This year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) saw the election of the 13th Committee of Management of Jikishoan Zen Buddhist Community. This committee is a mix of serving, returning and first time members. I would like to welcome first time committee members; Sally Richmond and Katherine Yeo. Both Sally and Katherine hold positions in the Jiroku (Front Desk) and Integrated Buddhist Studies (IBS) Ryo’s respectively, and with their fresh perspective and experience of Jikishoan, they have already made a valuable contribution to committee meeting discussion. Sally and Katherine have been voted onto committee as Ordinary Members and their specific roles have yet to be finalized. Returning to committee, after a short break from committee work, are Hannah Forsyth (Ordinary Member) and Peter Watts (Vice President). Both Hannah and Peter were longstanding members of earlier committees, and their knowledge and experience will be greatly valued.
Serving or continuing from last year’s committee with Ekai-Osho, continuing as Honorary Member, whose experience, knowledge and wisdom continues to guide and support committee in its work, is; Naomi Richards (Treasurer), Andrew Holborn(Secretary), Annie Bolitho (Personnel), Renata Salajić (Publication) and Mark Summers (as incoming President).Apart from the functional “day-to-day” aspect of committee activity, i.e. facilitating Sanzen-kais, Retreats and the IBS program, this year committee will complete the development of the Harassment policy while beginning the important task of implementation of the policy through dissemination, of information, and education of the community.
Another important project is the Building Fund. This fund has raised money over the years, through individual donation and Fundraising events and activities, for the purchase of a city Temple. Naomi Richards has recently been investigating the possibility of an on-line donation facility. However, a plan is to be developed that maps out a strategy, direction and resources necessary to encourage community support and focus.
I strongly believe that committee can be most effective when it is in regular contact with the members of the community. This can be achieved both through face-to-face contact as well as through other forms communications such a Myoju. To support this contact, I have committed to attending Sunday Sanzenkai once a month and writing a regular column in Myoju. I feel humbled to have been elected President, and while I may lack some of the skills and knowledge necessary, I am committed to fulfilling the role of President to the best of my abilities. I also feel encouraged by a committee comprised of talented, energetic and committed people who have the interests of the community of Jikishoan at heart. I wish to thank these people for volunteering their time, and we look forward to serving the community over the next year. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the retiring committee members, Vaughan Behncke (outgoing President), Jinesh Wilmot (Education),Kiyoko Taylor (Welfare) and Richard Myddleton (Secretary) for their commitment and diligence over their years as serving committee members.
Mark Summers Jikishoan Zen Buddhist Community, President