The past year has been a momentous one for Inis Úll. In January, we wrote and voted into place our bylaws; an essential foundation for the long-term future of the Grove. As the bylaws called for three elected officers, we subsequently held elections for these open positions; I am pleased to say that one hundred percent of the active membership at that time participated in this process. The bylaws and officers were the last elements we, as a Protogrove, needed in order to fulfill ADF’s minimum requirements for receiving a Grove provisional charter. Duly applied for, our request for a charter was finally approved as of August 3rd of this year.
With the formal structure of Inis Úll in place, we are in a position to continue and expand upon our core work, which is to serve the spiritual and religious needs of our members and the Pagan community at large. We have continued to hold open High Days for each spoke in the Wheel of the Year. Due, no doubt, to the Kindreds’ support, these rituals have been quite successful; the folk have contributed their creativity in devising and carrying out these highly-participatory rites. While most of our rituals were Celtic in focus, we did celebrate our first Hellenic rite at Summer Solstice; exploring the diverse interests of our members in this way is extremely positive for the Grove as a whole. Attendance at our High Days has averaged at about a dozen-and-a-half, as it has done over the past.
Though our Dedicant Path study group did get going again for awhile, it slipped back into dormancy over the summer. This is one area in which we should put in much more effort. An approach worth considering would be to have classes focused upon a single topic; while these topics would relate to the Dedicant Path, they could be promoted to the community at large. Perhaps each class would be lead by a different member, who could prepare material in advance. The Executive Committee should consider appointing a Preceptor to oversee this study program.
The Grove must also step up its efforts in doing community service projects. Perhaps each active member could commit to organizing one project in which the whole Grove would participate per year?
Thanks to the hard work of our Scribe, the Grove now has a fully-functioning website of its own. As a group, we should work to increase activity on the site: members could contribute articles, start discussions, etc. We might also consider creating an NYC Pagan Community Bulletin Board hosted on our site: this would both be a service to the broader community and a way of increasing site traffic.
Active membership in the Grove currently stands at eleven. I believe that many of our goals would be achieved more easily if this number were larger; therefore, we should work for slow-but-steady growth. Unfortunately Pagan Pride Day this year seems to have netted no new folk. We need to find new ways of reaching out to potentially interested people.
Sadly, these past months have seen the passing of two people very important to Inis Úll: Gloria and Puck. Personally, I miss both of them very much. However, these losses are also an opportunity for the Grove to connect more strongly with Ancestors; I am sure that both Gloria and Puck have seats of honor in the Summerlands!
It has, indeed, been a very important, productive year for Inis Úll. Of course, much work remains to be done. In fact, omen after omen has told us that the Kindreds expect a lot from us. One thing we should do, as Paul has suggested, is to keep track of these omens in a methodical way. I feel that this would help guide us over the course of the next year and beyond. This is another area in which the Executive Committee should consider appointing someone to oversee.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to our Grove’s incredibly productive year!