Ah, Independence Day, a chance to visit friend’s homes, eat large quantities of meat, sit around the fire, watch fireworks light up the night sky as the not-quite-full moon darts in and out of the clouds… It’s not a Pagan holiday by any means, but I do end up wondering whether some day in the future, when we have public High Day rites with hundreds of people participating, if we should make fireworks part of the celebration. Definitely not Indo-European, but still very impressive!
Recently, Paul Hartzer has been kind enough to start putting together a proposal to redesign the Grove’s Web site, which has needed it for a long time, and yes, I freely admit that I have trust issues with letting other people make those decisions, but I know that my own HTML design sense is still stuck in the mid-to-late-90’s, and I trust Paul’s eye for such things. And given that we have fewer events in July and August than during the rest of the year, this is the best time to work on such things.
Looking over the site at things that we need go get rid of (I still can’t believe I never deleted that “tour of the site” thing), I’ve also been thinking about things to add to the site. One idea came indirectly from Paul, who recently had a new baby and registered at Babies R Us for gifts. I know that my Grovemates, and for that matter people who attend our events but never join, are generally very willing to help us with our needs, only they don’t really know what our needs are. And usually I think in terms of “we need you to attend our events” and “we need cash to keep things running”, but the latter is a sensitive subject for many pagans, and the former come across as so sickly sweet that I don’t even want to read it, much less write it, even if it is true.
So assuming that everyone out there knows that we’d love the donation of their time and money, what else do we need? In particular, what comparatively easy to donate things do we need? Easy things that even someone who has only been to a few of our events could fully devote themselves to? To that end, my newest portion of the Grand Experiment That Is ADF will be the “Senior Druid’s Registry”. (I thought about calling it the Grove Registry, but that term could be too easily misinterpreted as exclusionary. “The SLuGs have as Grove Registry, I guess it must be a list of people who are allowed to do things in the Grove…”) I’ll maintain a list of the small things that we need done, that many people will be able to do if they so choose, which will genuinely help our Grove, in my opinion. I only have a few items for the list so far, but why not include them here?
New Donation Box
If you’ve been to any of our rituals, you’ve seen our green-paper-covered “Donations Welcome” box. It was a very nice box when it was first made ten years ago. It’s still a very nice box for its age, but it’s definitely not holding up as well as we’d like, with bits of tape and paper falling off of it. A new donation box would be lovely.
New Bratach Bríd
One of our Grove relics, this embroidered cloth has been blessed by Bríd at every Imbolc Fire Watch since 1996, and also present at the births of several babies, not to mention a mule. The midwives of ancient Ireland carried such a cloth with them to ease the pains of birth in the women they tended to, and we keep the cloth to continue that tradition. The problem being, this particular cloth hasn’t survived the wear and tear of the years very well, and now has several holes in it. Gen and Jude and others who know more about fabrics than I do say that it’s probably beyond repair, so I’d like to get a new and sturdier Bratach for our Imbolc rites and for those women who want to have it with them near or during their deliveries. Hopefully we can incorporate a portion of the old Bratach into it.
Once upon a time, we had a local Bardic Guild who wrote at least one new song for every High Day ritual. Then the members moved away, and in the last ten years or so I think we’ve had maybe three new ones written by Grove members for our rites. We could use some more.
If you’re interested in helping us with any of these needs, contact me at robh@shininglakes org or 734-262-1052.
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF
PS – Don’t forget about our Manannan Shrine visit on Friday night, and Game Night coming up on Saturday! As always, our current schedule can be found at: http://www.shininglakes.bravehost.com/schedule.html