TWH – The annual celebration of Veterans Day started out as Armistice Day in 1919 at the end of World War I. It was officially renamed Veterans Day in the United States in order to honor all veterans. Many countries still honor Nov. 11 as a day of remembrance, especially those that fought on the Allied side in World War I.
This is a special year for Circle Sanctuary, as they recognize the 10th anniversary of the Veterans Pentacle Quest. After a long struggle attempting to get the pentacle as an approved device for military headstones, Circle Sanctuary and Selena Fox teamed up with Americans United for Separation of Church and State to file a lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs. Assisting in the suit was Roberta Stewart, wife and widow of Sgt.
BUTLER, Mo. – The Sacred Well Congregation (SWC), a universalist, independent, non-evangelical Wiccan Church, announced it ise an Ecclesiastical Endorsing Organization (EEO) for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This designation means they are now able to endorse qualified clergy from Wicca and Earth-Centered Spiritualities who wish to apply for chaplaincy positions with the VA. This marks the first time that any Pagan group has been approved as an Ecclesiastical Endorsing Organization for the VA. In a message on its official Facebook page, SWC said, “This is a tremendous breakthrough, and will enhance our standing with professional chaplains organizations such as COMISS [The Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings, formerly known as the Coalition on Ministry in Specialized Settings] and [Association of Professional Chaplains], as well as strengthen our position as we move forward in our endeavors to secure status as an EEO for military chaplains.”
Rev. David L. Oringderff, Executive Director of Sacred Well Congregation, said that due to his military background, most of his work and advocacy for religious freedom has been with the DoD and VA.
One small step forward for a Pagan but a giant leap for Pagan-kind.
Earlier this week Cherry Hill Seminary announced that the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Incorporated (BCCI), certifying body of the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), granted Sandra Lee Harris MDiv the go-ahead to apply for her chaplaincy certification. The letter reads:
“Thank you for your application for a theological education equivalency. The Commission on Certification has reviewed your education credentials and it is the decision of the Commission that your request be granted.”
Many of you may already know that. Sandra’s news was reported here at The Wild Hunt and was emailed throughout many of the Pagan networking organizations. So why am I spending an entire post on this? Why am I wasting our collective Sunday rehashing the story? Really, is there anything better to do on a chilly, fall morning than contemplate the future of Pagan education within Academia? I think not. So, sit back, grab a cup of tea, and let’s examine how the implications of this announcement far exceed the personal triumphs of one Pagan’s journey. Let me share what I’ve learned after a week of research and two interesting phone conversations. How a step became a leap…. Before ever graduating from Cherry Hill Seminary (CHS), Sandra began investigating the prospects of earning her professional Chaplain certification from APC. In doing so, she realized that she would have to prove that her theological education, from an unaccredited institution, was equivalent to the academic work of any CHEA (Council for Higher Education) accredited school. However, there were two major hurdles.