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Old-time religion to be found at Pagan Pride Las Vegas Project Ice Cream Social

An event at a local church hopes to reintroduce people to old-time religion with an old-fashioned ice cream social, but it’s probably not the old-time religion that comes to mind when most people hear that phrase.

The Pagan Pride Las Vegas Project Ice Cream Social is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. July 16 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Las Vegas, 3616 E. Lake Mead Blvd.

“There are a lot of people who call themselves pagan, and most of us track our roots back to religions that are pre-Christian and pre-Judaism,” said Jane Feldman, president of Agave Spirit Grove, a pagan group at the church. “Many of us find meaning, insight and ways to handle life by re-engaging with the ancient religions of our forefathers, the country’s original inhabitants or a religion we feel an affinity with.”

The concept of a spiritual group without established precepts or a unified rule book might seem strange to some people, but the Unitarian Universalist faith is less about answers and more about questions. Each individual seeks his own path in the setting of an accepting community, even if that path is pagan, agnostic, atheist or flying spaghetti monster.

“Unitarians are a covenantal rather than a doctrinal faith,” Feldman said. “We covenant with a list of ways we treat each other and treat the world.”

The organizers hope the event will help them raise funds for a larger event in the fall, Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day. To that end, they are set to accept donations for tickets good for ice cream with a variety of toppings or a spiritual reading via tarot cards, runes or other methods of divination.

“We haven’t done an ice cream social in a few years,” said Ed Chase, the coordinator for the Pagan Pride Las Vegas Project. “The local branch of the national organization has been around eight or nine years, and I’ve been the coordinator for the last three. I’m told that some of the toppings sold out last time we did this, like Cap’n Crunch. We’ll have three different flavors of ice cream and a lot of different kinds of toppings and syrups.”

The larger fall event, scheduled on Oct. 15 at the same location, is set to include speakers, workshops and demonstrations. Some of the funds raised at the ice cream social are to go for speakers’ fees. The group also plans to accept donations at both events for Shade Tree and the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Aside from that, the event is designed to rally the local pagan community and introduce to the group to the public.

“Our basic mission is to help educate and bring the community together and to help the public understand who pagans are and what we stand for,” Chase said.

Visit uuclv.org or call 702-437-2404.

To reach East Valley View reporter F. Andrew Taylor, email ataylor@viewnews.com or call 702-380-4532.

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