We’re halfway through festival season and many of us are preparing to attend one, if we haven’t already. Some of us have even attended a few of them. They’re a lot of fun and a great opportunity to see old friends and make new ones.
But the most important thing about festivals is that they give us a chance to come together as one folk, to make our offerings jointly to the Kindreds, to join with each other in fellowship, and to truly feel that we are a people united.
Unity is something that we in ADF have that must be cherished and nourished. We share many things, from our Order of Ritual to our interactions on the lists and forums, through email and Facebook. Many of us have made friends across groves and with solitaries. Attending an ADF festival can be like a great family reunion.
But what of those members who cannot attend festivals, or even join into public grove High Day rituals? While they may make friends on-line, what could we do to help them feel a part of ADF?
This could be a tough nut to crack. The Clergy Council has discussed this over the years, and one solution might be to hold simultaneous, or near simultaneous, Unity Rites, where folks can hold their own rite at home, or together in a grove, while a larger, public rite is held at a festival somewhere.
In time, what I really hope to see is an on-line, streaming Unity Rite that anyone with a broadband Internet connection could access in real time. Barring that, occasional Unity Rites could be recorded for playback on YouTube with people watching at a specific time that was advertised in advance. While a bit difficult technically, both of these options are possible.