MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF
THE ANTHROPOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN NORTH CAROLINA
RUDOLF STEINER BRANCH
APRIL 23, 2016
Eurythmy Performance by eurythmist Christina Beck, pianist Beth Shirey and Speech artist Robert Mays: “In the Light Air of Spiritland” by Rudolf Steiner and “Adagio from Sonata number 2” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Present: Robert Mays, Board President; Eve Olive, Edward Schuldt, Dee Anne Lamb, Ron Evans, Board member; Kathleen Wright, Board member; Viorica Comaniciu, Kelly Calegar, Diana Haynes, Board Secretary; Tatiana Zybin, Board Member; Peg Carmody, Ben Bingham, Martha Kelder, Mindy Kash, Robin Haynes, Board member; Roger Schultz, Suzanne Mays, Nancy Willson
Welcome and Opening Verse: The American Verse by Rudolf Steiner
Circle: A check-in with all present
Remembrance of community members who have died in the past year: Linda Folsom, Else Wierbicki; previous year: Renate Wend, Jean Young,; also mentioned Miriam Hegge, Speech Artist at the Goetheanum who died on Easter Sunday.
Remembrance of those in our community in need: Mark Eisen, Mindy Kash, Olga Wierbicki, Margaretta and Bruce Bornhorst.
The new Board took office in May 2015 with a challenge to restore confidence in the Branch. The task was several-fold – to improve communications and sharing among our members, to encourage, sponsor and support Branch festivals and events, to provide more openness and transparency in Branch governance and to restore order and clarity to the Branch’s finances. We accomplished much of this through the following:
- Offering an excellent new monthly/bimonthly Branch newsletter, The Michael Messenger.
- Developing a new web site, including an on-line interactive calendar, secure on-line payments of dues and donations, and more information about the Branch and Branch governance. The website is more modern (e.g., support mobile devices), easier to navigate, has more useful functions, is easier to maintain and expand, and is more attractive than our previous website.
- Replacing the listservs for RSB-NC-List and RSB-NC-Members with a faster web provider and more secure management of the lists.
- Sponsoring and supporting Branch festivals, with very successful celebrations of St. Johnstide, Michaelmas, All Soul’s Day, Advent Sundays, the Holy Nights, Passion Week and Easter. We also actively encouraged workshops and similar offerings from Branch members.
- Sponsoring and supporting Branch events, including the John Billing concert, Glen Williamson’s December presentations, and three Branch meetings (a Conversation about the Society with Marian Leon and Elizabeth Roosevelt, a Report on the Anthroposophical Society AGM, and a celebration of Rudolf Steiner’s birthday).
- Bringing order to the Branch’s finances by transferring accounting for the Branch to QuickBooks, adjusting bank accounts to reflect the specific restricted fund balances, and providing additional support for the Branch through free-will donations from each Board member.
- Providing community outreach by volunteering at the Emerson Waldorf School Holiday Faire.
Another major challenge was to address issues and concerns among a number of members that resulted from events occurring prior to and at the 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM). The new Board held four meetings open to the community, and, while the proceedings were not perfect, they did allow the major issues to be heard to the best of our ability. We trust that these matters have ended as a public concern, and we have encouraged those who feel they have not been sufficiently heard or their viewpoint has not been honored, to talk with that person directly and strive to understand the other person’s good intentions.
We also addressed another area of concern, about the Board’s role in the Branch and in the cultural and spiritual sphere. We held conversations with several individuals about this question and concluded that the Board has a central role in all of the cultural activities of the Branch and so has a central role in the cultural life of the Branch. Discussions will, no doubt, continue.
Financial Report for 2015
The Rudolf Steiner Branch-NC had a successful year financially, with net income of $1300. Robin Haynes served as Treasurer for most of the year, until very recently, when he had to step back due to increased work responsibilities. During the past year, the Board took steps to bring more order to the Branch’s finances by (1) transferring accounting for the Branch to QuickBooks, (2) adjusting our savings accounts to reflect the specific restricted fund balances, and (3) providing additional support for the Branch through free-will donations from each Board member. In addition, Robin added secure on-line payments of dues and donations to the Branch’s new web site, including the option of recurring monthly donations.
In 2015, the Branch received about $3,200 in dues and unrestricted donations, plus an additional $600 in restricted donations. We had two major events — the John Billing concert and the Glen Williamson plays — where the revenue from ticket sales covered most of the cost of the events. The $1,100 operation costs for the Branch included an annual fee of $500 for liability insurance and a $300 one-time cost for software to set up the new Branch web site. Two grants were awarded for a total of $500 for a Branch member to attend respectively a conference on the First Class and the national Society’s Annual General Meeting, and to give a report back to the Branch members.
Kathleen Wright spoke about the Michael Messenger, the new newsletter for our Branch which had its first issue in September of this past year. It has been coming out every month except for January. The next issue will be out on May 1 and there will be a June issue. Kathleen continues ot struggle with health issues that make working on the newsletter difficult in spite of how much she enjoys putting it together. She hopes to find a way of making it bi-monthly next year so it won’t be so stressful for her.
Website and List-serves Report
Diana Haynes has been updating the calendar on the website; there are two list-serves, one is members only; the other is for anyone interested in the branch. There are currently 228 people on the general list-serve. Robin has been posting the Board’s Minutes on the members only page.
Reports from Initiatives
Planning Group – Diana Haynes presented the report from the Planning Group. (See the May issue of The Michael Messenger, page 16)
New Logo – Martha Kelder presented a Logo she has developed for our branch with explanations of the symbolism in it.
Rose Cross Wednesday night Study Group. Ron Evans stated that it is the oldest of all the Study Groups in the community and that he has hopes that it will take up the Karma lectures again since we are all so much older and wiser now. The group is currently studying The Book of Revelation by Steiner.
Reading for the Dead Group – report by Eve Olive. The group meets twice a month and has about 6 members.
Christian Community Group – report by Kathleen Wright. The group began meeting last year at Shannon O’Connor’s home. She was unable to host this year so Kathleen volunteered her home. About 8 women are on the list of members, but we average about 4-5 people per session. Meeting on Sundays has been a challenge as there have been so many community events at the same time, plus the members have had family obligations. The Group is discussing meeting on a different day next year. Or else meeting once a month instead of every week. The group has been reading The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric.
The School of Spiritual Science – Suzanne read her report. (See the May issue of The Michael Messenger, page 14)
Emerson Waldorf School – Viorica Comaniciu gave the report from the school. (See the May issue of The Michael Messenger, page 15)
Home Nursery Groups – no report given
Healthcare Initiatives – no report given
Artistic and Educational Workshops:
Painting workshops: Martha Kelder gave the following report: This year, I offered two creative art workshops in the fall centering around the Calendar of the Soul. This spring, inspired by Linda’s report of a course taken at the Christian Community Seminary, I am offering workshops relating to perceiving the Etheric Christ, in the plant world and in the realm of the rainbow. All of the workshops have been generously held at the Smiley’s home, a wonderful space for which i am deeply grateful.
Sophia School of Movement: Kelly Calegar gave a report (see the May issue of The Michael Messenger, page 18)
Christian Community – Diana Haynes read her report (see the May issue of The Michael Messenger, page 18)
Biodynamic Initiatives – no report given
Election of Board members
Two vacancies needed to be filled. The nominees were Kelly Calegar and Diana Haynes. Both were elected with substantially more than a majority of the votes cast.
Closing Verse and Adjournment: “I Bear Within Me Peace”