Gaia Community UU Congregation is not holding in-person meetings or events right now in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. When we start to meet in-person again, we will require each person who attends to be vaccinated if they are eligible. By doing this, we intend to protect our community, especially people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, in support of our UU principles. We urge our members and friends to get vaccinated, and we cannot in good conscience provide any statement of religious exemption for the vaccine.
What awaits us after death? Join us on a journey to one possibility: a vast, timeless city, where we’ll meet with the Mighty Dead, our patron for the year. Please have the following on hand: an offering (general or specific) to the Mighty Dead, journaling supplies, a bit of dirt or salt, a chalice to light, a drink, and a snack. In choosing your offering, you may want to honor a specific person or any of the Mighty Dead. A more general offering might be one associated with a tradition you are called to.
Do you remember learning about the exploration of the New World in your American history classes? Bold explorers sailing into the unknown, planting the flag and claiming the newly discovered lands for their home country. Brave settlers crossing the ocean and making a home for themselves in the new land. Pioneers crossing the prairie in covered wagons to settle newly opened lands in the west.
But, something is missing from this picture. This continent was not empty. The history of this continent is very different when told by the indigenous peoples who already lived here. It’s time to upend some of our long held perceptions and look at how it came to pass that taking over an inhabited continent and enslaving and removing its peoples was perceived by the majority culture as acceptable. Join us.
This week, we continue our work with the Mighty Dead by considering the realms of the dead. The question of what happens after we die is a source of endless speculation, fascination, and/or anxiety throughout history and around the world. In this class, we dig into the stories of underworlds, otherworlds, and afterlives described by our ancient and modern Pagan forbearers.
We open our room for general chat at 3 pm, and the class will begin at 4.
Please join us as we install our new Patron of the year, the Mighty Dead. We embark on our journey of holding our ancestors’ memories near, of honoring them the best we can, and learning from their mistakes and triumphs. Please join us in remembering loved ones with stories of your beloved dead. For ritual, you will want a chalice to light and a liquid to toast with (you will be making several toasts — choose your beverage wisely). You may want to bring a token for you to hold as you speak, reminding you of your dead; offerings (and something to place offerings in/on); and tissues. Each person who attends will be able to tell one positive story about a deceased loved one should they wish.
Our virtual space opens at 3pm for social hour, and the ritual will begin at 4.
For 2021-2022, Gaia Community’s patron of the year is the Mighty Dead, all those who have lived before us and built the world(s) we live in. In this class, we will discuss some of the ways we might interact with the Mighty Dead over the year to come. Bring your thoughts and your questions!
We open our space at 3pm for social hour, and the class will begin at 4.
The Mighty Dead!
Thanks to everyone who voted for the Patron of the Year. Our polls are now closed, and the Mighty Dead have won by a single vote. We look forward to a year of working with and learning from those who have gone before us, taking inspiration from their examples and grappling with all of the work they left behind. Our honored runners-up were Apollo and Ganesha, and as is our custom, they will be honored with rituals during the year as well.
We now enter our season of transition: on July 11, we will thank Hermes for being our Patron for 2020-2021, on July 18, we will hold a class about ancestor work and the Mighty Dead, and on July 25, we will welcome the Mighty Dead as our incoming patron.
We will be holding a Sharing Our Spirits Ritual this Sunday, co-created and facilitated by those in attendance. The intention and the activities of ritual will be decided during the first part of our time together (starting at 4pm, with coffee hour before), then the ritual itself held in the remaining time. Feel free to bring poetry, visual props, ideas, or just things you wish to see happen!
We’ve finished our festival of mini-rituals for 11 potential patrons (plus an argument for taking a year off from our tradition of selecting an annual patron power), and you can now cast your vote for your favorites using our ranked-choice ballot:
Missed a week of mini-rituals? You can catch them all on video here.
June 19, 1865, was the day General Order 3 was given, ending slavery in Texas, the last confederate state to come under Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. While not the end of slavery nationwide, this day has been celebrated as Juneteenth in Texas, among other names such as Freedom Day, since 1866, gaining wider recognition since. This year, we will commemorate this day at our Summer Solstice ritual. Join us as we hear the words of Black Americans, both in celebration of emancipation and the fight for freedom, and in recognition of the work for freedom that still remains. We’ll call on the bright power of the Sun to shine its light upon this work and to energize those doing it. Please join us at 3pm for virtual coffee hour, with the ritual beginning at 4.