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Covenant of Gaia - Church of Alberta
Age Range/Type: Family
Located in: Calgary, Alberta
Key Contact: President
Spiritual Path: Eclectic
Status: Established Group
Community Support: Open Circles...
Group Overview: Welcome to the Covenant of Gaia.
We are a Wiccan church located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Facebook: Covenant Of Gaia – Church Of Alberta
Yahoo E-group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cogcoa_public/
In 1990 a group of female Wiccans decided to start a legally recognised church in Alberta. For various reasons many of the founders drifted away. In 1991 one of them approached a new, mixed-gender group to discuss the possibility of continuing the project as an Eclectic, instead of Dianic, church.
We started with a small Board of Directors: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.
The original name was to be the Covenant of Gaia. The Alberta government had other ideas. They want a church to be called a church and they also asked for the "of Alberta." The resulting official name, the Covenant of Gaia Church of Alberta, is awkward so you will most often hear it called The Covenant or COGCOA. We tend not to use COG because that might confuse us with the Covenant of the Goddess, a U.S. church. COGCOA is not affiliated with COG.
The Articles of Faith were interesting to write because they had to define us, yet allow for the wide diversity present in the Craft because the Covenant does not have a specific tradition. It is composed of autonomous congregations, each of which worships as it sees fit within the framework of our Articles of Faith. The Covenant is a congregational church, but we define a congregation as one or more people.
After starting in a member’s living room and attendance expanding, we found we needed more space. This led to the question of how we would raise the rental money. It was decided that a donation jar would be left by the door and those who attended were asked to give $2-$3 toward the rent. This system survives to this day and seems to work fairly well, although rising prices have raised our suggested donations to $5.
The Covenant holds eight sabbats a year. Members submit bids to perform the sabbat rituals in whatever manner they wish. Some bids are submitted by covens, some by groups of solitaries. As a result each sabbat is different and participants receive exposure to a variety of traditions. When possible the dates are chosen to be at least one day off the official festivals so that people who wish to celebrate privately can do so. The average attendance is about 60 to 80 people.
Around each Bealtaine the Covenant holds its annual general meeting. At that time the Directors resign and new Directors are elected. To help prevent burn out, no director can serve more than three consecutive terms. In addition to the officers there are also positions for up to 11 directors-at-large. These positions are usually filled by people who want to work on specific projects during the next year.
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