minutes from May, 2016 Victoria IMS AGM have been circulated to all attendees.
  • Payment has been made for filing Victoria IMS with the BC Society organization.
  • The post-AGM informal discussion was very positive with appreciation of the retreats expressed by a number of people as well as the possibility of holding longer retreats at some point in the future. The group felt that VIMS should continue offering donations to organizations that provide free dhamma resources when we have year-end surplus funds.
  • Ajahn Sona’s retreat was very well attended: 108 on the Saturday and 90 on the Sunday. Notably there were no complaints about the temperature of the room. Variances seemed to be addressed sufficiently in the verbal introduction at the start of the retreat.
  1. Finances:
  • June presented an overview of Wei’s financial report for May 2016 which had been distributed to council prior to the meeting:

Account Balances as of June 1st, 2016:

Chequing:         $6,345.17

Savings:           $3,758.54

TOTAL:            $10,103.71

  • It was noted that the chequing account was artificially high as the cheque for cash donations to Birken did not clear in May.
  • Motion from June to accept Wei’s financial report for May 2016. Carried.
  • As there was no council meeting in May, April financial reports were sent to council in early May and the account balances are reported below:

Account Balances as of May 1st, 2016:

Cheating:          $2,868.99

Savings:           $3,757.50

TOTAL:            $6,626.49

  • Council confirmed the decision made by email to pay for Espen Ostrem’s airfare from Victoria to Kamloops in support of Birken Forest Monastery. June motioned to approve the email decision.
  • Rod has saved a backup of VIMS QuickBooks records to the VIMS Google drive.
  1. Communications:
    • Newsletter:
      • Margo is stepping down from producing the newsletter as of July 2016. Bruce will do the July issue and June and Bruce will share responsibility for the newsletter through the summer. We will look for more help with this in the fall.
      • Many thanks to Margo for her creative work in producing the newsletter over the past 18 months.
    • Website:
      • The issue with uploading audio files to the website has now been resolved.
    • Constant Contact mailing list issue – implied consent status: June provided an update on our campaign. Many people responded to the email we sent out and only 150 out of the 457 subscribers remain in a status of implied consent. Those we know personally will be contacted directly now and a follow-up email will be sent to the remaining subscribers on the list in the fall.
    • Rod’s master list of VIMS documents is now on Google Docs. We all need to have the link to this list – Rod and/or June to provide. Bruce will speak to Rod about the fact that the links sent to the retreat coordinator for distribution to retreat volunteers provides access to too many VIMS documents. Is there a way to refine this so there is access to only retreat-relevant documents.
  2. Sunday Sit
    • Reminder list for facilitators to mention at the start of the sit. Sandra to put a draft together.
    • Heather Martin’s is scheduled to facilitate the Sunday night sit on September 18th which is the weekend of Steve Armstrong’s retreat. Sandra to call Heather with regard to possibly moving the facilitation to a different weekend. Also to discuss accommodation – Lawrie has offered to host her.
    • Sandra to ask Margo about hospitality for Leigh Brasington’s visit in August. Also whether Margo is able to handle the coordination during the first part of August and facilitate on August 7th and September 4th as we do not have anyone assigned currently. Margo is scheduled to do all operations for the month of November – check that this is in order.
    • Margo has stepped down from the role of coordinator for the Sunday night sits. June and Sandra will co manage through the summer until we can call a meeting in the fall to establish a new model for managing the Sunday night sit program.  Thanks to Margo for her leadership over the past 18 months.
    • Library – some books have been returned.
  3. 2016 Retreats/Retreat Operations:

Upcoming retreats:

  • June 26 – Ajahn Sudanto – practice day.
  • August 1 – Solwazi Johnson.
  • Sept 17/18 – Steve Armstrong.*
  • Oct 15/16 – Christina Feldman.
  • Oct 29 – Ajahn Tiradhammo.
  • Nov 13 – Brock Brown.

* The travel logistics for Steve have changed.  We were originally going to bring him from Seattle but he will now be coming from Boston instead. After some discussion it was suggested that VIMS offer to cover 50% of the longer fare up to a maximum of CA$500.00.  Motion from Brock to approve this change to our payment of Steve’s travel costs.  Carried.

Completed retreats:

  • Jan 16/17 – Heather Martin.
  • Feb 20 – Margo McLoughlin.
  • March 25/26 – Pascal Auclair.
  • May 20 – public talk with Ajahn Sona and Margo McLoughlin.
  • May 21/22 – Ajahn Sona.


  1. VIMS Social:

Isy provided an update:  September 8th is the date decided upon based on general availability of facility and sangha community.  The Garry Oak room at the Fairfield Community Centre has been booked (the cost of a 4 hour rental is $150.00).  Council agreed with Isy’s suggestion that the doors open at 5:00 and the pot luck meal start at 6:00. Rod House is organizing the entertainment program for the evening. Thank you Rod and Isy for coordinating the Social.


  1. 2017 Programs:

All dates and teachers are confirmed and all programs will be held at Goward House with the exception of Ajaan Geoff’s (Aug 19/20) which will be held at Uvic.  Goward House and Uvic are confirmed:

  • Jan 21/22 – Heather Martin
  • February 19 – Margo McLoughlin
  • March 18/19 – Howard Cohn
  • April 30 – Tuere Sala
  • May 27/28 – Ayya Medhanandi
  • Aug 19/20 – Ajaan Geoff
  • Sep 16/17 – Adrianne Ross
  • Oct 14/15 – Steve Armstrong
  • Nov 26 – Brock Brown

Sandra will work out the registration dates based on the above 2017 retreat dates and send to Brock for retreat operations planning.


  1. 2018 Programs:
  • For Carol Wilson’s retreat in November 2018 the optional dates of Nov 17/18 or Nov 24/25 have been suggested. Carol’s visit is confirmed – the date is still to be decided.
  1. Meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

Next Meeting

Council decided that we did not need to meet in July so the next meeting will be held:


August 18, 2016

June and Brock’s home