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Article Specs

Article ID: 11168

VoxAcct: 291985

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 2,937

Times Read: 5,680

RSS Views: 46,571
Pagan Pride Day - Metro Detroit

Author: Alexander, 7th Pillar of Sophia
Posted: September 17th. 2006
Times Viewed: 5,680
Sponsored by: FOCAS and MEC
Location: Bishop Waterfront Park, Wyandotte, MI
Event Date(s): 09 September 2006
Attendance: 300

Serving our Communities through Pagan Pride
Pagan Pride Day – Metro Detroit

While many of us host and attend Pagan Pride Events to support our local Pagan Communities, Pagan Pride Day is also a chance to serve the greater community as a whole and build bridges along the way.

On September 9th, The Federation of Circles and Solitaries (FOCAS) and the Magical Education Council were Co-hosts of the Metro Detroit Pagan Pride Day, held in Bishop Waterfront Park in Wyandotte, Michigan. While the day’s events included about a dozen wonderful vendors and Readers, a raffle and numerous rituals, there were also Community Service and Charitable Works taking place.

Familiar Friends Black Cat Rescue
Inspired by the passing of two familiars within a week of one another last year, Familiar Friends Black Cat Rescue has placed black cats and kittens in loving Pagan households since October 2005. Why the emphasis on Black Cats? Aside from the traditional association with Witches, the founders learned from local shelters that due to widespread superstition in communities across the nation, black cats are often euthanized immediately or languish in cages for months after being received because they are considered “unlucky” by many.

During Pagan Pride Day, Familiar Friends volunteers were able to secure loving Pagan families for two kittens (Loki and Baldor) and two cats (Hades and Gypsy) . In the week since, as word has spread about Familiar Friends and the plight of black cats, three kittens found Foster homes and a beautiful long haired male named Samael found a permanent home from a Pagan willing to travel over fifty miles to adopt him.

Pagan Pride “Free Tent”
Begun at Pagan Pride Day 2004, the Free Tent has been a huge hit with both the Pagan Community and local community at large. The Federation of Circles and Solitaries manages and number of Charitable Works and also supports the charitable works of secular and other Faith Based groups. FOCAS programs include Pagans In Need (PIN) and Adopt a Shelter. The Pagans In Need program accepts anonymous requests for Food, Clothing, Household goods, and cash. Through collections throughout the year, FOCAS is able to maintain a healthy store of nonperishable foods, clothing and household goods. The Adopt a Shelter program this year supports the Wayne County Family Shelter, a facility that houses families temporarily displaced from housing, and run by Lutheran Social Services of Michigan. FOCAS members also collect food and cash donations for Metro Detroit Meals On Wheels, as well as volunteer their time and energies in food preparation and delivery during the Holidays.

Excess clothing and household goods collected throughout the year are made available “Free” to anyone attending (or wandering in to) Pagan Pride Day festivities. This year, over a full-sized pickup truck full of clothing, books and household goods were distributed through the Free Tent.

Building Bridges
While many people fret over the possible confrontation between Pagans attending Pagan Pride Day events and the more fundamental members of other faiths, it seldom occurs. During this particular Pagan Pride day, three Evangelicals came seeking answers as well as converts. They had seen FOCAS march in the Wyandotte 4th of July and Holiday parades. They had noticed that FOCAS adopted a road in the area. They had many questions and perhaps some fears.

While they weren’t interested in our Environmental clean-ups, charitable works and Interfaith activities, they did want to know “why” we had chosen a Pagan Path, and where we held our “services.” I invited them to stay and observe one of our rituals and explained that we celebrate our rites in local parks rather than a particular House of Worship. I also invited them to attend Chat Night, which is held weekly in our Community Center. “You have a Community Center!? Why?” I replied that “we have a community center for the same reasons the Knights of Columbus and other religious organizations do, we love socializing with those who appreciate and understand our values and traditions.”

After some mild debate regarding the Bible and its infallibility, they agreed to look up a copy of The Jesus Mysteries, by Freke and Gandy, a book I suggested they read to understand how much Pagans and Christians really do have in common.

Alexander, 7th Pillar of Sophia
President
Federation of Circles and Solitaries
www.focasmi.org




Footnotes:
Federation of Circles and Solitaris (FOCAS) www.focasmi.org

Magical Education Council (MEC)
http://www.mec-mi.org
http://convocation.org

The Jesus Mysteries, Freke and Gandy


Copyright: Alexander Zayachkov
Alexander, 7th Pillar of Sophia




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