Please note, at a special session of the board in January 2009 many of the decisions made at this meeting were suspended due to loss of the majority of Oneness Projects investments in December 2008.


Oneness Project

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

November 14 - 16, 2008, Hamilton, MT


Present: Phil Notermann, Linda Lindsay, Tony Rasch, Steve Gray, Munir Peter Reynolds, Patsy Saphira Boyer, Katie Hamida Wiese, Narayan Waldman, Mansur Rodney Kreps, Ellen Fietz Hall, Tajali Tolan, Darvesha MacDonald, and Shahar Solander


Friday, November 14

The meeting began with Dances of Universal Peace followed by a check-in in dyads. Phil Notermann welcomed all, especially Darvesha, our guest from the MTG Guidance Council and PeaceWorks board of directors. Munir volunteered to serve as Deep Listening Coach, Steve as Time Keeper. Phil asked everyone to keep the recent letter from Shabda, Wali Ali, Nuria and Darvesha in mind as we go through our business meeting.


A1 Approval of May 2008 Minutes

Steve moved to approve the minutes as presented; Linda seconded. Passed by Consensus.


Finance Committee

Year to Date Budget Report

Mansur Kreps presented a newly designed Balance Sheet and Income and Expense Statement for Oneness Project. He reviewed features of the new format for the board. The “available for distribution” line on the Balance Sheet ties to the income and expense statements and eliminates the need for the COLA adjustment we showed as an expense item in the past. The Income and Expense report additionally allocates income to the year in which it is planned to be spent. Munir thanked Mansur for his excellent work on these new tools which greatly advances our capability in managing Oneness Project’s finances.


Financial Report

Tony reported that Oneness Project’s 2008 earnings will allow us to budget in 2009 on a par with this year. All of the committee budgets submitted can be accommodated with potentially some funds left over for a rainy day fund. The budget presented allows us to grow the assets at the rate of inflation, which is 5.8% for 2009. In order to fund General and Endowment Fund budget items, some Endowment Fund revenues will be needed to fund General Fund items. Therefore, the Finance Committee presented the following proposal for board action:


B4 Finance Committee Resolution Proposal

Proposal: The Finance Committee is granted permission to use their best judgment about how to allocate money from the General and Endowment Funds to pay for the 2009 budgets.


Tony moved to accept the Finance Committee Proposal; Steve seconded. Passed by Consensus.


Grants Committee

C1 Grants Committee Recommendations

Munir reviewed the work of the Grants Committee and briefly discussed individual applications in the fall grant round we received $84,920 in requests and have $35,000 to work with. In the following list the grants listed in the two shaded boxes at the end were approved earlier this year via email for this grant round. The grant to Bernie Heideman is contingent on identifying an appropriate person or nonprofit organization to receive the grant funds and the gift of the traveling tent.











Svetlana Malyutina

Gita Onnen



Rahman Productions, The Netherlands

Wali and Arrienne vd Zwan in St. Pete



Sheila Richardson

Radha Buko and Alima Ross to Halifax, Novia Scotia



Rahman Productions, The Netherlands

Wali and Arrienne vd Zwan in Balgalore, India



Rahman Productions, The Netherlands

Wali and Arrienne vd Zwan in Kaunas, Lithuania



Peaceworks, Inc.

PW BoD, March, 2009 in Phoenix, AZ



Bernie Heideman

trailer and additional equipment for traveling tent


Czech Republic Civic Assn

tent for Czech and Slovak dancers



Silje Seppik

Shabda Kahn to the 2009 Estonian retreat



Nuria Chimirri

Tansen O'Donohoe to Argentina



Sufi Ruhaniat Int.

Support youth to attend SRI and DUP events



Total Fall 2008




Anahata Iradah

J.Jayraman and Anahata Iradah in Intra-Brazil



Ilona Vorslav

Shabda Kahn to 2008 Russian Sufi Camp near St. Petersburg.



Grand Total




Linda moved that we accept the Grants Committee Recommendations, excluding the one to Bernie until further discussion with him. Phil seconded; passed by Consensus.


Munir will contact Bernie Heideman regarding his proposal for the purchase of a trailer for the small tent and a small amount of camp equipment. Someone in the Colorado Dance community will agree to receive and own this property. This award is also contingent on the small tent remaining available for other Dance events and Wilderness Camp each year.


Human Resource Committee

F2 Election of Officers

Steve moved to nominate Phil as Chair, Linda as Vice Chair, and Tony as Treasurer. It is understood that Tony will serve only until Spring 2009. Phil seconded; passed by Consensus.


Trustee Term, Tony Rasch

Steve moved to extend Tony’s position on the Board of Directors for another year. Linda seconded; passed by Consensus.


F2 Proposal to Nominate Katie Hamida as Trustee

Phil moved that we accept this proposal. Tony seconded; passed by Consensus.


Steve reviewed trustee terms as follows:

Trustee                       Term End                  Office – Term End

Phil Notermann           Spring 2010                 Chair 11-2008

Linda Lindsay             Fall 2009                     Vice Chair 5-2008

Tony Rasch                 Spring 2008                 Treasurer 5-2008

Steve Gray                  Fall 2009

Katie Hamida Wiese   Fall 2011


F2 Staff Salaries and Bonus Recommendations

The amount of the salaries in the general fund budget reflects a 5.8% COLA increase for staff.

Phil moved to accept the proposal as it stands. Linda seconded; passed by Consensus.


Communications Committee

H2 Recording Policy Proposal


In order to preserve and respect the sacred space created within the Dance circles, Oneness Project asks that no video recording or flash photography be used at our events during Dance sessions and talks. Use of a small personal audio recorder or camera (no video cameras), without flash, is acceptable as long as it is used discretely from outside the circle.


Linda moved to accept proposal. Tony seconded; passed by Consensus.


Common Ground

Shahar reviewed elements of the Common Ground report.


Phil proposed that we have the tree removed that is causing problems near the cottage. Linda seconded; passed by Consensus.


Ad Hoc Committee on By-Laws and Policy


M 1 Revised Oneness Project Bylaws

Munir discussed proposed changes to the Oneness Project bylaws which Mansur drafted earlier this year based on the advice or our lawyer Joel Kaleva. The main change in the new bylaws is changing “Trustee Council” to “Board of Directors” and “Trustee” to “Director”. Mansur clarified that the Executive Director may not also serve on the board.


Steve moved to accept the bylaws changes as proposed. Katie Hamida seconded; passed by Consensus.


Finance Committee

Tony Rasch reviewed the 2009 budget as shown in item “B 2 Budget Proposal for 2009”. Committee budgets were approved as follows:


Communications Budget

Tony moved we accept $5010 for the CC. Phil seconded; passed by Consensus.


Finance Budget

Tony moved we accept the $300 budget for Finance Committee. Linda seconded; passed by Consensus.


General Administration Budget

Munir reviewed the 2009 General Fund budget. Tony moved we accept as presented. Phil seconded; passed by Consensus.


Human Resources Budget

Steve noted that the 2008 HR budget report appears to have had no expenditures yet this year, although committee chairs and Trustees have gone to OP events during the year at lowered rates. Our spring board training this year on Whidbey Island was offered free of charge to us by Neshama, and we will have two people going to a non-profit seminar on Whidbey Island this December. He explained that for 2009 HR requests $2000 for committee chair and board member acknowledgment, along with $1500 for board training, $300 for books and training materials, and $1250 for non-profit training.


Phil moved to accept proposal with the changes Steve brought up. Steve seconded; passed by Consensus.


Common Ground Budget

Tony moved we accept a Common Ground budget of $14,560, which includes $680 for tree removal in the Maintenance line item. Phil seconded; passed by Consensus.


Events Committee Budget

The substantive changes in the 2009 budget for Wilderness include reduced honoraria for Dance Leaders and increased pay for the Youth staff along with raised charges for the shuttle so it will pay for itself. We plan to have only one Lava Young Adult retreat in the spring and one Lava Youth Program in the spring. Discussion followed regarding the amount that we are subsidizing Wilderness Camp. An estimate of $7000 was given, which does not include the Youth and Young Adult programs or work-exchange positions. OP’s direct subsidy of events and youth programs is about $27-$30,000 including scholarships to participants of all ages. It was later pointed out that administrative support adds to this amount. Tony pointed out that the 2009 budget is $400,000 and the amount over the fees from camps $54,000, which is about 1/8 of our total expenditures.


Tony moved that we accept the Events budget as $65,170. Katie Hamida seconded; passed by Consensus.


Music Committee Budget

Munir announced that the Music Committee has proposed a shift in direction from producing music cds to increasing our music resources on the website, including dance write ups and music clips. In 2009 Michael Sheehan will shift his focus and work hours to this area. We will continue to subsidize his office rent and purchase some equipment from time to time. We’ll need the MTG’s assistance in thinking through some issues; there are royalty issues to consider.


Katie Hamida shared a concept of popular bands making their CDs available on the web and having a button for donations. It seems some of them are making more money than they had been when they sold CDs.


Tony moved that we accept the Music Budget, $10,300. Phil seconded; passed by Consensus.


Youth Committee

There is a significant decrease from last year’s budget, about $3500, as we will not operate youth overseas exchange programs in 2009. Katie explained she was working to get people to a Hinterlands retreat after WDC. Since Allaudin Ottinger will be at camp, it’s we may get some kids from the mid-west also.


Tony moved to accept the Youth Program budget for $4020

Linda seconded; passed by Consensus.


Grants Committee

Munir discussed the grants budget. The grants committee has recommended that a significant portion of our dance network support (formally called “tithe” support) be directed to the work of the MTG Guidance Council. The recommend the balance of $5,800 go to PW NA.


Tony moved to accept the Grants Budget as proposed. Steve seconded; passed by Consensus (subject to consideration after what comes up later this weekend).


The board adjourned the formal meeting to enter into a workshop and planning session regarding the letters from Shabda and PeaceWorks. The notes from this meeting are in a separate document entitled “Oneness Project Board Planning Workshop Saturday, November 15, 2008” and the recommendations developed in these sessions are contained in a separate document called “OP Letter to PW 11 21 2008 Final.” 



Following the board planning session on Saturday and Sunday morning, the board reconvened to adopt additional proposals based on the weekend’s work.



The Board and participants explored the funding for transitional needs that will be necessary in the event OP assumes some PeaceWorks roles and goals. The incremental budget developed is presented below. These funds will cover extra staff time, an additional part time position, managing PUBS materials, and initial funds for setting up a DUP and MTG website.


OP Incremental Budget Needs 2009 with PW Dissolution



Registrar/Go-fer wages


MTG Secretariat function


Move Pubs stuff to Montana


Storage locker for pubs stuff

$400 website creation


MTG website creation


Register DUP Logo









Steve moved to accept the above Budget amendments. Linda seconded.


The need for this budget is dependent upon what happens with PW, and Oneness’ 2009 Goals and Activities will also need to be adjusted to reflect new activities. The board took some time to review the 2009 Goals and Activities.


The motion for 2009 additional budget items approval – passed by Consensus.


Next meeting dates

The following dates were adopted for Board of Directors’ meetings in 2009:

May 14-17, 2009 in Hamilton

November 12-15, 2009 in Hamilton


2009 Approval Budget in Total

Steve moved to approve the proposed entire 2009 Budget with the changes presented. Katie Hamida seconded; passed by Consensus.


Southwest Sufi Community Loan

Munir reported that the loan to the SSC approved last April was finally completed at a total amount of $57,000. The SSC has a balloon payment coming to them in a year that should cover their repayment to us.


Policy Manual

Mansur reviewed the agreement Oneness Project adopted with regarding to PeaceWorks which appears in the policy manual on page 53. He asked if that language should now be changed to place OP into the same relationship with the Sufi Ruhaniat International. Discussion followed.


Phil moved that we have a committee look at p. 53 in the policy manual and decide how to deal with what is written. Is there anything in OP’s interest that needs to be clarified with the Ruhaniat?

Steve seconded; passed by Consensus.


It was suggested that everyone read this portion of the policy manual in the next month; Ellen and Narayan agreed to read this material and see if something contained here might impact our response to the Ruhaniat on the proposal at hand. The MTG is not willing to readily accept responsibility for broadening their role beyond Dance Leading guidance. Darvesha spoke about the MTG’s need to leave this meeting with an agreement about how much we want to say to whom. Mansur pointed out that we have an open process and we make information available to all. At this point we have reviewed the letters from Shabda and Nuria and agreed to pick up some functions, given the conditions and contingencies noted.


To conclude, KatieHamida shared her PowerPoint presentation on how to design a flyer.


Adjourn 3:35 pm