Updates – We’re Official!

First, let’s start off with the excitement of the week: We’re officially a 501(c)3 organization, all official and everything. So, that opens up many opportunities for us. There are some things to follow up on, paperwork wise, for us to have access to things like facebook fundraising, but other funding options will be available as soon as I open a bank account. Library book donations and other donations are now tax deductible, and in most cases, we should be able to sign off on volunteer hours for any school or other program.

The Pagan Parenting apps are still in progress. Trying to make enough changes to them to get them through Apple’s process, and wanting to only do it one more time.

Spiral Moon TV is on a brief pause, as the solution we thought we had won’t work. We’re working on yet another solution, but it’s back to writing code and setting up a server to host videos. Hoping to make progress on this by the end of the year.

We’ve also launched Semaphore News, a SE Michigan centered Pagan news outlet. Submit stories or press releases, and get your daily info about happenings in our area.

The Education Center is up and running. We have a few more classes to shift over, and then it’ll be on to new class offerings. Our parochial school, Spiral Moon Academy, is not opening this school year, but we’re hoping to get the doors open for next fall.

Blasphemy is Illegal?

Do you know what blasphemy is? I thought I did…but then I heard that it was illegal in Michigan. I think I knew that, actually, based on a case that made national news a few years back over someone cursing while on a canoe trip.

So, I decided to go look it up.

Blasphemy

noun, plural blas·phe·mies.

1. impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.

2. Judaism.

a. an act of cursing or reviling God.

b. pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) in the original, now forbidden manner instead of using a substitute pronunciation such as Adonai.

3. Theology. the crime of assuming to oneself the rights or qualities of God.

4. irreverent behavior toward anything held sacred, priceless, etc.: He uttered blasphemies against life itself.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/blasphemy

Now, that seems interesting, because while it references Judaism specifically, the rest of this is pretty generic in terms of what religions are referenced.

So what does the law say?

THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 328 of 1931
750.102 Blasphemy; punishment.
Sec. 102.
Punishment—Any person who shall wilfully blaspheme the holy name of God, by cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ;– CL 1948, 750.102
Former Law: See section 17 of Ch. 158 of R.S. 1846, being CL 1857, § 5872; CL 1871, § 7707; How., § 9293; CL 1897, § 11706; CL 1915, § 15480; and CL 1929, § 16832.

Somewhat relatedly, the next section is the law I was remembering about the canoe:

THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 328 of 1931
750.103 Cursing and swearing
Sec. 103.
Cursing and swearing—Any person who has arrived at the age of discretion, who shall profanely curse or damn or swear by the name of God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. No such prosecution shall be sustained unless it shall be commenced within 5 days after the commission of such offense.
History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ;– CL 1948, 750.103
Former Law: See section 18 of Ch. 158 of R.S. 1846, being CL 1857, § 5873; CL 1871, § 7708; How., § 9294; CL 1897, § 11707; CL 1915, § 15481; and CL 1929, § 16833.

So…that’s all really specific to Christians. And that feels pretty discriminatory. We can’t use their deity’s name as a curse word, and even joking about their deity or practices is suspect.

While many people will point out that this law isn’t actively enforced, the problem with laws like this is that they can be easily added on to other charges for those who are suspected of any other crime. Get arrested for something and cuss out the cops? Now you’ve got an additional charge.

The US government has complained about other countries having laws like this, but of course, they’re still on the books in numerous US states.

What can we do about laws like this? The first thing, as always, is to contact your state representatives in both the house and the senate, along with the governor.

Contact your senators.

Contact your representatives.

Contact the governor.

Tell them that you find these laws to be discriminatory against non-Christians, and that as a voting constituent you think they should have these laws repealed. In most cases, you can do that right from the find-your-elected-official links above, without outing yourself as Pagan if you choose not to.

Amazon App & Other Updates

Spiral Moon’s app is now available on the Amazon App Store. Since that was pretty straight forward, I’ll add Pagan Parenting there too (still working through the issues with it on iTunes – I think the reviewer doesn’t like me).

And then it’ll be back to Spiral Moon TV work. The tutorials I’ve found are all 2-3 years old, and their own development kit has changed dramatically, so that’s proving to be a challenge, but I’m determined to figure it out.

I’ve filed our incorporation paperwork this week, and that typically takes a week or so to get sent back, but it should be straight forward because I’m basing it on other applications that I’ve done recently. Then I’ll file the 501c3, which takes a few weeks to a few months. Right now, they’re processing applications filed before June 30, so that’s not as far behind as it has been.

Help Wanted!

Now that our Spiral Moon apps are available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, we’d love to have you jumping into our forums to help us build our community. I’ll be looking into publishing as an Amazon app too. I’d love to be able to put on more events but we’re sort of reaching the limits of how many balls I can juggle, and having some volunteers would help that.

Next up: getting our Pagan Parenting app through iOS approvals. And we still need writers there. Writers for PaganParenting.info are paid, by the way.

Then (well, in progress): Spiral Moon TV, a video app for Fire TV (and possibly wider distribution) – we’ll also be looking for content for this too. We can talk about potential funding for production for shows.

Needed still: Advertisers for PaganParenting.info. Sponsors for The Magical Family on Twitch and Pagan Parenting Podcast.

Apps!

Well, that was an experience! I am, at heart, not a software developer, though I’ve written programs from time to time over the years. It’s taken far longer than anticipated, but our apps are now live.

Both apps have access to all our groups and to our calendar and upcoming events list. They also have access to the blog, the page to volunteer, library information, information about our youth programming, and prayer/healing requests. Both apps are free, and access to everything listed above is available with a free website account.

Due to Apple’s policies, we’ve removed links to our membership upgrade information from the iOS version, because we don’t currently have the ability to run memberships through the app store for payment and still make the access to the educational center work properly.

Get it on Google Play!
Download on the App Store

Statement on the Overturning of Roe v. Wade

It’s taken a bit to get this pulled together, between sorting out my (Rev. Janet) personal opinions, and official church belief, and the utter rage that I personally feel over this decision.

Let’s talk about the things we say:

  • We are all sacred.
  • We are made of star stuff.
  • You are God/You are Goddess.
  • The divine is immanent – it is everywhere, in everything, even us.

Spiral Moon teaches that we are all divine. Every last one of us. And as divine beings, we do not need others to intercede with the Gods for us, nor do we owe anyone control of our bodies. With very few exceptions, every one of us should have bodily autonomy – regardless of age, gender, race, or disability. All means all.

That those pushing for any other outcome believe that taking away bodily autonomy and other rights (like privacy) are in line with their religious beliefs should be irrelevant. This is not a theocracy, and the constitution provides for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…and a ban on abortion doesn’t support any of those.

Decisions about your body should be between you, your Gods, and the people you choose to be involved. Not the government.

–Rev. Janet Callahan, on behalf of Spiral Moon Family Circle.

Apps and More!

Thanks to a generous donor, our apps will be available shortly!

Search for Spiral Moon Family Circle. Android will be released first (hopefully today) and iOS later this weekend. We’ll post direct links on the website and on facebook as soon as we can.

We’re also looking at hosting a festival in September, sponsoring the Little Witches Ball in October, and hosting a Yule gift event in December – stay tuned for more details, because we’ll need your help!

Sprites & Sparks Interest Meeting

So, last year, covid got the better of us. Maybe this year will go better? (If not, virtual meetings are a possibility – if you’re interested in that, let’s talk).

Sprites and Sparks is our youth group, which offers a social outlet for kids from Pagan families, not unlike scouts or 4-H. We will hopefully be meeting one Sunday a month for activities and/or field trips for the time being.

At this meeting, we’ll be discussing plans for the next few months and what the group will look like going forward.

What: Sprites & Sparks Interest Meeting
Where: Robinwood Park, 640 Robinwood Dr, Troy MI 48083 (park in the school parking lot across the street).
Who: Interested families
When: Sunday, May 15, 2 pm

  • All ages welcome – toddlers through high school
  • Parent or responsible adult must stay on site for anyone under age 15 and is responsible for their student’s behavior. Those 15 and over must behave appropriately or they will not be allowed back without an adult.
  • Sprites & Sparks is free for children of Spiral Moon General or Supporting members. Dues of $1/student/meeting for all others

Please register below so we know how many people to expect.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sprites-and-sparks-interest-meeting-tickets-326731622077

Sprites & Sparks Community Service

a rainbow of crayons in the background, lined up in 2 lines, with un-used pointy ends nested together in the middle on an upper left to lower right diagonal. In the middle, a white-ish translucent box with the words Sprites and Sparks Spring Community Service in the middle in a hand-written font.

Happy Earth Day! We’re coming up on the end of the school year in most of the US, and with that come all the supplies that come home. We’re planning a crayon collection for The Crayon Initiative as our community service project for this spring. The Crayon Initiative takes old broken crayons and melts them down to make new crayons, which are provided to children’s hospitals around the country, where child life specialists give them to kids who are in the hospital.

Please have your kids collect up their broken crayons. If you’re in the Detroit area, you can bring them to our Beltane or Litha kids’ events. If not, reach out and let’s chat and I’ll explain how to turn them in. It doesn’t have to be just your crayons – maybe your child can ask their teachers at school? One year we got the kids’ whole elementary school in on it. Consider asking freecycle or buy nothing groups, ask family members, and ask restaurants that hand out crayons. Use your imagination.

Please make an account here on the Spiral Moon website, and join the Sprites and Sparks Families group. We’ll be providing resources there.