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Visions of Pagan Ministry -- #1:
Pagans and Bush

by Francesca De Grandis

Dear site visitors,

Regarding President Bush and Wiccans:

I am blessed that, as a full-time minister, I do a great deal of work as a spiritual counselor. Among those I counsel are battered women, rape survivors and other people in crisis. I do what I can to help them heal their spirits, and when necessary I refer them to appropriate agencies. I have done this work since the seventies, and, like clergy in many community-based positions, I manage to do it without a great deal of funding. Nevertheless, this article is not about Bush's decision to withhold funding from pagan clergy.

I am not an overtly political being: I try to heal peoples' spirits. And that is a deeply political act, because when a person's soul is whole, he or she can be a productive community member, helping this country and planet prosper, and being an active agent for positive change in the local and global community . Nevertheless, I don't know where I stand on the idea of government funding for religious organizations.

But what I do know, and the reason I write this to you, is that there are too few ministers of any religion actively engaged in grass roots community efforts. Too little clergy is available to help stop domestic abuse, guide pregnant teens, deal with drug addiction, and so on. I am a full-time pagan minister and devoted to the people I try to serve. Bush's willingness to discredit Wiccan ministers attempting to serve the community disturbs me deeply. Ministers of all faiths are God(ess)'s hands, trying to carry on God(ess)'s work. Ministers need the prayers, not the disavowal, of the community.

The power of prayer is immense and can change everything. So I wrote the following prayer, which I hope you will make right this minute:

"May all those who truly minister,
regardless of their religion,
whether or not they have credentials or title,
whether they minister to their family, friends, community of humankind, animal kind or natural resources,
whether they tend a forest or the planet,
be supported in their work.
May they find all they need to have effectiveness, peace and wholeness in all their days."

If you pray regularly, I ask you recite the prayer occasionally.

Thank you!

May religious freedom burn brightly in this country, hand in hand with effective community action,

Francesca De Grandis

copyright, F. De Grandis. 2001

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