Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Society AGM and conference 2014

- by Siobhan Hughes

On Saturday May 17, over 45 society members gathered in the auditorium of the Vancouver Waldorf School for our annual AGM. We were fortunate to have Esther Chase get us moving with 30 minutes of eurythmy. We then met in small groups to discuss the purpose of the Anthroposophical Society, which was formed in 1953. Many of us may not be familiar with the stated purpose:

To promote and foster the study of the science of anthroposophy and the dissemination of its principles, according to the teachings of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, and thereby to promote and foster the development of human brotherhood and the moral, artistic and cultural life of humanity

We were presented with questions to be discussed in small groups. The first was: "Out of what you have heard this morning and your own experience, what is the purpose of our society?" We worked this through in our small group and then shared with the full circle. We then changed groups and discussed: “How can this purpose live in our society today? What is this purpose asking of us? What can we do?"

The quality of the conversation was engaging and inspiring, not always agreement but true listening. Words and pictures brought to life the bullet-point responses, colours, and single words.

Back in the large circle we had the opportunity for touching and engaging introductions and for sharing something of how we connect to the society and to our anthroposophical work. Most people were from the Vancouver area, with a good contingent from Vancouver Island and a few of us from afar. While it was not originally on the agenda in this format, taking this time allowed us to connect with each other and share a few laughs.

After a meal that was tasty and beautifully prepared by a teacher at the school, we headed into the formal AGM. We affirmed our council members for the coming year including a new councilor, John Bach of Vancouver. Several good questions related to changes at the Goetheanum and to finances. I would have welcomed more participation and conversation at the AGM and would have appreciated it if we had all read the documents that the council produced for our meeting. Show an interest in the activities of the society! It is the responsibility of all of us to grow, shape, and deepen our work.

It was a true pleasure to hear guest speaker Dennis Klocek's contribution to the conference. Over 60 people filled the auditorium Saturday evening, and packed the room at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in North Vancouver on Sunday to hear him. His lectures focused on themes from Paul Allen’s commentary on the Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. We then worked through some of the themes with a partner, experienced several ah-ha moments, and pondered questions such as the role of arts in digesting ideas and learning to be ‘awake’ in our sleep. I continue to reread my notes from the lectures and work with two glyphs that Denis shared with us – the wounded man and the great monad.

Thank you Dennis for an incredibly packed three lectures! Thanks to our wonderful hosts in Vancouver! And thanks to the council for putting on the conference and AGM and for all the work they do throughout the year.

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