SGS Treasurer Financial Report

November 19, 2021

Please Contribute Before 2021 is over 

You have 41 days left to make your last-minute donations!  Time is running out ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°). Your donations account for 49% of our building needs. They are essential in maintaining our center. Thank You! 

Future ExpensesProgress on fund raising to repairing the siding on the South side of our building.

Through November members have contributed $4,172. Combined with $7000 of the income set aside from our iTrips rentals we now have $11,172 saved for that project.  We now need to raise an additional $10,828 in order to have the $22,000 needed for this project. We are nearly one half of the way to this goal.  Who will help us there?

Building Repairs Fund

We are grateful for members who already have contributed to this fund – over and above their regular contributions-to this fund. Earmark your checks for any portion of your donation you wish to go to our building fund.

Building Rentals

We had 19 days of rentals in November bringing in rental income of approximately $3,509. This will be deposited in December after the income statement is finalized. Due to the continued ability of iTrips to bring in renters for Spring Street Center, the committee agreed to set aside an additional $1,000 into the Building Repairs Fund and to increase our donation to the region to its pre-pandemic level of $800 per month.

This Month’s Donation Report

I am unable to determine the level of giving for November, as we are meeting early to avoid meeting over the Thanksgiving weekend.  Donations through October were back to your normal level of giving. 

Considering donating for the 1st time –  Your Donation will go directly to Subud PNW

Your committee believes that all members should help contribute to our center and through it to the region.  For those who haven’t yet contributed this year, we’re making the following offer:

Every contribution from anyone who hasn’t contributed this year will go to Subud PNW. These contributions will help Subud PNW to support, among other areas, the following:

– SPNW’s commitment to SUSA and through it to our national cultural wing (SICA) and charity wing (SDUSA)

– SUSA contributions to the World Subud Association, which supports a Caring Fund, helping members in distress and funds International Helper Travel.  

Each year SPNW has relied on extra money from our annual kedjiwan gathering at the Menucha Conference Center to support the work of the region. Due to COVID-19 it has not been possible to hold this event for two years.

New to Subud? How to contribute

If you are new to our group and looking for a way to contribute, here’s how:

Single or Monthly contribution from your bank

  1. Setup a recurring payment to “Subud PNW – Seattle Center 
  2. Have the payment sent to:

Subud PNW – Seattle Center

1101 15th Ave

Seattle, WA 98122-4523

How We Use Our Monthly Agenda To Stay on Top of the Work We Do For You

Submitted by Oswald Norton & Jim O’Halloran

When your committee meets once a month, we have found it helpful to anchor our work around a rhythm of the following agenda:

  1. A Moment of quiet and checking-in with each other
  2. Review and approval of agenda and previous meeting minutes
  3. Helper Report
  4. Financial report
  5. Spring Street Center/itrips reporton alternate months
  6. Group Activities
  7. Committee Member Vacations
  8. 8. Date/Time of Next Committee meeting
  9. 9. Date/Time of Next general meeting
  10. A review of the center’s maintenance calendar and pending projects

One week before we meet, Jim puts together our agenda and sends it out, requesting that the rest of the committee review the agenda and make corrections/additions for any area that they want to expand on. Our goal is to keep the meeting to one hour, so we’re respectful of the time. However, if there is something that could take a little longer, having the agenda ahead of time prepares us for this.

Areas 4, 5, 6 and 10 might have projects that are associated with that area.  These projects, and a report on their status, become a part of that area’s agenda item.

Projects are areas that we worked on between meetings.  In the meeting, committee members who haven’t worked on the project are brought up to date on progress. Next steps are then reviewed and comments or suggestions on how to move forward are made by all committee members. After we reach an agreement on direction, new assignments might be made and goals we hope to accomplish before the next meeting are then recorded in our meeting minutes. If a decision with a large impact needs to be made, we may test on it and we also may opt to bring it to a general meeting.

An example of a project that took us many months to work through was our move from center members managing Spring Street Center to having an organization take this over. The process for that large project follows.

We began by looking at different types of rental options for our building. There were two: Renting to a business or school; Continuing with a style of rental that we’d been used to.

The idea of renting to a business came from Paul Nelson, who, as rental agent at the time, was approached by a real estate company looking for a suitable building for a boy’s school. We decided to see what this would entail and offered to meet with them. In the end they decided to not move forward. Thinking that others might be interested, we approached other real estate organizations who could represent the building for the business rental market. This option too did not pan out.

I had the feeling the year before that we might be seeing the end of a desire by members to continue  managing our Centerprise, and had begun to approach rental organizations that were in the business of managing other AirBnB types of organizations. The advantage of these organizations was that they had the ability to advertise Spring Street Center on multiple platforms – something that we’d not been able to do before. What I discovered was that our old model of renting individual rooms was not something that they would consider. After bringing this idea back to the committee, we began to explore it again.

After the outbreak of COVID-19, it became clear that the only option for renting our facility was to rent the whole building to one single group. AirBnB, which was struggling with their business, made this mandatory, along with a strict cleaning regimen.

Fortunately, we were already well into a process of reviewing potential organizations to take over our rental business. When we decided on iTrips, we knew that we were embarking on a change that would cause significant adjustments with the group’s usage of the building. However, we felt it was important for us to get the business moving again. So, after a group discussion and vote at a general meeting, we signed our contract with them.

This process has been well documented in the past, along with the challenges we’ve faced and the benefits we’ve received from having a professional management company. The purpose in describing it here is to show how our meeting process, aided us to – over a period of many months – take on one of the biggest challenges a committee would have to take.  We broke it down into steps, we divided the work amongst us to keep the load balanced, we tracked our progress, we brought the decision to the group and moved forward.

 

 

remembering Lucia Ryan

Reprinted from Subud California Newsletter>

Our dear sister, Lucia Ann Ryan, formerly of Saratoga, CA and Bainbridge Island, WA, passed away peacefully on October 17th, 2021. Born in Potsdam, NY in 1937, she was the mother of four children, whom she and her beloved husband, Dr. Keith Ryan, raised with love and laughter in their home in Saratoga.

Both Lucia and Keith were opened and became members of the Palo Alto Subud Center in 1991. Irena Olender, Palo Alto Center member, notes that they were very engaged in center life, each serving two terms as treasurer, vice chair and chair; Keith was the driving force in the first major remodel to the building. Lucia also served as a helper at the Center. Lalia Helmer, Palo Alto Center member, fondly remembers Lucia’s wonderful, positive, and warm presence in all that she did.

Seeking a more peaceful environment than the Silicon Valley, the Ryans moved to Aptos for a year and during that time were members of the Santa Cruz Subud Center. They then settled into their new home on Bainbridge Island. For more than 10 years, they enjoyed being part of the Olympic Neighborhood Group of Subud PNW, whose members live on the island and in the nearby mainland town of Poulsbo.

In addition to her other Subud roles, Lucia served a term as a member of the Susila Dharma USA Board.

A 40th Day selamatan to mark her passing will be held at the Palo Alto Subud Center on Saturday, November 27, following the regular Saturday latihan (quiet time at 10:45).

A celebration of life will be held December 11th at 2 pm at Grace Church, Bainbridge Island, WA. If you wish to honor her memory, please consider a donation to the Parkinson’s Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Association in Lucia’s name.

All who knew her will miss her and remember her loving and generous spirit with fondness.If you’d like to share a memory about Lucia Ryan, you can do so at “Leave a Reply” for this remembrance on the Subud CA website. Find it HERE.

What I learned by being a part of our committee

What I learned by being a part of our committee

Part One – What It Takes To Make a Team

I have been a part of a lot of teams both in a leadership and in a support role. As I have done that work, I came to understand that the best teams have the following components: 

  • Trust for each other and a respect for the skills that each member brings to the work.
  • Clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each committee member
  • Clearly defined roles and responsibilities for others that the committee works with
  • A rhythm of monthly meetings with similar sets of agenda items allowing the team to track progress between meetings.
  • A priority ranking of the goals that the team works on
  • And finally, but equally important, a set of core values that anchor the team. I’ve found time and time again that this is particularly important when there are challenges that each team must face.

When I became treasurer in February of 2019, I was pleased to discover a committee that already had in place all of these components. 

I was welcomed into the work that they were already doing and brought up to date on current issues facing our group that I needed to take care of as the new treasurer.

I was aided in my transition into this new role by Sherwin O’Bar who handed over the documentation I needed to begin to learn my duties. I had been the group’s treasurer when our family first move to the area in the early 90s. A lot had changed since then. I so appreciated Sherwin’s guidance and his answers to my many questions.

As the newest member of the committee, I needed to learn our committee’s processes. In our monthly meetings, I mostly kept my head down as I tried to recreate the excellent reports that Sherwin had been providing our group for years. The rest of the team was very patient with me. After about 3-4 months I began to feel comfortable with my new role and took on more duties working with our Spring Street Center (SSC) team. 

Jim had created job descriptions for each role at SSC. Each staff member had read these descriptions and signed their acceptance of them. The job descriptions included rates and rhythm of payments for services. It included how we would pay for the supplies for SSC. This documentation allowed me to see when payments were due for payroll and supplies. I appreciated the order that this created in my early work. 

The work of any committee – if it just involves taking in the donations and paying the bills – takes on a rhythm that is pretty easy to maintain. It’s when you are faced with challenges that you learn what a team is really made of.

The first challenge I saw as a member of the team was the need to repair our sewer pipes that were experiencing a lot more traffic than they had before we started our Air BnB business. We would have eventually discovered the roots blocking the pipe. The business just brought it to our attention sooner. 

Our house manager at the time was Marston Gregory. He interviewed multiple contractors and hired Bob Oats Plumbing. Soon our pipes were clean and running again. I wonder how long it would have taken us to get this work done without a House Manager with a clearly defined job description who could help the committee with the care of the building.

In my next part, I want to talk more about how our monthly rhythm helped us to make bigger decisions.