UMAA Kyoto Membership Meeting Summary
Urasenke Midorikai Alumni Association
Kyoto Membership Meeting
June 28, 2018
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
- Opening Remarks and Introductions
Mike Hardy opened the proceedings and introduced Makiko Sakata sama.
- Welcome/Greetings: Makiko Sakata sama
Makiko-sama talked about her thoughts on the importance of “The Way” and the three characteristics of the practice of “The Way”: 1) there is a teacher/disciple transmission of knowledge; 2) there is a skill and form that needs to be practiced and learned; and 3) the practice should contribute to the spiritual growth of the student. She noted that often people neglect the importance of spiritual growth and learning. She encouraged Midorikai to practice our tea in a manner that will fulfill Daisosho’s vision of “Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea.”
- Brief History of UMAA
Karl Fooks read greetings from UMAA President Larry Tiscornia:
It is with regret that I have not been able to join this first Urasenke Midorikai Alumni Association intensive study and international meeting. I wanted to say a special thank you to Oiemoto sama and Daisosho sama for approving this special 3-day intensive study. I would also like to thank Makiko sama for attending today’s meeting and sharing her views. In addition I would like to thank the sensei’s for their teaching and the foreign affairs office for their help in coordinating this event. With their help the preparations for this study went very smoothly. I would also like to thank Bruce Hamana for his continuing dedication to Midorikai and the Alumni Association and all his help during the planning of this study. Christy Bartlett, Karl Fooks and Jessica Rosenberg have worked tirelessly planning and finalizing this historic 3-day study. Thank you for your continued dedication to Midorikai and the Alumni Association. Finally, I would like to thank all of you from many parts of the world for taking part in this intensive study. I hope that you will return home with a renewed dedication as you continue to share Urasenke tea with many others in your home country.
- Karl Fooks summarized the timeline of UMAA to date:
- Established with support from Oiemoto, Daisosho and Mori sensei.
- 2000 – Yumiko Toyama Pakenham (then Yumiko Miyagi) obtained the midorikai.org domain name created 11/30/2000. She had the idea to begin forming a Midorikai Alumni Association.
- July 2001 – During the Hawaii 50th Anniversary an alumni steering committee was formed. Yumiko agreed to transfer ownership of the midorikai.org domain name to Larry Tiscornia as caretaker on behalf of a yet to be formed alumni association. She also agreed to transfer the Midorikai database from Kyoto to Larry.
- January 25, 2002 – Letter sent to Oiemoto and Wakasosho asking permission to use Urasenke in the name (Urasenke Midorikai Alumni Association).
- Mori Sensei responded by email that permission to use Urasenke in the name was granted by Oiemoto and Wakasosho..
- May 22, 2002 – Kyoto sent a transcription of Mr. Yonesaku’s letter advising that Oiemoto and Wakasosho responded to our May 9 letter by giving their blessing and offering support.
- July 18 & 19, 2010 – Midorikai 40th Anniversary Reunion and Chakai held in Hawaii in conjunction with the Hawaii Seminar. A general meeting was held with Daisosho and Alumni attendees on July 18.
- September 23, 2014 – Received Letter of Determination from the IRS granting NPO status.
- February 21, 2016 – First international dinner meeting of UMAA was held in Hawaii during the Hawaii 65th Anniversary celebration.
- Board members: Karl Fooks introduced the board members:
- President – Larry Tiscornia (USA)
- Vice President – Karl Fooks (USA)
- Vice President (International) – Ulrich Haas (Germany)
- Treasurer – Christy Bartlett (USA)
- Secretary – Sharon Stephens (USA)
- Website, social media and member database
- Next Steps for UMAA
- Regional Advisors to support the Board and prepare for next generation of leadership. Christy Bartlett led a discussion of the need for regional advisors:
- Regions: The consensus is to have the following regions: Europe/Middle East/Africa, Asia/Oceania, North America, and Central/South America. Each region should have 2-3 representatives.
- Responsibilities: The primary responsibilities for the regional representatives should be facilitating communication within regions and between the regions and UMAA leadership. Also the recruiting of members was mentioned.
- Recruit Members:
- Establish dues: A $25 annual dues was endorsed and a lively discussion of all the various services UMAA should be able deliver to its members: grants for events, a library of tea information, and a forum for information exchange and connection between members. Some discussion of the relationship of UMAA to Tankokai was discussed with the strong encouragement for UMAA members to members of their local Tankokai. Karl welcomed the group as the first dues-paying members of UMAA as their fees for the Intensive Study included one year’s dues. Those dues were used in their entirety by UMAA to cover the cost overage incurred during the Intensive. UMAA also drew on existing funds to cover the overage.
- Website – need for new website. A suggestion was made to have UMAA members who are tea teachers listed on the website.
- Social media
- E-mail database. There are nearly 600 Midorikai Alumni, but the database only holds contact info for about 300. Effort has been made to collect as many Midorikai alumni email contacts as possible. Members were encouraged to have people in their networks contribute their email addresses.
- Next Initiative for UMA
- This intensive study opportunity was a collective request from the last UMAA meeting. Karl Fooks thanked Mike Hardy and Waka Suzuki from Kokusaibu for their help. Christy Bartlett, Jessica Rosenberg and Bruce Hamana were recognized for their contributions to organizing the event.
- Ideas mentioned:
- Intensive Study in the regions
- Attend commemorative events in Kyoto
- Host tea events around the world
- Host an UMAA 50th Anniversary event in Kyoto, but with linked events around the world.
- Concluding Remarks
- Makiko-sama thanked the members for their participation. She said she found the frank discussion of the issues by all the members to be refreshing.
- The commemorative fans were distributed as well as a shaku ruler made by Kathryn Bechtold.