I don’t miss a lot about my days as a Christian, to be honest.
But the one thing I really do miss (’cause it’s not like I don’t listen to U2 everyday anyway) is being part of a community of worshipers.
While the church I belonged to would have dismissed all that great music as not Christian, two being Catholic and one *shudder* rock and roll and, what’s worse, politically liberal, (this was a crowd that found Amy Grant questionable,) there really was a strong sense of brotherhood among its members. And it felt good to be part of that.
Some pagan faiths have a built in community. Wicca, being coven centered, certainly has this potential. So do some of the Druid organizations, like ADF – at least for those living in areas with a large enough pagan population. Those of us who live in small rural communities are often solitary by necessity.
The internet has done a lot to soften this isolation, sometimes providing a way to bring people together in the real world ( a la Witchvox), but more often it is a source of online communities and support.
If we want shared worship and don’t have our own coven or grove to turn to, the options are slim. We can attend large public gatherings like Pantheacon or small ones like those provided by local ADF groves. The Unitarian Universalist church has a pagan group, CUUPS.
So far, none of these has proven to be the right answer for me, but I’m still looking and open to suggestions.
Do you feel the need for religious community? Is it something readily available within your faith? If not, how do you satisfy that need?