It's a fact of life that our financial resources ebb and flow for many, many reasons, and it can be a terrible experience for our members to find themselves cut off from full participation in ADF. Of course, there is nothing to stop anyone with good will from attending grove rituals, or to pray daily at our own home shrines, but membership in ADF is required to participate in the various study programs and to be a member of our subgroups. This is why we have a Compassionate Membership (CM) program. And it's one that has existed for many years now.
It's true that sometimes a member has to be declared sacer and be cut off from the rest, usually due to bad behavior, but everyone else deserves a break. Compassionate memberships exist for new members, and for up to two more renewals (though we will usually ask such CM recipients to do some form of community service, in the spirit of *ghostis, in return for the help). But there is something about CM's that many people don't realize - they aren't free.
ADF needs its members to join and renew their memberships to keep the wheels turning, the website humming, and our services going. This isn't cheap. The CM Fund exists to pay for each compassionate membership the Mother Grove approves, so that ADF can award as many as needed without breaking the bank. But when the fund runs dry, the compassionate memberships stop.
The CM Fund is a donation fund. It only exists as long as people are willing to make donations to ADF to keep that fund afloat. And so I'm making an appeal to our membership to help out here. Reciprocity, the guiding ideal of our church, is not a quid pro quo - we give so that others may give back in return. Who knows if we will someday need to tap that fund ourselves? In the spirit of *ghostis it makes sense to donate for others, so that someday, should the need occur, they may donate to help us.
So I call on everyone to think hard and dig deep into their pockets and donate to this and all of our special funds. You can do so online at https://www.adf.org/donations, or you can mail a check to the ADF Office at:
ADF Donation Funds
PO Box 84
Wickliffe OH 44092-0084
Be sure to specify which fund you want your donation to go to.
Together, with common care and concern, we can help all our members of good will to join with us in community, to worship the Gods, our Ancestors, and the Spirits of the Midworld. So be it!