President’s Report – Annual Sanctuary Community Meeting June 13, 2020
Incorporation on March 26th, 2019
Update about Charitable status application: after submitting the application, the LIS received feedback from the Charity Status, in that we could continue with our application if we could show that our organization’s mandate follows either one of two categories they suggest we apply for: either that the LIS is focused as an educational organization OR that we identify as a religious organization (in which members must adhere to a common doctrine). Neither of these categories fits LIS well. After consultation with advisory council and others, the Council and staff chose to withdrawal the application at this time, based on the limitations that attempting to fit into one of these categories means. This helped us to solidify what role we hope play and how we want to identify ourselves as an organization. Council and staff made it known that this leaves open the possibility to resubmit an application in the future.
Council workshop/training in February 2020, identifying 2 main pieces we need to better support in our work as council. 1) Financial development which the council members present agreed we needed to prioritize setting up a bank account, and to consider alternative means of allowing people to donate to the organization (online platforms?) 2) Valuing the role the the LIS plays in nourishing different parts of its members lives: community, spiritual and learning. As council we want to encourage and support Cathy in her visioning of the Hub with Spokes model, and discussed ways to add to the deepening of these parts. Community gatherings outside of Sanctuary gatherings, such as deepening on different speakers or other traditions, meditations, or having community meals together.
opening bank account in March 2020!
A VERY Special Thank You to Eloecea for their hard work in keeping the council on track!
Interfaith Consultant’s Report:
In March 2019 a meeting was held and a Sanctuary Council was elected. We applied for and received status as a Nonprofit Corporation under the Societies Act of BC on March 26, 2019.
With abundant assistance from Cathy and Brynn, Council Treasurer, I coordinated the application for Registered Charity status in BC, submitting it at the end of July. We were notified in January 2020 that our application was not approved but were invited to resubmit within 60 days given their comments. The Council decided to withdraw the application at that time pending discussion on how to proceed.
I attended many Interfaith events in the Greater Vancouver area with Cathy that fall, growing in my knowledge of Interfaith as well as networking with many of the local Interfaith leaders. I have also been posting current events on the Local Interfaith Events page of our website.
In November, I began the process of transferring our financial records from an Excel spreadsheet to QuickBooks Online.
Cathy and I began meeting with two other Interfaith leaders in the Vancouver area in November with the intention of creating Interfaith Events in the Vancouver area north of the Fraser River during the UN World Interfaith Harmony week, February 2020. From these meetings and the four events held, seeds of the Vancouver Interfaith Network were planted with Living Interfaith Sanctuary as one of the founding members.
In December, I completed applications for a federal and provincial grant under the Anti-Racism rubric, requesting funds to provide Compassionate Listening and All Things Interfaith workshops in the Greater Vancouver area. The BC grant was not funded and the federal grant was lost in the pandemic.
The process of keeping our financial records in QuickBooks Online has continued. I have consulted with QBO specialists and encouraged the Council to hire a Bookkeeper/Accountant which was recently finalized. I will continue to be the liaison.
In addition, I am tracking and filing the required Society, federal and provincial reports. To that end, I reviewed our Bylaws and presented suggested changes to the Sanctuary Council for consideration at this meeting of the Sanctuary Community.
While also available for consultation in other areas, my focus continues to be on grounding Living Interfaith Sanctuary Society as a strong and vibrant container, able to hold the possibilities and source the people and programs dedicated to sharing the joys of Interfaith relationships.