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Author Topic: Creating a Pagan Community  (Read 4167 times)
mandy1216
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« Topic Start: May 03, 2010, 11:25:30 pm »

Hello All,

Does anyone have any advice on creating sustainable pagan community? I am currently involved in a multi-path organization that is really trying to move forward and become a resource for area pagans of all traditions.

Has anyone had any experience in this arena? As a solitary practitioner, I have little involvement with groups as a whole.

Thank you,

Amanda
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Jim Halpert:     We didn't play many video games in Scranton. Instead we'd do stuff like.. uh, Pam and I would sometimes hum the same high pitched note and try to get Dwight to make an appointment with an ear doctor. And, uh, Pam called it... Pretendinitis.

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« Reply #1: May 04, 2010, 06:22:34 am »

Does anyone have any advice on creating sustainable pagan community? I am currently involved in a multi-path organization that is really trying to move forward and become a resource for area pagans of all traditions.

I don't know a lot about community organization, but...  One thing that strikes me about this, right off the bat, is that this is really ambitious if you mean to be a "resource" in any sense beyond "here's a safe environment for expressing your non-mainstream beliefs".  "All traditions" just covers too much ground. 

My suggestion, personally, would be to recognize that you can't be everything to everyone, and choose a more specific area of focus.  (Maybe look at who's a part of your existing organization and see what they have in common that you could use as a starting point.)  That will leave some people out, yes, but...  Speaking as one who's likely to fall into the "left out" category if this were something happening in my community, I'd rather an organization be up-front about specializing in something that doesn't fit me than to try to help me and do a poor job of it because they're trying to do too many different things.
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« Reply #2: May 04, 2010, 07:57:20 am »

Does anyone have any advice on creating sustainable pagan community? I am currently involved in a multi-path organization that is really trying to move forward and become a resource for area pagans of all traditions.

What type of "resource" does the group what to be? There are so many different Pagan religions that it is hard for a multi-religion organization to be a religious resource for all of them. Multi-religion groups often do better if their primary purpose is to be a social organization (a friendly place where Pagans of all pagans can be accepted and make frineds type thing) or do community work or the like.
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« Reply #3: May 04, 2010, 08:56:43 am »

Hello All,

Does anyone have any advice on creating sustainable pagan community? I am currently involved in a multi-path organization that is really trying to move forward and become a resource for area pagans of all traditions.

Has anyone had any experience in this arena? As a solitary practitioner, I have little involvement with groups as a whole.

Thank you,

Amanda

I don't really have a step by step set of suggestions but I can say that I see it being done. 

I am a member of the SiMuCOR (Simcoe Muskoka Coalition of Old Religions) group here in South Central Ontario.  The group has been together since 2004 and we just celebrated our 6th Beltaine together. 

http://www.simucor.ca/            (please see the "about" page)


We are an inclusive group of individuals that honour the old religions and support a strong sense of community.  We celebrate eight open sabbats, hold workshops, facilitate special ceremonies and rituals, and have created and support a monthy pub moot. 

We have about 15 or so regular members with members of the public attending the rits as well.  For an example we just held Beltaine with 43 people in attendance.   Grin

It hasn't always been easy but we honestly love each other and do the work it takes to ensure that we continue to support the community and act as a positive networking assistant.

Again, please see the website.  We are also on Facebook and Witchvox.

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mandy1216
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« Reply #4: May 04, 2010, 04:39:13 pm »

I don't really have a step by step set of suggestions but I can say that I see it being done. 

I am a member of the SiMuCOR (Simcoe Muskoka Coalition of Old Religions) group here in South Central Ontario.  The group has been together since 2004 and we just celebrated our 6th Beltaine together. 

http://www.simucor.ca/            (please see the "about" page)


We are an inclusive group of individuals that honour the old religions and support a strong sense of community.  We celebrate eight open sabbats, hold workshops, facilitate special ceremonies and rituals, and have created and support a monthy pub moot. 

We have about 15 or so regular members with members of the public attending the rits as well.  For an example we just held Beltaine with 43 people in attendance.   Grin

It hasn't always been easy but we honestly love each other and do the work it takes to ensure that we continue to support the community and act as a positive networking assistant.

Again, please see the website.  We are also on Facebook and Witchvox.



This is really what we are doing to. We act as a group that helps people coordinate with each other, promote pagan area events, sponsor pagan area events, and in some cases put on our own non-denominational events.

For a clearer picture, here's our website (work in progress) http://www.chicagopaganfellowship.org/ our Meetup http://www.meetup.com/earthspiritchicago/ and our facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Chicago-Pagan-Fellowship/341672610818

The group has been around for 8 years, but we are pushing for a more organized structure so we can be more of a resource to the diverse pagan community. We are also working in conjunction with The Cauldron, a group of local pagan leaders to facilitate inter-path interactions as well as events, etc. One of our mission goals is to act as a hub for those trying to find their way or gather information.

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Jim Halpert:     We didn't play many video games in Scranton. Instead we'd do stuff like.. uh, Pam and I would sometimes hum the same high pitched note and try to get Dwight to make an appointment with an ear doctor. And, uh, Pam called it... Pretendinitis.
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« Reply #5: May 04, 2010, 05:04:35 pm »

This is really what we are doing to. We act as a group that helps people coordinate with each other, promote pagan area events, sponsor pagan area events, and in some cases put on our own non-denominational events.

If you truly want to do this for all pagans, I really think you need to remove the earth-centered language from your webpage.  If I were in the Chicago area, personally, looking at your page would have just turned me off of the group because I am pagan, but not earth-centered, and don't feel that a group which insists on equating the two terms is going to be any use to me whatsoever.  Your group might be a valuable resource for me, or I might be a valuable part of your group (if I were in the Chicago area), but neither of us will ever know because I feel you've excluded me from the group with that language.

If you want to focus on just earth-centered paths, that's fine, there's nothing wrong with that.  I think if that's the case, though, you need to stop claiming to be offering a resource for all pagans as opposed to just those who are earth-centered.
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« Reply #6: May 04, 2010, 06:38:30 pm »

Hello All,

Does anyone have any advice on creating sustainable pagan community? I am currently involved in a multi-path organization that is really trying to move forward and become a resource for area pagans of all traditions.

Has anyone had any experience in this arena? As a solitary practitioner, I have little involvement with groups as a whole.

Thank you,

Amanda

I have to echo Randall about focus.

I don't think you can create community while being a resource for everybody.

Problem I see is that you are offering information about stuff done by other people. Your group isn't actually doing any of the classes or rituals. (You probably are doing the movie night though.)

I've seen similar operations over the years.

Some are centered around a pagan store, where the store owner is hosting an open event to bring in business. Various local pagan groups are invited to present a ritual that the general pagan public can watch.

Some are centered around a cover or similar. Public events, especially festivals, are a way to provide money for the leaders to be full time pagans.

Both, and other varients can provide a sense of community, but not a sense of being a community of the leadership group. I think you'll end up with people being part of a community, but not a community based upon CPF.

I suspect you'll have trouble with buy-in. I don't see you offering a way for individuals to get membership in CPF, nor to join a group that has membership in CPF. And no, paying dues to get into CPF events cheaper or get the newsletter isn't membership. I mean having a legal say in how the organization is run and being part of the congregation of CPF. Or, if it's a group of groups model, being easily able to be part of a group that is a member of CPF.

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mandy1216
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« Reply #7: May 04, 2010, 06:54:18 pm »


I suspect you'll have trouble with buy-in. I don't see you offering a way for individuals to get membership in CPF, nor to join a group that has membership in CPF. And no, paying dues to get into CPF events cheaper or get the newsletter isn't membership. I mean having a legal say in how the organization is run and being part of the congregation of CPF. Or, if it's a group of groups model, being easily able to be part of a group that is a member of CPF.


[/quote]

1. The earth-centered language is currently being removed (we used to be the Earth-centered spiritualists of Chicago).

2. We do sponsor our own events, socials, rituals, and educational courses. We also promote the events of other local groups.

3. Members can be part of several committees (public ritual, crafting, social excursions, education, special interest groups, marketing and communications, etc...) They can also apply to be part of the governing board as positions open up.

Our calendar is a bit sparse for the next month as we re-organize, finalize the mission, and get the final version of the website up and running.
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Jim Halpert:     We didn't play many video games in Scranton. Instead we'd do stuff like.. uh, Pam and I would sometimes hum the same high pitched note and try to get Dwight to make an appointment with an ear doctor. And, uh, Pam called it... Pretendinitis.
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« Reply #8: May 04, 2010, 07:02:58 pm »


2. We do sponsor our own events, socials, rituals, and educational courses. We also promote the events of other local groups.

3. Members can be part of several committees (public ritual, crafting, social excursions, education, special interest groups, marketing and communications, etc...) They can also apply to be part of the governing board as positions open up.

 

What does it take to become a member?

How big do see the group becoming and over how long a period?

How often to board positions open up? Or maybe a better question is How do positions open up?

How do you plan to remain a single organization rather than a collection of sub-groups such as some of the christian mega churches are?

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