5 Mar 2013
Pagans play large role in Pasadena interfaith event
On Sunday, March 3 the Pasadena Interfaith Walk for Peace and Shoe Drive Closing Ceremony took place in Old Pasadena at Memorial Park. Nineteen religious organizations joined together to walk for peace and collect shoes for those in need. Temple of the Goddess, a Pagan 501(c)3 was one of them. Rev. Xia Judy Tatum, founder of Temple of the Goddess says this is the first time they have reached out to the interfaith community and sees this as a new direction for the temple. Rev. Xia was also on the planning committee and played a large role in planning the event’s Closing Ceremony. The event was founded by Rev. Donna Byrns of Church of Truth Center for Awakening Consciousness.
There were about two hundred participants from nineteen churches, temples and other religious organizations. As they marched into Memorial Park there was drumming and a beautiful chant to greet them. The chant was sung by Cheryl Cleary, Temple of the Goddess Choir Director. Children from Temple of the Goddess passed out peace bells to everyone to be used later in the program.
As everyone settled in the Temple of the Goddess Choir along with musician Tom Armbruster, singer Gary Mortimer, and choir singer Remi Dayle, all from Church of Truth for Awakening Consciousness, performed “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” by Joe South.
The mayor of Pasadena was there to greet them as well. Mayor Bill Bogaard said, “This is a wonderful group, a dedicated group. You make me proud, Pasadena proud.” He also spoke out about the discrimination against LBGT couples. This was a surprise and a delight to one of Temple of the Goddess’s members, who is a lesbian and plans to marry her partner. She was surprised because some members of this interfaith effort may not have been in favor of gay marriage. About this issue Mayor Bogaard said, “Discrimination is not peace.” He mentioned it was better to demonstrate love rather than protest. There was no protest to his words from the crowd that I could tell.
Music and more celebration followed. There was spoken word performances and dancing by Temple of the Goddess Mythic Player, Candy Jo Dahlstrom as well as more songs from the choir.
Soon it was time to hear the prayers from each participating group. There was song in prayer from the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, passages from the Koran quoted by both Muslim representatives, a prayer in Sanskrit and one in Hebrew from the Co-chairs of the Southern California Committee for the Parliament of the World Religions, affirmative prayer from the Unity Minister, blessings from a Quaker, beautiful prayers from a Baha’i representative. Rev. Xia and the Temple of the Goddess’ prayer for peace was: Our Prayer for Peace is for everyone to share the Divine Connection that exists with one another and the Sacred World of Nature. And when they were through the most beautiful part of the ceremony began.
The bells passed out earlier were now to be used by all as Cheryl & Patrick Cleary of Silver Phial backed by the choir sung Ring the Bells by Melissa Etheridge and Salman Ahmad. Each time the chorus was sung we all rang our bells. It was quite a raising of energy as all the bells chimed as one.
If you would like to donate any gently used or new shoes to the cause and are near Pasadena you can still drop them off at First Congregational Church United Church of Christ at 464 East Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91101 on Tues., March 5 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The charities that will receive the benefits of this effort are:
Door of Hope
Rosemary Children Services
Madison Healthy Start Family Center
Union Station Family Center
ACTS Thrift Shop
Women at Work
The Women’s Room, “Friends In Deed”
La Casa de San Gabriel Community Center
Foothill Unity Center
Casa de Las Amigas
Tujunga United Methodist Church
Los Angeles Mission
Church of Truth Center for Awakening Consciousness
First Summit Evangelical Free Church
Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center
Ahiah Center for Spiritual Awakening
Throop Unitarian Universalist Church
Orange Grove Friends Meeting
Retired Methodist Minister, Rev. Inman Moore
First Congregational Church
Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church
Baha’I of Pasadena
Temple of the Goddess
Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary Church
Unity Church of Pasadena
New Horizon School
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Holy Deliverance Church
San Marino Congregational Church
Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church
Temple of the Goddess Choir