Mission Circle Meeting Minutes

We use Sociocracy 3.0 as our governing structure. One important aspect of this is to be transparent. Thus, we provide minutes to all of our meetings. 

You can get to know us by perusing the minutes! We welcome your questions. 

Wed, April 3 6-8PM

Friendship Circle

We started with one hour of connection using the Friendship Circle format that Scott, Kim and Patricia created. We all felt very connected and agreed that we wanted to continue doing this together because building community by deepening our friendships is important. 

Business Meeting

Agenda was approved. Yay!

Old Business

Proposal: Change date for the Fostering Healthy Friendship course: Wed. May 15 7-8pm CST. Proposal passed. 

Reason: Scott, Kim and Patricia have so much they are working on, and they need more time. Plus, Patricia wants the website and all the things we are working on to be in place so that the class actually promotes VUE in the best way possible.

In addition, Cliff agreed with Patricia that it would be best if he does his own course on Oneness rather than trying to fit something separate about oneness into this course. The FHF course circle all feels good about this.

We decided to have a rehearsal of our class on May 8th 6-7. 

Responding to weekly emails:

Patricia is talking individually to everyone in the circle, so it is not as important for everyone to take the time to respond. We are developing other ways of building community--which was one of the reasons Patricia wanted everyone to respond. Thanks everyone for your time to meet with Patricia.

New Business

Next Meeting: April 17 6-9PM CST

Scott will attend. We will do the friendship circle for the first hour. We are going to invite Kim, who is helping to teach the Fostering Friendship class, to join us.

Proposal for developing the role of Coordinator 

We decided to postpone deciding on this. We need more time to develop this. Patricia is going to work on refining this proposal so it more accurately reflects the non-hierarchical structure that we are trying to create.


Reflection, celebration, appreciation, and warm fuzzies.  Everyone thought the meeting went great!

VUE Mission Circle Meeting 6-8PM CST

Conference call 605-313-4461 #861394

The purpose of this meeting is to both build a sense of community as well as work on projects together. When Patricia feels more community connection, she gets more done! And everyone involved is more motivated.

Patricia served as facilitator, timer and secretary.

30 seconds of silence to honor the suffering of the animals

Song: Patricia sang: How Could Anyone Ever Tell you, you were anything less than beautiful

Intention Setting:

Each person said a few sentences about what they what to experience in the meeting. 

Check in: Roses and Thorns: 3 minutes each

Announcements and quick updates: None

Next meeting: in two weeks, Wed April 3, 6-8pm

We discussed meeting every two weeks. Sky is still not sure if he can make it twice a month, but for sure once a month. We will continue to meet for 2 hours each time, but if we don’t need the time we won’t use it all. We will do as much as possible outside of meetings in other circles. We are still getting acclimated to what people’s roles are, and what are the domains for the circles.

Agenda approval: Yes! Everyone approved.

Old Business

Friendship Pledge

We read the friendship pledge and we agreed that we like it and want to keep the intention--but we want to create our own pledge--shorter, and with a one-ness twist. Cliff is going to work on it and then send it out for people to give feedback. The friendship pledge can be found here. Cliff is going to use aspects of this pledge. “One for all, all for one” is a motto he really likes. He wants to have something that people can insert their own thoughts and feelings and needs. Perhaps less about others more about? There will even be instructions to go with it.

Committing to being on the Mission Circle

Sky, Rob, Cliff and Patricia are now official members of the Mission Circle because they showed up for this meeting. Kyle has not been communicating, so we are assuming he is not interested.

Light and Lively: who has something fun we can do for connection and helping our brains work better? Rob did the question, “I spy with my little eye--something that starts with V. We all guessed and we had a good laugh. He spied Vegan Utopia Ecovillage coming together!

New Business

Fostering Healthy Friendship:

Progress report: Sky, Kim and Patricia are getting their friendship pod class together. Cliff is fine tuning his section on oneness. We are shortening the course to 90 minutes at the most. Rob will moderate it. We won’t cover the Healthy Community Circle because Patricia is still getting clear on structure.

Patricia read a Harmony story: “The class went better than we ever could have dreamed. Over 30 people attended and they loved it. We had handouts and every single detail worked out. VUE has gotten on the map as an excellent learning center!”

Promoting the Fostering Healthy Friendship course:

Patricia will:

  • make a FB page
  • Contact folks at DxE to see if someone might post on the DxE twitter or FB
  • Send Sky verbage for flyer
  • work on getting instagram changed from Jesus Vegans to Vegan Utopia Ecovillage.

Cliff will

  • Help edit the copy on FB event
  • Look up ways to promote

Rob will:

  • research how to boost an event so more people who might be interested in VUE will come. He might be willing to help fund it.

Sky will:

  • make a flyer. The flyer can be sent via email, embedded in the email, as well as made a pdf.
  • send the flyer to his list, and research other lists

Everyone is going to:

  • post the event on their social media.
  • Send personal notes to people we know
  • Document what they do so they can repeat it easily


  • Cliff is going to host the $500 gofundme so we can encourage people to make donations for the class for the fundraiser.
  • Patricia will do most of the set up and get feedback from everyone.
  • Cliff needs to figure out his password
  • Rob suggested finding matching donors
  • This will be like planting seeds--for the larger Go Fund Me.
  • Patricia will draft the language and get feedback from the circle

As we are promoting the event, we are also promoting the series of classes, the upcoming 2 weeks or so of week-long retreats in April (to be planned), and the ecovillage itself. So this is very important and timely. We are also doing a campaign which we can document and do more of in the future.

Future Classes: Cliff is working on a longer course. Patricia will contact Jaime Prieto and Carolyn Amrit Knaus to line them up for giving courses since they have already been contacted. Rob suggested contacting Chris Van Breen and Alex Bez as well. Patricia will talk to Rob about who should contact them.

Since we are not going to rehearse, we all need to be sure to practice our classes and make sure the timing is right, and that everything will go smoothly.

Cliff can work with Patricia

Patricia will work with Rob to get a script for moderator perfected.

Dynamic Dyads: A process to help us get to know each other.

Patricia forgot to bring this up--we will do them next time.

Mini Fundraiser

Our intention is to host a small fundraiser where we raise about $500 for legal fees and misc.

Harmony story: “We raised the $500 in one day! People were so happy to contribute. We are excited to move forward in getting the LLC and the sale document and other important legal aspects done so that people know we are serious, and we can start gearing up for our $50,000 kickstarter!”

We can promote this in much the same way as we are promoting the class.

Responding to Weekly Emails

What can Patricia do to inspire everyone to respond to the weekly updates? She read the following harmony story to inspire people. We will add this to back log since we couldn't talk about it. 

Harmony Story: Patricia writes updates on a blog post every week and the mission circle members are thrilled to write their comments and encouragement. Patricia is so encouraged and excited to have this participation, and the people reading the blog really get a sense of the love and celebration that is part of VUE.

Surprise For Rob and Sky

Patricia and Cliff presented Rob and Sky with a land “holding” for each of them. The size and location is yet to be determined. A holding means that the person owns the dwelling, but not the land. Yet they have rights to the land so that if they want to transfer ownership there is a way to do that without exploiting the property value. Patricia and Cliff consider Rob and Sky to be members who are welcome to live there if they like. Sky and Rob were very touched and grateful

Reflection, celebration, appreciation, and warm fuzzies: We all thought we got a lot done, time went fast, and we felt connected as well. Sky was disappointed that we didn’t do dyads, and Patriciak


Back log: (put at the end of every minutes)

  • Figure out roles and domains of circles (Patricia)
  • Do selection process for facilitator, secretary, leader (maybe delegate) (Patricia)
  • Getting ready for Animal Liberation Conference (business cards, signs, offerings, etc) (Rob)
  • Look into getting mentors from SCORE who could help with business, marketing and legal (Rob)
  • Rob is going going to continue to think about ways the VUE can be viable on all levels (Rob)
  • Plan more classes to promote and put on schedule--contact Chris Van Breen, Amrit, James Preito, Alex Bez
  • Think about Learning Center: Name? A separate website? How to make it viable?
  • Create the retreat design modeled after family heart camps. However, we probably will not have families because of liability issues
  • Get clearer on the gift of land to Rob and Sky
  • How to get more consistent responses to emails so everyone can see what everyone is thinking


VUE MIssion Circle Meeting

Date: February 2, 2019

Time: 6-7 p.m.

Place: Conference call


  1. Roll call
  2. Moment of silence
  3. Check-in 1 minutes each finish, 4:07
    1. Guiding questions optional
      1. What is alive in you right now?
      2. Roses and thorns:
    2. Next meeting: two weeks approx. time? 5 minutes 4:12
    3. Correction to minutes: Sky didn’t ask that we do dyads in our mission circle meetings. He just wanted to send his ebook to everyone 1 minute: 4:13
  1. Agenda approval 2 minutes 4:1
    1. Old  business
  1. Quick updates on Cliff and Patricia’s progress. Questions?
    Driver: Cliff and I see the big picture and it is inspiring for everyone to know what is going on so we can feel even more empowered and motivated. 3 minutes 4:18

Updates by Patricia:  we want to focus on creating a learning center to teach people the skills we need to be healthy community members, including the physical part. I will send out the final proposal by Tuesday. Sky and I are already working on coaching platform and figuring out how we connect to VUE for mutual support. Cliff wants to do a class on oneness.  cliff?

Cliff and I are meeting every day at least 15 minutes, we had a 4 ¼ hour meeting with lots of progress, and plan on another long meeting in a week. cliff?

We are calling ourselves (Cliff and I)  the general circle--which means we work with the mission circle--and we are doing those things to move the physical aspects of community forward, and supporting mission circle. cliff?

I didn’t get the overall vision mission aims completed--but will work on that proposal this week. I did get a big picture view done with the circles and how things connect. Cliff?

I’m learning about sociocracy and applying skills as i go--a bit overwhelming to be learning as I am doing, but for the most part, all is well.

I am taking minutes of Cliff and I’s meetings and decisions made so that we are completely transparent and I will send a link to that document in the weekly email.

Amrit wants to be part of community, but as for board--she needs to know what the commitment is--so once we decide that, we can decide by consent if we want to invite her--that would be two weeks from now.

  1. Proposal: Mission Circle Member Responsibilities: 30 minutes 4:48

Need: We have a group of wonderful people who want to support VUE. People need clarity of what it means to be a mission circle member so that people can commit. Without commitment, we are not moving forward as much as we can. By consenting to this proposal (meaning good enough for now, safe enough to try) we can move forward to committing.

  1. People do not need to be residents of community in order to be a part of mission circle.

Because of the nature of sociocratic governance, the board can’t overturn the decisions of the “General Circle” which is the Circle that Cliff and Patricia are part of. We are dealing with the physical realities. And we can’t overturn mission circle decisions. We still need to define roles and domain. The mission circle is a circle that can be compared with the board of directors. A mission circle does long-term planning and makes sure the organization stays true to its mission and aim. The mission circle does big picture thinking, while the General Circle focuses on operational day-to-day coordination. The MC includes outside experts, often from the legal domain, from a related organization and someone who knows the field well. For example, we might have a lawyer on the board who can help with legal issues.

  1. Attend monthly 2 hour meetings via conference call (but meet in two weeks to confirm this proposal) figure out when good time is. With two hours we will have more time to connect on a personal level.
  2. Read the weekly email report and respond with any questions concerns, ideas--or just say, “I read it”
  3. Have a bio on the website; have parameters. Each person should write own bio.
  4. Commit to friendship pledge here. (look over before next meeting)
  5. Use sociocracy values and guidelines to make decisions and stay connected to the whole of the organization
  6. Stay true the purpose of the mission circle: which is to help VUE stay true to its mission and vision (this will be described more in detail in an email I will send out)
  7. Serve as an ambassador of VUE (patricia will write out more)
  8. Spend ½ hour each week studying sociocracy in order to be better able to understand what this governance system is about. This can include listening to podcasts or videos while driving or preparing food or cleaning or exercising. We will all listen to the same material--then you want to listen to others of course you can.
  9. Cultivate relationships with members of mission circle as much as you feel inspired sending thoughts of loving kindness, gratitude,  to members of the mission circle and reaching in various other ways. We will provide contact information.
  10. Make a decision in two weeks as to whether or not you want to commit to 6 months of being mission circle member at which time we will assess if this working for everyone.

Reflection of meeting. 12 minutes end at 5pm



What could have gone better?


VUE Minutes Feb. 16, 2019

  1. Roll call
    1. Kyle, Patricia, Rob, and Sky in attendance
  2. Moment of silence
  3. Check-in
    1. Guiding question
      1. What is useful for you to say so that you are present with us and we are present with you in this meeting?
    2. Kyle
    3. Patricia
    4. Rob
  4. Agenda approval
    1. All in attendance consent to our agenda for the evening
  5. New business
    1. Introductions
      1. Sky
        1. Wants to bring his passion for communication and structure to our community
        2. Believes in equal relationships
        3. Met Patricia at Enchanted Gardens
        4. Wants to learn how to live in community and to be open-hearted
        5. Longs for a return to nature
      2. Patricia
        1. Excited to have us all participating on this conference call
        2. Believes Cliff will be overjoyed whereupon he discovers we all participated on this conference call
        3. Glad she now has more stable people with whom to interact as does Cliff, especially since Cliff has seen many people disappoint Patricia
        4. Thrilled Cliff wants to be a cofounder of VUE
        5. Grateful everyone on this conference call has unique skills to contribute to her vision at VUE
        6. Wants us to create a model we can share with other communities
        7. Needs to work with people she can be emotionally vulnerable with
        8. Wants to work with people who she trusts
        9. Thinks Kyle has been faithful in the time she has known him
        10. Wants to continue learning how to trust and who to trust
      3. Rob
        1. Wants to focus on specific, tangible goals
        2. Spends a great deal of time honing his knowledge by reading
        3. Wants to find new ways to advance the cause of animal rights
        4. Wants a powerful story and vision to share
        5. Excited to contribute to VUE
        6. Feels VUE addresses his personal desire to unite nonviolent communication with sociocracy and vegan intentional communities
        7. Impressed with Kyle
        8. Grateful for Patricia’s skills in sociocracy
      4. Kyle:

a)Really grateful to be here in this group. Inspired by Sky’s sharing.b) Wants to bring marketing skills to the project. (later, he suggested that we have a retreat to promote the ecovillage--in april)

c)Feb. 8 birthday coming up--almost 23

d)Has been vegan for 10 years but got active past 3 years

e)Was part of START, a vegan org. In St. Louis--became president, then stepped away  to start PAF-and Patricia is cofounder

f)Patricia saw a livestream of me talking, came up to St. Louis, lead the march to ban fur in St. Louis--that is how we got to know each other better (we met at the past two Animal Liberation Conferences)

  1. g) I want to be part of this project because it is extremely important to have concentrated numbers of activists and VUE could provide a workable model so that others can learn

Needs analysis

      1. What needs were met by listening to each others’ introductions?
        1. Sky
          1. Feels connected
          2. Senses our collective passion
          3. Feels we contribute myriad skills to the mission of VUE
          4. Feels there is a timing to everything, including a for being co-creative members of VUE
          5. Confident VUE will be an intimately co-creative project
        2. Patricia
          1. Feels overjoyed she brought us all together
          2. Feels like she is giving a gift to us all
          3. Feels her needs for service and for finding people to assist her with VUE are met
        3. Rob
          1. Feels this project will yield meaningful, tangible results, especially since Patricia already owns the land for VUE
          2. Feels we can make a significant, tangible difference in the animal rights movement by fostering the growth of VUE and the organizing model it generates
        4. Kyle: got to know others (i’m sorry-I think I forgot to take notes here)
    1. Group proposal
      1. Proposal content
        1. Communication channels
          1. Monthly meetings
          2. Email
          3. Slack
        2. Sociocracy
          1. We use sociocracy as our guide
          2. Decision-making
            1. We will practice consent decision-making
            2. Cliff and Patricia will email full VUE Circle any decisions she and Cliff make.
            3. Other VUE Circle members will have up to three days to provide feedback
            4. In the absence of objections, the decision carries
            5. The range of decisions Cliff and Patricia can make as the owners and residents of VUE will be their domain
            6. Patricia will continue to develop the description of this domain
            7. During meetings, we will conduct “rounds” during which circle members can raise any objections they may have with respect to a given proposal
            8. We will record these objections, then refine the proposal to accommodate these objections
            9. During the proposal refinement process, we will ask ourselves the following question: is this good enough for now?
          3. Communication flow
            1. Patricia will do her best to ensure VUE Circle members are not overwhelmed with emails and other communications
          4. Group morale
            1. Everyone should feel as though they are part of the visioning process
            2. Everyone should feel their needs, wants, and concerns are heard
            3. Everyone should derive a sense of validation from being included in the decision-making process
            4. Everyone should feel a sense of credibility that descends from our collective decision-making model
          5. Group expectations
            1. Everyone should share their wisdom
            2. Everyone should hold themselves mutually accountable
            3. Everyone should commit to upholding their obligations as members of this project
          6. Leadership stipulations
            1. Everyone to complete a one-month trial period as a leader in the VUE Circle
            2. Everyone to assess whether they wish to remain a leader in the group at the end of this one-month trial period
            3. Any leaders who wish to leave the VUE Circle may leave at the conclusion of this one-month trial period
            4. Leaders who remain may be featured, alongside their pictures and bios, on the VUE website
      2. Objections to proposal
        1. Rob proposes the newly expanded VUE Circle meet at least a few times before circle members decide to leave or remain in the circle
        2. Sky would like to more closely examine the proposal content included hereinabove to achieve greater clarity prior to committing to the VUE Circle
      3. Proposal amendments
        1. Patricia to create concrete, detailed information about domains, governance structure, and decision-making guidelines
        2. Once supplied with these specifics, we can revisit and possibly ratify the proposal two weeks from the date of our February 2nd meeting
        3. All in attendance consent to the above proposal amendments
        4. During her explanation of consent, Patricia supplied the following:
          1. Wants everyone to share their vision with her within the next week so she can begin consolidating them
          2. Glad she can trust us to continue contributing to this project
          3. Wants to establish a time frame for decision-making as sociocracy suggests
          4. Wants us to all continue brainstorming our vision for VUE
        5. With regard to the above amendments, Patricia agreed to complete the following:
          1. Sending everyone who participated in this conversation materials that explain what mission statements, aims, and tactics are by Feb. 8 or sooner
          2. Patricia will take all ideas into consideration and share all materials within 12 days of our February 2nd meeting
        6. All in attendance approve this updated proposal
  1. Meeting review
    1. Rob
      1. Wants to cover more material in the time given for our meetings
      2. Thinks having an agenda is helpful
      3. Looks forward to our next meeting
    2. Patricia
      1. Believes wholeheartedly in the power of sociocracy
      2. Extremely grateful she is taking a course in sociocracy
      3. Feels the essential structure of sociocracy is simple, but also feels the need to experience this structure in practice
      4. Feels overwhelmed with awe each of us provided such amazing insights and objections
      5. Glad to tweak proposal
      6. Feels overwhelmed with gratitude for all of us being in her life
      7. Feels our meeting was the best she has ever had
    3. Sky
      1. Felt a need to join our conference call
      2. Feels a positive urgency about our groups
      3. Appreciate the tripod we have formed
      4. Glad for the opportunity to help build an implement the organizational model we construct around VUE
      5. Feels the positive flow of sociocracy throughout our meetings
      6. Feels a sense of grander purpose and inspiration
      7. Believes in all forms of service
      8. Feels the spiritual rewards of service
      9. Feels like he is answering his call to serve by actively contributing to our VUE Circle
    4. Kyle:
  2. Thought we accomplished a lot
  3. Glad we got to know each other
  4. Patricia is adept at facilitation
  5. The intro was uplifting.

Last minute thoughts:

Sky is going to send out his ebook on Dyads and hopes we can do this process during our meetings. (agenda item, proposal needed)


Kyle mentioned that it would be great to have a retreat at the VUE. (next meeting, proposal needed)



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