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2009 Annual Report – MoonFire

MoonFire, a Pagan circle at UUCA since 1995, is a chapter of the Covenant of UU Pagans (CUUPs).  Our mission is to explore, learn, and share traditions of earth-based religions as a UU fellowship in a sacred and safe community, and celebrate holidays marked by the Solstices and the four seasons. All participants have the opportunity to express their creativity by helping to plan and participate in our monthly rituals. MoonFire is democratically led; each year we elect our leadership from members of our Steering Committee. Regular attendees who wish to contribute are eligible to participate on the Steering Committee.

MoonFire is a path to UUCA membership; and newcomers to both the church and the DC area frequently attend. This year saw at least one family who began attending MoonFire become an active and enthusiastic new Church member family.  We reach out as representatives of the UU community through our participation in local Pagan events, where we are well known as a large and active group.  This year MoonFire led three large rituals at the Fertile Ground, Northern Virginia Pagan Pride Day, and DC Metro Area Pagan Pride festivals where we were intimately involved as leaders in the planning and execution of these region-wide events.  We also continued to reach out through networking and our Internet presence.  In all our outreach work we identify strongly as welcoming, eclectic, Pagans as well as Northern Virginia UU’s. 

MoonFire is actively working to make our worship an integral part of the Church life.  This year we helped run several summer RE classes, conducted the Pagan neighboring faiths class at both UUCA as well as the River Road UU church, helped with coffee service, and put on a “first Friday” Church blessing ritual.  We also assisted the ministers and family on one of our younger members in putting on a scouting faith emblem ceremony. 

In keeping with the eclectic nature of UU Paganism, we draw from a wide variety of themes and Pagan traditions.  Our regular third Sunday rituals this past year drew from Iroquois, Egyptian, Druidic, Mithraic, Japanese tea, and Northern European traditions.  We are by far the most eclectic and open Pagan group in the region. 

We are self-sufficient, having no UUCA budget line item.  All of our money comes from contributions by the attendees.  We were able to make a donation of $170 to the “Hunters for the Hungry” food bank as part of our special Thanksgiving ritual.  Our contribution of record to the church for 2008 was $200 and we also gave $100 as a special contribution to the Tennessee Valley UU Church. 

We continued to offer our monthly working circle to all who are interested. This years topics included walking the Labyrinth, circle dancing, a full moon ritual, an animal allies workshop led by an outside instructor, and a special Yule witchballs fabricating circle.  Next year we are planning an adult RE class on Paganism as a religious tradition. MoonFire held two camping retreats at Little Bennett Campground in Maryland for fellowship, workshops, and informal fireside rituals.  This year, as in previous years, we welcomed one of our children into our faith through a special ritual. 

MoonFire members participated in several social outreach and advocacy events.  In both February and September, members made and delivered sandwiches for the homeless via Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (ASPAN).

Our current officers are Co-Coordinators Lynn K. and Patrick Q.; Secretary Ed M.; Treasurer Erich S.; and Webmaster Ed M.  Leah, Lynn, and Ed are active members of UUCA.