Lay Sangha Communication and Dialogue
We have had a very encouraging response, with wide representation from all parts of the lay sangha plus three monks - currently 40 people have committed to helping in some way, and we know of more who are willing and have indicated support but have not yet got round to working out how they can help at this stage.
Having looked through all the responses, we have come to the conclusion that it may be possible to do much more than we originally conceived. We are keen that everyone who expressed a willingness to help can be given the opportunity to be involved to whatever degree they feel able. We have contacted 7 people, asking them to form a start-up group to get the whole process going and we are in the process of contacting the other 33 people to arrange for them to form groups to start looking at various topics relevant to the lay sangha.
Communication of information from the interim board
We continue to look at ways and means of communicating the work flowing from the activities of the interim board and associated working groups in ways that are easily accessible. We are encouraging the working groups to write brief progress reports that we post on the interim board website and we have done some work to make the website easier to navigate. At Shasta Abbey, Rev. Berthold has held meetings with the monastic community and lay sangha about the work of the board.
Ethics working group
A working group comprising 3 lay ministers and 3 monks has been up and running since April. The initial work of the group is focusing on current OBC Rules addressing ethical guidelines and proposing changes to be taken forward to the 2011 Conclave. Longer-term work may include more development on ethical policies and procedures, addressing of recommendations from the Shasta Assessment, and reviewing submissions regarding ethics that have been submitted to the interim board. Rev. Master Meiko is the contact person on the board for this group and is assisting with the flow of information to and from the group.
OBC website redevelopment
Pam Hunter Johnson is the contact person on the board for the working group on the redevelopment of the OBC website. She met with this group this week and reports that the group hopes to have a proposal ready for the board within the next two weeks.
Interim board finances
This week we had a discussion about the importance of getting the finances of the board on a sound basis and the importance of transparency of accounting and accountability. So far the board has incurred very little expenditure, which has mostly been on computer software, but our 4-day board meeting in the UK in June will incur more significant expenditure on travel and accommodation.