We were meeting in a De Vere hotel near Northampton which was plush and they fed us well with plenty of veggie options. The Earth Spirit Network had one of the stalls in the reception area where people came to browse during breaks. There was plenty of interest. All the promotional leaflets went and all copies of the File sold at £2.50 each. Subscriptions were renewed and names added to our email list. I put copies of ‘My Unitarian Prayer Book’ on the stall and sold all of them as well but at cost.
We had our own meeting slot to showcase what we do. It was in a flexible space where people could go into groups of three or four. We asked them first to hold hands, flat hands, one on top, one under to their neighbours which is less intimidating to a new gathering. After a silence they introduced themselves and were asked to talk about their early memories of being aware of nature.
We then gave a demonstration of the ritual the Bolton group use to open their meetings and talked about their programme that follows the wheel of the year. Some are indoor. Meets, some are visits to sacred sites or well dressings in Derbyshire. The session ended with a visualisation type of meditation and closing of the quarters.
It was a well attended meeting and we hope other Earth Spirit Groups will be set up either within or alongside Unitarian congregations. As a Network we respect and often share in the activities of other Pagan groups but we value being independent and not subject to being tied to any group that insists we operate in a certain way, worship particular deities or follow certain paths. The Unitarian ethos is that each person is on their own spiritual journey and lives by values that do not bring harm to others or to the earth. We are part of society.