by Nancy Petrin, Manager of Annual Fund and Membership
San Francisco Zen Center belongs to all of us, and we belong to it. This is true and wonderful. It does, however, provide a challenge for me in my role as membership manager. How do you organize a membership drive and ask those in the community who are not yet members to step forward in that way when they already feel they are members?
From this conundrum the theme of the Fall 2013 Membership Drive arose: you already belong . . . become a member! During this month of September, we highlight membership—thanking our current members, gathering for our annual membership meeting and asking people to step forward as new members.
Connecting with our members is definitely the most rewarding part of this job. Each of our connections to Zen Center is very personal, and each story of how we found it is rich and deep. Asking Zen Center members to put a voice to what it means to be a member proved to be equally rich and deep, as seen in this membership video.
The strength of our community emerges from the commitment of each of us to practice, from our shared intention to awaken in this moment, this lifetime. Stepping forward as a member contributes to the foundation of our community’s fiscal well-being and peace.
As described by Norman Fischer in a Dharma talk given during last year’s membership drive, San Francisco Zen Center is a rare place, for this is where we find not only the teachings but also good friends with whom we can put the teachings into practice. In our highly individualistic culture, we think we can do this on our own, but in Buddhism that is thought to be folly. We need people to encourage us, and it is very important to be around others who are making the same effort.
Already a member and want to help with the membership drive? Consider this:
- Pick up a brochure in one of the front offices and pass it along to a friend who may be interested in becoming a member.
- Forward Sangha News Weekly to friends you think might be interested in membership, and encourage them to sign up during the September drive.
- Make an announcement at one of your Zen Center group meetings, for example, at Saturday Sangha, Meditation and Recovery, EPP, Queer Dharma, etc.
- Bring a friend with you to the City Center or Green Gulch public program who has expressed interest in visiting. I did this last weekend and was re-inspired seeing Green Gulch through my friend’s eyes. What a rich abundance we offer!
- Put the Annual Membership Meeting at Green Gulch on your calendar and attend Sunday, September 29!
- Like our posts on Facebook.
- Come by the membership tables during tea on public program days and say hello.
- Contact me to make an announcement about why you think membership is important.
Not yet a member? Sign up!
We all belong to San Francisco Zen Center, so let’s support something rare and important in our lives.