So now the winter is hard upon us. Well, not too hard, it definitely felt like it was above freezing when I went outside this afternoon, but it’s definitely not autumn any more, nor is spring here yet. So winter it is! My own activities today were mostly indoors, and included moving bookshelves around and catching up on e-mail. And writing this blog entry, of course. >8) It’s interesting how my mindset has already gotten into a Bríd kind of mood, wanting to do indoor cleaning and writing and those things we associate with our Grove’s hearth goddess. I think I must do this for every High Day that’s coming up, whatever time of year it is. The cold weather does kind of force the issue, though.
Cold outside or not, though, it’s not too early to plan ahead, especially when you’re the guy who’s supposed to be planning things ahead for your entire Grove. Specifically thinking in terms of what we can do this spring to get people more active in Grove events. I’ll likely do another of my Modern Druidry classes in April or May, since that seems to be a time of year when people want to learn more about our practices and beliefs, and it’s a good excuse to make a visit to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens or some other fun outdoor site in the area. But this class would only be of interest to new Grove members, or interested non-members. Is there something more we can be doing for our regulars?
As I’ve noted before, our membership is very spread out these days, geographically speaking. We’re well past the point where most of our members live within ten miles of downtown Ann Arbor (heck, I’m 15 miles away these days, and I’m still one of the closest members), and I don’t expect us to get back to the days when we could have two meetings a week and expect a decent turnout. I can sympathize with people skipping the business meetings, and if you actually trust me, Rod, and Gen to come up with decent rituals, then I can understand not coming to the Liturgists’ Roundtables. Just remember that the next time Rod and I come up with an idea like the “cow puzzle” for group praise, that you could have stopped it, so it’s really your fault, not mine and Rod’s. >8)
Coffee Hour still convinces people to come to Ann Arbor once a month, and I’m thinking that another social event each month would have some potential. Once upon a time we had a monthly Game Night, with board and card games, and it was fairly popular. If we can find a good place to hold it, I’d like to try doing that again. Sadly, my own apartment is, oh how to put it nicely, not in a good part of town? I wouldn’t be comfortable having guests over, and I’ll leave it at that. If someone in the Grove has a residence in a nicer part of town and is willing to open it up to a Game Night event, please do let me know.
Another very popular event from our past was Producers’ Day, or whatever the Producers’ Guild called their meetings. Actually, I think they just called them Producers’ Guild Meetings. They would do various and diverse crafts projects, and everyone in the Grove who was good at third function stuff like that (read: everyone in the Grove but me) would come together and make stuff and talk. They haven’t had a meeting for a while now, and I need to pester them about that at the business meeting next week.
Those are the event ideas I’d like to pursue for now. I’m sure that at least a few of my readers are wondering why I haven’t mentioned the bizarre idea that our Druid church might actually try to have, y’know, regular church services. “Regular” in this case meaning “more often than once every six or seven weeks”. We’ve discussed it many times throughout the years and even tried running biweekly rituals. Everyone said that regular services would be a great thing for us to do, so we spent a lot of time putting together ritual scripts, and then we got two or three people to actually show up to them. And this was when we had over fifty members! No, I think we need to focus on social and educational events for now, and if/when there’s a demand for it (not to mention a good place to hold them), we can look at doing more frequent rituals again.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have more housework to do!
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF
Druidic Worship Services, our one serious attempt at more-frequent-than-High-Day ritual: http://shininglakes.bravehost.com/dwc.html