Pagan Festival In the news  

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But this time, it was a much nicer news report from last year's report!

As Americans on Saturday remembered those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, a group in Adamstown celebrated one of the basic freedoms upon which America was founded - freedom of religion.

Nearly 200 people turned out for the opening of the second annual "Celebrating Earth Spirituality Festival" at Stoudtburg Village.

The free event, sponsored by the Reading Pagans & Witches, focused on honoring and explaining nature-based and alternative religions.

The event was free of conflict, unlike the inaugural event last year when two Christian groups organized a "wall of prayer" around Stoudtburg and some village merchants refused to open their shops during the festival.

There were no protesters Saturday.

"I think they protested because they didn't know what we were," said the group's founder, Jen Anderson-Wenger of Muhlenberg Township. "We were different and they were concerned."

This year vendors and residents didn't seem to have the same concerns, said Marjorie Shark of Reinholds, manager at the Village Scoop and Cafe.

"I think people were concerned about how others would react to the group being here," she said of last year's difficulties.

Saturday's festival included a Sept. 11 memorial, an interfaith discussion, music, vendors and prayers.

The event is an opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about Paganism, regardless of age or religion, Anderson-Wenger said, adding that members do not try to convert others.

Organizers said Paganism is an umbrella term for religions that fall outside the mainstream traditions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. They said Pagans do not believe in Satan. Some common Pagan traditions include Wicca or witchcraft, Asatru, and Druidry.

The festival continues today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stoudtburg is located along Route 272.

People are asked to bring nonperishable food and personal care products, which will be shipped to Pagans serving overseas in the U.S. military. Perishable food items will be donated to a local food bank.

The day's keynote speaker was Selena Fox, who heads the Lady Liberty League. The group advocates for Pagan civil rights and religious freedoms.

"I'm hoping that on September 11th that we find a way not only for remembrance and healing, but also is a time that connects us to basic freedoms this county was founded on," she said.
Link to news article in the paper: Pagan festival focuses on nature-based beliefs. Event includes music and interfaith talks

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 12, 2010 at Sunday, September 12, 2010 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



Cool. I am glad this year proved more civil. It must be a good sign. I am glad that they were just cautious and concerned and not pigheaded and nasty regardless.

September 12, 2010 at 9:37 AM
Witchy Mama  

Yes, I am glad it was so graceful this year!!

September 13, 2010 at 12:40 PM

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