The very first Pagan Pride Day in Columbia, MO, was held in 2000 and presented by one of our highlighted community organizations, Hearthfires, and was spearheaded by Seileach Corleigh. The next year, it became affiliated with Pagan Pride Project under the leadership of Rose Wise, where it continued for several years.
In 2009, the coordinators of the event incorporated as an organization and Mid Missouri Pagan Pride, a Missouri nonprofit organization, was born. This made it independent from the Pagan Pride Project and free to make choices about how to run the event that would be best for the local community. Over time, it came to be de-facto sponsored and hosted by a local clan known as Naofa Tintean, a Conclave of the Craft working group. Through the years, a larger emphasis was placed on community building and education rather than the sale of goods and services in vendor’s row.
In 2016, Mid Missouri Pagan Pride merged with Conclave of the Craft, a Wiccan church. This merger ensured that all donations made to MMPPD were tax-deductible and that there would continue to be a permanent organizing committee for the event. It also opened up new funding opportunities from grantors that require 501(c)3 status from grantees. The Conclave actively works with the larger community to make MMPPD welcoming for people of all Pagan traditions and maintains Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride as a registered fictitious name with the Secretary of State.
Over the years, Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride has donated money and goods to a variety of charitable causes. Our most memorable campaign resulted in $1,400 in cash and supplies that we were able to send to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief.
In the Media
2013: Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride ran a special blog series called Faces and Places, which showcased local Pagan leaders and Pagan-friendly businesses.
2013 Sept. 22: Columbia Faith and Values posted a YouTube video interviewing people about what Pagan Pride means to them.
2012 Oct. 9: KBIA ran an article on Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride Day 2012.
2009 Sept. 29: The Maneater ran an article on Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride Day 2009.
There are a variety of resources available to those looking to learn more about paganism, meet new people, and connect with the vibrant pagan community here in Mid-Missouri. Here are just a few of them!
Midwest Pagan Council puts on Pan Pagan Festival each year at a private campground outside Knox, Indiana. It is the oldest continuously running pagan festival in the United States and has always been family-friendly. Find out more at their Facebook Group.
Hearthfires: The Mid-Missouri Pagan Spiritual Alliance hosts weekly discussion groups in Columbia. It developed out of a university pagan student organization and has been going strong since 1998. Their website contains a wealth of information, as well as articles and essays from local contributors.
MizzouDiversity is a project of the Chancellor's Diversity Initiative. It is the hub for information and events on and around campus. Many University-sponsored events are open to the public!
Conclave of the Craft is a traditional initiatory Wiccan church based in Columbia. It hosts large events at the solstices and equinoxes. Smaller working groups within the Conclave host cross-quarter sabbats and esbats in a more private atmosphere. It also focuses on clergy training, both within its own tradition and as an exchange program for other traditions. For more information, see their website or like them on Facebook.
Oak Spirit Sanctuary (formerly known as Ozark Avalon Church of Nature) was first incorporated in 1997 and provides a place for practitioners of good will to practice their religion in the open air. It holds lunar events, solar festivals, and informational classes. Located between Columbia and Boonville, it is a beautiful and historic property.
Holts Summit Witches & Pagans is an eclectic learning and service group meeting in Holts Summit and serving the surrounding communities including Columbia and Jefferson City. Their core values are diversity, acceptance, and respect, and they are welcoming of various paths which fall under the ‘pagan’ and ‘earth-based’ umbrella. Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or contact them by email.
Frequently Asked Questions
With so much information available on the Internet, it's easier than ever to learn about paganism, so we decided to put together this page as an orientation for anyone looking for honest answers to a common questions about the Mid-Mo community.
Where can I go to learn the basics about paganism? Are some websites or books better than others?
Paganism is an umbrella term, and a lot of things are covered under that umbrella. To learn more about the major "flavors" of paganism, try Wikipedia's Religion Portal. Also take a look at Celtic Connection and ReligiousTolerance.org. Browse the New Age section of the bookstore. Some titles are better than others, so apply critical thinking skills as you read. Don't beafraid to decide that an author isn't right for you. Check out their bibliography. Read the stuff that comes up over and over again across different authors. Check out the library too! DBRL has books available, and you can utilize interlibrary loans to get access to even more materials!
Are there local teachers available? How do I know if a teacher is reputable?
Yes, there are local teachers available! The best way to find one is to attend open circles and public events. Ask questions. Get recommendations. Pagans are a chatty bunch, so it won't take long to figure out who's got a good track record. Listen to your gut. Join mailing lists and Facebook groups. Periodically a teacher may run a series of introductory classes. Most will not charge or will only suggest a small donation to cover printing fees. Tools like ABCDEF and the Seekers Bill of Rights were designed to help newcomers assess the groups and teachers that they come across, so don't be afraid to use them!
Where can I meet others like me? Is there a secret handshake or something that I should know?
Different groups favor different methods. Look at our local groups listing (above), WitchVox, and Meetup for general networking. Some traditions and organizations have their own mailing lists or directories. Look up ADF, OBOD, The Troth, Covenant of the Goddess, Aquarian Tabernacle Church, Reclaiming Collective, and The Sisterhood of Avalon. See what fits for you. Don't be afraid to shop around. There are literally hundreds of groups to choose from. As far as secret handshakes, "I found you on [insert website here]" tends to work well!
Sally Jo said such-and-such about Mary Sue and she's a horrible person and we need to get her out of the community right now!
Personal conflicts exist everywhere in life, and the pagan community is no exception. We call such conflicts witch wars, and they're terribly damaging to the community. The best thing to do in situations like this is to seek out the people directly involved in the conflict and get the story straight from the source. Be objective. Consider the facts. Then make your own determinations and adjust your personal actions accordingly. If you're party to a conflict, then settle it outside of the public eye. This includes public events, open circles, and virtual environments like social media. Seek out mediation or arbitration. If you're a member of a tradition or organization, there may already be a conflict-resolution procedure in place, so ask for it and actively work the process. Abide by the decisions that come out of conflict resolution, then turn your attention to healing yourself and moving on. By taking personal responsibility to keep community drama to a minimum, we all work together to cultivate a more pleasant and inviting atmosphere for everyone.
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