Sanctuary Council Meeting Minutes

Greetings from Our President and Meeting Minutes from February 16, 2019:

Greetings to all members and friends of the Living Interfaith Sanctuary!

I am delighted to be reaching out to share news of developments within the organizational side of this growing community.

There are so many pieces going on behind the scenes that Cathy, Eloecea, and Brynn have been actively working on to move LIS towards charity status. One of the key parts of that process is the formation of an organizational Council (known as a “Board” in other contexts). On Saturday, February 16th, several members gathered after our worship service for our first Annual General Meeting, and elected the founding Council of the Living Interfaith Sanctuary! And that is why you are getting this message from me- DoraLi- I’m honoured to be the new president of the LIS Council!

To bring everyone who is interested up to date- these are the minutes from our first AGM on Feb 16th:

WELCOME: Following a delicious potluck and joyful service…

Our meeting began with an invitation from our fearless leader, Cathy Merchant, for any and all present who wished to add their names to a book of voting members. This is a key process in the establishment of a voting voice for the organization. As the book went around for people to add their name, we made a quick distinction of the different kinds of members in the Sanctuary as outlined by our by-laws (soon to be ratified). This distinction is helpful for everyone to know. The by-laws give a broader definition, so this is just a brief overview:

Participating Member: This is someone who participates with the Sanctuary (on whatever level they choose), but this person doesn’t wish to pursue Voting Membership.

Voting Member: Someone who wishes to participate, and also wishes to be part of the decision making processes of the Sanctuary with a vote. There are a few criteria that a voting member must meet (see By-laws).

Council Member: These are a small group of voting members who have been elected to a board of trustees for the Sanctuary, and are responsible for programming, financials, events, etc.

That means that different people choose different levels of membership… for example, someone might be all three – a Participating member, a voting member and a Council member, OR someone might choose to be simply a participating member, OR someone might be a participating and voting member… ALL are welcome however you feel most comfortable.


President: DoraLi Harrison

Vice President: Katie Collins Allenbach

Treasurer: Brynn Craffey

Council member at Large: Siddika Jessa

Council member at Large: Markus Radtke

Council member at Large: Nasir Zaidi

Interfaith Leader: Cathy Merchant

(The role of secretary will be shared by Pres/VP for now.)

UPDATES: We had many conversations about planning and formation of the organization, with updates from Eloecea about where we are sitting in the process of applying for Charity Status, as well as questions she had for the new membership. Brynn Craffey shared information about the current working budget that will be part of the submission for Charity Status. Both Eloecea and Brynn asked any members for input/suggestions. Specifically, if you would like any input, please have a look through the draft by-laws and budget before Saturday, March 1st. We will be voting on those at the next meeting after worship.


Cathy outlined plans for the upcoming year:


An Interfaith Iftar, breaking the Ramadan fast with our Muslim and non-Muslim friends!

An Interfaith Passover Seder in collaboration with Trinity United.


Planning for an Interfaith artist residency in collaboration with Trinity-Grace.


An Interfaith, intercultural fair!


It was brought to the attention of the group that the term “Minister” for our Interfaith Leader suggests a Christian flavour. In the interest of being as inclusive and open in our Interfaith community, there was much conversation about the idea of changing the title of this role to reflect a broader community. It also reminds us all to be conscious of our language at all levels, to be as open as possible with inclusivity in the Sanctuary, supporting one another in our quest to become more inclusive. The exact title for our Leader, Cathy, is still evolving- stay tuned!

New Council member Markus offered his design skills to the Sanctuary, and he has offered to submit some new versions of the graphics and logo.

We adjourned at 1pm.

It is so wonderful to have such an array of skills on our Council and in our membership! I look forward to getting to know folks better over the coming weeks and months.


DoraLi Harrison