I attend a Unitarian Universalist (UU) fellowship in McMinnville and then I discovered CUUPS, Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, a pagan organization under the UU umbrella. Unfortunately, the nearest local chapter is in Salem some 30 miles away. I also attend an eclectic monthly discussion group, Magickal Musings, a child of the Witches of Cascadia in Portland. Again, some 30 miles away but in the opposite direction.
But what interests me the most at this juncture is CUUPS because while Magickal Musings is an opportunity to participate in both fascinating and enlightening discussions, CUUPS involves some workshops but also the celebration of the sabbats of the wheel of the year. CUUPS was formed in 1985 at a Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly and is today considered a Covenanting Community of the UUA. What that means in practice is that a number of UU congregations (albeit, a small number) sponsor CUUPS chapters which are themselves comprised of witches (both Wiccan and unaffiliated), druids, eclectic pagans, and et cetera.
I care about all that because while paganism is perhaps one of the fastest growing spiritual movements in America, other than Wicca it is unnamed and generally unknown. It’s just all those sundry odd folks with no real affiliations. Yes, you can also find them as members of other religious groups because that’s all they know (which at one time included myself as well). Within Unitarian Universalism, at least, CUUPS makes the pagan way more visible and it does so in a positive and affirming way by offering folks the opportunity to explore their own spiritual values.
I’m rather excited about what’s currently in my own UU fellowship. We are a very small group with no staff and our Sunday speakers are all invited folks. This coming week, our speaker is Rev Amy Beltaine, a Recent last president of CUUPS and a month later Andrea Joy Kendall, a Wiccan priestess.
I’m hoping these experiences will be the push necessary to get my fellowship to decide to sponsor a CUUPS chapter of our own and save me 30 miles in either direction.