The meeting was held in Banff, Alberta on June 09 and 10, 2014, 10:00AM MDT and continued online from June 11 to June 18, 2014 to decide motions not voted on due to a lack of time. Present were:
Kuan Yin Cindy Pujos-Michel David Murray Akbar Kieken Fazalunissa Harmon Jelaluddin Sill
The meeting was called to order by Akbar Kieken.
Council discussed budgeting issues for the Sufi Movement in Canada (SMIC).
Moved by Fazalunissa
That there shall be three sections to the SMIC budget;
1. A yearly operating budget which shall consist of the total membership dues and donations from the previous fiscal year. 2. A reserve emergency fund of $7000 which shall be maintained in flexible long term investment. 3. The balance of funds which shall comprise an operating reserve to be used for supporting national, regional, and local SMIC activities.
Seconded by Akbar. Passed
Council agrees that it is a policy of SMIC that it's centres are to be financially self sustaining and, when appropriate and possible, assistance will be offered by the national organization. Centres may have their own bank account for centre activities. Income and expenses for SMIC supported events are accounted for on the organization's books.
Moved by Fazalunissa that all SMIC sponsored workshops and retreats would budget for break even finances plus a 10% contingency.
Seconded by Akbar. passed
SMIC Supported Event Policy
Council agrees that if a SMIC supported event runs a deficit, the organization will cover costs including presenter travel and hall rental.
Moved by Fazalunissa that deficits for SMIC supported events will be reimbursed.
Seconded by Jelaluddin. Passed.
Direction: A written report and accounting of each event must be submitted to the treasurer within a month of the event or before the end of the current fiscal year which ever comes first. Travel expenses for presenters at SMIC supported events will be included in the event budget.
The Council agrees that SMIC supported events could be marketed more widely that has been the case in the past. The idea of an international symposium in the future was discussed. There was agreement that SMIC should start by initiating formal discussions with Murshidas Nuria Sabato, Rabia Ana Perez and Rani McLaughlin.
David will begin this process. A Skype call could happen in the fall.
Money to Holland
Akbar reported that $1000.00 was sent to the Sufi Movement International last year. Discussion. Should we continue the "work-around" of our non-profit status requirement not to send money out of the country? Should we consider that we have no representation on Pir-o-Murshid council? 10% of our membership dues is required by SMI. Dues paid for 2013/2014 year was $650.00.
The hat was passed and all present paid $20 each which Akbar will send to the SMI. But there remain questions regarding this support.
Jelaluddin moved to adjourn.
Akbar Seconded. Passed.
Meeting over: 4:20PM
--------------------------------- A social time followed by Zikar was held that evening with some the Banff Sufis. Jelaluddin and Akbar demonstrated the newly created "seated" dance, "This is not my body." The music recording was of Vancouver chant leader, Jerry DesVoignes singing Jelaluddin's composition.
Follow Up Meeting - Decisions Taken
A continuation of the meeting was held online from June 11 to June 18, 2014 to decide motions not voted on due to a lack of time.
Co-operative International Activities Motions
Moved by Fazalunissa; I move that the SMIC Council initiate discussions with Murshidas Nuria Sabato, Rabia Ana Perez and Rani McLaughlin regarding co-operative activities between the Canadian and American Sufi Movement organizations.
Seconded by Jelaluddin, passed
Moved by David: That David Murray prepare an agenda, for the review of the Board, to reach out to our sufi sisters in the US, Rani, Nuria and Rabia, to participate in a video conference call in early October to discuss our common interests as members of the Sufi Movement International and to build an alliance of western North American centres for mutual support and sharing of ideas, practices and the goal to make broadly available the message of universal sufism.
Seconded by Fazalunissa, passed New Communications Policy Motion
Moved by Jelaluddin that communication of the business of the SMIC will be for members only and that announcements of events will still be sent out to the larger Sufi community.
Seconded by Fazalunissa, passed Honorary Membership Motion Moved by David: That the SMIC create a new membership category, tentatively called “Honorary Membership”, the purpose of which would be, from time to time, to recognize individuals who have made, or are currently making, a special and extraordinary contribution to the goals of our organization. David will prepare details of the membership criteria for the consideration of the Board.
Seconded by Fazalunissa, passed Resignation of Council Member Moved by Jelaluddin that the resignation from the Council by Kuan Yin be accepted.
Seconded by Fazalunissa, passed
In view of the resignation of Kuan Yin, a call for nominations to the SMIC Council will be sent out.
Kuan Yin has nominated (seconded by Fazalunissa) Sitara Karen Minish of Banff.
Following are summaries from Council members attending the meeting:
Fazalunissa Carole Harmon
Jelaluddin suggested that everyone who attended the SMIC Council Retreat in Banff submit their impressions of the event to help pass on the flavour of our conversations and musings to the Council members who were unable to attend. This seems an excellent idea.
Of course the best part of the retreat was coming together as friends, sharing stories, meals and ideas.
As Treasurer I had prepared in advance, and in discussion with Jelaluddin, some ideas and proposals concerning ways we could support SMIC activities without draining our resources and how we might manage our surplus. I was delighted that on the first morning of the retreat we addressed all these issues and came up with several motions which give specific guidance in this regard. Some of these issues have been nagging us for some time and it felt very worthwhile to make this concrete progress.
Also as Treasurer I am happy to report that our membership is up this year. I will be giving Jelaluddin a list of members to post on the website next week so I am hoping that a couple of slow registrations will have been completed by then so that their names can be included.
In my opinion we had very fruitful discussions around the type of activities we think would be successful and there were far reaching ideas for widening our circle in the future. At the same time we acknowledged the deep commitment and worth of the Sufi Movement in Canada, small as it is.
One of the grace notes which lingers for me is the idea that we, as students of Universal Sufism, are involved in a spiritual regeneration in our world.
I was comforted that we discussed the international situation around secession, which has troubled us so deeply, without upset or conflict and that we agreed that our work is here, in Canada.
sufi hugs Fazalunissa
Jelaluddin Gary Sill
The annual Council meetings and retreat was held in Banff this year, partly because it is a relatively central location for travelling Council members, but also it is the home of Canada's largest Sufi group which offered the possibility of getting together with those wonderful souls.
There was much discussed and decisions were taken to improve financial support for regional events and to find ways to bring our American "cousins" and we Canadians closer together through shared meetings and events. I believe that this sharing is important to both organizations for the stability it would bring during a time when the transition of leadership of the Sufi Movement International is so difficult for those directing it's resolution.
In this political "time-out" there is perhaps an opportunity, even a need, to grow our own leadership. It has been one of Murshid's Hidayat's fondest hopes that a co-operative, American/Canadian democratic model could be created and benefit not only the Sufi Message in North America, but possibly contribute to the global community as well. We have taken the first small steps in that direction.
As the organization's secretary, I was happy to see a clear direction from the Council for our communications. Most of the emails I send out or forward are really intended for the membership and in the future, that is where they will go. What you are reading now is for the membership. (At the time of this writing, late June, there are 28 members). Other communications, such as event announcements and workshop promotions will go to the general Sufi community as well as the membership.
This is a small organization with the biggest possible job.
With much love and deep appreciation,
The SMIC Board Retreat in Banff was a great opportunity to share, in person, our thoughts about the state of the organization and where we hope to lead it. It is always good to meet in person from time to time because of the opportunity for open discussion, debate and resolution. This Board retreat was a little different from previous retreats having been through the recent exercise of organizing a national, open retreat and discovering that we do not currently have the support for such an event. We all know that there is a hunger for what is being offered by the SMIC, but for now we will focus on supporting regional gatherings and start the process of outreach to offer our friendship and support beyond Canada. Our hope is that by connecting with our sister centres in the US, we will be able to use the opportunity for an exchange of ideas that support the goals and programs of the Sufi Movement International. We also envision that our outreach will benefit our Canadian family by broadening our perspective and increasing ties with our international sufi family. I offer some direction for this initiative in the motions that Jelaluddin will add to the minutes of our retreat.
sending love and a sufi hug, David
Kuan Yin Cindy Pujos-Michel
We had an excellent board meeting this week here in Banff, resolving some old issues and proposing new directions for the future.
Good news in that Sitara Karen Minish (from our Banff Sufis) has agreed to let her name stand for nomination for a spot on the Sufi board. I think she has wonderful credentials for the position, number one being her love of the Sufi message of Inayat Khan. It is always good to have new views and ideas come forward especially as we move toward new directions in our proposed 'outreach' initiative with our Sufi Movement sisters in the U.S. (which I am definitely in favour of).
My plan is to step down from the Board and I do so knowing it is presently in good hands and will continue to be well run. I will continue on with my work in the Spiritual Healing activity and with our Banff Center group. We in Banff are excited about our upcoming one day retreat in September and are looking forward to having Akbar and Jelaluddin here in a teaching capacity. Our new resolution to have SMIC help with the travel expenses (if needed) of any Sufi teachers will be a wonderful new initiative.....one that we have talked about before, but which has now been passed by the board.
Sending my love to one and All, and looking forward with hope and happiness to an exciting future for the Sufi Movement in Canada. Kuan yin.
Meeting ends at … MDT.
Sufi Circle Canada Is a Sufi Movement In Canada Community affiliated with the Sufi Movement International