Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Update: CoG's Response to #BlackLivesMatter

Members of Covenant of the Goddess (CoG) were invited to form a committee to draft a new statement regarding the #blacklivesmatter issue.  The committee was formed after comments that some members felt the Board's original statement did not go far enough in addressing the issue.  A small group of concerned members crafted the statement below, and the National Board felt it was important to publicly share the work done by this committee.

In order to allow the membership of CoG a chance to have input on this new statement, it was released internally on our organization's e-mail list last week.  The membership will have the opportunity to review, revise, and adopt it as a statement made by the entire organization at the annual meeting in August 2015.

*   *  *  *  *  *

Black Lives Matter to the Covenant of the Goddess and this statement represents our effort to hear, see, and say this. CoG is appalled at the mistreatment and killings of Black Americans and others in extrajudicial actions, such as Eric Garner and 7 year-old Ayana Jones. Systemic racism in our justice system and an unmet need to see, hear, and respond to the experiences of People of Color in our country are resulting in non-indictments for even excessive use of force. For such males as Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown; women like Rekia Boyd, Shereese Francis, and Yvette Smith; and children like Tamir Rice, though their lives were lost their lives matter to us. These few represent the many other Black men, women and children who face and fear similar violence and outcomes everyday.

It is time to hear what Blacks are saying: that they are not treated the same as the majority. Blacks deserve due process under the law which everyone else takes for granted. Law enforcement officers who breach the public trust must be held accountable. More effective communication between communities of color and every part of our justice system is long overdue and necessary for real changes to manifest.

Witches and Wiccans of Color specifically deserve, and have, our support and respect, as CoG's members are Witches and Wiccans of every race, into whose purview fall issues of human justice. We are weavers of change and can choose a role in changing the experiences of People of Color in our communities and our country.

CoG urges our members and communities to take action. Ask People of Color about their experiences. Listen fully to what is being said. Write letters to elected officials, local law enforcement, state and US attorneys, and editors of local media to share your concerns. Stand in solidarity with CoG's Members of Color and our communities' Pagans of Color in peaceful demonstrations to end these inequities. At the same time, we decry actions which only serve further racism and injustice for anyone.

We all need to "Step up" to speak for the need for change, then "Step back" to hear Black and minority voices. Each person must follow her or his own heart in order for our society to peacefully evolve and right these wrongs.

One of the most powerful ways to help is to be informed. Below are a few links where you can deepen your knowledge and understanding of these issues, the challenges faced by those living Black in America, and discover creative ways to support the movement.

CoG supports efforts to speak out for social justice, and we say, “Black Lives Matter."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Orange County Local Council First Officer Yvonne Conway Speaks at Interfaith Event

On Sunday, September 21, the 2nd Annual Building Our Community Through Interfaith Harmony was held. It is an evening of prayer and songs.  The focus of this year's discussion was on “Justice, Peace & Faith” and the effort to bring different interfaith communities together. 
One of the featured speakers was Yvonne Conway, the newly elected First Officer of the Orange County Local Council (OCLC) in Southern California.  She said:
The request for a representative came a week and a half prior to the event. OCLC was having their September board meeting and I had just been elected their new first officer. The date for the event fell on a day when everyone already had Mabon plans with their coven. I did not wish to lose the opportunity for OCLC to get involved with local interfaith again so I volunteered to present ... We were asked to keep our presentations to 5 minutes. The topic was, "Peace, Justice, and Faith."
The "Building Our Community Through Interfaith Harmony" function was sponsored by Newport-Mesa-Irvine Interfaith Council & Orange County Interfaith Network.  This year's work was considered part of the preparations for the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions gathering to be held on October 15-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Midwest Regional Local Council attends Grand Rapids Pagan Pride Day

Submitted by Oberon Osiris
Midwest Regional Local Council

Members of the Midwest Regional Local Council (MRLC) were in attendance at the Grand Rapids, MI Pagan Pride Day on Saturday, September 20. The LC’s newest member group, Moonfire, performed The Rite of Fortuna and Jupiter: Banishing Blockages to Good Fortune.  Members of Circle of Wondrous Stories (MI) took part in the ritual.

MRLC also hosted an information table, offering readings, selling various used magical books, statuary and other items. A special silent auction was held for a new “Covenant of the Goddess” doll, designed by Oberon Osiris and created with the help of special doll clothier and accessory designers. The proceeds help fund MRLC events and the LC itself.  A similar one was auctioned in raffle held at this year’s Merry Meet in Atlanta.

Coming up in November, MRLC will be at the Wiccan Temple of the Celtic Way’s annual “Feast of the Fallen Warrior,” a special and well received ritual to honor our veterans and other service people. The event always holds special significance for HP Dan Coleman, a veteran and founding member of the Midwest Regional Local Council.

Members of MRLC