Pagan Community Notes: Cherry Hill Seminary, Pagans at Langley, PaganSpace, and More!

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  February 9, 2012 — 8 Comments

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note series, more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So lets get started!

Cherry Hill Seminary Names Two New Department Chairs: Pagan learning institution Cherry Hill Seminary has announced the appointment of chairs for its Community Education and Pastoral Counseling departments.

Rev. Dr. David Oringderff speaks with Lt. Gen. Mike Gould during a dedication ceremony for the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel Falcon Circle May 3, 2011. Oringderff is the executive director of the Sacred Well Congregation and represented the Earth-Centered Spirituality community during a religious respect conference at the Academy in November 2010. Gould is the Academy superintendent. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan)

Rev. Dr. David Oringderff speaks with Lt. Gen. Mike Gould during a dedication ceremony for the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel Falcon Circle May 3, 2011. Oringderff is the executive director of the Sacred Well Congregation and represented the Earth-Centered Spirituality community during a religious respect conference at the Academy in November 2010. Gould is the Academy superintendent. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan)

“Cherry Hill Seminary is pleased to announce two new academic appointments.  Valentine McKay-Riddell, Ph.D., is the new chair of Pagan Community Education, and David Oringderff, Ph.D., is the new chair of the Department of Pagan Pastoral Counseling.

A long-time professor for the department, Oringderff is well known for his role in the founding of Sacred Well Congregation, as well as many years of advocacy on behalf of Pagans in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Oringderff is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University, and holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Bowie State University (Maryland) and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Union Institute School of Professional Psychology in Cincinnati, Ohio. […] The second new appointment is that of Valentine McKay-Riddell, Ph.D., as Chair of Pagan Community Education (PCE).  McKay-Riddell is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute and a member of the adjunct faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, where she earned a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology.”

Academic Dean Wendy Griffin, Ph.D., noted that Oringderff’s “combination of broad life experience and professional background are what our students need as they prepare to serve in the real world. As more and more individuals serving in the military turn to Cherry Hill Seminary for training for ministry, Dr. Oringderff’s extensive network will be a tremendous asset.” Our congratulations to both Valentine McKay-Riddell and David Oringderff on their new roles within CHS. You can read more about these appointments, and CHS, here.

An Interview With Langley Air Force Base’s New Wiccan Representative: While we’re on the subject of pastoral duties to Pagans in the military, Dead Hour Radio will be featuring an interview with Langley Air Force Base’s new Wiccan representative this Sunday. The host of the show, Carrie Lynn, is an Air Force veteran who started the very first Wicca group at Langley in 2000.

“This Sunday at 10pm EST, on our show we are hosting Langley AFB NEW Wiccan representative to talk about military pagan issues today and the Wiccan faith.”

You can read more about Pagans in the Air Force, here. You can read a piece written by Carrie back in 2000, here. It should be an interesting and enlightening show!

PaganSpace Moving to Member-Owned and Run Model: The Pagan social networking site PaganSpace is moving to a member-owned and run model. In a message to members, outgoing owner Starrfire Price explains the reasons for the change, and how the transition process will work.

“Following a recent announcement regarding the desire to sell PaganSpace I came to the conclusion that the best way to assure the future of PaganSpace is to basically sell it back to the community thus allowing PaganSpace to be placed into the hands of the community who helped bring it to where it is today.

I’ll still be on the site daily and retain admin privileges, I’ll also be training all the new people who step into their positions. I will also be remaining on the board of directors at 10%, under a newly formed corporation (PaganSpace, Inc) that will be formed once the polling ends and board members are elected. I’ll also retain the network site and the domain names for at least the first year (those things will be placed into the corporation name but I know no one will have the means to harm the site with it remaining in my hands). So, I’m not technically going anywhere but I will be freeing up time to complete the many goals and tasks that are in front of me.”

A FAQ has been up for contributors, and those who’d like to have a hand in running the site. PaganSpace is one the few survivors of the DIY social networking boom from a few years ago, a time that saw many Pagan-themed social networking hubs emerge. It will be interesting to see how they progress under this new model, and I wish them luck.

Other Community Notes:

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000091404578 Elizabeth Eveson

    Yay! Something with Langley in it! We’re currently stationed there, and we did notice a lot more Wiccan activities being done lately. They’re being a lot more vocal about them, sending out a lot of base-wide e-mail advertisements for their services. My Dad’s the one in the Air Force, and he’s been sending me a lot of announcements for study groups and such. I’ll have to tune in!

  • FernWise

    Should we assume that the Amazon Priestess Tribe still DISINVITES all transwomen from anything they do? After all, they’ve made it clear that they don’t consider transwomen to be women, or to be part of their “Divine Feminine consciousness” – nor to be a part of ANY “healthy and sustainable future.”

    • http://profiles.google.com/thorncoyle T Thorn Coyle

      I wondered that too, and don’t see this info on the website. However, in an email I received it clearly stated that any who “identify with the feminine” were invited. I quote:

      “Sisters (meaning all who identify with the feminine): please join us in performing the brief, powerful ritual enactment we have designed, every full moon at your own altar, from now until Dec. 21, 2012. Let us know you are participating by sending an e-mail to amazonpriestess@gmail.com with your name or pseudonym, any links to social media you’d like to share, and your general geographic location so that we can keep track of how many women are participating in how many states/countries.

      Brothers and those who do not identify with the feminine: please offer the fertilizing potency of your love and support for this project by holding us in your thoughts as we endeavor this working. Be our “birth partners.” Each full moon, take a moment to hold the project in your thoughts and envision that you are waiting eagerly to hear of a beloved sister, friend, or partner who is giving birth to a new baby. Send us energy. Send us Reiki. Sing or drum for us. Join your own ideals with our ideals to help us shape and raise the future we are creating. Please send us an e-mail to amazonpriestess@gmail.com letting us know you are sending your support. It means the world to us, literally.”

      • Mistress Ladybug

        Yes, transgender women are very much invited and encouraged to be a part of this spell. Please do.

    • Yesherabbit

      Fernwise, I am confused by your tone and language here, because what you state is patently untrue of the Amazons. We have now made several statements clarifying our position and our support for our trans sisters, publicly, at events, and in writing. Please feel free to contact me directly for further clarification.

      Please go ahead and take a look at the site. The info was on the page regarding “How can I help?” but at Thorn’s helpful suggestion I have moved the info to the body of the invite itself for the sake of clarity.

      Basically, if you identify as a woman, we are interested in performing this working with you. Full stop. We see no need for any further language that may divide us. The war on women is currently a war on all women, including our trans sisters.

      We welcome all of those who are willing to place their own Divine Feminine Consciousness at the center of this working to participate and contribute, and we welcome the energetic support of those who do not choose to identify with the feminine as well.

      Blessed be,
      Rabbit

  • Anonymous

    So very glad to see positive progress for Pagans and Wiccans in the USAF. It’s certainly a much better climate now then it was in the late 80s when I poked my head out of the broom closet- and ended my career.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EdAHubbard Ed Hubbard

    I remember when Paganspace was written off by many people and I am glad they continue to thrive. As for Pantheacon, I am looking forward to this, and will have my young Magick TV folk there. They are hoping to score a video interview with you, as they are fans.

    • Monkey

      It’s still treated as a joke by most people I know. The hatred, bigotry and outright silliness shown by so many members is ridiculous – most people I know never go near it, and those that do only go there to laugh.

      I was hoping a new owner would put an end to all the flaming but if it’s going to be member-owned, doesn’t look like much chance of that happening.