I am very excited to be holding our annual Panathenaia again, this time in beautiful Krape Park in Freeport, IL this Saturday. It will take place from 5 to 8 pm atop Flagstaff Hill near the stone shelter. If the stone shelter is vacant, we may occupy it, as we would be free to do so if it's not been reserved for anyone else. We hope to have a wonderful time once again honoring one of our most loved and revered Goddesses, Athena.
As everyone may remember, our Spring Festival of Gaia and Dionysus was rained out on the 20th of May and we rescheduled it for June 10th, same time and place. Next Saturday is the day, and hopefully the weather will be much better as it's still an outside event, unlike any of our other public events through the year. We hope to see everyone there who had planned to attend on the previous date. It was very regrettable that we had to cancel, but we obviously could not have the event in such weather. We will meet at the stone shelter atop Flagstaff Hill in Krape Park of Freeport, IL at 12pm. After we have our noon feast in honor of the Spring Gods, we will move to our designated shrine and altar space for worship and celebration.
In the Goodness of the Gods,
We are pleased to announce that one of our Initiates, Joseph Crowe, was today elected president of his Unitarian Universalist church's Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans organization, based in Wyoming, Pennsylvania.
We are always proud and supportive when someone in our clergy or membership gains notable accomplishment in their community. Congratulations to Joseph.
We are going forward with our Gaia and Dionysus Spring Festival as scheduled, in the same place as originally planned. We will meet at the stone shelter atop Flagstaff Hill at Krape Park in Freeport on May 20th from 12-5pm. We will assemble under the beautiful trees around our shrine and altar that will be set up. If necessary, we can move to one of the nearby shelters that are unoccupied. We look forward to seeing everyone.
Our Head Priestess, Anastasia, has earned a noticeable place in the locality of Stockton, IL. This honor took place some time ago, but has had yet to make official public Temple news. This year, Anastasia was elected to be on the Board of Trustees for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stockton. The UU Church is an organization that accepts all forms of religion and spirituality, and it's great news that our Priestess now sits on the Board of the local church because it means that Hellenists, and more broadly, Polytheists and Pagans, will now have a representation in this church whereas they had none on the Board previously.
We are very proud of Anastasia and know that she will be of great service to the Hellenic and Pagan communities, as well as the general population, in the local church and the UU as a whole.
Our Temple is proud to announce that our Spring Festival will be returning this year. In 2011, our Temple's first ever public event was the Gaia and Dionysus Earth Day celebration, which first took place in Jamestown, NC, the first year our Temple received legal incorporation and obtained physical building and grounds for its activity in Thomasville, NC. Since then, it has been one of our most remembered and loved celebrations to honor the rebirth of Earth and the Greek Gods who are centered around it. Over time, the celebration has evolved. Originally held on or around Earth Day, it has become a general Spring Festival that honors both Earth Day and the season itself.
We will gather in one of the most beautiful parks in Illinois at one of the most beautiful shelters where our shrine and altar of the great Earth and Tree Gods will be assembled.
From 12-1pm, all are invited to join us for a free lunch, provided by the Head Priestess of our Temple, where we will feast in honor of Earth, spring, and the Earth Gods. Foods will include meats, fruits, breads, and general sweets. We will also have general beverages, including water. No alcohol is allowed in the park. The Priestess is an amazing cook!
From 1-2pm, we will carry out the rites and rituals of the celebration, and all attendants are welcome to join in. Everyone will be able to participate should they choose. The main Deities honored will be Dionysus, the God of Wine and associated with springtime, and Gaia, the great Mother Earth Herself. Additional honors will include Artemis, Atalanta, and the local Nature Spirits such as the Fae. The celebration is one that is pretty much all-encompassing, which means we will be reciting prayers, hymns, drum dancing around our designated blooming tree, meditating, and actively interacting with the Divinities and Spirits.
From 2-5pm, all are welcome to stay and socialize, and approach the shrine and altar in their own time for their own personal prayers and/or offerings to the Gods.
Address - 1799 Park Blvd. Freeport, IL, 61036
Park Website - https://freeportparkdistrict.org/krape-park/