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Author Topic: Obligation to Community  (Read 8416 times)
Juniperberry
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« Reply #7: May 17, 2011, 03:29:42 pm »

What are our obligations to community?

I'm not talking the larger pagan community; I'm talking about our smaller, personal worship communities. Members of established physical churches often have a financial obligation to contribute to the upkeep of the church building and pay staff. They also often have responsibilities that include teaching Sunday school, helping with child care, etc.

So what about us?

My obligations to my worship community are sometimes financial. I chip in for after-ritual feasts. When we have special workshops and gatherings, I chip in my share of the bill. When I run ritual, I help purchase supplies.

My obligations are also responsibilities. I'm required to help run at least one moon ritual and one holiday ritual a year. I've taken on teaching responsibilities (though I don't have any students yet) and organizational responsibilities in my group. I'm also there to help support covenmates through difficult times in their life.

Not everyone in our group takes their responsibilities seriously. There's been a lot of tension in the past year about keeping our Covenstead clean after holiday gatherings, since we're on someone's private property. People haven't been good about cleaning up their own messes, and by ignoring their responsibilities they end up hurting everyone... the folks who own the property get mad, the same folks who live nearby always get stuck cleaning up, and those of us who have taken on "Elder" responsibilities in the group have to hear about it and have to take on the responsibility of cleaning up ourselves.

What do y'all think? What are your obligations to community? If you're a solitary, how can you apply the ideas of community to your personal practices?

Karen


Interesting question from a heathen perspective since it's much more about "proper" living than about proper worship. Though there are heathen kindreds that form a spiritual type community, I would go so far as to say that, 'religiously' speaking, your everyday community and how you interact with them matters so much more than how you deal with the kindred. In the past there weren't kindreds, obviously. People of a community got together, feasted together, helped each other and it was all just part of life. Kindreds are only a modern way for separated heathens to gather and share in a like-minded community. But underneath it all, the real community for a heathen, the community that /she honors, supports and gives of him/her self is the local community. Neighbors, local stores, schools are all intertwined with my life; these members of the community all interact with the quality, peace and sustainability of my life. I can be as responsible as I want to my kindred but if I don't take care of my community at home, if I don't support my schools, local merchants, and lend my neighbor a hand then I'm not doing my job. I wouldn't be showing pride, I wouldn't be protecting mine, I wouldn't honor those who are part of a greater web that influences the HOME. 
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