Five years ago last autumn, the three of us hosted a visioning retreat to help us understand how we could be of greater service to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill pagan community – how, in fact, all of us in the community could be of greater service to each other. That retreat gave birth to the Triangle Area Pagan Alliance, an open, public network of pagan groups and solitary practitioners who are passionate about supporting one another on our spiritual journeys and deepening our connections to one another in a locally centered, face-to-face context.
During those five years, TAPA has been an ever-evolving experiment, an environment where we could develop traditions and try new things. We have led Fourth of July rituals and the main ritual at Pagan Pride, presented a year-long workshop series showcasing the expertise of community members, and hosted large-scale social events like our Harvest Moon Festival and the Fools and Fairies Ball. We have partnered with individual groups to present collaborative events like the Hasaeti oracular sessions, Fortunalia, and an annual community winter holiday party. We keep a website, a Facebook, and a Meetup group that keep people informed about community happenings, hosted an information booth every year at Pagan Pride weekend, and see many of you every month at our first Wednesday meet-and-greets. We truly believe TAPA has been what we wanted it to be – a resource for pagans who are looking for ways to have more and better community in their lives. We have been blessed with a great welcome from the community and are always touched to hear how valued TAPA has become as a Triangle-wide institution in only five years.
But the TAPA steering committee is only three people, and the three of us can only, at the end of the day, speak authoritatively about our own needs. In order to plan the next five years of TAPA, we want to know more about the needs of the broadest possible segment of the community – as well as what kinds of gifts and talents the community has available to help support TAPA's work.
Time for another retreat! We will hold a day-long event on Saturday, April 27, where we'll celebrate our successes, identify ongoing areas of need, and make some decisions about where TAPA will be devoting attention and resources over the next few years. This is your chance to collaborate in crafting the future of TAPA.
Everyone is welcome, whether you are a long-time TAPA volunteer, have only been attending occasional events, or are completely new and unknown to us. TAPA has never been an organization with “membership” – we try to make ourselves equally available for the concerns and interests of brand-new friends and those we know well. Whether you think of yourself as a “community leader” or not, whether you consider yourself a “friend of TAPA” or not, you are welcome to this event. We want to hear as many voices as we can.
In order to make sure we can find a site that accommodates the size of the group, we need to know early on who will be able to attend, so we are asking people to RSVP via email for this event by February 28, at which point we will close attendance. We would hate to exclude people who want to be at this event, so please get your name on the list as soon as possible. Don't let time slip away from you!
We are grateful for the overwhelming positivity and support we have received from this community. You have expanded our horizons, as we hope we have expanded yours, and we can't wait to learn what's in store for TAPA next.
Your steering committee, aka, The TAPA Ladies,
Alisa, Amanda, and Heather