The meeting was held as a video conference on Monday, September 17, 9:00AM PDT, 10:00AM MDT.
Council members present:
Nirtan Carol Ann Sokoloff , Kuan Yin Cindy Pujos-Michel, Fazalunissa Carole Harmon, Akbar Lody Kieken, Jelaluddin Gary Sill and David Murray.
Majida Medwyn McConachy
Call To Order
Jelaluddin called the meeting to order at 9:15AM PDT, 10:15AM MST.
David recited the Invocation
Kuan Yin: Has there been a motion that SMIC would pay for the meeting room for retreats? Jelaluddin noted that there was no policy about that but that there was a policy approved on June 9, 2014, that "Council agrees that if a SMIC supported event runs a deficit, the organization will cover costs including presenter travel and hall rental".
Items from the previous General Meeting were discussed.
• The first item was the request by Nirtan that there be "a discussion of the process by which we are planning and deciding on our national retreats, to identify some ‘best practises’ towards ensuring that our decisions are based on thorough and inclusive conversation leading to well supported events".
Nirtan: No discussion after the "Walking The Path" retreat as to what was successful. The next retreat, the process was not the best process, and the retreat itself suffered form a lack of process. Two models. one collaborative and a second one individual take the lead. Could be a rotating leadership like Northwest Camp. We should have a policy for camps.
Kuan Yin: How do designate what is a national retreat, what is a regional retreat? There is a separation between what is a national retreat and what is a regional retreat.
Nirtan: A national retreat is one where there is a fair amount of collaboration between the different centres and the board of SMIC. A regional retreat would be any particular centre that chooses to hold a retreat.
David: The retreat coming up in 2020 is a national retreat. It would be great if we all collaborated on that. Also a leader's retreat coming up at the Bethlehem Centre.
Kuan Yin: A National Retreat might have leaders invited from outside the country. It would be appropriate that we have some collaboration on invited guests or leaders.
Nirtan: That would be the best practice.
David: Yes, collaborating is good and then we might expect that those who are collaborating would also go to the camp although it's not always possible. Loon Lake is our next national retreat and let's make that as collaborative as possible.
Jelaluddin: We have had a rotation of people through the board who are going to organize a retreat. I think we all have the expectation that Fazalunissa and I would not be organizing the next national camp, that this would rotate to someone else.
Kuan Yin: I can't go to these camps - I feel very badly about that. I feel I will have to confine myself to Banff events. I won't be able to anything in the national realm. I sent out the questionnaire - surprised that everybody wants a retreat every year if it's in Alberta. They also want their own room and bathroom.
Majida: When you say national retreat is it just Alberta and BC?
David: It's open to everyone.
Fazalunissa: Is there a point in calling it a national retreat? Personally not interested in organizing or participating in national retreats.
David: That's realistic. Regional retreats are where we should be heading. As well as leader's retreats. What about the status for Bethlehem Centre?
Majida: It sounds as though there is a consensus around national and regional retreats and that the board might like to formalize that consensus so that there is a clear direction for the future.
Nirtan: We should give it more thought. I don't think we should give up on the idea of national retreats.
Kuan Yin: A question about the approaching 2020 Loon Lake; if Jelaluddin and Fazalunissa are not organizing it, then who is?
A discussion about the upcoming 2020 Loon Lake followed.
Kuan Yin: A survey would be a good information gathering tool for preparing for Loon Lake.
Majida: A survey could present to the members what's being coped with here.
• The second item was a suggestion by Jelaluddin that we in the SMIC initiate a "change our operating as name (not the legal one) and if this seems a good idea, a process to involve the membership in the decision".
Akbar: Could Jelaluddin talk about the proposed change of name?
Jelaluddin: The idea is not to change our legal name, but to come up with something a little less organizational sounding and so I suggest that we have an "operating-as" name. I suggest that we start with the board, that each of us think of what would be a good alternative name, or even if this is a good idea, maybe we should stay with Sufi Movement In Canada. It would be a good idea to take the suggestions and ask the membership for their input on it as well. I think that it would then still be up to the board to make this kind of decision.
Akbar proposed: Why don't we all come up with a few suggestions, and circulate them by email,. Then perhaps we can get those down to a reasonable number and send it out to the general membership, get their input and then at some point, make a decision.
Fazalunissa: Let's try and do it within the next month or so.
Fazalunissa moved: I move that we solicit from the members of the board suggestions for a operating-as name for the Sufi Movement In Canada that is less organizational and that focuses more on the Message we want to impart and then canvas the general membership for their opinion.
Akbar seconded the motion.
All but Nirtan were in agreement but she was not opposed to it.
Jelaluddin will send out an email requesting members of the board to submit their thoughts and suggestions.
Kuan Yin: Is Fazalunissa no longer interested in doing the annual membership drive?
Fazalunissa: I think we should do it differently. It needs to be handled regionally and then gathered together.
This ended the discussion
No new business was introduced
Moved by Jelaluddin to adjourn the meeting Passed.
Meeting Adjourned at 10:40AM PST,
Sufi Circle Canada Is a Sufi Movement In Canada Community affiliated with the Sufi Movement International