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Pagans' Night Out

Pagans' Night Out is a simple concept really--Pagans from all sorts of traditions and non-traditions and folks who don't call themselves "pagan" for all sorts of reasons--get together in a public space for networking, conversation and, usually, beer.

Do you do that in your community? We've been doing it here in Asheville for many years--organized by CERES (Coalition of Earth Religions for Education and Support), a 501c3 faith-based Pagan charity.

We came to it out of desperation, really.  Back in the 1990s, there were several strong covens in our area and they mostly didn't get along very well. Some of you will remember the "Witch Wars" that seemed so prevalent during that time and our community was not exempt.

Several of us thought the best thing to do would be to bring representatives of the various groups and solitaries together in a neutral location. Invitations went out and we were surprised that so many people wanted to attend. We spent an inordinate amount of time deciding who couldn't or shouldn't sit next to whom and finally arrived at something reasonable.

We met in the community room of a local health-food store and we met three times. It was surprisingly interesting and not nearly so drama-filled as one might imagine. Many good ideas came out of those meetings and many complaints were aired, fingers pointing.

One thing that was easily and quickly implemented was a pagan social event.  We determined that one of the stumbling blocks to building community was that it was difficult to worship together--we were all so set in our ways and weren't ready to compromise at all. But having a time when we could share a meal--when we could break bread together--and talk might be something worth trying.

It was. And it still is. Those strong covens are mostly a thing of the past and many of the people haved moved on. But we meet every month at a local "watering hole" for talk and introductions.

And beer, of course.

If you do something like this in your community, I'd love to hear about it.  Leave me a message here, if you'd like to tell about your experience in this sort of interfaith work.

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