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A Wiccan church is seeking help from the community to secure a down payment on a worship space in south Lansing. Its goal is to reach $22,000 on a seven-acre property at 5705 S. Washington Ave., which includes a church building, house and trail network.
The group is throwing a Halloween party and fundraising event from 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursday — Halloween night — that is open to the public at the property on Washington. For an entry fee of $5, attendees can receive tarot card readings, bob for apples, drink hot cider, decorate cookies and gather around a bonfire.
The Rev. Elayne Glantzberg of the Weavers of the Web Wiccan group said it is important for pagan groups to acquire property to serve their communities.
“If you are a Christian in a different town, you can look in a phone book or at a hotel to find a place to go worship on Sunday,” the Rev. Glantzberg said. “As pagans, for the most part we don’t have that if you are away from home, if you moved or if you’re new to our path. Connection is very difficult for us to find, and physical places like this are very important to be able to be a community.”
The property is being listed by pastor Aaron Ayres of interfaith organization Inner Ascended Masters Ministry. The organization functioned as a gathering space for pagans, Christians and Buddhists. It also played host to a pagan food bank. The site is valued at around $100,000
“The obvious cliche misconception is that we are all devil-worshippers,” Glantzberg added. “We don’t really even believe in that concept so it would be kinda hard to worship it. We’re bankers and lawyers and teachers like everyone else. We just have a slightly different path to divinity and spirituality.”
Glantzberg said she would continue to use the space as an ecumenical public worship center. “Religious community fills a really important place in psychological health and wellness,” she said. “I don't think that being disconnected from the world around us helps that any.”
Further fundraisers are to follow. For more information and ways to donate, visit www.facebook.com/weaversatc.