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2020/10/22 VIMS Council Meeting

Victoria Insight Meditation Society Council Meeting
Oct 22 2020
Present: Brock Brown (Chair), Bruce MacRae, Rhonda Duncan, Brian Chapel, June Fukushima (Secretary for meeting).

  1. Approve Agenda. Brock moved. Carried
  2. Approve Minutes of Oct 1 2020. 

Rhonda moved. Carried.

  1. Update on Christina’s retreat
    Comments:
    Very positive feedback from participants.
    VIMS suggested dana amount is very reasonable – makes it possible for people to participate. Not everyone donates suggesting that the retreats are accessible.
    Most frequent question is how else to send dana to the teacher other than through PayPal.
  2. Recent security problems for Carol Wilson’s retreat registration.
    The link to Constant Contact from the VIMS website was removed.
    There were no further registrations from suspicious emails.
    We will put Carol’s link in the newsletter and monitor if suspicious emails come in.
    The Registrar will be asked to monitor the suspicious names/
  3. Use (or not) of an avatar on zoom at future retreats

Brock moved that avatars will be allowed. Backgrounds will not be allowed.
Carried.

  1. What to do about retreatants who are named ipad or iphone

June moved that we encourage people to name themselves.
Carried.

We will ask Suzan to offer a training session at the first break of Carol’s retreat in addition to the 8:30 – 8;45 am orientation.

  1. Registrar- Carol’s retreat

The work load of the Registrar is much higher for the online retreats vs the in-person retreats. Current Registrar for Carol’s retreat was given the option of being involved with the Zoom related tasks on the days of the retreat and has opted to not be involved. 

Actions:
Kiko will let people in.
Brock will ask Metta about admitting people.
Bruce will monitor the vims1retreat email.

Future retreats: We will seek a Registrar for the 4-weeks before the retreat and seek a different volunteer for the day of the retreat.

  1. Qi Kung at Carol’s Retreat.
    Council agreed that Brock contact Carol to offer movement session at Carol’s retreat.
    Suzan suggested this as a possibility given the success of the sessions at Christina’s retreat.
  2. Special Year-End Online Gatherings
    Brock is considering offering an online  2-hour pre- Christmas and after Christmas evening on Zoom in keeping with what he has offered in past years.
    Council agreed to the idea.
  3. Next Council Meeting: ??

2021/01/28

Victoria IMS Council Meeting Minutes Draft
Thursday, Jan 28th, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Online
(Facilitated by Brock Brown)

Present:
June Fukushima, Brock Brown (Chair), Brian Chapel, Bruce MacRae, Kevin Keliher (Secretary), Rhonda Duncan

Absent with Regrets:
None

Agenda Items:
VIMS Council welcomes Kevin Keliher

  1. Review and Approve Agenda

Motion from Brock to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (Nov 19th, 2020)

Motion from Brock to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
  • Sunday Night Zoom Sits – Dec 20th Zoom session – “Buddhamas” Brock led a guided meditation with some reflections, Margo told a Jataka Tale, followed by shared singing of Christmas Carols with Buddhist lyrics (lyrics by Ajahn Sona)
  • Dec 27 Zoom session – Brock led a guided meditation and then introduced Tempel Smith to the community. Tempel then gave a dharma talk followed by Q&A
  • Thanks to June Fukushima – Tech host, Kiko Brown – Registrar, Suzan Denis – volunteer back-up Tech host.
  • Jan 23 Heather Martin one-day Zoom Retreat – Volunteers:
  • Registrar – David Axon
  • Manager – Kevin Keliher
  • Support team – Brian Chapel, Bruce MacRae
  • Tech host – Suzan Denis
  • Co-ordinator – Bruce MacRae
  • Number of Participants: 87 (112 Total signed up, Zoom report – 96 participants)
  1. Finances: 
  • Accounts Reporting Period Nov 1 2020 – Nov 30 2020

Chequing: $ 7,051.88
Savings:    $ 7,780.21
TOTAL:     $14,832.09

  • Accounts Reporting Period Dec 1 2020 – Dec 31 2020

Chequing: $ 5,494.60
Savings:    $ 7,780.87
TOTAL:     $13,275.47

Charitable donations from VIMS made to Birken Monastery ($250), Wat Metta ($200 US), and Dharmaseed ($200 US)

Payment of $275. Made to Suzan Denis for Zoom hosting of Christina Feldman retreat

Payment of $600. Made to Suzan Denis for Zoom hosting of Carol Wilson retreat

  • Review and Acceptance of the Jan – Dec 2020 VIMS Financial Report. Circulated by email. Motion from June to accept the budget for 2020. Carried.
  • Review and Acceptance of the 2021 Budget. Circulated by email. Motion from June to accept the budget for first ½ of 2021. Carried.
  1. Sunday Night Community Sit – Still on hold
  2. Communications – newsletter, website, Constant Contact
  • There is now a captcha on the Constant Contact registration form. We haven’t had any more problems with bots registering for retreats.
  • Heather Martin has requested the contact information of those who attended her January 23rd zoom one-day retreat. Bruce is to inform Heather that 1) due to the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation we cannot share this information and 2) we will send an email to all the participants informing them to contact Heather about her future zoom retreats.
  • June will confirm that Suzan Denis is aware of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.
  1. Retreats
  • 2021 Retreat Programs

Jan 23 Heather Martin – Zoom one-day – Completed. Thank you to volunteers (Brian Chapel, Bruce MacRae, David Axon, Kevin Keliher) and Suzan Denis.

  • Upcoming Zoom Retreats

Feb 20 Margo McLoughlin – Zoom one-day, Registrar Joanna Stonechapel, Manager – Joe Barrett
March 13 Adrianne Ross- Zoom one-day, Registrar Sheila Whincup, Manager – Louise Takeda
April 17 Tuere Sala – Zoom one-day, Registrar Kiko Brown, Manager Carol Mousseau
May 16 Tempel Smith – Zoom one-day, Registrar Josephine Tobin, Manager Metta VanderVliet

Brock asked for feedback on the workability of continuing to run one day retreats. Council felt it was the best approach at this time.

  • The following 2021 retreats were determined when we were planning for in-person retreats, mainly at Goward House (before COVID-19 and our Zoom method of offering retreats). This schedule will likely change.
  • Discussion of VIMS Summer/Fall offerings given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation

August 14/15 Ajaan Geoff (Sidney Shoal Center)
Sept 18 Brock Brown
Oct 16/17 Howie Cohn
Nov 13/14 Ajahn Candasiri

  • Goward House rental rates will increase from $750 per weekend to $900 per weekend after the 2021 contracts we have in place (still a preferred rate). Motion from Brock that if we are renting Goward House in the fall 2021 we volunteer to start paying the new rate to help them out:
  • If August Retreat is a zoom retreat the Aranya Refuge would prefer to take on hosting it themselves. VIMS’s job would be to mention it in the VIMS Newsletter.
  • Motion from June to remove Ajaan Geoff’s in person August retreat due to COVID-19: Carried. Brock will contact Shoal Centre and cancel this retreat and ask for refund.
  • Brock indicated he would agree to lead a one-day zoom retreat in September.
  • June made a motion that Brock would follow up with the teachers for the other fall retreats to inquire about their availability and consider the options considering the uncertainty with regard to COVID. Carried.
  • Reminder to prepare 2020 year-end Reports for the AGM (maybe AGM in June, 2021?)
  • Brock will do a president report, June to do a financial report, Bruce will do a communications report, Brian will do a Constant Contact report, Rhonda will do a retreat statistics report.

Next Council Meeting every other month. Next meeting will be on Thursday, March 25th, 2021.

2020/10/01 VIMS Council Meeting

Victoria IMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)
Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
Online meeting
(chaired by Brock Brown)

Present:
Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel , June Fukushima, Sandra Joy (until 7:30 p.m.)
Absent with Regrets:
None

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:
    Motion from Bruce to approve the agenda. Carried.
  2. Sandra stepping down from council:
    Brock thanked Sandra for her contributions. Sandra thanked the rest of council. All shared reflections on the years past. Sandra left the meeting at 7:30 p.m.
  3. Brian took the minutes.
  4. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (August 20th, 2020):
    There were no changes to the draft minutes.  Motion from Rhonda to approve the minutes. Carried.
  5. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
    A total of 47 people attended Brock’s online retreat.
    At any given time there were about 25 people connected.
  6. Finances
    The January thru August financial report from Wei Wu was circulated to all council members by email prior to the meeting.
    Accounts Reporting Period Aug 1 2020 – Aug 31 2020

Chequing: $   3015.34
Savings:   $   7323.93
TOTAL:    $10,339.27

Event insurance cancelled – waiting for refund cheque
June will ask Suzan to send us an invoice for the work she did for us on the two previous retreats.
June motioned to receive the Jan-Aug Financial Report. Carried.
Rhonda will replace Sandra as a signer for our accounts at Coast Capital Savings.

  1. Sunday Night Sit
    Still on hold due to pandemic.       
  1. Communications (newlsetter, website, Constant Contact)
    Motion from Brock to pay $150 for 3 years of automatic website backups. Carried.
    June could not download a report from Constant Contact. The company tells us that the open rate for our emails is well above the industry standard. 50% of that happens on on mobile devices.
    June talked about how appropriate the tone of the newsletter is.
    Rhonda agreed to take over from Sandra as the owner of the Zoom account after Christina’s retreat.
  1. Future Online Retreats:
  • Joanna found a way to get Zoom to generate a list of meeting attendees. That is all we really need.
  • Brock suggested that for the first part of 2020 we ask the scheduled teachers to do one-day online retreats because of the difficulty of getting volunteers. One-day events require less of a commitment than an entire weekend so they are less intimidating for new helpers.
  • Brock suggested adding a retreat in March, asking Tuere to move hers back by one week and asking all teachers to make their retreats one-day events. This would bring more regularity to our 2021 retreat schedule.
  • Discussion of possible managers for future online retreats.
  • It would be nice to modify the registrar’s role so that it is concluded when the retreat begins.
  • The feed back from our first two online retreats has been very positive and encouraging.
  • 2020 Retreat Programs remaining
    • Oct 17/18 Christina Feldman
    • Nov 14/15 Carol Wilson
  1. Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Next Council Meeting
November 19th, 2020 online at 7:00 p.m.

2020/06/11 Council minutes AGM 2020

Victoria Insight Meditation Society (VIMS)
 Annual General Meeting – Minutes (approved)
Thursday June 11, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
Online meeting
Agenda Items:

  1. Call to order

The meeting started at 7:15 p.m.  Welcome by the Chair.

  1. Establish Quorum (minimum 3 members per VIMS’ bylaws)

Council Members: Brock Brown, Brian Chapel, Rhonda Duncan, June Fukushima, Bruce MacRae, Sandra Joy
Members: Rod House, Joyce Elliott, Joan Glover, John Hilditch
Guests: Isabelle House
Absent with regrets: None.

  1. Approve Agenda

Motion from Brian Chapel to approve the agenda.
Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes from June 13th, 2019 AGM

Motion from Rod House to approve the minutes from the June 13th, 2019 AGM.
Carried.

  1. Financial Statement for January to December 2019
    June Fukushima continued to fulfill the role of Treasurer in 2019 and Wei Wu the role of Bookkeeper.  Thanks to both June and Wei for their ongoing efficient oversight of Victoria IMS finances.

Account balances as of December 31st, 2019:

Chequing Account:              $2,429.37
Savings Account:                 $6,815.43
TOTAL:                                  $9,244.80
June Fukushima spoke to the Profit & Loss Budget vs. Actual figures and to the Balance Sheet, answering all questions posed.
June motioned to receive the 2019 financials.
Carried.

  1. Review of Financial Records
    There was no review of the Financial Records this year due to the lockdown limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It should be done when things open up again.

Bruce MacRae motioned for John Hilditch to conduct the review when it becomes feasible.
Carried

  1. Determine if audit is required
    John Hilditch moved that, based on the review of the Financial Records in previous years, we do not require an audit.

Carried. 

  1. Directors’ reports

The reports were pre-circulated to the members of Victoria IMS. Brock Brown proposed thanks to the executive for their efforts on behalf of Victoria IMS
Motion from Brock Brown to accept the Directors’ reports.
Carried.

  1. Election of officers

All current directors were willing to stand for another year and informed Brock Brown, as Chair, that they met the necessary requirements. Brock Brown asked if there were further nominations and there were none.
Officers acclaimed on slate presented:

Brock Brown             – President
Bruce MacRae         – Vice-President
June Fukushima       – Treasurer
Sandra Joy                – Secretary
Brian Chapel             – Director at large
Rhonda Duncan       – Director at large
Motion from Brock Brown to accept the slate of council.
Carried.

  1. General
  2. There was a general discussion about the retreats including the numbers of attendees, observable trends, the presence of young people, and participants’ appreciation for the actions Victoria IMS took to facilitate an all gender washroom for use during retreats.
  3. Joyce Elliott thanked June Fukushima for organizing and replenishing the retreat boxes with supplies in between the retreats.
  4. Thanks were given to Rod House for taking care of website hosting affairs for so many years. This responsibility has been transferred now to Bruce MacRae.
  5. Brock Brown spoke to the cancellation of some retreats – April (Pascal Auclair), May (Ajaan Geoff) and July (Howie Cohn) – due to the COVID-19 pandemic and also the suspension of the in-person Sunday Night Community Sit at the yoga studio.
  6. Brock also spoke to the fact that Council was currently looking into the possibility of holding our fall retreats in a virtual model.
  7. Adjournment

Motion from Brock Brown to Adjourn.
Carried – 8:50p.m.

2020/08/20 Council Minutes

Victoria IMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)
Thursday, August 20th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
Online meeting
(facilitated by Brock Brown)
Present:
Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel, June Fukushima, Sandra Joy
Absent with Regrets:
None
Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:
    Motion from Sandra to approve the agenda. Carried.
  2. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (May 21st, 2020):
    There were no changes to the draft minutes from the May 21st, 2020 council meeting.  Motion from June to approve the minutes. Carried.
  3. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
    A number of impromptu council meetings were held in June and July (specifically June 18th and 29th) due to the decision to move the balance of our 2020 retreats from an in-person model to a virtual (online) model. There were a number of decisions that needed to be made regarding hiring a Zoom Technical Support person, acquiring the Zoom software for Victoria IMS and setting up automated banking for online dana. No formal minutes were taken at these meetings but details of the decision-making can be found below.

    Council held an online meeting with Wayne Shelley and Sandy Dowling of BCIMS to learn from them how they offered virtual retreats using Zoom Meeting. They shared some of their documentation ahead of time and were very helpful in answering our questions and concerns. In appreciation, Council agreed to send a donation to BCIMS of $100. June mailed a cheque to them and we received a note of thanks.

    Council agreed to purchase a Zoom Pro account (basic with up to 100 participant capability) with payment to be made on a monthly basis. Sandra Joy holds the account on behalf of Victoria IMS and is reimbursed for the monthly expense on receipt of the invoice from Zoom. June mails a cheque to Sandra for $22.14

    Council agreed to set up e-transfer capability with Coast Capital as well as a Victoria IMS PayPal account for receiving dana. June set up both accounts. PayPal is held in the name of vimsdana@gmail.com.
    Bruce MacRae and June Fukushima have access to PayPal and the vimsdana@gmail.com

    Council agreed to enter into a contract with Suzan Denis (Salt Spring Island) to act as the Zoom Technical Support person for Tuere Sala’s retreat. In addition she would provide training for the Victoria IMS Zoom volunteer team at no charge. June has been the main contact with Suzan with regard to her contract.

    Brock Brown contacted Tuere Sala to see if she could teach a one day online retreat for us in August. This was to be the first online retreat for the Victoria IMS Zoom team (a trial run). Tuere was available and planning began.  Several practice sessions were held with Suzan leading the VIMS Zoom team and as well, a number of one-on-one role-specific sessions with various Victoria IMS volunteers.

  4. Finances
    The May to July financial report from Wei Wu was circulated to all council members by email prior to the meeting.
    Account Balances since the May 21st, 2020 council meeting:
    Reporting Period May 1st to May 31st, 2020:

Chequing:         $2,645.59
Savings:           $6,821.26
TOTAL:            $9,466.85
      Reporting Period June 1st to June 30th, 2020:

Chequing:         $2,650.81
Savings:           $6,822.10
TOTAL:            $9,472.91

Reporting Period July 1st to July 31st, 2020:

Chequing:         $2,443.87
Savings:           $7,323.00
TOTAL:            $9,766.87

June motioned to receive the May, June and July Financial Report. Carried.

New ways to receive dana:
PayPal Account: Bruce MacRae and June Fukushima have passwords to PayPal so that there are two people monitoring the transfer of donations within PayPal to the Coast Capital account. After receiving PayPal donations related to Tuere’s retreat, Bruce and June checked the PayPal account. June then emailed Bruce that she would be transferring donations in PayPal to Coast Capital.
E-transfers: E-transfer capability with automatic deposit to vimsdana@gmail.com has been set up. June Fukushima and Bruce MacRae have passwords/access to this gmail account
Request for Access:
Given that dana deposits must be recorded individually by our bookkeeper Wei Wu for bookkeeping within Quickbooks, June has asked Kiko Brown for assistance to enter the online deposits into a spreadsheet to be sent to Wei. It would be easier for Kiko to do this if she had access to the vimsdana@gmail.com account as each transaction is reported in this email account.  No one who has access to the vimsdana@gmail.com account can take action with any of the donations (e-transfer is automatic and PayPal transfers to Coast Capital are done through PayPal).
June requested to give Kiko Brown access to the vimsdana@gmail.com account for the purpose of logging all online dana.  This data will then be passed to our bookkeeper. June and Brock recused themselves from this vote.
Motion from Rhonda to give Kiko Brown access to vimsdana@gmail.com.  Carried.  Thanks to Kiko for assisting with this task.

 Budget Considerations:
June is recommending that we discontinue offering scholarships for the balance of 2020 due to the uncertainty of Victoria IMS dana/income.
Motion from June to suspend scholarships. Carried.
Bruce will change the website to reflect this decision.

Contract with Suzan Denis (Zoom Technical Support):
Victoria IMS has entered into an arrangement with Suzan Denis to act as our key Zoom Technical Support person for the forthcoming retreats. We will pay her on receipt of her invoice. Council discussed the retreats in general, roles, training and volunteer staffing.  It was agreed that we’ll manage things retreat by retreat and see how it goes.

Insurance: June recommends that Victoria IMS cancel the event insurance policy until we need it again. Council discussed the pros and cons of doing this e.g. premiums may be higher when we want to take it out again (if we cancelled). Brock motioned for June to look into cancelling the policy or getting a discount of some kind. Carried. 

  1. Tuere Sala Retreat
    Tuere Sala retreat update (August 7/8, 2020): There were 58 participants on Friday evening (7th) and 53 participants on Saturday (8th). This was our first online retreat and was very well received. Appreciation was expressed by a number of the participants. Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinator: Brock Brown; Manager: Metta VanderVliet; Registrar: Kiko Brown; Zoom Support Team: Suzan Denis (Consultant/Zoom Host), Brian Chapel (Q&A Chat Host), Bruce MacRae (screen share, recording, audio), Rhonda Duncan (Communications).
    As this was our first online retreat there were some issues that need to be resolved for future retreats (e.g. PayPal payments on the US accounts, feedback questions in the post-retreat reflection letter, use of the Zoom spotlight feature during Q&A). Dana for Victoria IMS was given by approximately 50% of participants.
  1. Future Online Retreats:
    Council discussed the various things that need to be considered for future online retreats including: volunteers with some knowledge of Zoom, Suzan’s role ongoing, the possible use of purchasing Zoom add-ons such as Webinar and additional participant numbers (greater than 100), the use of breakout rooms, etc.
    The Zoom Technical Host or Manager need to check in with the teacher ahead of the retreat to determine their needs/preferences such as Screen Share, use of Gallery View, handling of Q&A (questions direct to teacher via chat/use of raised hand feature), etc.
  1. Sunday Night Community Sit:
  • Council discussed the Sunday Night Sit and decided that there will be no in-person sitting at the yoga studio for the balance of 2020 and the early part of 2021. In light of the pandemic we will review the situation again in the spring of 2021. There are also no plans to provide an equivalent in the online model.
  1. Communications:
  • Newsletters went out on June 26th and July 31st, 2020. The August retreat with Tuere Sala was highlighted in both.  Thanks to Bruce for his consistent, ongoing work in producing this monthly newsletter.
  1. 2020 Programs:
    • Upcoming retreats/events:

The remaining retreats of 2020 will be held online (in the virtual model using Zoom Meeting).

  • September 19 – Brock Brown
  • October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
  • November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.
  • Completed retreats/events:
  • January 18/19 – Heather Martin.
  • February 29 / March 1 – Margo McLoughlin.
  • April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair – CANCELLED
  • May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff – CANCELLED
  • July 18 – Howie Cohn – CANCELLED
  • August 7/8 – Tuere Sala – Online
  1. 2021 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2021 retreat schedule.  Due to the pandemic, the retreats in the early part of 2021 will likely be held online. As the year progresses the situation will be monitored to see if it’s feasible to begin holding in-person retreats again at Goward House and the Sidney Shoal Centre.                           .

  • January 23/24 – Heather Martin.
  • February 27/28 – Margo McLoughlin.
  • April 17/18 – Tuere Sala.
  • May 22/23 – Adrianne Ross.
  • August 13/14 – Ajaan Geoff. (at Sidney Shoal Centre)
  • September 18 – Brock Brown.
  • October 16/17 – Howie Cohn.
  • November 13/14 – Ajahn Candasiri.
  1. Other:

Grateful thanks go to the entire Victoria IMS Zoom team of volunteers: Rhonda Duncan, Kiko Brown, Metta VanderVliet, Sandra Joy, Brian Chapel, Bruce MacRae and June Fukushima, whose sterling efforts supported the successful launch of the Victoria IMS virtual/online retreat process.
An extra special ‘thank you’ to June, Bruce and Brian for all the additional work they did during the months of June and July to set up and test financial/banking protocols, develop and send out newsletters, modify our website and develop and test invitations/notifications in Constant Contact for registration, reminder and post-retreat feedback notices.

KUDOS TO ALL! 

  1. Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Next Council Meeting

September 24th, 2020 – 6:00-7:30p.m.

Weather permitting, the meeting will be in Rhonda’s back yard otherwise it will take place online.

2020/05/21 Council minutes

Victoria IMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)
Thursday, May 21st, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
Online Meeting
(Facilitated by Brock Brown)
Present:
Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel, June Fukushima, Sandra Joy
Absent with Regrets:
None

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:
    Motion from Brock to approve the agenda. Carried.
    Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (April 23rd, 2020):
    There were no changes to the draft minutes from the March council meeting.  Motion from Brock to approve the minutes. Carried.
    Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
    There is a credit for Ajaan Geoff and Than Tim for 2 flights on Air Canada due to the flights that were cancelled for the May visit. The credits are with Expedia.
    No payment was made to Helga Beer Yoga for the month of May for the Sunday evening rental of the yoga studio. The Sunday evening sit is on hold until further notice and we will wait for Helga to contact us.
    Brock has emailed the Shoal Center in Sidney to cancel the July 18 one-day rental (Howie Cohn’s retreat was cancelled). He has not had a reply yet. Victoria IMS has paid a $100 deposit on the rental.
  2. Finances

The April financial report from Wei Wu was circulated to all council members by email prior to the meeting.Account Balance since the April 23rd, 2020 council meeting:
Account Balance as of May 1st, 2020:
Chequing:         $2,645.59
Savings:           $6,820.39

TOTAL:            $9,465.98

June motioned to receive the March financial report. Carried.
June spoke with our insurance agent regards the possibility of receiving some temporary reduction or adjustment to the premiums for the Victoria IMS policy as a result of COVID-19 (cancellation of retreats at Goward House and the Sunday Night Sit at the yoga studio). June was advised to keep the current policy going. If we interrupt it now, whenever we decide to restart or reinstate it, the premiums will likely be higher at that time than they are currently.

3. Sunday Night Community Sit:

There was some discussion on what to do next for the Sunday Night Community Sit. Suggestions included having an outdoor sit, facilitating an online offering, the use of Insight Timer, and waiting until the fall to return to the yoga studio with masks, social distancing and sanitizing procedures in place. No decisions were made.

Communications:

A mid-month newsletter went out on May 15th with information about some online dharma offerings. The next newsletter is scheduled for release on May 29th.

4. 2020 Programs:
Council had a discussion of the fall programming in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and what the possibilities were for proceeding with the retreats. Council discussed the possibility of holding the retreats in a virtual manner and what this might entail – what software we could use, how we could staff the operations, how we might handle dana, etc.  We also needed to know what other groups were doing.  Sandra reported back on her initial conversation with Wayne Shelley of BCIMS who have successfully moved their retreat offerings to a virtual model. Brock will contact Carol and Christina so we can understand how they’re both offering their teachings in the time of COVID.

Upcoming retreats/events:
September 19 – Brock Brown
October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.

Completed retreats/events:
January 18/19 – Heather Martin.
February 29 / March 1 – Margo McLoughlin.
April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair – CANCELLED
May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff – CANCELLED
July 18 – Howie Cohn – CANCELLED

5. 2021 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2021 retreat schedule.  All retreats will take place at Goward House unless otherwise indicated and we will continue to monitor the potential impact of the pandemic on social gatherings and consequently on the 2021 retreat schedule.                          .
January 23/24 – Heather Martin.
February 27/28 – Margo McLoughlin.
April 17/18 – Tuere Sala.
May 22/23 – Adrianne Ross.
August 13/14 – Ajaan Geoff. (at Sidney Shoal Centre)
September 18 – Brock Brown.
October 16/17 – Howie Cohn.
November 13/14 – Ajahn Candasiri.

6. Other:

The Victoria IMS Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled to be held on June 11th, 2020 beginning at 7:00pm. This will be held as an online meeting using Zoom Meeting.

The majority of Directors’ reports have been received and feedback provided.

The AGM Agenda and Council Reports should be sent out by May 28th.

7.Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Next Council Meeting
July 16th, 2020 – 7:00-8:30p.m.
Online meeting.

2019/11/21 VIMS Council Minutes

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

June and Brock’s home

Present:          

June Fukushima, Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel

Absent with Regrets: 

Sandra Joy.

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda: 

Motion from Bruce MacRae to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (September 5th, 2019): 

There were no changes to the draft minutes from the September council meeting.  Motion from June Fukushima to approve the amended minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates: 
  2. June Fukushima agreed to take minutes in Sandra’s absence.
  • Vance Pryor retreat update (October 12/13, 2019): There were 49 participants on Saturday (12th) and 40 participants on Sunday (13th). Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinators: June Fukushima and Lawrie Thicke; Co-managers: June Fukushima and Sheena Wilson; Registrar: Joan Glover; Sound: Bruce MacRae. 
  • Howie Cohen retreat update (November 9/10, 2019): There were 91 participants on Saturday (9th) and 76 participants on Sunday (10th).  Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinator: Brock Brown; Co-managers: Kathy Jago and Josephine Johns; Registrar: Brian Chapel; Sound: Bruce MacRae and Metta VanderVliet. Thanks to Brock and Joyce Elliott for driving Howie to and from the retreat location.
  1. Finance
  2. June Fukushima presented the September 2019 Financial Report prepared by Wei Wu (reports were distributed to council members prior to the meeting).
  • The key points of the financial report were discussed.  June Fukushima motioned to receive the September report. Carried.
  • Account Balances since the September 5th, 2019 council meeting:

Account Balances as of October 1st, 2019: 

Chequing:      $2,058.63

Savings:      $6,811.13

TOTAL:      $8,869.76

Account Balances as of November 1st, 2019:

Chequing:      $2,973.25

Savings:      $6,812.58

TOTAL:      $9,785.83

  • Quickbooks has now been installed on the new computer and the software is registered to June Fukushima.
  • Two scholarship requests have been approved for 2020.  Each is for the value of $250.
  • Council agreed that should there be sufficient excess funds at the end of 2019 we would consider giving donations to Dharma Seed, Birken Forest Monastery and Wat Metta.
  • Sunday Night Community Sit:
  • Sandra Joy provided a written report as she could not attend the council meeting:
  • The scheduling and rotation of facilitators is working well with Kevin Keliher doing most of the administration in collaboration with Sandra. Sandra updates the website facilitator information as soon as everyone is confirmed for the coming month. Attendance seems to be steady with quite a lot of different faces – drop-ins – and many of the regulars still attending.  
  • 2020 Sunday sit facilitators are scheduled through to the end of June.
  • Communications:   
  • The annual fee for Constant Contact has been paid for 2020 and Bruce MacRae has replaced Rod House as the contact person for payment.
  • The problems experienced with our retreat registration software at the time of Ajaan Geoff’s retreat seem to have settled and we have decided to forgo further discussion on the matter with the vendor.
  1. 2020 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2020 retreat schedule.  All retreats will take place at Goward House.

  • January 18/19 – Heather Martin. 
    • February 22/23 – Margo McLoughlin.
    • April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair. 
    • May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff.
    • September 19 – Brock Brown. 
    • October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
    • November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.

Thanks to Isy House for finding the volunteer Coordinators, Managers, Registrars and Sound Technicians for the 2020 retreats and thanks to 
Joyce Elliott for communicating the provisional teams.

  • A proposal from Aranya Refuge was discussed.  The proposal concerned the sharing of costs for Ajaan Geoff’s visit in May 2020. June Fukushima and Brock Brown recused themselves from this decision as they have association with both Aranya Refuge and Victoria IMS.  Bruce MacRae will coordinate a response from the other council members.
  1. 2021 Programs:
  2. Discussions and planning for the 2021 retreat programs are well underway and a model for inviting teachers was agreed upon.
  3. In 2021 Victoria IMS will no longer have a volunteer organizer for the staffing of the weekend retreats.  Council discussed various ideas to secure volunteers and to manage the operations for the retreats.
  4. Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Next Council Meeting 

January 16th, 2020 – 7:00-9:00p.m. 

Brian’s home.

2020/04/20 VIMs Council Meeting

Victoria IMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Online Meeting 

(Facilitated by Brock Brown)

Present:          

Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel, June Fukushima, Sandra Joy

Absent with Regrets: 

None

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:  One new item concerning scholarships was added to the agenda in Business arising from the Minutes and Updates (point #3 below). 

Motion from Sandra to approve the amended agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (March 19th, 2020): 

There were no changes to the draft minutes from the March council meeting.  Motion from Brock to approve the minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates: 
  2. Donation: as agreed at the previous Victoria IMS meeting, a donation of $300 Australian has been made to Wat Buddha Dhamma to help with their rebuilding efforts following the damage to the monastery from wildfires. Brock has let Ajahn Tiradhammo know about the donation.
  • Scholarships: 
    • At the previous Victoria IMS Council meeting the decision was made to offer scholarships to the People of Colour (POC) group organizing a one day retreat with Anushka Fernandopulle. This daylong was cancelled due to the pandemic and as a result the scholarship has also been cancelled
    • There were two other scholarships that were offered to applicants for retreats that have been cancelled. These will be refunded to Victoria IMS. 
  • Pascal Auclair’s retreat scheduled for April 11/12 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Goward House has reimbursed Victoria IMS for the rental costs of the weekend.
  • The May 23/24 weekend retreat that was to be led by Ajaan Geoff, co-sponsored with Aranya Refuge has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Goward House has reimbursed Victoria IMS for the rental costs of the weekend. Brock is looking into Victoria IMS obtaining a refund for the monks’ flights that were cancelled.
  • No payment was made to Helga Beer Yoga for the month of April 2020 as the Sunday Night sits have also been cancelled due to the pandemic. We will wait to hear from Helga about the coming months.
  1. Finances
  2. The March financial report from Wei Wu was circulated to all council members by email prior to the meeting.
  • Account Balance since the March 19th, 2020 council meeting:

Account Balance as of April 1st, 2020: 

Chequing:      $1,430.17

Savings:      $6,819.55

TOTAL:      $8,249.72

The amount shown above does not include a deposit made to the Victoria IMS Coast Capital Chequing account on April 21st for the two refunds from Goward House (for the April and May cancelled retreats) and a refund for a cancelled flight. In addition there is a further deposit to be made from the scholarships returned due to cancelled retreats.

June motioned to receive the March financial report. Carried.

  • June will speak to our insurance company to see whether we might be able to get a reduction of our insurance premiums or perhaps another type of temporary ’break’ as there may be no further retreats this year at Goward House or Sunday Night Sits at the yoga studio.
  • Sunday Night Community Sit:
  • As the regular Sunday Night in-person sits are currently suspended due to the pandemic, it was suggested by some of the facilitators that we move to an online format. After some discussion, Council agreed that we should wait until August and see what the COVID-19 situation looks like then.  At that time if possible, we can start up the in-person sits at the yoga studio with a new set of parameters (social distancing, sanitizing, etc.) or we can consider a commitment to the virtual format.  Sandra will get in touch with Metta and Kevin.

NOTE: Launching a virtual sit model would require a fair amount of facilitator coordination, implementation of appropriate software and operational expertise across all facilitators. 

  • Communications:   
  • The newsletter went out to our mailing list on March 27th with information about cancelled programing and another communique went out on April 17th with information about various online offerings from other organizations. 
  • There will be no newsletter in April but we will send one out in May.  
  1. 2020 Programs:

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided to cancel Howie Cohn’s retreat in July. There is uncertainty as to whether it will be possible to hold in-person retreats in September, October and November so we will wait to see how renewed social engagement plays out once provincial restrictions are lifted. In the meantime Sandra will look into the feasibility of conducting these retreats in a virtual model. 

  • Upcoming retreats/events:
    • July 18 – Howie Cohn – CANCELLED
    • September 19 – Brock Brown 
    • October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
    • November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.
    • Completed retreats/events:
    • January 18/19 – Heather Martin.
    • February 29 / March 1 – Margo McLoughlin.
    • April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair – CANCELLED
    • May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff – CANCELLED
  1. 2021 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2021 retreat schedule.  All retreats will take place at Goward House unless otherwise indicated and we will continue to monitor the potential impact of the pandemic on social gatherings and consequently on the 2021 retreat schedule.                          .

  • January 23/24 – Heather Martin.
  • February 27/28 – Margo McLoughlin. 
  • April 17/18 – Tuere Sala.
  • May 22/23 – Adrianne Ross.
  • August 13/14 – Ajaan Geoff.  (at Sidney Shoal Centre)
  • September 18 – Brock Brown.
  • October 16/17 – Howie Cohn.
  • November 13/14 – Ajahn Candasiri. 
  1. Other:
  2. This year the Victoria IMS Annual General Meeting (AGM) will likely be held as an online/virtual meeting due to COVID-19. Council proposed having the AGM on June 11th, 2020.  Brock will contact the non-Council members to see if that date works for them.
  3. Annual reports are to be ready for review by May 18th so feedback can be provided at the next council meeting on May 21st.  
  4. Reports are assigned as follows:
    1. Report from the Chair – Brock
    1. Finance – June
    1. Retreat Statistics – and Volunteers – Rhonda
    1. Communications – Bruce, June and Brian
    1. Sunday Night Sit – Sandra
    1. Special Events – Brock

Sandra will consolidate the reports into a single document before distributing them to the invitees for the AGM.

  1. Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Next Council Meeting 

May 21st, 2020 – 7:00-8:00p.m. 

Online meeting.

2020/03/19 Vims Council Minutes

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, March 19th, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Online Meeting 

(Facilitated by Brock Brown)

Present:          

Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel, June Fukushima, Sandra Joy

Absent with Regrets: 

None

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda: 

Motion from Brock to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (January 23rd, 2020): 

There were no changes to the draft minutes from the January council meeting.  Motion from Brock to approve the minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates: 
  2. Margo McLoughlin retreat update (February 29/March 1, 2020): There were 62 participants on Saturday (29th) and 32 participants on Sunday (1st). The retreat was well received and appreciation was expressed by a number of the participants. Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinator: Joyce Elliott; Co-managers: Louise Takeda and Metta VanderVliet; Registrar: Joanna Stonechapel; Sound: Metta VanderVliet. 
  3. Finances
  4. Account Balances since the January 23rd, 2020 council meeting:

Account Balances as of February 1st, 2020: 

Chequing:      $3,780.52

Savings:      $6,816.88

TOTAL:      $10,597.40

Account Balances as of March 1st, 2020:

Chequing:      $2,117.67

Savings:      $6,818.23

TOTAL:      $8,935.90

  • Charitable donations from Victoria IMS to Wat Metta, Birken Forest Monastery and Dharmaseed have been made.
  • A decision was made by the Council, via email discussion, to offer $250.00 in scholarships to the People of Colour (POC) group which is organizing a one day retreat on April 18th, 2020 with Anushka Fernandopulle.
  • Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the Council agreed to cancel the retreat with Pascal Auclair scheduled for April 11/12.  As a result of this decision, it was also agreed that we would reimburse Pascal for the portion of his flight to BC for which we were responsible – that is $213.25.
  • Goward House has been supportive with regard to the cancellation of Pascal’s retreat and has agreed to fully reimburse Victoria IMS for the rental already paid. 
  • The flights for the monks from Wat Metta (they will visit in May) were cancelled and had to be rebooked. Brock took care of these logistics and was reimbursed in February. 
  • Sunday Night Community Sit:
  • As concern about the spread of the COVID-19 virus escalated nationally, and following the cancellation of Pascal Auclair’s retreat in April, Council discussed, via email, the possibility of suspending the Sunday Night Sit. We agreed that it would be wise to cancel the sittings until such time as we were able to start again.
  • June will contact Helga Beer (from whom we rent the yoga studio for the Sunday Night Sit) to request a pause in our rent payment for the month of April.
  • Communications:   
  • A special announcement went out to our mailing list on March 16th, 2020 to notify everyone about the cancellation of Pascal Auclair’s April retreat. In addition, the website was updated to show this cancellation.
  • A special announcement regarding the cancellation of the Sunday Night Sit will go out to our mailing list on Friday 20th March, 2020. The website has been updated to reflect this change. Included in this notice will be details of Pascal’s online retreat, to be held on March 27th and 28th, 2020.  This retreat is being sponsored by BCIMS.
  • The monthly newsletter, scheduled for the end of March will contain information about a number of online resources that might be helpful to our Sangha during this time of social distancing.  It will also contain a supportive and encouraging message from Ajahn Jayasaro, a senior monk in the Ajahn Chah lineage 
  1. 2020 Programs:

All retreats will take place at Goward House unless otherwise indicated.

  • Upcoming retreats/events:
    • May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff.
    • July 18 – Howie Cohn (at Sidney Shoal Centre)
    • September 19 – Brock Brown. 
    • October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
    • November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.
    • Completed retreats/events:
    • January 18/19 – Heather Martin.
    • February 29 / March 1 – Margo McLoughlin.
    • April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair – CANCELLED
  1. 2021 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2021 retreat schedule.  All retreats will take place at Goward House unless otherwise indicated                           .

  • January 23/24 – Heather Martin.
  • February 27/28 – Margo McLoughlin. 
  • April 17/18 – Tuere Sala.
  • May 22/23 – Adrianne Ross.
  • August 13/14 – Ajaan Geoff.  (at Sidney Shoal Centre)
  • September 18 – Brock Brown.
  • October 16/17 – Howie Cohn.
  • November 13/14 – Ajahn Candasiri. 
  1. Other:
  2. It was suggested that Victoria IMS consider giving a donation to Wat Buddha Dhamma Monastery in Australia where Ajahn Tiradhammo resides.  This monastery suffered extensive damage in the recent fires. Ajahn Tiradhammo has been a frequent visitor to Victoria and his presence, humour and wisdom have brought benefit to our sangha.  Motion from Rhonda to send this donation.  Carried.   
  3. Meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Next Council Meeting 

April 16th, 2020 – 7:00-9:00p.m. 

Online meeting.

VIMS Council Minutes January 2020

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Brian and Joanna’s home

Present:          

Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel

Absent with Regrets: 

Sandra Joy, June Fukushima

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda: 

Motion from Brock to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (November 21th, 2019): 

There were no changes to the draft minutes from the November council meeting.  Motion from Bruce to approve the minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates: 
  2. Brian agreed to take minutes in Sandra’s absence.
  • Update from Heather Martin retreat Jan 18/19
    • Attendance:   85 on Saturday    72 on Sunday
    • Coordinator: Bruce MacRae
    • Registrar: Brian Chapel
    • Managers: Karyn Woodland and Sheena Wilson
    • Sound: Bruce MacRae, Louise Owen
  1. Finances
  2. Brock presented the December 2019 Financial Report prepared by Wei Wu (reports were distributed to council members prior to the meeting).
  • The key points of the financial report were discussed. Brock motioned to receive the December report. Carried.
  • Account Balances since the November 21st, 2019 council meeting:

Account Balances as of December 1st, 2019: 

Chequing:      $3,086.80

Savings:      $6,813.98

TOTAL:      $9,900.78

Account Balances as of January 1st, 2019:

Chequing:      $2,429.37

Savings:      $6,815.43

TOTAL:      $9,244.80

  • Total assets at end of 2019 including pre-payments: $11,727.92
  • 2020 Budget from June circulated.
  • Brock motioned to receive the 2020 budget. Carried.
  • Motion from Bruce to set aside $1000 for scholarships (max. $250 each) in 2020. Carried.
  • Motion from Brock to donate 200 USD to Wat Metta, 200 USD to Dharma Seed, 250 CAD to Birken Forest Monastery. Carried.
  • Brief discussion of one-time donation to Wat Buddha Dhamma for rebuilding after Australian fire because of how much Ajahn Tiradhammo has done for VIMS. Set aside for next time when all of council present.
  • Sunday Night Community Sit:
  • Running along smoothly.
  • Kevin continuing in his role.
  • Rhonda to be more involved in the future.
  • Communications:   
  • Next newsletter will include link a to a BCIMS retreat in Nanaimo (Adrianne Ross and others) that has a few openings.
  •  Still looking for someone to take over from Bruce.
  1. 2020 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2020 retreat schedule.  All retreats will take place at Goward House.

  • January 18/19 – Heather Martin. 
    • February 29 / March 1 – Margo McLoughlin.
    • April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair. 
    • May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff.
    • September 19 – Brock Brown. 
    • October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
    • November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.

Still need someone to set up sound equipment for Margo’s retreat.

  1. 2021 Programs:
  2. Heather Martin – January 23/24 – booked
  3. Tuere Sala – April 17/18 – booked
  4. Ajaan Geoff – August 13/14 – date to be investigated
  5. Ajahn Candasiri – November 13/14 – booked
  6. Discussion of teachers and dates for four other retreats.
  7. Need new volunteer organizer to replace Isy. Possibility of Brock doing it and absorbing coordinator role. Bottleneck is finding managers..
  8. Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Next Council Meeting 

March 19th, 2020 – 7:00-9:00p.m. 

Brock and June’s home.