Mission Statement DRAFT
by Cassidy Sterling,
Chair, Subud Boston
The purpose of the Financial committee will be to oversee the finances and charitable giving of Subud Boston and to support the Treasurer. The Financial Committee will have no power or authority to directly make changes in the policies of Subud Boston, but will have the responsibility to advise the entire membership, the Dewan, and the Subud Boston Executive committee.
The first tasks of the Financial Committee will be…
(1) To consider our present, rather precarious financial position, our system of pledges, and our charitable giving and to present a plan that will, hopefully, be workable over the next two years.
(2)Then, the committee will work investigate possibilities for the use and function of the fund, now called the Housing Fund, that Subud Boston has accumulated and invested over the past thirty or so years.
As Chair of Subud Boston, I feel that I need to stay relatively neutral in this matter. I see my job to be the executive of the group and as a facilitator rather than a mover. I represent the overall interests of the group. In that role, I would say that it is important that one of the proposals the Finance committee should come up with is a contingency plan in case the Subud Boston group should continue to shrink to the point where it is no longer viable — Milton’s name for this was, “Worst case scenario.” As for other proposals, one might be to simply continue to invest the money as we have been doing into the near future, another might be to develop a plan for the use of the income from this investment beyond simply reinvestment, as a sort of endowment fund, and a third might be to use this money as the basis for some kind of rotating loan fund to finance Subud houses in other places. The committee may come up with other ideas, and I would encourage its members not to fix too early on one plan, but rather to brainstorm a bit, without censorship as a first step in thinking about this. Also, I would encourage the committee to interview members of Subud Boston to collect their ideas without letting their own thoughts dominate discussions. This may prove quite difficult to do, as I know both Ruslan and Milton have pretty strong ideas about this money already!
The way the Finance Committee goes about its work will, of necessity, be a process which the committee, itself, will have to develop; but I would advise them to work with the Helpers and use testing, not so much to judge the plans they come up with, as to touch base with their own feelings, both Inner Feelings and those influenced by the material forces. Bapak had a lot to say about the importance of working with and mastering the material force in our life on earth, and we Subud people have not done so well working with these forces in the past. Finding a way to use money creatively and not from a position of poverty and need, and to avoid being carried away by the thoughts and feelings of our hearts and minds may be a process with important lessons for all of us. So, the Financial Committee will, I believe, have a spiritual as well as a practical function. We can expect that, because we deal with money while going through the process of the latihan, staying clear in our feelings will be our difficult task. When the Financial Committee members feel angry, that is probably a sign to check in with the inner self, take a few minutes to do latihan, and to ask God for guidance. As all who were at the recent Dewan Meeting on August 31 saw, these issues can arouse us to anger very quickly and in unexpected ways.
FINANCIAL COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
The committee should be made up of three to four members, balanced, as much as possible between men and women. At the moment, we know that Milton and Ruslan would like to serve, so we need at least one more member who should be a woman.
The Financial Committee will be a permanent organization whose members should have a fixed term office. (I feel it would be better to have some turn over in the committee’s membership, rather than to have it be something that is run by the same people for many years.)
I would like to have a report from the Financial Committee ready at least a week before the next General Membership Meeting on October 19, 2014. This report will include a draft of a mission statement to be approved by the membership and an outline of their thoughts and possible proposals. This is the beginning of a process and I don’t expect any final decisions at that meeting. By next Spring we should expect to be narrowing down our options and hopefully at the General meeting then, we can finalize our plans. However, feedback from the committee itself will be an important factor in developing any fixed timeline.
Chair, Subud Boston