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Chris Sherbak
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Chris Sherbak [userpic]
More wordy emails

Yet another email - guess I'm posting it here to help me focus (and maybe get some input...)

Yes Anne, exactly. It's those sorts of things that I'm looking to
introduce/add/enhance in our ritual experience, along with other changes.

That said I'm not big on huge overhauls (unless everyone thinks that'd be best)
but more of a "slow and steady wins the race" sort of approach. I think there
are number of small adjustments we can make but I'd like to make them knowingly,
and with purpose. I also believe talking over whatever changes we make will be
just as useful to ensure our "shared groupthink."

Ok, with all that I'd like to propose some next steps. I have some ideas about
what we could change (and some small ideas follow), but first I'd like to
finalize what the process is going to be. Specifically, what venue do we want to
use for this? I sent out an email, but I also posted in my LiveJournal
(http://drubear.livejournal.com) and got a response from James over there. I may
still journal my own thoughts, to get them written down if nothing else, but I'd
like to standardize on one medium so we can all be on the same page. I assume
that'd be good, as we don't really meet much more often than monthly (and I don't
expect that trend to continue, right?) but the conversations can (and should!)
occur fairly frequently. This also helps document what we end up with, along
with documenting the process to get there. (This is a journey, not a

So, do we:

1) stick with email?
2) start an LJ (or other blogger type place - sorry
Coleen/Caroline, I veto MySpace!)
3) Google Groups?
4) Forums on our (mostly retired) website?

I'll commit to collecting up our thoughts/decisions and publishing them again
via email or maybe the Grove website like monthly or somesuch. Heck, it could
easily be published as the WOG Order of Worship, or our own Liturgical Handbook!

On the other hand, Anne mentioned liking the "book discussion group" idea for
the books I'm getting - Anne? How often do those sorts of things meet? Weekly?
Does monthly even work? (I've never been in one so I'm out of my safe zone

Thoughts/responses would be good...

In other ideas to percolate:

1) I really really really want to include a Post Ritual Review somewhere in our
practice. My grove in Berkeley used to do it after the ritual, but we normally
left the ritual space (usually out in the woods somewhere) and went to a pub
(actually it was Kip's Pizza Parlor for pizza and beer.) This allowed us to use
the travel time as the "post ritual high" time, and we were more in a thoughtful
(albeit social) mood. Every time I think about doing that after one of our
rituals, I think I'm "being a downer" so I pull back. But in order for this
change process to work, we need to make changes to our practice, execute it,
then talk about it afterwards. It may seem cold and clinical, but every
successful group I know of does this. So, do we actually do it the day of the
rite? Or do we assign someone to write up an "After Ritual Report" and have
people respond/review? Keep in mind the further away from the actual ritual time
makes it more and more fuzzy in memory. OTOH, I don't want to lose the "ritual
high" either. Maybe we asked our Dedicant Students to do this?

Barbara? Jeremy? Ray? What did groups you used to be in do?

2) As Anne suggested above, I agree it would be a Good Thing to (generally) have
the Speaker/invoker/reader go up to the altar and do their part. But here's an
interesting question/observation for ya: should the Speaker face the
Congregation (speaking >>to<< them as it were) or face away (speaking >>for<<
them)? This may not seem like a big deal, but let me tell you non-Roman
Catholics in the crowd, this was a Huge Hairy Deal during the reformations of
2nd Vatican when the Roman Catholic Church "turned all the altars around."
People actually left the church over it... I don't believe there's a "right"
way, but should we have a "WOG Way" or do we not care?

3) Finally, one other thing I'd like to see with the "parts" is to end with some standard
phrase that the Congregation could/would repeat:

Speaker: "Earth Mother Be with us!"
Congregation: "Earth Mother be with us!"

We'd need to add that to each of our parts, but I think having a standard would
be good/easier, but I'm not sure that'd be best. Thoughts?

Wow! That was a lot. But here's the Executive Summary of Things You Need To Think Over / Do:

*) what medium for this conversation?
*) could we pull off a "book discussion group?"
*) Post Ritual Review - where/how/when?
*) Facing away or towards? Or not worry?
*) Congregation responsing?

Thanks for reading all this...

Yours in the Mother!!


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1) I think LJ is good, no myspace, it sucks ass. (I can't even log into it right now stupid piece of crap)
2) well we could pull off a book discussion group but we seem to have trouble having a monthly meeting. I am down with hanging out with everyone on a more casual basis as well, I just don't make the first invitation cause my default feeling is that I am being a bother to people. (thanks Mom!)
3)PRR yes good idea and how bout while we eat?
4)facing towards, if the Catholics didn't like it then it must be the right way ;) no seriously, I feel better not having the priest/ess facing away from me, it's to impersonal and too congregation like if that makes any sense.
5)sure but how bout we make it the deity of the occasion and make it a little more fancy than "deity x, be with us" ya know?