Saturday, November 03, 2007

Catching up on Blogging the Conference

Yesterday afternoon John Smulo and I taught on "Loving Witches and other missional mythbusters."

It was a one hour and 10 minute workshop. John is so good, so smart, so gentle. It was fun teaching with him. Both John and I are finding people who know about us, and have been wanting to meet us. This world of blogging is a major reason for this.

The workshop went well. It was a very receptive group. Some of them had friends, and loved ones who were in Wiccans, or Pagans, and weren't sure how to deal with it, but for the most part understood that they needed to remain accepting, and loving. Others were simply wondering how to relate to the Pagan community, although they did not know any Witches. As is the always the case they will discover that they do know Neo-Pagans. Regularly, John and I discover that we train people about beliefs of Neo-Paganism, and then when the Christians walk away from the time, they discover in a short amount of time that Wiccans, Druids, or Pagans in their neighborhood, or workplace, and they had never realized it. They actually become excited, and honored to discover that their Pagan friends are willing to "come out of the broom closet" to them - this is the way it ought to be. Christians should be like Jesus, Who is someone we can all feel like we can come out to.


Lainie Petersen said...

Hrm, tried leaving a comment earlier, but it seems to have vanished.

In any case, I just observed that people really seem to appreciate it when Christians actually know something about another religion. I've found that knowing very basic things about other religions has really opened doors for conversation.

Neo-paganism is especially interesting, because it is so diverse, and it intersects with Ceremonial Magick and Western Esotericism...Christians ought to learn more about these differences so as to better know the Neo-Pagans that they encounter.

Megs said...

Thanks so much Phil for sharing your wisdom, at you and John's workshop, and over the whole otm weekend. it's beautiful, this world, where jesus and witches can breath the air together, and everybody can be themself. i wish we lived near enough to salem to be gathering!

Pastor Phil said...

yes, yes Lainie,

sock it to us with wisdom.

Pastor Phil said...

You and Benjamin are a fun and fabtastically wonderful couple. Thanks for being there.

Lainie Petersen said...

Pastor Phil:

Does your church do any sort of specific education for Christians on varying types of neo-Paganism/occultism and appropriate cultural etiquette? I'd love to see what you do.

Many years ago, while a seminary student, I did an adult Sunday school series on Neopaganism and Ceremonial Magick. People really seemed to enjoy it.

Pastor Phil said...


We do single sessions during the Halloween season for people who come to minister on the streets with us, and I do longer one week mentoring programs for individuals or small groups up to four people.

I also will go to churches, or any groups who want to receive some training on the subject, and people absolutely love it.

Anonymous said...


thanks for your encouraging comments my friend. I loved having the opportunity to catch up in person and teach at a conference together again. i had a great time.

Pastor Phil said...

JJ the Smu,

Ditto bro.

Pam Hogeweide said...

i was sooooo bummed that i had to miss out on most of your workshop AND on the op to chant in the foyer to promote the workshop. shoot. but it was great to catch the tail end, and from the moment i walked into the room i could see that the people there were intent on listening and learning. Phil, dude, you have to write a book. You are probably the best person in the entire nation to write a book about Christians and witches being friends. Collaborate with John and others. Could be a hoot and a holler. Yes, I said hoot, and I am not even from Minnesota.

Great to meet ya. Erin (Decomp Faith) and I would soooooo love to get east to your turf, but argh, that little thing called money keeps getting in the way. Glad you could at least get to our turf here in the Pacific Northwest.

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Pam,

This means a lot coming from you - thanks. If you can make it out here, we can put you up, and that would be cool.

Helen said...

Phil, it was wonderful to meet you at Off The Map Live!

I was delighted to run across you in the hotel lobby right after I arrived since you were high on my list of people I wanted to meet at the event.

Christians should be like Jesus, Who is someone we can all feel like we can come out to.

Exactly. Someone just posted a comment on my review of Brian's book, in which I quoted a passage from the book about Jesus being kind, interested and involved in peoples' lives.

The commenter was at pains to say "Jesus is holy". It's funny how if you translate that out of Christianese into English you get "Jesus is an alien" - since 'holy' means 'separate/other'.

It's not really such a great message is it? "Jesus is an alien"

By hiding it in Christianese they don't realize what they're saying and how deeply it undermines the point that God showed up in completely human form, to be 'one of us'. Not an alien walking around saying "Ewwww...nasty evil earth creatures" (like some of us used to think we were supposed to think about witches, in fact: "ewwww...nasty evil witches" - but we repented and we're sorry we ever let anyone tell us that was an appropriate response, even in our thoughts)

Pastor Phil said...


Dang! Cool comment. Jesus as an angry alien is a good picture of whart we've tried rto make Him out to be by our theology. Thanks or a rocking post.

It was a joy to meet you as well. Hopefully our paths will continue to cross.