From Serena DuBois:
The next general meeting of Subud PNW at Bellingham Skagit Valley will be held this coming Saturday, March 9, 2019 starting at 11 AM with latihan. Potluck lunch and the meeting will follow. I am attaching relevant documents including a preliminary agenda which can be added to by members, the minutes of our October 27, 2018 meeting, our February 3, 2019 meeting with the Regional committee members and Nirel Jackson’s report from that meeting.
Serena for the Committee
MEETING AGENDA: Bellingham-SV Group
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Approve October 27, 2018 and Feb. 3 Meeting minutes (attached)
Treasurer’s report — Roosmiwati
Regional and other news [Michael]
Old Business [Michael]: Where do we go from here?
Re-evaluate Day and Time for weekend latihan
Set date for next event
Minutes of Subud PNW at B-SV Meeting
October 27, 2018
Present: Paul and Nadia Woodcock, Rosalyn Neel [briefly], Julia Hurd, Robina Page, Luther Schutz, Roosmiwati Reynolds and Serena and Michael Dubois
Meeting called to order by chair Michael DuBois with a few minutes of quiet.
Minutes of the September 30, 2018 meeting were approved as corrected by the members. We removed “Attached to minutes” from Treasurer’s report last time.
Treasurer’s Report: [Treasurer]: Just under $4500 in bank, all bills paid and $600 or more to be deposited, so we will have about $5200 in bank. In December she will be sending $300 to SD and $1500 to Region for house and donation.
Announcements: We welcomed Rosalyn back, and she said she was glad to be here, see us here, and sleep in her own bed. Re Elisa’s email attached. We agreed to table what to do with SD donation for next business meeting. Julia on new Subud USA Credit Union. The National Office can’t move to the next step on looking into it until a certain number of responses to the online survey. Cats: One cat caught and the other two will be caught when the SPCA has room.
Regional News [chair]: Our Region is looking for a new insurance company mainly due to the Seattle AirBnB. We’re covered till June 2019, and we’ll be informed when the news is available. Menucha registration is way down and the registration date is expired. Problem with the meal plan. The old barn is available because they are not on meal plan.
Helpers Report: No real news.
Old Business: Water line will be flushed in near future as it’s been having problems. Marius is giving the house $25,000 for house repair to be discussed at the next meeting. Julia will look into the costs of changing the sewer. Nadia would like to rent a place at least once a month in Bellingham and/or get someone to clean once a month or oftener. Michael needs to talk to Marius about the uses of the $25,000 grant. Rosalyn made the appointment for the annual heater checkup. The repair around the window is almost completed because there is one small area to be completed. Robina looked into the co-op and it didn’t work out. The Center for Spiritual Living in south Bellingham is possibility, a very nice one. Julia suggested that we could pay $20 four times a month to a Bellingham place for a once a week latihan place.
New Business: No new business.
Upcoming meetings: Next meeting will be after the first of the year and decided later. There will be an extended latihan day on November 17 to test World Congress questions.
Minutes of Subud PNW at B-SV Meeting with Regional Committee Members
February 3, 2019
Present: Hadijah O’Bar, Nirel Jackson, David Lynch, Rosalyn Neel, Roosmiwati Reynolds, Paul and Nadia Woodcock, Luther Schutz, Serena and Michael DuBois
Meeting called to order by chair Michael DuBois with a few minutes of quiet. Those present went around the circle and introduced themselves.
Minutes of the Oct 28, 2018 meeting were held until the next general meeting.
Treasurer’s Report: [Roosmiwati]: Last year $6175 in and expended $12,073.32, which left a minus $5898.32. We ended year with $2786.56 beginning January by end of January we have about $3000, from $455 in. after spending around $568.73. We are now having a housecleaner coming in monthly and an outlay for the Bellingham members to do latihan separately. Serena mentioned the $25,000 that Marius has given the region. It isn’t clear if it is earmarked for us or not.
Members feelings about the house: Group went around the circle and told where they stand. Serena likes Mt. Vernon and understands the difficulty of the northern contingent coming here. Would like a new place in Bow area. Michael said much the same, and wanted to have contractor look at it and find what would have to be done. Rosalyn reminded us of the problems selling the house with sewer and other difficulties including the tear down nature of the house, and that receiving had shown that the group wouldn’t grow as long as we stayed in this house. Luther doesn’t come to latihan as much as he should but has good latihans when he comes, and it’s close to his home. He likes the space but realizes it’s nothing we can sustain. He feels we need to find a more central place in the Alger Bow area but doesn’t feel it’s sustainable, sympathizes with northern continent. Paul loves the house, great memories of larger latihans in the past, but the distance is not rewarding with only one other person. He knows the rot around the window frames and problems on the backside of the house. It’s a tear down, and we have a small group probably can’t afford a mortgage payment in Bellingham area. It won’t fall on us currently but a few years down the road it will be difficult. We need to transition out of owning it. And it’s an 80 mile round trip for the Woodcocks and the others not far behind.
Roosmiwati: the cleaning is too much and the yard upkeep is too much, and we hired a yardman to clear the bushes and driveway and a person to clean once a month. She doesn’t feel we have the finances or energy to buy another house. After she retires she will be spending more time away. The room that Robina found is consecutive latihans and is not sustainable. She feels we are coming to a crisis. Nadia: It’s a big deal to get here even though there are other things to do on the way home. We switched Wednesday to afternoons and weekend to Saturdays because of travel and aging. She brought up the difficulties with the sewer line that hadn’t been mentioned previously. If Rosalyn wasn’t living in the house she doesn’t know what would happen to physical problems. David Lynch: as a regional helper he sat in the board meetings and as a regional member and contractor he feels a need to come. We need an inspector to come check out the house. We need the data, the information in order to even sell the house.
Serena added that she had no desire to rent unless it was tied down on a long-term simultaneous basis in a place easy for all members to come to.
These questions came up: can we sustain a monthly rental if the house is sold and we no longer have the burden of cleaning etc?
The group broke up to do a physical examination of the outside of the house. Michael and Paul went with David, Hadijah and Nirel to look it over.
Group reconvened to close the meeting. Nirel said she felt more informed having come up and that we aren’t as divided as we might have thought. Rosalyn is not going to be evicted. The regional committee is supportive of whatever we decide to do. For her, it was informative and her goal was to have a solid plan of action for the house and the group and is moving forward.
Hadijah wants to know if we can find a place to rent to do simultaneous latihan and have a group life. She will contact Hanifi Libman regarding inspectors and other real estate info. She will write a report from her point of view with the pictures that Nirel took. Is there growth now? Can we overcome the problems of our sewer being on the neighbor’s property?
Game plan for action: David is going to send his report what he found on checking the property. Nirel and Hadijah will send their report. The group will survey the members regarding pledging to cover a rental. Hadijah will talk to Hanafi Libman regarding inspectors and other.
The meeting dissolved into getting ready to travel on.
Serena DuBois, Secretary
These notes were updated on 2/13/2019 based on suggestions by members present.
Sunday, February 4, 2019
Prepared by Nirel Jackson Wardwell
Regional Vice Chair, PNW, SUBUD USA
Re: Skagit Valley/Bellingham property
Hadijah O’Bar, chair of the Pacific NW region, and I, visited the Bellingham / Skagit Valley group Sunday, February 3, 2019 at Mt. Vernon.
We arrived as the group was getting quiet – it had snowed on the way up and Latihan started about 11:40 rather than its usual time 11:AM – they waited for us.
After Latihan we enjoyed a lovely home cooked lunch prepared by the group. We chatted as we ate together – it was an opportunity to clarify our reason for being together in this context – to meet with the group and to listen, to concerns and also possibilities.
As I had understood it, there had been discordance in the group about feelings toward the property and how to proceed with its impending maintenance schedule. The crux of the matter being whether to invest in the current house by way of improvements and possibly major construction, or to let go of the property and find another more suitable and central
(to the area) property or location.
I suggested we make a greeting circle – in which each person greet one another twice around the room in form, then return to their seats – the group consented with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
Once reseated, we introduced a small chime for a timekeeper to sound, and a small honker to sound against interruptions or if the conversation got loud or out of hand. Paul agreed to keep time and Nadia held the little horn. To start Roosmiwati shared the treasurer’s report. We learned the house is solely supported by its current membership and is operating at a loss.
As we went around the room each person had 5 minutes to share their thoughts, feelings or impressions about the situation – we made it around the entire circle without incident or cross talk, save for the occasional clarifying question. Each person shared calmly and candidly their feelings and views about the house, the imminent burden it represents and
reasons for the divide.
Also, a cherished member of the community, Rosalyn Neel, has been living in the house and still convalescing from a tragic accident. Originally a guest steward of the property, the building and grounds – primarily lovingly maintained by Rosalyn and Michael Dubois – will soon require much more than normal maintenance.
These shared concerns were recorded by me as follows:
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION – The location of this house isn’t ideal for its area members. According to the group, it had been acquired some 20 years ago by a bigger and more active membership, many of whom were no longer active or in the area.
This property is meant to support a greater rural area with membership scattered through three counties, Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish, so that most members have a goodly commute – most commute 1 to 2 hours round trip – to share group Latihan.
With the uncertainty of the house and a dwindling membership, what’s predictable is that people will stop participating as the inconvenience becomes more burdensome.
As of this week, the Bellingham group has rented a space to do Latihan weekly, but there is only one room so men and women practice consecutively; this makes for a cumbersome practice in addition to a lengthy commute – given the choice, some people prefer to stay at the current location or even stay home.
It was generally agreed among the group that if there was an option of simultaneous Latihan, conveniently located for area members, there would likely be more and continued participation. Note: an ideal location for a latihan hall would be in Bow or Alger, with South Bellingham a distant and unlikely third option.
Common concerns among the group:
• Overwhelming maintenance with imminent, costly repairs – problems include dry rot throughout walls, floors and ceilings, cracks in walls and ceilings in several places, breeches in asbestos siding in several area around the exterior
• Location – inconvenient commute for majority of membership
• Dwindling participation resulting in insubstantial benefit (of group practice) and fewer contributions to support the property
• Secure, consistent space with long term option, to practice simultaneous latihan for women & men
• Who will do the work?
• Current guest’s wellbeing and shelter
• Non-cooperative neighbor to the south who shares property line
• What improvements would be needed to continue and when?
• How much would it cost?
• What improvements would be needed to sell the property?
• How much would it cost?
• What else would be needed to sell the property?
• Who will do the work?
• What is the value of the property as is?
• What would be the value of the property with improvements?
• Who would do the work?
• Can the group sustain another property or location?
• Where will Rosalyn relocate? What are some options?
• What is the timeline?
The interior of the house was clean, orderly and inviting with good homey energy. It is clear the house has been well loved: despite its many looming problems, it felt lovely with Rosalyn as our gracious host.
The snow was falling steadily as we finished our sharing circle and we decided to walk the property before the weather worsened.
We walked out and through the garage to the outside back of the house. We took several pictures around the exterior of the house and property and a few inside. We did not go upstairs to Rosalyn’s room –we had enough information to start with before imposing into Rosalyn’s private space.
Between 1-1:30PM some people needed to depart so we began to bring our visit to a close.
In the end there was general agreement for a starter checklist of to-dos:
• Organize a proper inspection – Hadijah agreed to contact resources and Michael agreed to survey the group for pledges and future support and participation
• Get an evaluation
• Roosmiwati will provide financial information
• Communicate results and advance a plan of action
• Share with their membership and regional helpers
• Continue to be supportive of Rosalyn during her convalescence and ultimate transition, should the property sell, to avoid displacement
My impression of the group is that they are not as divided as it may seem initially; still, there is mounting anxiety about what to do and who will do it.
It is my perspective and opinion that a resolution and solutions can be achieved with support and consensus, so that our current resident member is not displaced and the community may continue to practice and participate as a community.
We have begun a process to resolve a problem; this is the information-gathering phase. With this information, together we can prepare a plan and implement actions accordingly. It is a process and will take time, we will make it happen together one step at a time.
United we can proceed with consensus and harmony and with positive results all around.
Team work doesn’t seem like work!
Hadijah and I thank you for your kind hospitality and for working together to find solutions. See you again soon. Until then, be very well.
With Respect and Gratitude,