Dear Ananda Family…

In the interest of transparency and inclusion, we want to keep you up to date on who’s who and what’s what at your Ananda Portland. 

Many changes have taken place over the last several months, and we thank you for the encouragement these have received. New directions have been defined, staffing has increased, and more programs have been added to our calendar of activities. 

First, for those who may not know, here are the people most involved with our Sangha’s operations and responsibilities… 

Ananda Portland’s governing body is a five-person Board of Directors: Surendra Conti, Vajra Johnson, Hanuman Baughman, Lorna Knox, and Saranya Bredahl. The Board works hand-in-glove with the ten members of our Ministry: Mari Baughman, Pavani Johnson, Rose Neal, David and Madhavi Eby, and Bharati Busch, along with Surendra, Lorna, Vajra, and Hanuman. 

Ananda Portland’s spiritual director is Surendra; Vajra and Pavani serve as managers of our Ananda Community; Rose and Michelle Mall are co-directors of Living Wisdom School; Hanuman and Mari oversee Ananda House; Surendra and Lorna are co-directors of the Temple and Teaching Center, ably assisted by support staff Margery Lambert.

A number of notable changes have also been made to the Temple itself, inside and out. We have downsized the inventory and footprint of our boutique area, giving our foyer a more open and expansive feel. Lorna has done a marvelous job of re-creating this space, which also includes an entire wall of colorful posters and literature about upcoming events, classes, and other useful need-to-know information. 

A new classroom has been added as well, enabling us to expand our schedule of programs and activities. Formerly occupied by the LWS middle school, it is where we offer our open-to-the-public, drop-in meditations, monthly Learn to Meditate classes, and more. At the entrance to this room, you will also find a wall-length bulletin board which features a complete 3-month calendar of events and a who’s who photo display of our Sangha members. Is your photo up there yet? 

The Temple now has an artist-in-residence too. Music composer and arranger David Miller has moved into the upstairs apartment, giving us a permanent onsite presence. Look for some fresh landscaping soon also, as Michael Fellows and Linda Hall have volunteered to beautify and maintain the front area grounds.

Earlier this year we launched our new Sage Series of specialty weekend programs, featuring visiting ministers from Ananda worldwide. The popularity of these not-to-be-missed workshops and Sunday services will continue to be an inspiring part of next year’s calendar and beyond. Asha Nayaswami and Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi have already been booked for 2020, among many others.

Financially, the Temple is stable and sound. A number of significant expenses have been met without the need for additional fundraising, including $17,000 for a major roof repair. Presently, we are needing to overhaul our rain-drainage system, which is no longer adequate to prevent flooding of our parking lot and school play area. This will also be an expensive but necessary project, hopefully covered by income from our regular tithing and donations.  

Our reserves were boosted earlier this year when we were able to borrow from the Temple’s equity position in our Ananda Community. Looking ahead, however, two large outlays will be required soon. In December and in March, we will need to honor the maturity of a private loan made to our Living Wisdom School. The total due is $40,000, to be repaid in two installments. 

Given the economics of inflation, we would love to see – and would greatly appreciate – at least an equal increase in the contributions we receive. Consider that a prayer more than a pitch.

A team of Sangha volunteers, headed up by Madhavi, has energized the funding efforts for completion of the new LWS building. Recent official confirmation of Ananda Portland’s nonprofit status by the IRS is likely to improve the school’s ability to attract grant money and corporate donations for this important expansion project. 

Meanwhile, the Community’s condition remains healthy and strong, as new residents have replaced those moving on. Occupancy is still at near capacity.

Many hands continue to make Ananda Portland the beacon of light that it is. Additional help is always welcome too, so please let us know if you have any extra volunteer time to share. And, as always, thanks for your support.

Gratefully, on behalf of our entire Ministry team…
Surendra and Lorna