No. 36                                                                                                               July 2000

Sunday Ritual Schedule

Rituals start at 4:00 p.m., Gathering for drumming & dancing at 3:45 p.m.

July 2nd          Independence Day:  The Myth Of Democracy

July 9th        Ritual for Business:  See page two for agenda.

July 16th      Gaia Games!  1-8 pm in Swope Park  The Games will be an all Kansas City Unitarian Universalist picnic hosted by Gaia Community.  Our location will be Camp Lake of the Woods, located on 360 acres of secluded natural forest in the heart of Swope Park.  The camp has restricted admittance and is quiet and serene.  Our picnic, fun and games are in honor of Lugh, the Celtic god skilled at many things whom we honor at Lughnasad, and our Olympic athletes.  Our plan includes an afternoon of organized games, hiking the nature trails, swimming in the camp’s pool, then potluck picnic dinner around 4:30 p.m., followed by ritual around the fire circle beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Note:  please bring your own non-disposable table service and supplies.

July 30th      Lammas:  Shine On Harvest Moon  Potluck feast follows!  Please bring a tasty dish for eight, and your own table service.


Our children's classes for ages 3-12 meet during ritual.  The kids begin with their parents in the main ritual for the creation of sacred space, then go to their class, returning at ritual's end.

July 2nd   Introduction to Lammas:  The Freedom to Work Any kind of harvest is work, whether it is literal first fruits from a food garden, or first fruits from some other kind of work.  We are fortunate to be able to choose our work and will honor that freedom.  Facilitated by Team V.

July 16th The Gaia Games – All Kansas City UU Potluck Picnic, Games, Swimming, Ritual in honor of Lugh, the Celtic god honored at Lughnasad, 1-8 pm, Camp Lake of the Woods in Swope Park.  For kids and adults.

July 30th  Lammas – The Sacrifice of the Grain -- We will honor Lammas not only as a harvest festival, but as the time of the death of the Spirit of the Grain.  We’ll hear the story of Inanna, make first fruits wreaths, and talk about how we grow our food.

Adult Classes

July 23rd    Kahla Wheeler, the Greenwitch of Waldo 4-6pm at All Souls.  Wild Edibles in the City—A Nature Walk.  Please bring water, sunscreen, and wear comfy shoes.

One Day New Member Class This Month!!!

This special all day session will be held July 22, 2000 from 9am-4:30pm, most likely in Gaia Community's new office space. The location will be finalized soon. Be watching and listening for the exact location.

The special all day session will cover the same material as the regular format: sharing our spiritual journeys, UU history, consensus process, and the committees which are a vital part of how our mission covenant comes alive.  IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU ARE ON TIME. Anyone more than 15 minutes late will have to wait until the October sessions done in our regular format of four evening sessions.

The New Member classes are a mandatory component for anyone wishing to become a full active member of Gaia Community. The purpose of the classes is to build a sense of community and fully inform prospective new membective new members of the purposes and principles of Unitarian Universalism and how Gaia Community seeks to fulfill the promise of our mission covenant statement.

Anyone interested in attending this special class may sign the class list at the Greeter's table. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail Cathy at


The Business Section

We Got the Grant!
Submitted by Stefanie P. Rosedaughter

"WE GOT THE GRANT!"  The letter from the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Extension Ministry Director Margaret Beard read:  "I am pleased to officially accept the Gaia Community into the New Congregation Ministry Program of the U. U. A.  You and the members of your congregation have worked hard to accomplish this goal.  I am also pleased to inform you that I am appointing the Rev. Vicky Combs . . . to be your New Congregation Minister."  Congratulations to all who offered their support and who helped us to achieve this important milestone.&nbsant milestone. 

News From The Stewardship Committee
Submitted by Stefanie P. Rosedaughter

What happens July 1st? People begin shopping for fireworks, hot dogs, and charcoal grills? Well, that's one answer, but not quite what I had in mind.  July 1st marks the beginning of the Gaia Community's fiscal year.  As we begin a new fiscal year, we all return to our full active member status.  Please realize that, to participate in Ritual for Business consensus making, you must be current on your pro-rated monthly portion of the required $70.00 dues (or have paid $70.00).  This year's minimum pledge level of $70.00 covers UUA national dues ($42.00), Prairie Star District dues ($12.00), and a year subscription to the Gaia newsletter ($16.00).   Now is the perfect time to complete your pledge card and make a financial commitment, if you have not already done so.  Any questions regarding your pledge should be directed to our acting treasurer, Barb Osterman.  If you need a pledge card, contact Barb Osterman or Stefanie Rosedaughter.

A Stewardship Meeting will be held either July 5th or 6th to discuss fundraising and canvndraising and canvassing strategy.  All interested are invited to attend. Look for details in the July 2nd Announcements or e-mail the Stewardship Chair at  ALL WHO ATTENDED GENERAL ASSEMBLY and ALL STEWARDS are encouraged to attend this meeting!

Start-Up Weekend August 18-19
Submitted by Kitty Degler

As part of entering the New Congregation Ministry Program and having Vicky as our full-time minister, we will hold a Start-Up weekend.  Nancy Heege, Prairie Star District Executive will be coming to facilitate.  Although a Start-Up Weekend is usually done only with the Board and the Minister, because of Gaia Community’s Committee of the Whole Structure the weekend will be open to all Full Active Members who will commit to attending the entire weekend.  Board members and committee chairpersons must attend. 

At the Start-up weekend we will work together to develop our minister/lay leader covenant which will define areas of responsibility for the congregation, for the minister and those which are shared.

Nancy’s calendar was filling up quickly squickly so we have set this weekend for Friday evening, August 18, 7-9:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 19, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.  It will either be held at All Souls or at Gaia Community’s new office.  To attend, RSVP to Kitty Degler.

June 11th Ritual for Business
Submitted by Kitty Degler

Agreed that all Full Active Members could attend Start-Up Ministry weekend with Nancy Heege as long as they RSVP’d and committed to attend the entire weekend.  Board members and committee heads must attend.  (NOTE:  the weekend has been set for Friday evening/Saturday, August 18-19.)

Agreed to allow all Full Active Members to participate in the process of developing a working agreement with Vicky, by first having an open session, then refining it with a smaller task force, then bringing it to the RfB for finalization.  This process must be complete by August 30th.

Accepted the proposed calendar for September 2000 – December 2001.

Agreed that moving RfB to a Sunday, 1-3 pm timeslot would begin in September. eptember.

Agreed to take another step toward becoming a full service congregation by meeting every Sunday (i.e., not taking any more Sundays off after Labor Day Sunday 2000).

Sent DRE job description back to KidSpace committee for refinement.

Appointed DRE Search Committee consisting of Kitty Degler, Vicky Combs, Frank Oehring, and Jeannine Lovett.

Appointed Anne Montgomery and Vicky Combs as Search Committee for a Gaia Community office.

Next Ritual for Business is Sunday, July 9th, 4-6 pm at All Souls.  Anticipated agenda items include approval of rental agreement for office space for Gaia Community, approval of Social Justice Committee guidelines, and explanation and discussion of a Committee on Ministry which we must have created prior to the August 18-19th Start-Up Weekend.  If you have other agenda items, please send them to Kitty Degler (preferably by e-mail) before July 7.


Happy Birthday!

All those Cancer & Leo folks celebrating their solar return (birthday) in July:




July 18th     Social Justice Committee Letter-writing potluck.  See item under Committees at Work on this page for more info.

July 28th     7pm Friday Night Supper Club Great food and fun await you at our next gathering at Vietnam Restaurant (formerly Little Saigon) at 2200 W. 39th St. We've been there before and we're returning because it is definitely worth it!! Please RSVP to CathyCathy. I look forward to seeing new faces there. I hope you join us.

September 16th    Calling all artists and crafters to show and sell your handcrafted work at the Shawnee Mission UU Church Arts and Fine Crafts Fair.  The fair location is 7725 W. 87th St. Overland Park.  Go to the church’s website at for a booth map and registration info.

Involvement Opportunities

Our next Ritual Teams Committee meeting will be Thursday, July 27th from 7-9p.  On the agenda will be:

*         finalizing our brochure for first time visitors that explains our ritual format;

*         setting titles and themes for the rest of this year and into next;

*         deciding what to do about the scheduling conflict with All Souls on Dec. 17th, our Winter Solstice celebration (they want to schedule a fut to schedule a function in Bragg at our usual time to be there);

*         discussing those leaving and joining teams and the creation of at least one new one after the next Excellence in Ritual class which will begin in July.

Speaking of which…

Excellence in Ritual Class (EiR) 

Have you long wanted to hone your skills at creating dynamic and transformative public ritual? Have you wanted to learn and practice various techniques for creating sacred space, moving and grounding energy, or learning trance induction?  Then join us for the EiR class to be held seven consecutive Wednesdays, July 19 – August 30, 7-9:30p.m. at All Souls, 4501 Walnut.

The class will be co-facilitated by Vicky Combs and Kitty Degler and will be based on material from the Diana's Grove Mystery School offered by Cynthia Jones and Patricia Storm, Priestesses and owners of the Grove.  This class is the most common way to fulfill the training requirements for anyone wishing to serve on one of our Ritual Teams.

The fee is $40.00 for non-members anr non-members and $30.00 for members.  All participants are expected to attend all seven sessions.  The "mid-term" is to serve as facilitating priestesses at the July 30th Lammas ritual (lead by Team III) and the August 13th ritual (lead by Team II).  The "final" is to plan and conduct the August 27th ritual (in conjunction with Team I).

Please register by e-mailing Vicky, or by signing up at the Greeter’s Table on Sunday.

Covenant Groups Update

*         The Facilitators will meet for the first time on Thursday, July 6, from 7-9p.  Place: TBA.

*         The Simple Living group will meet July 20th  at Barb Johnson’s house, 2019 W. 71st Terr. in Prairie Village, from 7-9p., (6 houses west of State Line on south side of street).  We’ve agreed to read the first chapter of Your Money or Your Life by Joe Domingus and Vicki Robbins.  Thus far, the third Thursday has become a regular meeting night.  Newcomers may influence that, however.

*         GSP, General Spiritual Practices will meet July 10th.  They have agreed to begin promptly at 7p. and end at 9p. 

*         Pagans in Recovery will meet Thursday, July 13th. Place: TBA. 

*         The Big Questions group will meet Thursday, July 13th, 7-9p. at Sheryl Martin’s, 9271 Conser, #1-C.  Topic: A question about human authority.  How do I know what I know? What is the ultimate source of our knowing?  Does knowing derive from without or within humans?  How do I know what I know is true?

*         If you are interested in meeting with a group in north K.C.

*         Plans are underway to form a Far Northland Covenant Group that would meet in Cameron, MO.  We’ll keep you posted. 

*         If you are interested in joe interested in joining a Covenant Group that meets in the Lawrence area.

Committees At Work
Submitted by Rob and Theresa Hardy-Potter

The Social Justice Committee is going to have a letter writing potluck on Tuesday, the 18th of July, at All Souls.  We are asking all those interested in environmental issues and making their voices heard to join us for an omnivorous feast after we take care of business.  Letter writing has been a wonderful way to voice opinions, and has worked so well when done en mass.  A great example is the success Amnesty International has had with their letter campaigns past and present.  Please join us; all you need to bring is a good hand and a dish for eight.  We will provide writing tools and sample letters as well as explanations of the issues we are writing about.  Come have fun and make a difference all in the same night. For more information or to help please email Theresa Hardy-Potter.

Gay Pride Day Report-Social Justice Committee On Friday June 9th, fellow Gaians grouped behind our banner and marched proudly in the Gay Pride Parade.  It was in the ev; It was in the evening downtown so there were very few people until we neared the end of the route.  Then, to our surprise, hundreds and hundreds of people were gathered at the Dixie Bell and Tootsie's.  Some of us stayed and celebrated; others had to go. Saturday at the Pride Festival, the Gaia Community table was set up early and staffed until 6 pm.  We had quite a few people stop by and ask questions, and some 15 people to add to our mailing list.  We are hoping they will be coming by Ritual soon. It was a good success and we are looking forward to next year.  Big Thank You's to all of you who helped out!  We hope to see you "out" and about at the next function!  

Communication Committee Help Needed
Submitted by Kristyn Gonnerman, Communications Committee Chair

Outside Publicity Coordinator Wanted  - The Communications Committee needs someone to revive our somewhat neglected outside publicity activities.  These include:  placing regular calendar listings with Reclaiming, the Edge and Evolving Woman newspapers, checking out other local publications which might be appropriate for listing our activites, occasionally designing ads to be placed in publications, maintns, maintaining current listings of our activities on local and other websites, such as KC Pagan Network, working with RE committee to publicize GC events which might be interesting to folks outside Gaia.  The majority of this can be done on your own time via e-mail or internet.  Please e-mail me if you’re interested. 

Bulk Mailing Team

The committee also needs two or three volunteers willing to learn how to do the monthly bulk mailing of the Earth Healer newsletter.  This would mean spending about two to three hours once per month putting labels on the newsletter and sorting them according to the US Postal Service Guidelines.  Vicky and I will train you. This would be a great way to serve Gaia Community in a very real way as the newsletter is our main communication device. Please contact Kristyn.

Gaia Board Members

P" color="#FFFFFF">President: Kitty Degler: E-mail Home or E-mail work
Vice President: Anne Montgomery: E-mail or Hotmail
Treasurer(interim): Barb Osterman: E-mail Home or E-mail work
Secretary: Paul Gorbas: E-mail
Stephen Bland:
Cathy Combs: E-mail
Leslie Gorbas: E-mail
Sherree Ross: E-mail
Minister: Vicky Combs: E-mail

KidSpace News
Submitted by Kitty Degler

KidSpace Meetings   At our June 11th KidSpace meeting we worked out the schedule for the coming curriculum year and g curriculum year and reviewed the job description for the part-time (15 hours per week) DRE position.  We need to further define the DRE job description and then advertise it.  The DRE Search Committee is Kitty Degler, Vicky Combs, Jeannine Lovett, and Frank Oehring.  Please contact one of us if you or someone you know might be interested in the position.    We determined that following the hiring of the DRE and the completion of the majority of our development work on the 2000-2001 curriculum, we would reconstitute the KidSpace Committee to be made up of the DRE and one representative from each KidSpace team.    We would like to offer Sunday classes for middle school/junior high age kids in the fall.  Our plan is to find and modify an existing curriculum.  We are also looking for one or two people to make a commitment to working with this group of kids on Sundays.    Our next KidSpace meeting will be Sunday, July 23, 1:30 – 3:45 p.m. at All Souls.  We’ll be reviewing lesson plans for the new curriculum from the Native American team and working on our two overview classes.   

Fall KidSpace Registration   Pre-registration for 2000-2001 KidSpace will begin July 30th.  A form will appear in the August newsletter, as well as being avaell as being available at rituals and classes.  We will be asking for a $15 registration fee for the first child, $5 for each additional child in a family.  The fee helps to pay for KidSpace supplies and materials. Pre-registration helps us know how many children we need to prepare for.  The start of the new curriculum is Sunday, August 27th.

President’s Column
Submitted by Kitty Degler

I am writing this from my hotel room at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Nashville, Tennessee.  GA is a wonderful gathering of people, with so many workshops and things to do it is hard to find time for it all.

Yesterday, we set up Gaia Community’s booth in the exhibit hall.  We are right by the entrance, an excellent spot.  We have so many people coming to talk to us about what we’re doing.  Some are very wistful and wishing their own UU congregations would be like us.  Others are determined they are going to follow in our footsteps and start a pagan UU congregation of their own.  I’ve spoken with a couple of ministerial candidates who would like to serve a pagan congregation.  I believe we are the wave of the of the future.

Last night, Carey Oxler and I carried Gaia’s beautiful new banner in the banner parade.  There were banners from over 1,000 congregations here at GA.  As we marched through the convention center floor, many people cheered and applauded us.  People I had met from New Congregation Organizer training in 1997 made a point to come by and congratulate us.  Jim Scott, Paul Winter Consort member, came over and gave us a special invitation to attend the performance Friday evening of the Missa Gaia.

One of the last events of the evening was the welcoming of new congregations to General Assembly.  Among cheers and applause Theresa and Rob Hardy-Potter went up on stage to receive our plaque.  It says “Gaia Community, Welcomed into Membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association, June 2000 General Assembly.”  We were one of 14 new congregations welcomed.

I have the sense of joining a river of history, stretching back in time to the founding of the denomination.  Different streams of thought and belief have fed into the river, mixing with it, but also changing it.  Gaia Community is one of the newest streams, but one that I think will have a very broad ie a very broad impact.  I believe the leaders of UU realize this and are excited by the new waters we bring.  Thus, we are welcomed into a larger community, a broader river, with open arms and hearts and minds.


Minister’s Musings
By Vicky Combs

I’ve been trying to write this column about my experiences here at GA since Friday morning but with each passing day some more moving, more inspiring event happens and I have to revise what I’ve written. 

The opening ceremony was such a thrill!!  As thousands of us cheered and clapped and sang to the music of a great blue grass band, proud folks processed in with their congregation’s banner. (Thank you, gang, ours looked fabulous!) As Kitty Degler and Carey Oxler entered, our proud Gaia Community contingent of Rob & Theresa Hardy-Potter, Benita & Frank Oehring, Cathy Combs, Barb Johnson and myself stood and cheered like the crazy folks we are. (I think I got some great pics.  Cross your fingers!)

Later in the ceremony UUA moderator, Denny Davidoff, called out the names of all t the names of all newly affiliated congregations.  When it was our turn, Rob and Theresa went center stage in front of 4000+ UUs from around the world to receive our plaque from UUA president John Buehrens and Trustee, Norma Pointsette.  I wish you all could have witnessed this once in a lifetime event but we felt you with us in spirit.  Then I cried.

Saturday our Summer Solstice ritual was all I ever could have hoped for and then some.  Spirit was with us and from the feedback we’ve received from CUUPs folks and others, the ritual was truly an unforgettable, transformative experience.  A CUUPs official even asked, “How are we ever gonna top that in Cleveland [site of next year’s GA]?”  To which another replied, “We can’t so we won’t try.”  Others who attended came to our booth and told us it was the highpoint of their GA experience.  (Kitty and I have even been invited to take the Excellence in Ritual class on the road so that others can learn how to create such rituals for their congregations.)

Tonight (Sunday) I was brought to tears time and again listening to Morris Dees, world renowned trial lawyer and co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who has fought for racial justice for ial justice for over 30 years.  As he thanked UUs for being voices of hope and tolerance over the years, for their long history struggling for justice, I have never been more proud to be associated with this religious community. 

All this week friends and colleagues have come up to me to congratulate us, to compliment us on our beautiful banner and impressive booth, and to inquire how we’ve accomplished so much in so short a time.  There are even ministerial students asking to do their internships at Gaia Community!  (Something that can happen when I receive full final fellowship next year.)

When I return home we’ll roll up our sleeves and put into action all that I (actually, all that we) learned from the workshops.  But for a moment, just a moment, take a deep breath and rejoice in what we’ve accomplished together.  Congratulations everyone!


P.S.  Let’s get together at our upcoming Gaia Games July 16th and celebrate our community.  See ya there.

Gaia Community Office Space Found!!

It is truly time for rejruly time for rejoicing, gang.  After much searching, Anne Montgomery and I (Vicky) believe we have found the ideal place for us.  But first some history.

We had found what we thought would be a perfectly adequate space at the corner of Linwood & Gilham Rd. in the Mahogany Plaza building.  It was a second floor, 300 sq. foot office with the utilities included for $300.00 per month.  However, in spite of my two or three visits over there showing folks the space and talking to the receptionist, I couldn’t get the manager to return my inquiries. 

Then the owners of the building at 3111 Troost called and invited me to take a look.  Whoa!  It’s a store front office (thus providing infinitely greater visibility) with about a thousand sq. feet, 4 rooms, one of which has a kitchenette area, a private space for a minister’s study, as well as another private office space for our soon to be hired KidSpace coordinator!!  The two large rooms can easily accommodate Covenant group meetings, drumming circles, etc. 

Now the kicker.  The cost?  Sit down.  $300.00 a month, utilities included!!  Yes, folks, the Goddess is good.  The owners usuallwners usually get $400.00 for the space but were willing to work with us on the price because we were the kind of folks they had been waiting to find, they said.

Anne Montgomery will be arranging times for folks to go over and see it before we bring it to a decision at the July RfB.  She can be reached at e-mail.

If this space is approved, we will be in need of help with the move, clean-up/painting decorating help, desk(s), answering machine, file cabinets, table, lamps, cubicle divider, chairs, etc.  A painting / decorating party and move-in date will be announced as soon as we get the green light from the RfB.  Let the people say, “Blessed Be!!!” J

Contact Information:  E-Mail us!
Information Line: 816-292-2846

Please submit newsletter articles, comments, suggestions to: Kristyn Gonnerman. Submission deadline is the 20th of the month.

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