C – Search for Community (PBP week 6)

I don’t miss a lot about my days as a Christian, to be honest.

OK yeah, they do get all the great music.  (Seriously:  Gregorian chant, Schubert’s Ave Maria, U2 – I am covetous.)

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?


2 thoughts on “C – Search for Community (PBP week 6)

  1. Alverdine says:

    Other than a few people I’ve got to know through The Cauldron forum, I’m really feeling the lack of community at the moment. Not just in terms of religious work, either, but in wider life as well. I’ve found the internet can all too easily turn into an echo chamber. So many places have just become a torrent of “buy my book”, “read my blog”, “listen to my music”, “look at this photo of my cat”. So while it’s theoretically easier to find other people on the same path online than in real life, in practice there’s an awful lot of noise to wade through to find it.

    When I move back home in a few months time, I’m going to step up my efforts to find likeminded folk in real life. It’ll be a heck of a lot harder than doing it online, but I think if it comes off it’ll be a lot more rewarding as well.

  2. Agathi says:

    Thanks for the comment! I’d be interested on hearing how things go for you when you move.

    I’ve recently returned home after a long time in the big city, and being in a small community again has really limited my options. There is a college in the next town over, I’m thinking of seeing if they have any pagan groups, but I’m a little uncomfortable thinking about everyone being considerably younger than myself.

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