Now that February is over, and given that I asked for spiritual help for one of my February events - and also given that I've done a terrible job of posting here about how events have gone - I thought I would do just that. :)
2009 started off much calmer than the end of 2008, thankfully. And then my ministry work got busy again quickly.
In January and February, I hosted my usual Full Moon Meetings for Worship (followed by potluck tea). They've been smaller lately, and in some ways both more mellow and more intense. I'm hoping to get some community built up around these so that folks might continue to meet even after I move in August, if that's still a need in the community.
January also saw the start of my second semester at Cherry Hill Seminary. This term I'm taking two more very cool classes - Understanding the Ritual Experience, and the Psychology of Gender. Both are very interesting given my academic, cultural, professional, ministerial, and religious backgrounds in Catholicism, Judaism, Quakerism, feminist Witchcraft, psychology, women's studies, trauma theory, trauma recovery, and pastoral counseling. Yet again, Pagan geek heaven. There's also another Quaker in one of my classes, which is great, because then I'm not the only one speaking from a Quaker perspective or the only one trying to explain relevant Quaker things. And my instructors are wonderful, as are my classmates.
From one event in January, I then went to facilitating four in February: Full Moon Meeting for Worship; Brigid/Candlemas/Imbolc Celebration in the Roses, Too! Tradition; and two Singing the Goddess workshops.
The Brigid celebration was also small. The potluck was just really nice, and in particular gave me the opportunities to experiment with soup-making without following Mark Bittman's instructions to the letter, and to get to know a few people, whom I like but don't know well, a little better. This was neat.
And the magic in ritual was very powerful. (In typical Roses, Too! fashion, there were in fact lots and lots of tealights; it was amazing to see my living room lit up in a physical manifestation of the spiritual work and the magic we were doing together.) It's been quite a while since I've done Roses, Too!-style Brigid, and it felt really good. I've missed structuring my personal spiritual work around the cycle of the seasons in this particular way; it's good for me.
Beloved Wife and I went to Camp Adams in Mollala, OR, for the Mid-Winter Gathering of Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns.
(I'd had a crazy week before - shorting myself on sleep to get everything done for school, budget reports (I'm currently serving as FLGBTQC's treasurer), and workshop prep. This turned out to be a mistake, because of course I got sick. I knew this when I was an undergrad lo these many years ago. What, I forgot or something?)
Mid-Winter Gathering was good. FLGBTQC is one of the places I feel completely loved and honored for all of me; our worship is deep and rich; and our Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business are amazing. (I'll post our Epistle once it's available; you can see past Epistles here.) Our Talent-less Show was also a great deal of fun. My special thanks go to all who serve our community; to our Planning Committee; to our plenary speakers, for sharing their experience of faith calling for justice on the same terms; and to Friend Peterson Toscano, for his work, deep sharing, and vulnerability in presenting his piece Transfigurations - Trangressing Gender in the Bible.
At Mid-Winter, I taught a 90-minute session of Singing the Goddess. It was a small but fabulous group that cheerfully tackled some more challenging pieces. I wished we could have spent more time together. When I was called on rather last-minute for the Talent-less Show, several of these Friends stood up with me and helped teach, then lead, the room in singing Ursula LeGuin and Benjamin Newman's "The Creation of Ea" (from A Wizard of Earthsea). And the room sang it in round. Awesome!
Last Saturday, I presented a one-hour session of Singing the Goddess at Our Lady of the Earth and Sky's annual Community Festival. More on that in my next post.