Desert Magic and the Komen Race for the Cure

It may be obvious that no entry was created for last Sunday (though there’s a placeholder now pointing to this entry on that date). That is because last week, several of our Grove members went to the Desert Magic Festival in Arizona. So today, a double-issue of this blog is in order.

Desert Magic is hosted by Sonoran Sunrise Grove, ADF, a wonderful Grove that has hosted this festival for five years now. The festival is full of good food, good friends, and good hospitality.

Our Senior Druid, Seamus, was asked to present on warrior spirituality and its applications in today’s world. His workshop called on us to take action, to not simply sit on our hands. He also introduced the new First Circle of the Warriors’ Guild Study Program.

My presentation was on Vedic hearth culture within ADF, offering a simple outline of the deities of Vedism and how they can interact with ADF and our worship structures.

Throughout the weekend, we Cranes enjoyed the company of many of our West Coast brethren: people that we just don’t get to see often enough, and people that we often wish would come out to visit us, too. As a hint, Summerland is just around the corner!

The real work, it seems, was done on the night after Desert Magic, though, when a small group of us gathered together to help work out more of the Clergy Training Program and to nearly complete the Liturgist Guild Study Program’s remaining courses. We hammered out basic exit standards for nearly all the courses required for the Liturgist Guild, and most of the courses required for Clergy within ADF.

ADF may soon see more Ordained Priests. I pray it happens soon.

This week was spent preparing for the Komen Race for the Cure, a breast cancer run that the Grove has done for years now. It is ever a joy to know that our Grove is committed to this particular bit of community service: so many of our friends and family are affected by breast cancer, and this is such a small thing that can help so much.

While the Columbus Komen Race broke new records and shattered the goals that were set, I’m proud to think that Three Cranes Grove, ADF, was among the many who helped make this possible.

Truly, this Grove is blessed with folk who wish to help with our service, and truly we are all blessed by our actions as a community.

Next Sunday, our Grove will mostly be attending Wellspring, so while we will try and update on Sunday, another double post may also be required in two weeks!
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler

Maintaining the Garden

Three Cranes Grove, ADF, has always focused strongly on the image of a gardener, largely unknown in terms of form and identity, who tends this Grove, encouraging new growth, culling damaging weeds, and introducing new and exciting things that seem to fit just right after a time of wondering how the heck it’s ever going to fit with the whole.

Of course, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of the Grove’s rather smooth outer-workings that make it look like it’s running without a single hiccup, much as a beautiful garden belies the work the gardener put into it.

The nuts-and-bolts of renting space, finding meeting places, creating agendas, collecting dues, and keeping all our paperwork in order is what really allows us to show up on a Sunday afternoon, unpack some gear from a rubber tub, and bring some magic into the lives of the Folk while offering the Kindreds a place at our shared table. The lion’s share of this is done by the Grove Officers: the actual legwork of booking a room is done by our Scribe, and our Senior Druid puts our agendas together and makes sure we’re all going to show up at the same place.

But it’s the Grove Members who come to the meetings, who voice their hopes and concerns, their ideas and their thoughts that really make this Grove tick. A business meeting isn’t just a place to find out how much money is in the account, but it’s a place to determine how the Members want it spent. When we go to schedule our rituals, it’s not about what the Officers can make it to, but about what the Members can come to as a whole.

Grove business meetings aren’t just about business; they’re about fellowship, too. That’s why we start every meeting with a prayer instead of a roll call, and why we have occasionally turned to omens when a really difficult decision came up. Doing what is best for Our Fellowship, though, requires Our Fellowship to be there, and to voice their opinions.

We have been blessed recently in having a larger turnout at our business meetings than we did in the past: we’re averaging closer to 6-7 people instead of three Officers and the occasional fourth Member. It’s a pleasure to see our membership taking such an interest in the way our Grove is run, and I hope to see more members in the future.

Each of us is a gardener in this Grove. Each of us lends a helping hand to another, or whispers encouragement and love to the others. Each of us helps to maintain this Grove. Sometimes, it involves the joy of watching it bloom at a High Day rite, but other times, the joy of tending a Grove is in caring for the small sprout that breaks through the surface of the soil, stretching for the sunlight, months from blooming but ever so fragile and beautiful.

And each of us is watched over by the other gardeners in this Grove, and by the gentle hand of the Gardener who guides us all.
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler