Members are very important to our Zen community, our Sangha. While no one needs to formally join the Confluence Zen Center in order to participate in our zendo practice, CZC is only able to exist through contributions of time and money by committed supporters. Membership pledges are the cornerstone of the budget and make it possible for the Board to plan and for the Treasurer to pay the bills. CZC offers two kinds of membership to people who wish to be more involved in the Sangha.
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP is for those who want to support the Center at the most basic level. The term “support” here is understood to mean any kind of contribution which promotes the continued functioning and well-being of the Center. This contribution can be either in the form of activity (time and energy) or money. Anyone, regardless of where they live or how often they are able to come to the zendo, can become a General Member by filling out the membership form below. Frequently, a person who is new to the Center, and has not yet decided how involved he or she wishes to be, becomes a General Member.
PARTICPATING MEMBERSHIP is more formal in nature because the person requesting membership makes a certain minimum level of commitment. For instance, Participating Members are asked to attend regularly for three months before applying. They have a private meeting with the Resident Teacher to introduce themselves and discuss their meditation practice, they make a membership pledge, and they help maintain our zendo and services. The suggested monthly donation is $50, but this is only a suggestion. The actual pledge is determined by each individual’s personal circumstances. Participating Members are those who want to assume more responsibility for sustaining the practice on a regular, week-to-week, basis by doing things such as ringing bells for service, leading the chanting, cleaning, taking care of the altar, making tea, bringing refreshments, etc. Participating Members receive discounts on one-day sittings and longer retreats, classes, and workshops sponsored by the Center and may borrow books from the Member’s Library.
Participating Members also play a legal role. In accordance with CZC’s bylaws and articles of incorporation, Participating Members both elect and can serve on the Board of Directors (at a minimum level of $360 per year, or $180 per year for students or members with limited income). Periodically, other issues come before the membership for a vote, and Participating Members are kept informed about questions of special importance. In short, these members help create the future of CZC by their voting choices. Participating Members are eligible to vote for the election of the Board of Directors after one year’s membership.
The Confluence Zen Center STL is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. Contributions to the Center are tax deductible.