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Georgia UMC Leaders Informed of Neo-Pagan Goddess Worship Planned For Methodist Center At Simpsonwood


From: TGRAFFGA@aol.com
To: virgilee@juno.com
Cc: maconds@juno.com
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 9:48 AM
Subject: (no subject)

Friends,

Miriam Therese Winter, who wrote the following liturgy, "Psalm in Search of the Goddess", is scheduled to come to Atlanta later this year (August 5th) to teach spiritual seekers at the Simpsonwood Retreat Center:

CALLER: Who are You, O Holy One? How have Your daughters named You?

VOICE: I am Nut of the Sky, of Egypt, Goddess of affection.

PEOPLE: Nut, we call upon Your name and long for Your affection.

CALLER: Who are You, O Holy One? How have Your daughters named You?

VOICE: I am Anath-Astarte, and Lady Ashera of the Sea from the Biblical land of Canaan.

PEOPLE: Anath-Astarte, forgive us for all we have done to You.....

(Ms. Winter's liturgical invocation continues in this manner addressing other "goddesses" such as Isis, Ishtar, Gaia, Aphrodite, Diana Artemis, Re, etc.....)

********************

This liturgy/invocation is strikingly similar...in form AND content... to others written by self-professed, influential, contemporary wiccan priestesses in America. Priestesses such as Miriam Simos (a.k.a. "Starhawk", Dianic wicca), Margot Adler (Gardnerian wicca), "Merlin" Stone, Z Budapest and a myriad of other practitioners of the craft known euphemistically in many quarters today as "Neo-Paganism".

In 1997, Ms. Winter wrote:

"Surely there must be a way of looking at all the creation of humanity without having the notion of being conceived in sin....women need to go back to the Garden and come out in a different way, come out without all that guilt."

And....

"I'm pushing us to imagine and re-imagine the word of God beyond and above the words of God...I'm trying to tap back to those traditions that existed behind the written tradition...."

(There's more, but I trust that you get the picture...."Did God REALLY say....?")

Ms. Winter's toxic and misguided "re-imaginings" of God's Word reminds me of the thoughts of Pascal:

–"Anyone who wants to give meaning to Scripture that is not in Scripture is an enemy of Scripture."

–"Imagination cannot make fools wise, but it makes them happy..."

–"Imagination is the dominant faculty of man. It is the mistress of error and falsehood, all the more so for not being evident as such an imposter."

*********************************

I am assuming that the folks at Simpsonwood are unfamiliar with Ms. Winter's "thealogy" of goddess worship. It is, in this case, simply the Neo-pagan line dressed up in biblical terminology. Ms. Winter will be one of two keynote speakers representing the "Network of Biblical Storytellers" (NOBS) who will convene at the Methodist affiliated, sponsored and supported Simpsonwood Center. I am writing to you because I am gravely concerned and because my heart breaks. (It is also interesting to note that Ms. Winter was also one of the keynote speakers at the 1995 UM Clergywomens meeting in Atlanta, invited, apparently, to address the 800 in attendance by those in "high places" (NYC) of the United Methodist Women's Division.)

"Accountability" seems to have become a dirty word in this day and age of "anything goes", liberal Christianity and unlimited "tolerance", but I am still hopeful that it is not altogether dead within this denomination. I am writing because you are in the Simpsonwood/Atlanta area and therefore may be more inclined and able to investigate this matter further.....AND I am writing because I simply did not want to be counted among those people whom Elijah addresses in 1Kings 18:21:

"How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." "But the people said nothing."

(Dear Lord, forgive us.....)

Thank you for your time and attention. May you have a blessed New Year, and may God bless you.

Sincerely in Christ,

 

Tom Graffagnino (laity)
Hamilton UMC (Hamilton, Ga.)

"Lies can become powerful only in the disguise of truth." --J. Budziszewski

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