Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing 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 let’s get started!
Christine Hoff Kraemer’s book “Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies” went on sale in the Kindle store this past Monday, and as a result shot to the top of several of Amazon’s best-sellers charts. This included the Paganism, Theology, and Earth-Based Religions categories. A book on Pagan theology climbing the charts is always newsworthy, so I asked Kraemer, who is faculty at Cherry Hill Seminary and also manager of the Patheos Pagan Channel, for her reaction. Quote: “I’m delighted that the book is being so well received! It’s been fascinating to me to see how many of the recent debates among Pagan writers online have actually been theological in nature. How many tens of thousands of words have been written in the last few months about the nature of the Gods? Although these debates can be painful and emotional, the fact that so many Pagans are deeply invested in building a coherent theology for themselves — in other words, developing good theory behind their practices — seems like a sign that we’re maturing as a movement. I just hope we can cultivate patience and compassion with each other as we do it.” Our congratulations to Dr. Kraemer on this accomplishment, and don’t forget to get your copy today!
Last month I reported that online Pagan learning institution Cherry Hill Seminary had received a generous challenge gift that would match up to $10,000 dollars in donations by July 1st. I’m happy to report that they matched and surpassed their goal. Quote: “Cherry Hill Seminary is happy to announce the successful completion of our endowment challenge fund drive, with a total raised of $12,271. Our original donor has now transferred $10,000 to Cherry Hill Seminary and we have opened a new restricted account! We could not be happier about this wonderful news. What is most touching is to see the number of students and volunteers who have made a real sacrifice to see this happen. It’s also exciting to see the number of new donors who were inspired by the vision of a permanent endowment.” The donations will benefit a new scholarship endowment that would help students nearing completion of their Master of Divinity, assisting them with the expense of attending their required second intensive. This is the latest in a string of accomplishments for the seminary, which which recently presented its first academic symposium in partnership with the University of South Carolina.
Back in April I reported on how Pagans played a key role in raising funds to save the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions from a fiscal crisis that could have ended the organization and its much-heralded interfaith gatherings. Now, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, current Chairperson for the council, announces that as of July 2nd they are officially liberated from that debt crisis, and are now operating in a fiscally sustainable manner. Angie Buchanan, Emeritus Director of the Council, and founder of Earth Traditions, released the following statement to the Pagan community. Quote: “I am deeply grateful to the Pagan Community for coming together for the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in its hour of need. The papers have been signed, the case has been dismissed and the lawyers have released us to be able to make this public announcement. Pagans alone raised 10% of the $260K debt, an amazing feat accomplished in less than 3 weeks. As an emeritus member of the Board, and the first Pagan ever to have served in such a capacity, I have a clear understanding of the importance of this great organization to the world, and to Pagans specifically. I look forward to helping CPWR produce the celebration of their 120th anniversary, in November of this year.” Pagans have played key roles in the Parliament since its return in 1993, and Phyllis Curott, founder of the Temple of Ara, currently serves as the Vice-Chair for the Parliament’s Board of Trustees.
In Other Pagan Community News:
- The Wild Hunt’s own Teo Bishop has been pretty busy lately, he wrote a song with Cher, he stepped down from the ADF’s Solitary Druid Fellowship, and now he’s moving to Portland, Oregon! Quote: “Part of me thinks you’re kind of a pagan who doesn’t really identify as Pagan. You don’t like labels. But you compost, and your people seem more aware of their impact on the natural world. It’s not like you’re one big coven or something, but you do have a lot of trees. You’re kind of one gigantic grove. That sounds lovely to me.” Since I live in beautiful Eugene, Oregon, I will now be calling Teo my “Neighbor to the North.”
- Singer, songwriter, author, and magician Lon Milo Duquette is currently (at the time of this writing) in first place on a singer-songwriter competition that could win him some really cool stuff. You can listen to his song entry “Bernice,” here. Voting continues until July 15th, even though the site says July 1st, according to Duquette. So go on and vote! Lon deserves nice stuff!
- Everglades Moon, the Florida local council of the Covenant of the Goddess, has posted an editorial from their First Officer about the Lake Okeechobee Summer Solstice Festival, Kyrja Withers, and the responsibility of Pagans to support the organizations that support them in their hours of need. Quote: “We have a responsibility to pay it back and pay it forward. Organizations like Lady Liberty League operate on small budgets and huge volunteer manpower [...] I don’t know what Lady Liberty League has in the bank for situations like that, but I’d bet it’s not as much as they’d like.”
- Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship’s Northwest Region has launched a new blog to keep members (and those interested in the ADF’s activities in the Northwest Region) up to date.
- Camp Idunna, an event for children and their families held in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and co-sponsored by an ADF protogrove and a Asatru kindred, will be held July 18th – 21st. Quote: “Going to festivals with kids is always an experience. Some have kids’ activities and keep the kids having fun for some of the event. Some are really great for kids. But there’s always a pull between the adult activities and kids’ activities. This gathering is geared towards the children of our community, but also toward the parents.” A clear sign of the maturing and multi-generational makeup of the modern Pagan community?
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!