Friday, January 27, 2012

Annual Brigid Poetry Festival, 7th Year!

Or, as Anne says: "Got poetry?  Let the wild rumpus begin!"

From Anne Hill at the Blog o' Gnosis:

It is that time of year again, when bloggers around the world post a favorite poem in honor of Brigid, the Irish goddess and patron saint of smithcraft, poetry, and healing. Brigid’s feast day is February 1st, so between now and then is the perfect time to publish a poem to celebrate.

This is the 7th year of the Annual Brigid Poetry Festival.

You can post to the communal Facebook page (, or at Hill's blog (


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Favorite Pagan parenting resources?

Are you a Pagan parent, or someone who teaches Pagan young people, or teaches non-Pagan young people about Paganism/s?

What are some of your favorite resources?  (Books, websites, magazines?)

I'm asking because I not-infrequently receive requests about this, and I'd like to point parents, especially, at resources that have worked for other Pagan parents and adults working with kids. 

And I want to know what works for you.


(If you've already answered in another forum, you don't need to answer again here, but feel free to.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Light's return / Meeting for Worship

The windows of the Meetingroom where I now attend face south.  In Meeting for Worship this First Day, the angle of the Sun was just enough different from the last time I was there, in December, to be noticeable.

I've been noticing this difference in the angle of the Sun in daily life recently, too, and that sunrise and sunset times are now noticeably different, too. It's nearly a month since Winter Solstice, the Sun is higher in the sky, and the Sun rises earlier and sets later. 

On Saturday, in Area Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, we stopped at around ten past four to admire the spectacular sunset out the southwest-facing windows.

And on Sunday, in Sun-drenched Meeting for Worship, the original gospel version of Charlie Murphy's "Light is Returning" kept running through my head:

After some more silent worship (both inner and outer), Sally Rogers' "Circle of the Sun" came to me and stayed for a while:

...perhaps because I've been thinking and writing quite a bit lately on the circle of life and community, and some of my worship was centered on both community and isolation, there in the Sun-drenched Meetingroom.

There was some vocal ministry that spoke to me deeply; it sprang from from Advices and Queries 18: 

How can we make the meeting a community in which each person is accepted and nurtured, and strangers are welcome? Seek to know one another in the things which are eternal, bear the burden of each other's failings and pray for one another. As we enter with tender sympathy into the joys and sorrows of each other's lives, ready to give help and to receive it, our meeting can be a channel for God's love and forgiveness.

I don't know if the vocal minister would have considered their ministry to be about diversity or individual differences within the Meeting community, but it's one of the ways their ministry spoke to me, resonated with me, and left me with more to worship about and think about.  All good things.

Two other Friends gave vocal ministry about the importance of community during times of hardship -- again, speaking to me very deeply. 

Most of Sunday's vocal ministry did me much good.

(I could even tell at the time!) 

Blessed be.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cookies are not enough, but they're a good place to start

Back in October, a Girl Scout troop leader in CO refused to admit a transgender girl into her troop.  The Girl Scouts of Colorado said the troop leader was unaware of Girl Scout policy, and issued this statement:   

Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members.  If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.

(Click here and here for details.)

GSCO supposedly eventually admitted her.  It's not clear to me if they did.

Fast forward to last week:

Girl Scout Cookie Time is right around the corner, and a video calling for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies went viral on the web and hit the news.  In addition, a lot of people were suddenly talking about several GS troops that had withdrawn from Girl Scouts of the USA and formed their own troops or joined other scouting organizations.  Both the call for the boycott and the withdrawals are over this issue -- not the issue that a troop leader had been transphobic, but the issue that there might be transgender girls in the GSUSA. 

Now there's a counter-movement to buy lots more Girl Scout cookies than usual. 

So you may well have heard about the Great Girl Scout Boycott/Buycott/Girlcott.  It's all over teh interwebs.  There are Facebook events, news stories, blog posts, email discussions, Facebook discussions, you name it. 

Suddenly, lots more people than usual want to buy Girl Scout cookies, in support of an organization that supports transgender youth. 

People want to buy cookies. 

It's an easy thing to do that makes us feel better, and it helps us feel like we've made a statement.  I know the idea feels to me like thumbing my nose at the video-maker, the transphobic troop leader, and the breakaway troops.  And it supports Girl Scout programs financially. 

But -- is buying cookies really taking action to support transgender youth? 

  • Is buying (or selling) Girl Scout cookies really the best way to support transgender girls?  
  • The best way to make sure transgender girls have access to Girl Scouts?  
  • The best way to make sure they have safe experiences in Girl Scouts?  

The girl in CO supposedly was admitted to her troop.  The troop leader had previously said some pretty transphobic things.  Has the troop leader's attitude changed?  If this girl was admitted, what kind of experience is she having now?  Is it a positive one?  A negative one?  Somewhere in between?  Is she safe? 

If you're involved in Girl Scouts, are transgender girls in your area certain they're welcome in your troop?  How do they know they're welcome at all, much less that they'll be safe, referred to by the proper pronouns, etc? 

Are transgender girls truly welcome in your troop?  That's the official word --  how true is it in the hearts of the people in your local organization?

Is transgender girls aren't welcome, or if they don't know that they are, is that something you want to change?

How does buying, or selling, cookies help bring transgender girls into Girl Scouting?  (There are ways it might -- what are those ways?) 

  • How does it help them have positive experiences there?  
  • How does it help cisgender adults to whom this is new territory adapt and deal with their discomfort?  
  • How does it help cisgender girls know what behavior is appropriate, or whose lead to follow?  

If nothing else, the Great Cookie Kerfuffle is helping us have a conversation about all this.

Cookies are not enough.

But they are a good place to start.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My little brag/an article in Friends Journal

I have an article published in the January 2012 issue of Friends Journal!  It's about some of the reasons people do "unacceptable" things in Meeting for Worship, and how those reasons relate to accessibility and ministry. 

The piece appears on page 13 of the print edition (how appropriate!) and is titled, "Accessibility, Handwork, and Ministry in Meeting for Worship." 

(The January issue is not yet up on the Friends Journal website.)