Green Priestcraft: A ChristoPagan Pastoralia

"Pastoralia" is a somewhat archaic term denoting the spiritual, pastoral, and ritual care of a community.  "ChristoPagan" is a somewhat emergent term denoting a blend of Christian and Pagan thealogy, cosmology, and spirituality.  So, put the two together, and you have the hopefully intriguing (and, to some, infuriating) description of my own journey as a greenpriest.  I trust that folks of various and sundry spiritual persuasions will find something here to pique their interest, deepen their practice, and feed their souls.  Hear the Rune of Sophia: "God is Love, and Her body is all creation.  She is a Tree of Life, who gathers Her children in Love."  This is the conviction which guides me.  Blessed be.

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Creating History

This past weekend, at Knox-Metropolitan United Church in Regina, Saskatchewan, history was made.  It was, I believe, the first time that a traditional Christian church publicly hosted an event specifically around ChristoPaganism.  Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think this has happened before, anywhere.  There have been a (very) few gatherings for Christian-Pagan dialogue, but nothing that has brought Pagans and Christians together to explore the bi-spiritual path of ChristoPaganism, within the walls of a church.

I am so thankful for Pastor Cam Fraser and the congregation of Knox-Met for taking a chance, in a very public manner, to invite me to offer this introduction to ChristoPaganism.  And I'm equally grateful for the individual Christians, Pagans, and spiritual seekers who gathered together to learn, to share, to pray, and even to do ritual together.

For me, ChristoPaganism is a very significant spiritual path, as it continues the long hard process of reconciling two religious traditions which have been in conflict with each other in the Western cultural stream for at least 2000 years.  In the course of that conflict, a deep and painful split in our psyche and in the culture as a whole has done tremendous damage to Mother Earth, to Indigenous peoples, to women and queer folk, and to our own hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits.  My continual prayer is that ChristoPaganism, even as a small (but growing) movement, might help lead the way into a profound spiritual-cultural transformation.

For those interested, here are the topics we covered this past weekend (and there is also a good CBC radio interview here: 

 

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-205-saskatchewan-weekend/clip/15741072-hes-a-christian-priest....-and-a-pagan-druid

 

 

Friday Oct 18, 7:30 - 9pm   Public Lecture   The Blended Chalice: ChristoPaganism as a Spiritual Path    Speaking from his own experience, Rev. Shawn will describe and analyze the phenomenon of bi-spirituality in contemporary society.  Locating Christian Druidry and ChristoPaganism within the larger framework of liberal Protestantism and the revival of multiple NeoPaganisms, Shawn will explore the blessings and challenges of weaving together two spiritual traditions which have been alienated and hostile for centuries.  Q & A to follow.

 

Saturday Oct 19, 10am - noon    Workshop     Sophia and the Spirits   Building on his previous work in the field of Christian Animism, Rev. Shawn will lead participants through conversation, meditation, and practices designed to heighten our awareness of the multitude of spiritual neighbours we have within Creation.  We will work as well with the Rune of Sophia: "God is Love, and Her Body is all Creation.  She is a Tree of Life, who gathers Her children in Love." 

 

Saturday Oct 19, 2 - 4pm    Workshop   Just Druid It!   Green Priestcraft and the Chaplaincy of Creation   Contemporary Druids have sometimes been described as "priests and priestesses of nature".  What might that look like in our context, for Pagans and Christians alike?  This workshop will outline some concrete and practical steps to beginning a spiritual ministry of care for the places in which we live.  Bring your love for the land, your love for the plant and animal people around you, and your desire to heal and bless Mother Earth and all our relations.

 

Saturday Oct 19,  4pm     Open Ceremony    (to be held in the park next door, if weather permits)   Come join the circle of a Christian Druid grove, for an hour of sharing, singing, and praying for our beloved planet.   All are welcome !

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The Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck is an ecumenical priest associated with the United Church of Canada, and a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. He is the author of Christian Animism, and the founder of the Ecumenical Companions of Sophia, an informal online community fostering Christian-Pagan dialogue and spiritual practice.  He lives with his family on an off-the-grid farm community in north-western Saskatchewan (Treaty Six Territory), where he is chaplain to the human and more-than-human wights of the community.  When not writing sermons, chopping wood, or practising magic, Shawn can be counted on to have his nose buried in a book. He can be contacted at greenpriest@hotmail.ca
 

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