Initially, I had intended on giving the explanation of our ministry its own post, but since our two-year plan has changed, it affects how we implement our ministry. So, first things first.
Now, for our usual readers, I’m sure over the past six plus months that our plan of action keeps changing. At least we’re adaptable, right? Much of it has depended on finding jobs and a place to live. Well, now Joshwa has a job and we have a home. And while Joshwa’s job would allow him to move in as little as three more months, the home…not so much. We have a year lease here at in Montevallo, so we’ll be here at least until next January. In that time, we’re going to pay on Joshwa’s student loan and pay off our debts accrued within the last several months. But, we’ve discussed it, and if we stay where we are for an additional year, we can pay if not all, then most of his student loan (all but like $300, if we don’t get any money back for this year – which we still haven’t heard anything, so), pay off all of our outstanding bills, including two that we refuse to even think about at the moment, since they’re both bs. And by then, we’ll both have good credit (I have decent credit, but I think we’ve put it in the crapper trying to get by lately), and we’ll have been able to save up money. We’ll have plenty of time to explore the area where we’re hoping to end up, and we’ll have time near my Momma. I don’t want to have kids in the state of Alabama, because there are no home births allowed with a midwife (midwife faces jail time) and there are only about 70 nurse-midwives (the only ones allowed to operate in the state) in the ENTIRE state. That’s disconcerting, since I don’t want a whole lot of doctor interference and I’m planning on a natural, medicated childbirth. Crazy, I’m sure, but I don’t want all those drugs in my system, especially since I’ll be DAMNED if I’m going to give birth and then immediately my child be taken to some nursery for a nurse to feed them with formula. We’re a natural family. Anyway, so it’s gonna be tough to have the birth we want here in Alabama, but what choice have we? We’ll make it work for us because, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, we find a way to come out on top.
So what all this boils down to is that we’re gonna stay here in Montevallo, most likely in this very townhouse, for the next two years while Joshwa works his way through the system to a better position, we get everything paid off, and we start our family. We’ll still look for our forever place, but for now, we’ll focus on getting everything straight so that when we do move again, it can be forever.
Now, for our ministry. We’ve both felt recently a need for a community, not just a secular place where we know people – as we’ve had that more or less the entire time – but a religious community, and one that meets both our needs as fully as possible. Because, neither one of us feel comfortable in a church – even UUs (Unitarian Universalists) you have to sit on a pew and listen to someone talk, and that isn’t what we need – but prefer to actually worship and prefer to do so surrounded by the magnificence of the Divine. And if there is to be talk, it should be discussion; people coming together to share ideas and ideals in an informal setting where people can ask the questions that they need to ask and receive the answers that they need to receive. Now, for those within the greater Pagan community, I can hear you smirking. “Why, that sounds like a Pagan gathering”. Sure. Except that all too often at Pagan gatherings, there is this attitude that there are many ways to Divinity, but Christianity is NOT one of them. Or, at the very least, the Christian presence at the gathering is limited to my Joshwa. And that doesn’t fly for either of us.
So, we were talking around Christmas, as this is something that has been on my heart for a while now, and – apparently – on my Joshwa’s as well. We’ve both felt an urging to start a fellowship – a family fellowship, as we think our children’s religious upbringing is of vital importance – of all believes whose main goal is spiritual growth. And not just their own – for selfish spiritual growth seems stunted to me – but who are concerned about their own spiritual growth, their children’s spiritual growth, their community’s spiritual growth, and this country’s spiritual growth. Now, I’m not talking about a political movement, even on the small-scale. I’m talking about people coming together to celebrate the passing of time and seasons together, who are willing to work together to see one another grow spiritually, to help one another’s children grow into the spiritual adults that we hope they can be; people coming together to change the community – and thus, the nation – around them by setting the example of a good and spiritual life and prayers for one another, the community, the nation, and the world.
I know it seems like a tall order. And it is. But all great movements start somewhere. And we both feel the calling for it to start with us. I find I have to respect the Atheistic mind, because I feel that even Atheists come to this life thinking and feeling that way for a reason. But that doesn’t mean I want my children growing up to be Atheists. And I fear that in this day and age where there don’t seem to be enough resources for people beyond this belief system or that, more and more children will grow up to be Atheists, not because they don’t believe there is a Divine out there, but because all the options they see are wrong for them or have shown them only the ugly side. I want to have a community for our children to grow up, not just with their crazy Pagan Mama and her friends, or their Christian Daddy and his, but people of any and all faiths, coming together and focusing on what should be the point of all religions – personal connection to the Divine.
Now, with us finding ourselves in this place at this time, knowing that we’re going to be here for a time, I can’t just put off this beautiful and vital ministry. So, I have to believe that we have come to this place and found ourselves stopped here for a time because this secular community needs the religious community that we feel led to start. So, I’m going to sit down and write up – I guess it would be a charter of sorts. I’m going to start reaching out. For now, there can be no set times and dates, but I know that by Beltane, it would be nice to be able to gather with a group of people – even a new-found group – and celebrate what is one of the high holy days for us – if for different reasons. I’m hoping that we can start reaching out and meeting with people before this as well.
So, if you’re a spiritual person/family and you’re in or around the Montevallo area, please contact me. Comment here or email me. My email is on my About Me page, but it’s firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk about getting together. I don’t care what your beliefs are, so long as they are positive, promoting community, healing for our world, and a positive future, you’re exactly what we’re talking about. Now, our gatherings will be family friendly – I don’t mind drinking, as it was always done around our family gatherings and no one was hurt, but it won’t be done in excess, and no drugs. I can understand people using recreational drugs, as I’ve done it myself, and I can understand using them as part of a ritual, as I’ve done that myself. But we don’t want them at our gatherings and rituals. For gatherings, we can either do them in our home, or we can do them at the local park – it’s quite beautiful, though we haven’t had the opportunity to fully explore it yet. All we ask is you come with an open mind and an open heart. There will be no bashing of another religion, even if we don’t agree with it. NONE.
Well, that’s a nice start. Now, to get the rest of the information together and start putting it out there. Should probably get a name. Any suggestions would be welcome. For now, I’m going to go and see what I can find. Brightest blessings.