5 Mar 2013

Pagans play large role in Pasadena interfaith event

Posted by Joanne Elliott

Temple of the Goddess Choir

Temple of the Goddess Choir- Photo by Charles “Beautyseer” Elliott

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.

Rev. Donna Byrns of Church of Truth Center for Awakening Awareness

Rev. Donna Byrns of Church of Truth Center for Awakening Awareness – Photo by Charles “Beautyseer” Elliott

 

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.

Interfaith Walk for Peace Participants arriving at Memorial Park for the Closing Ceremony

Interfaith Walk for Peace Participants arriving at Memorial Park for the Closing Ceremony – Photo by Charles “Beautyseer” Elliott

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.

Mayor Bill Bogaard welcomes the participants

Mayor Bill Bogaard welcomes the participants – Photo by Charles “Beautyseer” Elliott

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.

Representatives of the different faiths getting ready to share their prayers

Representatives of the different faiths getting ready to share their prayers – Photo by Charles “Beautyseer” Elliott

Representative of the different faiths getting ready to share their prayers for peace

Representative of the different faiths getting ready to share their prayers for peace – Photo by Charles “Beautyseer” Elliott

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.

Rev. Xia Judy Tatum of Temple of the Goddess

Rev. Xia Judy Tatum of Temple of the Goddess – Photo by Charles “Beautyseer” Elliott

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

Elizabeth House

Rosemary Children Services

Madison Healthy Start Family Center

Mother’s Club

Union Station Family Center

ACTS Thrift Shop

Women at Work

Haven House

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

 

Interfaith Participants:

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

Masjid El-Taqwa

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

Adele Shakal

Briana Murray

Carolyn Potter

Kitty McCormick

Mnajdra

Ananda

Caitlin

Christine Papalexis

Lianna Nakashima

Patrick Cleary

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