March 5 Organizational Meeting Notes
Location: Clare Housing Community Room
Present: Rae, Colleen, Eli, Leora, Glimmer, Tom Bird, Song, Johannah, Teri, Alex, Max, Paul, Karin, Diane
Intention for the Day
We gather our inpidual and communal cells to sustainably strengthen our community tree.
Community groups and work area checkins
Its a continuing monthly gathering with a loose structure that allows Reclaiming folks to gather socially on a regular basis. It has been anchored by Max and Alex and others are invited to host as they are called.
Bower in the Cities
Diane Long is anchoring this and will most likely be joined by Copper when she moves here. It is primarily an outgrowth of bower work at Winter Witchcamp. This group is just beginning and upcoming topics are items such as cuddle parties, sacred sexuality, self defense.
Ritual Anchoring Team
Quarterly Rituals. Next one April 2. Planning meetings are open to the public. Colleen, Song, Teri, and Tom are involved in this group.
Empowerment Manual Book Club
A group of folks are meeting on a regular basis to read and discuss this book. One of their goals is to model what they learn in their lives and gatherings they attend. Would like to find vehicles for bringing this info to wider community since it is a great resource. They are almost done with one go through of the book and intend to start over. Encourage other folks to join or hive off their own book club. it was suggested that this book and the work being done with it could be a basis for the Community Core Class. Colleen and Diane are involved in this group.
This group is on hiatus. This meeting was partially an outgrowth of that groups’ work. There is some interest in restarting this group particularly in the area of skill sharing. Some interest was expressed in hosting a Parler for a recap of the Empowerment Manual book group and an invite for Round 2.
Process for becoming an apprentice teacher has been presented to the community. Primarily working now on teaching philosophy and shared values for mentoring. There is a desire to teach core classes on a consistent basis.
Alex, Eddy, Teri, Donald, Paul, Rae, and Jennifer are part of this group.
On hiatus. Max will be scheduling one for May. It was suggested that folks interested in such things could meet at existing events such as Dance Church, Peace Dance, or Barbara McAfee’s singing and go out to eat afterwards.
Nothing occurring formally. Inpiduals are engaged in activist matters that draw them and often invite folks to join. More interest in doing things than meeting.
There was a house blessing day where folks went to different homes and co-created house blessings. This led to a discussion of how our magical households connect in our community. Meal sharing could be a way. Other ideas that came up were spiritual response teams, food justice, food as medicine, and conversations on end of life wishes.
We then had each person step into the center and we gave them verbal appreciation for their contributions to our community. “I will believe the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful it is” was a song that ended this activity. this is song called The “The Truth” song: Lyrics by Macrina Wiederkehr, music by Velma Frye.
We did a temperature check at the beginning of this discussion about the strength of feeling about changing our name from Paganistan Reclaiming. Everyone present either wanted it changed or was indifferent.
We did a trance to our community tree for information which generated words and phrases that could make up a new name. It also was the basis for much discussion some of which is indicated below:
- We could choose a name that clearly indicates where we are in the world and a tag line that also infuses some poetry into our name.
- There is a name that specifies the group’s “who/what/where” and a tag line that poetically states the mission”?
- A name that has some poetry.
- Mississippi River is powerful magic and would be great for it to be in our name
- Mississippi. Minnesota. All the rivers, all the lakes. The confluence of the two rivers.
- Need Reclaiming in the name.
- Can people have a sense of where we are because of the name? Something that can locate us addresses the issue of radical accessibility.
- Let’s not rush this decision. Let’s think it through. What is the impact of this decision? Who is our audience? Is locating us by name really an issue?
Out of the brainstorm, numerous names were suggested and finally winnowed down to 3 possibilities:
- Mississippi RiverHeart Reclaiming
- Northern Water(s) Reclaiming
- Upper Mississippi River Reclaiming
After much discussion, temperature checks, Upper Mississippi River Reclaiming was consensed upon. By using the Upper Mississippi River in our name, it recognizes the spiritual and physical relationship we have to the Mississippi River and the forests and prairies that touch it. It also clearly named the bio-region of our community. A jubilant consensus dance followed.
Establishing Upper Mississippi River Reclaiming as a Religious Organization
Continuing the work of a May 9, 2015 community meeting, Teri, Tom Bird, Johannah, and Paul volunteered to anchor the necessary steps to establish UMRR as a religious organization. Numerous other folks offered to work on specific parts of this project. The first report back to the community of this work will be in mid to late May.
The following is the full proposal from the May 9, 2015 meeting that is the basis for this work:
“A self-selected working group of at least five people, who will function as a temporary board of the Upper Mississippi Valley Reclaiming Community, are empowered to determine how to get an EIN as a religious organization, select the institution and open a financial account by summer solstice with community input and feedback ending on June 1”.
The dates will be different and the name has been changed by the March 5, 2016 consensus. The structural details outlined in this proposal are the essence of this group’s work.
Next Businessy Community Gathering
Glimmer, Leora, and Song volunteered to anchor the next businessy meeting most likely in the fall.
We paid Clare Housing $100 from the UMRR funds that winter witchcamp currently holds in their account.