Saturday, December 28, 2019

Our Temple In 2020 ~ 10 Years In The Gods

Next summer, Temple Of The Greek Gods will turn 10 years old, and stronger than ever before. In fact, on July 8th, the exact day the temple was created, we will be holding a public celebration all day, with free feasts and public sacrifices. I personally am very pleased with the progress our organization has made in serving the Gods, our Demos, and building ourselves up from literally nothing. A decade ago, our temple was only a shabby wordpress website being operated from a one bedroom apartment in High Point, North Carolina, unknown to the world. Today, we have purchased our own physical temple and sanctuary grounds. Although we remain a small organization even in the Polytheistic and Pagan community, we have done nothing but move up over the years, and it is in large part to people like Priestess Anastasia and myself who refused to give up on it, who knew its beautiful and needful place in the Universe and never let it slip away. 

2020 will be the best year for the temple yet, mainly because of the fact that we have our own physical property now. We are hosting a slew of public events for members and community worshipers throughout the year, even tapping into local American celebrations like Memorial Day to honor fallen Pagan soldiers of the American Armed Forces. In fact, it won't be the first time we've hosted such an event. When we operated out of Thomasville, North Carolina in 2011 and 2012, we held a Memorial Day ceremony and our temple room was a full house with local Pagans. I am hoping that bringing in observances from our nation as well as our own religion will help us gain recognition among the general population of North Central Illinois. Even if most people don't adhere to ancient Greek religion, it's important, I think, that they know and appreciate the diversity. As many presidents have said in one form or another, our nation's strength is found in its pluralism. And especially today when hate is on the rise across the country, it can only benefit our communities for people to love and accept one another as neighbors and friends. Go to our Facebook page and look under the Events tab for a list of all our gatherings being planned and announced.

As many may know, I began work on an official temple book late this year after we purchased our property, but I never gave a specific release date because there was and still is so much information to put into it. It is still in progress, but I plan for the year 2020 to be the time when it is officially completed and ready for distribution to clergy and members. It was a project I had planned for a long time, but never got around to it. Once we became land and property owners, I realized it was time to stop putting it off. It was long overdue, so I went right to work compiling the last 10 years of prayers, hymns, rituals, festivals, sacrifices, and philosophies that we have composed as an organization and individuals over that time period. It will be an amazing guide, filled with traditional and modern Hellenic Polytheism, whichever one wishes to follow. As a priest, it will be one of my life's works. 

There is also no excuse for the temple's charities and public activism to not be in the fullest swing in 2020. From advocating for the homeless to feeding the hungry and helping needy children, animals and the environment, our temple has shown how much it cares about every life it can touch, but our members and our temple itself haven't always had a record of keeping it up to the fullest potential. This must change. It's not only part of our efforts to make the world and our communities a better place, but to gain respect from that world and community. 

I hope that everyone starts the new year with a vibrant spirit, and I am forever grateful to everyone who gives 110% to Temple Of The Greek Gods.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Priest Christopher.