My name is Reverend Patrick McCollum and I am here today to ask for your help.
I have been offered a very special opportunity to help promote world peace and planetary sustainability and to represent our community and Paganism at the highest level on the world stage.
I have been invited to join the Dalai Lama’s International Peace Council and the Association for Global New Thought as a Core Group Leader to help facilitate a world event in Rome, Italy, Awakened World 2012 this October. The event will be attended by many of the foremost political, religious and human rights leaders in the world, and my fellow Core Group team will include such luminaries as: Yolande IIiano, Chairperson, Religions for Peace Europe, HH Pujya Swami Chidananda Saraswati, President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in India, one of India’s largest spiritual institutions, Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, CO-Chair of the Global Peace Initiative for Women, His Eminence Walter Cardinal Kasper, President, Pontifical Council for Ecumenism, Ela Gandhi, former South African Parliamentarian and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Dean Lawrence Carter, Dean of Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, Rev. Marcus Braybrooke, President of the World Congress of Faiths, and Lynne Twist of the Pachamama Alliance and others.
Each of the esteemed Core Group Leaders are being supported by their communities to attend and facilitate the gathering, and so I am asking you my spiritual community, to join together and support me also, so our voices will be heard and Paganism and Earth Based Spiritual Traditions will be represented at the table when the discussions regarding the future of our planet take place.
The costs to get me to Rome including all transportation and lodging, which have all been negotiated by the conveners on behalf of the Core Group Leaders, are approximately $3,000.00, not including incidentals which I estimate will probably be another $500. So I will need to raise $3,500.00 in order to be able to go.
But first for those who don’t know me or my work, let me tell you a little about my background and why you should support me in this endeavor.
I have been active in our community for over 40 years both teaching for and also speaking out on our behalf. I have always done so with the belief that our traditions contain key elements that can alter the course of our civilization’s downward spiral by adding new perspectives regarding human rights, social justice, saving the environment, and facilitating world peace. I have served over the last 20 years as an activist for Pagan rights and ending religious discrimination in general, and have successfully taken on and resolved over a thousand discrimination cases for our community, from discrimination in the workplace, to reforming the religion programs in our nation’s prisons. I successfully took on AT&T and got them to alter their official policy which disallowed passwords relating to our beliefs. Words like Goddess, magic, Witch, Wiccan, Pagan, etc., which they had listed as pornography. I have also testified on numerous Pagan’s behalf’s in child custody cases, taken on Children’s services who have removed children from their homes because their parents practiced Paganism, and was an active member of the Pentacle Quest team, who headed and won the fight for Pagan vets to have the pentacle on their military headstones.
In a different arena, I have been active in educating our government regarding Paganism and minority faiths, and have played a significant part in advancing pluralism. I have also been very involved internationally in projects promoting interfaith dialog, and in promoting human rights and equality for all people. I have actively and successfully forged alliances between Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans and Pagans, so we could work together collectively to resolve common problems.
in 1998 I became the first official government Wiccan chaplain in the United States and in 1999, I received a commendation from the California State Senate for my work developing Pagan religion programs in prisons. In 2008 I was selected to advise the United States Commission on Civil Rights as a Pagan, and my comments were central in reports presented to both Congress and the President of the United States.
In 2009, I was selected to address leaders and representatives from over 70 countries In Astana, Kazakhstan for the development of a Global Constitution, and in 2010 I received the Mahatma Gandhi Award as a Pagan at the Capitol in Washington D.C.. Also in 2010, I was honored to be invited as a World Inner Peace Ambassador at a gathering of 150,000 Buddhists in Bangkok, Thailand. I was also given the title, Sheda Garpo, King of Peace, by Rinpoche Lama Gangchen of the World Peace Foundation.
I have been involved in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in Amman Jordan, trained teachers in the Himalayas, and presented at two consecutive Parliaments of the World’s Religions … all openly as a Pagan, sharing Pagan values, and striving to put a positive face on Paganism in general.
Also as a Pagan, I am on the Board of Directors of Children of the Earth, a United Nations NGO, where I serve as Development Director for 20,000 youth involved in international Peace programs. And I serve as both an Executive Council Member and as the Chair of their Minority Faith Issues Committee for the American Correctional Chaplains Association. I am also the Chaplaincy Liaison for the American Academy of Religion and serve on the National Advisory Council for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
In every case, I have always done my best to shed a positive light on my community and to promote understanding and tolerance worldwide.
Now I have been offered the opportunity to represent us at an even higher level, and to do even more to promote ideals that many of us hold dear. World Peace, tolerance for diversity, the empowerment of women, the accommodation of pluralism, the sacredness of the earth and all of its inhabitants, and the conservation of our planetary environment and its resources.
I hope you will join me in making this happen by donating to my cause. Every little bit helps. And if you feel so inclined in the future, you can also make friends aware of my foundation and support its activities when you can. All donations are tax deductible.
Reverend Patrick McCollum
Team on This Campaign: