Over the course of the year the Council meets in four different regions.  Amongst the administrative tasks and business aspect of this time another important part of the visit is to meet with members and friends.  It provides an opportunity to come together, to hear what is living for members in the way of initiatives and queries, and afterwards to meet one another in a social setting. In a two-way conversation the Council also shares what is on their agenda both nationally and internationally.

On Saturday 24th November the council met with members of the Wellington Branch who took this opportunity to raise their questions. What we heard were questions that we are also working with such as the role of the council and that of the general secretary. Some of these questions had also been raised at the AGM.

There was also a lively discussion in regard to the question of developing section work in NZ.  Time was spent clarifying what a section is and further conversation took place exploring the concept that though conferences, workshops and research may be active through the professions, in reality there is little section work in New Zealand.

In our meetings we also give time to studying together, this weekend we deepened our work with the annual theme of the Foundation Stone Meditation.  Sue Simpson shared some seeding thoughts gathered from her trip to Dornach and links made with the Michael Festival.  It was a rich and rewarding conversation that we took part in always seeming to connect in with the aspects and discussions we have during our council meeting.

We spent time exploring how we are working with the three strategies of the Council work, reviewing and deepening these themes.  This meeting focussed on strategy 3 in regard to Initiative.  We recognised a need to focus on this strategy and reach out to the membership.  We are aware that there have been no applications to the Tinderbox fund in the last few months.  If you are aware of any initiatives in your area, particularly in the fledgling stage, perhaps needing some encouragement and promotion please do let us know so that we can in turn inform the membership.  Initiative is an important aspect for the life of anthroposophy to find expression and its way into the world.

There has been a positive development in the receipt of contributions, however we still have a third of our membership whom we don’t hear from.  We would like to reach out and encourage those members who do not respond to make contact, we would very much like to hear from you.

This year there was a worldwide initiative amongst the treasurers from different countries to come together for a treasurers’ conference in London.  This is a significant event in that it is the first time such a gathering has taken place.  There were 15 treasurers who were able to attend and Silke Carter participated for part of meeting via video link. It was great that Silke, was able to bring a perspective from New Zealand.  The voice of the periphery often brings a different viewpoint. Silke will attend the next meeting in 2019 in Dornach and also the AGM, which comes directly after.

We spent time reviewing the conference for 2018 which was held in Christchurch for the first time.  The group there is very enthusiastic and already beginning plans for 2019.  We, with them, are looking for a theme and exploring a possible speaker for 2019 as Helmy Abouleish unfortunately had to withdraw.

As we move into the Advent and Christmas season we would like to wish all our members and friends a warm and peaceful time.  May you experience the rest and rejuvenation that this time of year can bring and that it may flow into all that you undertake and endeavour to do.

With warmest greetings

Trisha Glover for the NZ Council