This years Top Ten post features individuals who quietly engage in making a meaningful difference in the world as well as those who have made very public contributions to the greater Pagan community. I believe this subjective list reflects that there are thousands of Pagans engaged in meaningful service around the world. So here is my list, my question to my Pagan sisters and brothers is who would be on your list?
Jerrie Kishpaugh Hildebrand
Having worked on several, in process, projects, this year with Jerrie, I have come to regard her as one of the most positive leaders in the Pagan community. Always ready to contribute as a Designer, a Minister or just a supportive worker she is an unsung hero of our community. Her status as the go to person for positive insights, advice and assistance in our community makes her a Pagan who made a difference in 2013.
If you are part of the DC area community it is impossible to not stumble upon this individual of compassion, understanding, and healing energy. Elizabeth’s contributions include involvement in both local and national Pagan efforts. She has been a guiding light to her local coven, a national Pagan Magazine and countless efforts within the Pagan community. This year her steadfast compassion has made her a Pagan who made a difference in 2013
Those who know Zenah do not have enough fingers and toes to count her many accomplishments within our community. This long time servant of the Covenant of the Goddess, not only has volunteered for years for positions that would overwhelm us mere Pagans, but also has remained as an emeritus in her many roles, always willing to step up, always professional and always a purveyor of wisdom. There is many a Pagan organization that can credit Zenah with their continued success. Zenah you are my favorite quiet Hero, always deserving of recognition, but to humble to step into the lime light to receive it. Your years of service place you as one of the 10 Pagans who made a difference in 2013!
Between Brian’s service to his local Pagan community, his work as a sign Language Interpreter and his volunteer efforts with wild birds at Wildlife Rescue Inc., it is almost impossible to site any single thing he is involved in that defines his efforts. Brian is a shinning example of a Pagan that has dedicated his life to service. This no bounds servant of the community, the planet and his fellow human beings stands as an example of Pagan belief in action. Brian, living your beliefs in everything you do makes you one of the Ten Pagans who made a difference in 2013.
Teo began the year as probably the hottest emerging Pagan personality. His writing at Bishop in the Grove stood as an outstanding example of authenticity and self-disclosure in spiritual process. Teo’s transition back to his former beliefs also demonstrated great courage and prompted a much-needed conversation within our community about authenticity, compassion and the need to support spiritual seekers on their path, not just the multitude of Pagan related paths. Thank You Teo for your insights, honesty and integrity. Your actions place you among the Pagans who made a difference in 2013.
Pagans across the country learned of the sacrifices of Alane this year. For a Princeton educated PhD and full time College Professor to surrender her comfortable life for one of service with the Peace Corps in Peru, is no small commitment. Further, Alane’s actions in manifesting sustainable economic activity in Peru reflect her belief in real world action.Thank You Alane for reminding us all that service to humanity is a higher calling that reflects the best of Pagan belief. Your worldwide efforts place you on this list of Ten Pagans who made a difference in 2013.
Kathy’s service to the community has been impressive this year. First she runs for National First Officer of COG, a rewarding commitment to be sure, but one that I can tell you personally, is also akin to painting a target on your back during hunting season. Second, she applies to found a new Pagan Pride day event. Finally, as if the above was not enough, she stood as a guiding light of compassion and service during the multiple Pagan rights issues that arose in Florida this year. Kathy, your over the top commitment to community service places you high on this list of Pagans who made a difference in 2013
One could go on for hours about the contributions of Selena Fox. Generally, individuals do not appear on this list for multiple years. In this case however, an exception is being made. During recent Pagan rights issues in Florida this writer received some positive attention for his actions. The fact is, that attention was not deserved. Each action, each word, each engagement was taken only under the wise guidence of Selena. I could not be more impressed with the depth of knowledge, wise counsel or measured engagement that she advised. For being the guiding force in the defense of our communities rights Selena is being named, once again, as a Pagan who made a difference.
Wow where to start? Heather could be named as the National Public Information Officer of Pagandom. National PIO for COG, Public information advisor for Circle Sanctuary, outstanding writer at The Wild Hunt, she does it all. With class, integrity and great skill Heather has emerged as the voice of the Pagan community. Most remarkable, she has done so with out the need to build a reputation for herself or falling into the minefields of speaking for all Pagans. Heather your outstanding professional communication skills and willingness to engage, place you not only on the list of Pagans who made a difference but among those that I personally greatly admire.
There is an old narrative we all have heard many times; that of the Hero that takes up the cause of the down trodden. In service to those who have no voice, this Hero makes great sacrifices, overcomes great obstacles, and fights the good fight mindless of self-preservation. In my book, Alley is such a Hero. Evidenced by her tireless advocacy for the homeless population in Eugene Oregon. She fights business interests, governments, individuals of privilege and never wavers in her commitment. Alley, your efforts make you a personal Hero of mine and I believe the best of what our community can be. For heroic action in the face of daunting odds you sit atop the list of Ten Pagans who made a difference in 2013.
So that's this years list, Who would be on your 2013 list? Please let me know in the comment section.