Annual Community Meeting Minutes, December 10, 2023

Annual Community Meeting Minutes, December 10, 2023

I. Election Results—Kenneth

The following four people were elected to the Board – Bryan Wagner, Dennis Greggio, Jane Leu  and Yair Rivlin.  Congratulations.

II. Board Report—Elizabeth

Vision Statement from Still Mountain’s website was read and the importance of sangha was emphasized. 

A few highlights the past year:

The By-law revision (update)  has been completed and  is available on the website. 

There will be joint meeting in January of the Board and Teacher Council to take care of IT business, communication, publicity, etc. and to clarify Still Mountain’s way forward as a sangha regarding the practice and teachings of the Buddha and the Dharma.

A new contract with U of M for the use of Turner was signed in July 2023. There have been some changes, and there may be more coming in 2024. 

Thanks was given to Board members who are leaving:

  • Mariko, member-at-large, who also serves as an informal liaison to Turner
  • Sunil, our Treasurer, who served with us from Florida
  • Kenneth – our Secretary who has also been serving as I.T. liaison
  • Elizabeth is completing her term and stepping down from the Board; she expressed her appreciation for being president and for the opportunity to serve the Sangha

Carol B. has completed the first year of her term, and will continue on the Board.

Gratitude was extended for the important work done by the following committees, teams, and work groups: 

  • The Information & Technology committee – Kenneth, Dennis, Carol B, Yair, Simon
  • Turner Set-up Team -Dorothyann, Karen, Lisa, Carol L. and John 
  • Social committee – Arlene 
  • Community Meeting Team – Jane and Judi P
  • David Lawson’s Memorial Library workgroup— gathered and sorted David’s books, organized a book sale and set up a lending library at Turner. Folks involved in this process include  Karen, Jackie M., Elizabeth, Bilha, Judi P., Judi G., and Dorothyann. Jim McBain built and donated the bookshelf and  Judi P. donated the notebook stand.
    The second anniversary of David’s passing was celebrated with a memorial gathering which included the dedication of the library and words of recognition and gratitude for David’s as Still Mountain’s founding teacher, lead teacher, and enduring spiritual friend.  
  • It was recognized that every contribution and act of generosity is received by the Sangha with gratitude. (Please forgive if any names were omitted)

III. Teacher Council Report—Bilha

Planning and processing ideas for continuing Dharma study 

Classes continue at WCC – taught by Ken, Karen and Bilha

Monday night meditation followed by discussion and sharing, held every other week, taught by – Karen, Hugh and Curt 

Saturday morning meditation – led by Ken

Tuesday morning meditation – led by Karen

Tuesday morning class through Turner, ongoing class investigating the Dharma – taught by Bilha

SM offered several 6-week book study groups in 2023 – led by Jim W.

Working on reorganizing the structure of Sunday mornings, specifically the activities that follow Sunday sitting: Dharma talk, Discussion Sunday, sharing, and Community meeting 

SM sponsored a weekend retreat in October with John Orr

There was a 10-day retreat in October that received a positive response. 

In January 2024 the Teachers Council and Board will hold another joint work meeting.

Classes, meditation times, retreats and Events are on Still Mountain website

IV. Financial Report—Sunil

Still Mountain remains financially stable. We maintain a small balance in the SM PayPal account, and we have four accounts at the Bank of Ann Arbor. Current balances: 

  • General checking account:  $ 8,315.75
  • General savings account:  $ 8,108.97
  • Retreat account:   $ 3,415.66
  • Retreat scholarship account: $ 3,045.99
  • PayPal balance:  $ 200.00 (approx)
  • Total assets:  $ 23,086.37

V. IT Report—Kenneth

Sunday Sitting will continue to be hybrid indefinitely.  

Team is working well. Dennis is the central contact person.

New lapel microphone at Turner allows better hearing for online listeners.

The SM Directory keeps us connected. To login in to the directory, the user name is your email address. You can reset your password by following the prompts on our website. 

New members or anyone not in directory can contact Jane

VI. Questions & Answers and Discussion—Sangha

Newer member Alex was introduced and Princewell recognized as attending in person.

  1. Q: Will there be a teacher to take Mary Grannan’s place? 

It will be considered and process determined. 

  1. Ideas for Teachers’ Council are welcomed. 

Erica gave information on her current retreat and shared possible ideas to consider. 

Arlene gave different experiences she had in another sangha that might be considered. 

  1. Bryan expressed his thoughts about Mary not being gone, but rather being part of us.
  1. People asked about a get together with friends and family to honor Mary.  Mary’s family is planning a funeral or memorial and may want to collaborate with SM sangha 
  2. Someone asked about organizations where they might donate in Mary’s name. We have no information on Mary’s organizations of interest at this time.

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