Ulfilas Christian Goth International

UCGI Christian Practice and Values Statement

Ulfilas Christian Goth International (UCGI) strongly advocates a simple yet meaningful commitment to a pattern of life and living, as a natural outgrowth of our Christian faith. Our personal Christian practice helps us embody what we believe are the basic values of our organization, as well as our faith, drawing us closer to God and Jesus Christ, to one another and to our world.

These basic values and ways to practice them are:

Attentiveness

Listening to the still, small voice of God.

Following Jesus’ example of seeking time with God.

Being shaped by the Spirit’s presence in our lives and in the world.

Practice: Foster an awareness of God’s presence in our lives by daily or weekly individual practice of prayer to review our own selves.

Nurturing

Caring about one another in a way that values authenticity.

Finding ways to honestly share one another’s struggles.

Encouraging one another in love, to become more like Jesus.

Practice: Intentionally bless one person within and one without our regular fellowship each week. Examples of blessings might include: an encouraging word, a kind email or card, an offer of help, a coffee, or a letter.

Community

Making a commitment to demonstrate the selfless love of Jesus.

Sharing each other’s lives in such love.

Treating one another with grace.

Practice: Eat or drink with one person within and one without our regular fellowship once a month. Such acts may include a shared meal, coffee, lunch, or a pint!

Acceptance

Seeking to reflect God’s hospitality to all.

Encouraging our own and others’ faith as a journey, not a destination.

Allowing doubt without guilt and creating room for mystery.

Practice: Make a commitment to engage or chat with someone we don’t know well, as often a possible.

Equipping

Identifying and developing each other’s gifts.

Being inspired and inspiring others by the stories of God’s work among us.

Taking risks to be involved in God’s mission and service to the world.

Practice: Making a commitment to a regular pattern of prayerful Bible reading, for example, looking at a couple of Gospel chapters a week.

Christian Gothica is a physical manifestation of the fact that only through death can life be gained, only by knowing what darkness is can we fully enjoy the light, only by understanding suffering can we completely appreciate salvation.

Drinking Jesus blood from a silver chalice. Spending eternity with the ultimate immortal. Goth,Goth and very Goth. so why do so many church leaders get scared of Goth? strikes me Goth is a perfect point from which to teach and demonstrate the Christian faith. What can Gothic subculture teach the church today? in the past it has given us our church buildings clerical fashion – Jesus was a Goth!

A light shines in the darkness… Building bridges between contemporary Gothic culture and the Body of Christ. Being Anglican-based, we seek to build bridges between contemporary Gothic culture and the body of Christ, promoting the ingathering, acceptance, and encouragement of these peoples by local congregations. As an Anglican-based, ecumenical organisation, our ministry is to Goth-identified persons, their related groups, sympathetic alternative and other “fringe” groups, and to their friends and relatives. Our primary purpose is to build bridges that that help bring persons in these communities and their friends into local congregations. We seek their acceptance, encouragement, and nurture in Christian life and fellowship by the church. We welcome both lay and ordained members of these communities and their friends, within the Anglican Communion and its partner denominations. In addition, we want to seek out, minister to and edify persons in these communities, as well as their friends, who are currently a part of local congregations. We also seek to affirm and support persons in these communities and their friends, in whatever place they are in society, regardless of their difference from ourselves or the church’s mainstream. We aspire to build unity and promote peace among all persons outside and within the body of Christ. We are a ministry primarily but not entirely made up of Gothic-identified persons and their friends. Our message is offered to the ecumenical Church and to the world. We believe that all peoples deserve unconditional acceptance and dignity in the body of Christ and the larger world.

Ulfilas Christian Goth International Mission Statement

By Russ Williams on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:43 PM

A Light Shines in the Darkness …

Ulfilas Christian Goth International (UCGI), being Anglican-based and ecumenical, seeks to build bridges between contemporary Gothic/Alternative cultures and the body of Christ, promoting the ingathering, acceptance, and encouragement of these peoples by local congregations.

Statement of Faith

Our official Statement of Faith is embodied in the Nicene Creed of the historic church.

Principal Ministry

As an Anglican-based, ecumenical organization, our ministry is to Goth-identified persons, related groups, sympathetic alternative and other “fringe” groups, and to their allies, relatives, and significant others (called here their “allies”). Our primary purpose is to build bridges that that help bring persons in these communities and their allies into local congregations. We seek their acceptance, encouragement, and nurture in Christian life and fellowship by the church.

We welcome both lay and ordained members of these communities and their allies, within the Anglican Communion and its partner denominations. In addition, we want to seek out, minister to and edify persons in these communities, as well as their allies, who are currently a part of local congregations.

We also seek to affirm and support persons in these communities and their allies, in whatever places they are in society, regardless of their differences from ourselves or the church’s mainstream. We aspire to build unity and promote peace among all persons outside and within the body of Christ.

Who We Are

We are a ministry primarily but not entirely made up of Gothic-identified persons and their allies. Our message is offered to the ecumenical Church and to the world. We believe that all peoples deserve unconditional acceptance and dignity in the body of Christ and the larger world.

We are Anglican-based but not exclusively Anglican. Our basic beliefs and traditions are Anglican, but our mission is ecumenical and universal. Also, we accept and minister to anyone who comes to us, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, community identification, ethnic group, nationality, community, or Christian religious beliefs. Persons from other Christian religious traditions are welcome into our fellowship as long as they accept the validity of basic Anglican faith and practice.

We do not discriminate against any persons. We believe all persons are created in God’s image and loved by God. We do not ask anyone to “change” before they are allowed to have full fellowship with us. Specifically, we do not discriminate based on gender, age, race, religious beliefs or denomination, nationality, appearance, sexual orientation, lifestyle, or whether one believes one is Goth or non-Goth (or perceived status as belonging to any other group). We only ask that persons who fellowship with us be in basic agreement and harmony with this Mission Statement.

We emphatically advocate an end to human discrimination, especially against persons who identify with the Goth Community and other communities named in the Principal Ministry section previously. We welcome into our fold anyone sincerely willing to join with us.

Rejecting any narrow, judgmental interpretations of the Bible, we believe that Christ’s love goes out to all persons, and we accept all in response to His love. We strive toward the ecumenical building of a Christ-centered world and society, which are safer places where every person can live and love. Above all, we proclaim the good news that the world and all people in it have been liberated and redeemed by Jesus Christ.

UCGI Christian Practice and Values Statement

By Russ Williams on Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 2:12 AM

Ulfilas Christian Goth International (UCGI) strongly advocates a simple yet meaningful commitment to a pattern of life and living, as a natural outgrowth of our Christian faith. Our personal Christian practice helps us embody what we believe are the basic values of our organization, as well as our faith, drawing us closer to God and Jesus Christ, to one another and to our world.

These basic values and ways to practice them are:

Attentiveness

  • Listening to the still, small voice of God.
  • Following Jesus’ example of seeking time with God.
  • Being shaped by the Spirit’s presence in our lives and in the world.

Practice: Foster an awareness of God’s presence in our lives by daily or weekly individual practice of prayer to review our own selves.

Nurturing

  • Caring about one another in a way that values authenticity.
  • Finding ways to honestly share one another’s struggles.
  • Encouraging one another in love, to become more like Jesus.

Practice: Intentionally bless one person within and one without our regular fellowship each week. Examples of blessings might include: an encouraging word, a kind email or card, an offer of help, a coffee, or a letter.

Community

  • Making a commitment to demonstrate the selfless love of Jesus.
  • Sharing each other’s lives in such love.
  • Treating one another with grace.

Practice: Eat or drink with one person within and one without our regular fellowship once a month. Such acts may include a shared meal, coffee, lunch, or a pint!

Acceptance

  • Seeking to reflect God’s hospitality to all.
  • Encouraging our own and others’ faith as a journey, not a destination.
  • Allowing doubt without guilt and creating room for mystery.

Practice: Make a commitment to engage or chat with someone we don’t know well, as often a possible.

Equipping

  • Identifying and developing each other’s gifts.
  • Being inspired and inspiring others by the stories of God’s work among us.
  • Taking risks to be involved in God’s mission and service to the world.

Practice: Making a commitment to a regular pattern of prayerful Bible reading, for example, looking at a couple of Gospel chapters a week.

UCGI History and Information

By Russ Williams on Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 2:30 AM

This document contains the story of how the Ulfilas Christian Goth International (UCGI) came about, general information about the organization, the historical individual named Ulfilas, and the meaning of our logo.

History of the Organization

Ulfilas as an organization was founded and named around October 1, 2007 on MySpace by Craig Gilman, in Birmingham, UK, originally as a part of the outreach of the Church of England (Anglican Church). However, the ministry soon spread far beyond its early Anglican roots. Begun as an outreach to local Goths, the group’s ministry gradually expanded its appeal to include related communities, such as Industrial and Darkwave, and then to other alternative lifestyle groups. Ulfilas has also gone far beyond the Anglican (and Episcopalian) fold to include Lutherans, Charismatics, Methodists and persons with no religious affiliation at all.

In April and May 2009, Craig got together with Daniel Jansson of Gothenburg, Sweden and Russ Williams of Los Angeles, U.S. to charter an international organization they named Ulfilas Christian Goth International. Since then, the organization has continued to grow in all ways, and now even has an outreach in Asia. Ulfilas currently has local groups in almost all parts of the UK and is seeking to broaden itself to become the truly international outreach Craig envisioned from the start.

Ulfilas: Apostle to the Goths

The organization is named after a fourth-century bishop who became the first missionary to the historic Goth peoples.

Ulfilas as Our Patron

Ulfilas labored among the Goths, a people who lived far outside the mainstream of his contemporary culture. Therefore, we believe he is a fitting early church father to use as the patron and “hero” for our organization and symbol of our own mission. Of course, we know that there is a vast difference between the original Goth peoples and the modern Goth community. Still, one can argue there is more than a grain of similarity as well. There is no disputing the fact that both groups were and are a fertile mission field for the Christian church.

Interestingly, that same church ultimately branded Ulfilas a heretic. As a result, he will probably never get a “St.” in front of his name. This sad omission continues despite the ground-breaking and laudable work he did for our Lord. This same Jesus Christ said something like “the last shall be first” in His “imperial” court.

After all, those branded heretic are also outcasts, like many Goth and other alternative community members nowadays. So Ulfilas’ heretic status is really something else he has in common with these groups. Like many outcast persons, he lived most of his early life as a slave. His first churches were persecuted. He was continually reviled by his opponents. It seems that, after he died, and the Goths entered the Europe’s mainstream, the church hierarchy tried to expunge his memory. Failing at this, they possibly made up lies to “blackwash” his life. In other words, postmortem he got “punked.”

Currently, Ulfilas remains just an “ordinary saint” like most of the rest of us. In spite of all this, it is likely that somewhere, someday, he will indeed have the last laugh.

Ulfilas: General Biography

Ulfilas, or in Gothic Wulfila (also Orphila), was born around 310 CE and died in 383. A bishop, missionary, and Bible translator, he identified himself as a Goth and lived in the Roman Empire during the peak of the Arian controversy. At that time, the Goths were a “barbarian” Germanic tribe, which had earlier invaded the empire then settled in and around what is now Bulgaria in Eastern Europe. Ulfilas’ parents were of non-Gothic Anatolian origin but had been enslaved by Goths. During his enslavement, Ulfilas converted to Christianity.

There are significant differences between the biographies of Ulfilas presented by orthodox Christian writers and his fellow Arians. Arian sources depict Ulfilas as an Arian from childhood. He was then consecrated as a bishop by Eusebius of Nicomedia around 340 and was sent to evangelize among the Goths across the Danube. He did so for seven years during the 340s. His mission was favored for political reasons by Emperor Constantius II (ruled 337-361) in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), then the capital of the empire. Ulfilas preached a Christianity based on Arian theology, which eventually set the Goths apart from their orthodox Christian neighbors.

Arianism was the theological teaching of Arius (ca. 250–336), a Christian priest, who was pronounced a heretic after his death. Constantius II was an ardent Arian. Arius lived and taught in Alexandria, Egypt. The most controversial of his beliefs was that Jesus was not of one substance with the Father and there had been a time before Jesus existed. This teaching conflicted with other Christological positions held by Church theologians, and it is still believed to be untrue by mainstream Christianity.

In 348, Ulfilas obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia, to escape religious persecution by a Gothic chief. They settled near Nicopolis and Istrum in what is now northern Bulgaria. There, Ulfilas translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic language. For this, he devised the Gothic alphabet. When the Germanic peoples entered the empire and founded successor kingdoms in the western part, most had been Christians for more than a century because of Ulfilas.

The accounts of Ulfilas’ life by orthodox Christians differ in several details, but the general picture is similar. According to them, Ulfilas was also an orthodox Christian for most of his early life. He was only converted to Arianism somewhere around 360, and then only because of political pressure from the pro-Arian ecclesiastical and governmental powers emanating from Constantinople.

Modern scholars depend more heavily on the Arian accounts than the orthodox Christian. For example, the Goth writer Auxentius of Duostorum (Life of Ulfilas), Ulfilas’ foster son and pupil, was clearly the closest to him and so presumably had access to more reliable information. The non-Arian accounts differ too widely among themselves to present a unified case. Debate continues as to the best reconstruction of the details of Ulfilas’ life. However, most contemporary church historians agree on the major events.

Sources: Wikipedia entries for “Ulfilas” and “Arianism.”

Our Logo: The Triquetra

The triquetra is a tripartite design comprised of three interlocked vesicae piscis made up of three interlocking semi-circles. It can be found alone, inscribed within a circle, or more often as in our logo, intersected by a circle within the design.

It has been found on rune stones in Northern Europe and on early Germanic coins. It presumably had pagan religious meaning, and it bears a resemblance to the Valknut, a symbol associated with the Norse god Odin. It is interesting to note that the ancient Goths were a Germanic ethnic group. The triquetra later became widely used, in varying but similar forms, by the Medieval Celtic peoples.

Historically, this symbol has been most commonly used in the Christian church as a symbol of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This appropriation was particularly easy because the triquetra conveniently incorporated three shapes, each of which was interpreted as the Christian Ιχθυς symbol (ichthus, meaning “fish”).

Notably, the Ulfilas of history was not Trinitarian in his beliefs. We use this logo without apologies to him, but in deep appreciation of the rich irony.

In Wiccan and Neo-pagan beliefs, the triquetra symbolizes the triple goddess (maid, mother, and crone) or one of the triple goddesses, for example, The Morrigan. The triquetra can also represent the three basic parts of a human being: mind, body, and soul. The ancient Celts used it to stand for the three domains of earth according to their legends–earth, sea, and sky.

The triquetra also appears in the U.S. television series Charmed, probably as a less threatening alternative to the pentacle (five-pointed star, the preferred emblem of witches, real and imaginary). In the series, the triquetra represents the “power of three, acting as one,” which in turn represents the three sisters.

So, we are reclaiming the symbol as a Christian one and at the same time using it as a bridge point between historic Christianity and modern Wiccan\Neo-pagan beliefs, and possibly even as a way of recalling the ancient Goths.

Source: Wikipedia entry for “triquetra.”

Readings: Start Points

By Russ Williams on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 9:17 AM

For Craig (and anyone else intrested)

I can see why you are finding the readings for the Eucharist on Sunday such  tough ones to begin with.  You can do this I know you can for you have organisde a whole Gothic Festival as well as herding diocisian cats at the same time.

Firstly its absolutely fine to stand up at the front and admit there are times when you find bits of scripture plain tough to tackle and think about. Its a myth that the person preaching or speaking at the front has this huge inspired knowledge hidden from everyone else there.  This si a theological rtelfection. You are working towards the festival and Eucharist. You have read these tough bits of scripture, what have they made you think after the horror of how hard they are to work out what to say has started to pass. You only have five minutes and you do not have to write a 3000 word theological essay with full citations after. *grins*

Transfiguration.

The transfiguration could set the scene for Christ in unexpected places- who during the preperation for this weekend has acted as Christ for you to enable you to do all you had to do?

Reflect on how people look at clothing whilst God looks into our hearts and why it matters to get to know people.

Matthew 5

Raises what makes a Goth a Christian- how we see and treat other people who are maybe different to us. You could refelct on SOPHIE and how it tries to challenge prejudice- touch on the more goth than thou attitude that can happen and how God asks us to settle things with God before we share with one another so we can share good things not bad and hurtful.

Matthew 24 Consider how easy it is for any of us to create a false God- the festicval could easily just be and end in of itself yet you felt it mattered to remember Christ in Communion and invite those who came to share in this with you- you could then relfect on the wider body of Christ- the Cathdral agreeing to let this be held here and so on.

By Catherine Cocks

Sample Liturgy by Skye Denno

By Russ Williams on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Opening

A very warm welcome to you all

(Words in bold are said by all; bold italics are topic heads.)

Opening Hymn:

  1. He gave me eyes so I could see the wonders of the world; without my eyes I could not see the other boys and girls. He gave me ears so I could hear the wind and rain and sea, I’ve got to tell it to the world, He made me.
  2. He gave me lips so I could speak and say what’s in my mind; without my lips I could not speak a single word or line. He made my mind so I could think, and choose what I should be. I’ve got to tell it to the world, He made me.
  3. He gave me hands so I could touch, and hold a thousand things; I need my hands to help me write, to help me fetch and bring. These feet He made so I could run, He meant me to be free. I’ve got to tell it to the world, He made me.

Introduction and Welcome

Call to Worship

Are any among you suffering? Then let us pray.

Are any cheerful? Then let us sing songs of praise.

Are any among you sick? Then let us turn to each other for God’s healing touch.

The prayer of faith will save us And God will lift us up. 

Prayers of Penitence

Let us say sorry to God for the wrong things we have done

Holy God, in the daily round from sunrise to sunset, remind us again of your holy presence hovering near us and in us. Free us from shame and self-doubt. Help us to see you in the moment-by-moment possibilities to live honestly, to act courageously, and to speak from our wisdom.  

May the God of love and power forgive you and free you from your sins, heal and strengthen you by his spirit, and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen

Collect

Eternal God, Whose Son went among the crowds and brought healing with his touch: heal us to show his love, in your church as we gather together, and by our lives as they are transformed into the image of Christ our Lord

Amen 

Reading:

Mark 1:29-39

Jesus and his followers went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew.  Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever.  The people there told Jesus about her.  So Jesus went to her bed, took her hand, and helped her up.  Immediately the fever left her, and she was healed.  Then she began serving them.

That night, after the sun went down, the people brought to Jesus all who were sick.  The whole town gathered at the door of the house.  Jesus healed many different kinds of sickness. 

Early the next morning, Jesus woke and left the house while it was still dark.  He went to a place to be alone and pray.  Later, Simon and his friends went to look for Jesus.  They found him and said, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’

Jesus answered, ‘We should go somewhere else, to other towns around here.  Then I can preach there too.  That is the reason I came.  So he travelled everywhere in Galilee.  He preached in the synagogues and healed many people.

Short Talk

Hymn: 

1.  Peace perfect peace, is the gift of Christ our Lord. Peace, perfect peace, is the gift of Christ our Lord, Thus, says the Lord, will the world know my friends. Peace, perfect peace, is the gift of Christ our Lord.

2.  Love perfect love, is the gift of Christ our Lord. Love, perfect love, is the gift of Christ our Lord, Thus, says the Lord, will the world know my friends. Love, perfect love, is the gift of Christ our Lord.

3.  Faith perfect faith, is the gift of Christ our Lord. Faith, perfect faith, is the gift of Christ our Lord, Thus, says the Lord, will the world know my friends. Faith, perfect faith, is the gift of Christ our Lord.

4.  Hope perfect hope, is the gift of Christ our Lord. Hope, perfect hope, is the gift of Christ our Lord, Thus, says the Lord, will the world know my friends. Hope, perfect hope, is the gift of Christ our Lord.

5.  Joy perfect joy, is the gift of Christ our Lord. Joy, perfect joy, is the gift of Christ our Lord, Thus, says the Lord, will the world know my friends. Joy, perfect joy, is the gift of Christ our Lord.

Intercessory Stations for Healing and Reflection

LITURGY OF THE SACRAMENT

The Peace

Jesus said:

‘Love on another.

As I have loved you,

So you are to love one another’.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

And also with you

Preparation of the Table

Taking of the Bread and Wine

Offertory Hymn:

  1. 1.   Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let met bring your love; Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord; And where there’s doubt, true faith in you: O, Master, grant that I may never seek So much to be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved, as to love with all my soul.
  1. 2.   Make me a channel of your peace, Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope; Where there is darkness, only light; And where there’s sadness, every joy: O, Master, grant that I may never seek So much to be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved, as to love with all my soul.
  1. 3.   Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, In giving to all men that receive, And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.  

The President takes the bread and wine and says

Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power,

the glory, the splendour and the majesty;

for everything in heaven and on earth is yours.

All things come from you,

and of your own do we give you.

The Eucharistic Prayer

Please kneel.

     Let us pray

        The Lord is here

        His Spirit is with us

     Lift up your hearts

        We lift them to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

        It is right to give him thanks and praise

It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;

 in your love you made us for yourself.

When we turned away

you did not reject us,

but came to meet us in your Son.

You embraced us as your children

and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

In Christ you shared our life

that we might live in him and he in us.

He opened wide his arms of love upon the cross

and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.

On the night he was betrayed,

at supper with his friends

he took bread and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to them, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his body is the bread of life.

And at the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,

he gave you thanks, and said:

Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;

do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his blood is shed for all.

As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,

send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine

may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.

As we eat and drink these holy gifts

make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

With your whole Church throughout the world

we offer you this sacrifice of praise

and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven:

Holy, holy, holy, holy

Lord of power, Lord of might.

Heav’n and earth are filled with glory

Sing hosanna ever more.

Blest and holy, blest and holy,

he who comes from God on high.

Raise your voices, sing his glory,

Praise his name for ever more

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,   hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,  your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins  as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation    but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.  Amen

Breaking of the Bread

The President breaks the consecrated bread

We break this bread

to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body because we all share in the one bread

Lamb of God, you take away the sin, the sin of all the world. Give us mercy, give us mercy, give us mercy, Lamb of God.  

Lamb of God, you take away the sin, the sin of all the world. Give us mercy, give us mercy, give us mercy, Lamb of God.  

Lamb of God, you take away the sin, the sin of all the world. Grant us peace, Lord, grant us peace, Lord Grant us peace, O Lamb of God

Giving of Communion

The President says:

God’s holy gifts

for God’s holy people

Jesus Christ is holy,

Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

The President and people receive communion.

Hymn:

  1. Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One, is here. Come, bow before him now, with reverence and fear. In him no sin is found, we stand on holy ground. Be still for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One, is here.
  2. Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around; he burns with holy fire, with splendour he is crowned. How awesome is the sight, our radiant King of light! Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around.
  3. Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place; he comes to cleanse and heal, to minister his grace. No work too hard for him, in faith receive from him. Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.

Prayer after Communion

Merciful Father,

who gave Jesus Christ to be for us the bread of life,

that those who come to him should never hunger:

draw us to the Lord in faith and love,

that we may eat and drink with him

at his table in the kingdom,

where he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Amen

Lord,

we have broken your bread

and received your life.

By the power of your spirit

keep us always in your love

through Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen

Hymn:

1.  Praise, my soul, the King of heaven; to his feet thy tribute bring. Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like me his praise should sing? Praise him! Praise him! Praise the everlasting King.

2.  Praise him for his grace and favour to our fathers in distress; praise him still the same for ever, slow to chide, and swift to bless. Praise him! Praise him! Glorious in his faithfulness.

3.  Father-like, he tends and spares us; well our feeble frame he knows; in his hands he gently bears us, rescues us from all our foes. Praise him! Praise him! Widely as his mercy flows.

4.  Angels, help us to adore him; ye behold him face to face; sun and moon, bow down before him; dwellers all in time and space. Praise him! Praise him! Praise with us the God of grace.

Blessing

May God’s joy be in our hearts

May God’s peace be in our world

May God’s love be known between us

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

be with us all for ever more.

Amen

Go in the light and peace of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

Sample Goth Eucharist by Craig Gilman

By Russ Williams on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 9:27 AM

A Fishnet and DIY clothed Priest (Or Leader) to be vested in a homemade Black Chasuble to Christian Death’s ‘Spiritual Cramp’ surrounded by medieval images and clouds of thick incense.

Lyrics to the song:

Incurable disease on the day of rest

Walking on water in a sea of incest

I’ve got an image of Jesus

embedded on my chest

I can’t leave home without my

bullet proof vest

Killing myself for the perfect honeymoon

fighting with scorpions tied around my neck

I hear the pitter patter

of a killer on the loose

children using their fingers instead of words

crosses burn our temples

on slaughter avenue

It takes too much time for me to say ‘I refuse’

Time is digging graves for the chosen few

Children digging graves for me and you

Describe the illness I’ll prescribe the cure

start your two day life

on a two day vacation

I’ve got a spiritual cramp going for my ribs

Those gangsters toting guns

are shooting spikes through my wrist

children using their fingers instead of words

Fingers bury children under the boards

I can die a thousand times

But I will always be here

with the power skull secrets

of forgotten years

the hangman’s noose is drenched

with bloodstained tears

my hands are the killers that confirm

my fears

Jesus won’t you touch me

come into my heart

where the Hell are you

when the fire starts?

On a mission of the father

to reduce the gates of hell

the ivory bone eyed mother’s flesh

is starting to swell

I’m setting twenty-two tables

for the funeral feast

Satan is by far the kindest beast

A priest who would offer themselves at the liturgy of repentance to be symbolically beaten with branches as William Blake’s “Garden of Love” was read (the church has failed us).

Poem:

I laid me down upon a bank, 

Where Love lay sleeping; 

I heard among the rushes dank 

Weeping, weeping.

Then I went to the heath and the wild, 

To the thistles and thorns of the waste; 

And they told me how they were beguiled, 

Driven out, and compelled to the chaste.

I went to the Garden of Love, 

And saw what I never had seen; 

A Chapel was built in the midst, 

Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut 

And “Thou shalt not,” writ over the door; 

So I turned to the Garden of Love 

That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves, 

And tombstones where flowers should be; 

And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds, 

And binding with briars my joys and desires.

A Gospel reading with the Thief (the outside we often identify with) at the cross live performed in full make-up with gender neutral performers (emphasising Goth’s androgyny and that in Christ this affirmed) .

Luke 23:39-43 tells us about the thief on the Cross:

[39] One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 

[40] But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 

[41] We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 

[42] Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 

[43] Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

We could also use the song Thief by Third Day during this… 

Thief by Third Day – Lyrics

I am a thief, I am a murderer,

Walking up this lonely hill.

What have I done? I don’t remember.

No one knows just how I feel;

And I know that my time is coming soon.

It’s been so long, oh, such a long time,

Since I’ve lived with peace and rest.

Now I am here, in my destination,

I guess things work for the best;

And I know that my time is coming soon.

Who is this man? This man beside me,

That they call the King of the Jews.

No, they don’t believe, that He’s the Messiah,

But, somehow I know that it’s true.

They laugh at Him in mockery,

They beat Him till he bleeds,

They nail Him to the rugged cross,

And they raise Him, yeah, they raise Him up next to me.

My time has come, and I’m slowly fading,

But I deserve what I receive.

Jesus, when You are in Your kingdom,

Could You please, please remember me.

Well He looks at me still holding on,

And the tears fall from His eyes,

And He says I tell the truth,

Today, yeah, you will live with Me in paradise, woah yeah.

And I know that my time, yes my time, is coming soon, woah yeah.

And I know that my time, yes my time, is coming soon, woah yeah, yeah

And I know that paradise, paradise is coming soon.

Visual Intercessions to the saints who had grisly and sacrificial lives on the edges focussing on the shadows of life and the light we can see from them with Skeletal families “All my best friends are dead”.

Lyrics:

I look in the mirror, but you’re still there

It must be true, reflections don’t lie

The image is real, the details too perfect 

Yes you’re still alive, but I saw you die

Chorus:

Yes in my eyes your dead

The only truth, is better left unsaid

You can see the light, better from the shadows

Crawl in the dark if you want to survive

You can’t see a ghost from the past Oh no.

But the spectres of the present and the future yes they show

And they’re perfectly clear Oh no

All my best friends are dead

[Chorus]

Surrounded by your presence stay with me don’t go

Echoes of your laughter in the twilight glow

Of the fading view that still lingers

Like all my best friends your dead

A special Eucharist prayer with a preface using ancient prayers for the unity of living and dead.

(I also have some memorial prayers for past loved ones we could use…) Craig

Communion shared with ethereal Love Spirals Downward’s “He Calls Me”.

Lyrics:

He calls me

Every night he calls me, calls me

I listen, open up my heart and listen

His voice is like a song

I hear the melodies

So I learn them

Write them down so I can play them

People say I speak in tongues

People say that I am channeling

People say I speak in tongues

People say that I am channeling

People say I speak in tongues

People say that I am channeling

Help me, help me

Show them your glory

People say I speak in tongues

People say that I am channeling

Help me, help me

Show them your glory

He calls me

Every night he calls me, calls me

I listen, open up my heart and listen

His voice is like a song

I hear the melodies

So I learn them

Write them down so I can play them

Let them understand

You are in everything we do

(He calls me, every night he calls me)

(Help me, help me show them your glory)

Then a blessing escalating to VNV Nation’s Genesis: 

Breathing in an air

Permeated, soaked in darkness

Emanating from within

Resonating like a scream no one can hear

I wear this chaos well

Though none should save me

Desperation keeps me here

My need for innocence, the place where I began

The abyss becomes me

I wear this chaos well

Are these not words of heresy

A venom on my lips, a poison?

My spirit impurified in everything I choose to say

With you, I stand in hope that God will save us from ourselves

Every cry a wasted moment, until another day is lost

Even lands we once called home lie undiscovered and unknown

Only heaven’s silence for an answer

And did our laughter, did our tears have some purpose after all?

Did we toil in vain in hopes that wisdom came from what we’d done?

Even lands we once called home lie undiscovered and unknown

Only heaven’s silence for an answer

Are these not words of heresy

A venom on my lips, a poison?

My spirit impurified with everything I choose to say

If I would shed my skin

The layers left, but not the lessons learned

Would not undo what I have done

Or grant forgiveness in some better days

With you, I stand in hope that God will save us from ourselves

Every cry a wasted moment, until another day is lost

Even lands we once called home lie undiscovered and unknown

Only heaven’s silence for an answer

And did our laughter, did our tears have some purpose after all?

Did we toil in vain in hopes that wisdom came from what we’d done?

Even lands we once called home lie undiscovered and unknown

Only heaven’s silence for an answer

And then Goth dancing. Lots of it. 🙂

Current UCGI Leadership Board

By Russ Williams on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:40 PM

For everyone’s easy reference, here is a lsit of the current Board members and their offices:

Daniel Jansson

President

https://www.facebook.com/vardejag

Alex Xander Xavier Gowing-Cumber

Vice President

https://www.facebook.com/Fr.XanderXavier

Russ Williams

Secretary

https://www.facebook.com/russinmy

Filip Holmgren

Treasurer

https://www.facebook.com/filip.holmgren

Ben Cook

https://www.facebook.com/hungrymusic

Pastor Dave Hart

https://www.facebook.com/david.s.hart

Nathalie Karlsson Franzen

https://www.facebook.com/nathalie.k.franzen

The previously listed three Board members serve without office. If you wish to contact any Board member, the links take you to their Facebook pages. You may find their contact information or message them from there. God bless! 🙂

List of UCGI Official International Groups and Committees

By Russ Williams on Monday, July 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM

This list details all the groups and committees that make up UCGI planning and governance efforts. Please take a look, and if you want to get more involved, please join one and check in on what’s going on. Unless otherwise noted, any given group is open. If any existing are not listed, feel free to add them. Also, if you start a new group, please list it here, including its name, function and a link to its location in Facebook. Thanks!

Please do NOT enter anyone as a member of any these groups unless he or she is a member of the UCGI main group first. Leadership persons must be Members IGS.

List of UCGI Groups and Committees

UCGI Main Group:

All members of UCGI

https://www.facebook.com/groups/420933447938033/

Leadership Board Group:

Members of the International Board (Closed)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/104487523020208/

Full Active Members Group:

For all UCGI active members in good standing (Conditional)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/377602845626098/

Stakeholders’ Council

Chair: Russ Williams

Charter Committee for special advisers to the Leadership Board and teachers for the organization. (Conditional)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/394838893871898/

Regional Outreach Directors’ Council

Chair: David S. Hart

Charter Committee made up of the Regional Outreach Directors of UCGI (Closed)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/186294564825425/

NOTE: Group includes the Social Outreach Committee.

Prayer Group:

Leader: Catherine Cocks

Members who wish to lead the UGCI prayer ministry

https://www.facebook.com/groups/272665942826091/

Music and Worship Group:

Leader: Ben Cook

Members who want to participate in planning UCGI worship and music

https://www.facebook.com/groups/339200416156857/

Computer Geek Group:

Leader: Andreas Jorgensen

Members working with our website, Facebook mechanics and Internet outreach

https://www.facebook.com/groups/318074968286324/

Report, August 2012

By Daniel Jansson Brask on Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Report from the President Pro Tem

Dear Members of UCGI,

Greetings! I pray all is well with you and that God’s peace and blessings are

continually enriching your lives.

I’ve thought about the past three months, and I believe it would be good to put down

in writing the progress Ulfilas has made during this interesting time. Here are a

few of the major gains we’ve made:

1) We?ve created a number different working groups to let people find their place in

the organisation. We want to allow people to have an input in the groups and empower

more members to get involved in ways to help and grow the orgnization, as well as

enable their own spiritual growth. We want everyone to get involved and not just a

select few. You can check the “Files” section of the Main UCGI page for a list of

the many working Ulfilas groups we have now, with links to the Facebook page for

each group. I would urge you to take a look at this document and find your place in

the organization.

2) Ulfila has grown, and we are now having Local Groups in different parts of the

world starting up, with even the possiblity of starting a new group in Asia soon! We

are expecting more groups to come online within the next few months. If you live in

New York City or the LA/San Diego area, we have folks trying to start new groups

there. they are trying to start a new group. Again, you can check the files section

of the Main UCGI page for a list of the Local Groups and networks we have now, with

links to the Facebook pages for each group.

3) Until three months ago, the Leadership Board’s meetings have been sporadic

and it was several months or even a year between the meetings. For the past three

months the Board has set a regular meeting date and time and has been meeting around

the first Sunday of every month. That?s one of the reasons that Ulfilas is now

growing, working and reaching out more. If you have any questions, you are welcome

to contact any member of the Leadership Board or send in a suggestion that will be

adressed during the next regular Board meeting (if you send it in to our Board

secretary at least 10 days before the meeting; if late, it will be addressed at the

following meeting).

4) We’ve made contacts with Christian Goths, the Graverobbers, The First Church of

the Living Dead, Underground Church, GothCon Europe and other Goth Christian groups.

Ulfilas is not a group that wants to reinvent the wheel. We certainoly

don?t have any intention of conquering any groups in existence. What we

want to do is to cooperate and work together with other groups. The Body of Christ

is ample and every part is necessary.

5) The UCGI Charter and the Bylaws have been updated and revised. Three years ago,

these documents where created for an organisation that looked very different. That?s

why our secretary, Russ williams (a Leadership Board member in Malaysia!), revised

these documents and the Leadership Board accepted the changes after discussion and

revision. However, these revisions were made only to streamline and update our basic

operation guidelines. Our Mission Statement and becrock beliefs remain the same.

6) To help people find their place in the organisation, we created three

different membership levels:

1. Inactive member: A member who wants to support the organization by just

being and feeling a part of the group.

2. Active member: A member who wants to help out more by being active in a

wowrking group or other official effort building, discussing, or helping the

organization.

3. Active member in good standing (IGS): An active member who also wants to help

financially. These members also receive the right to vote in organizational

elections and be part of the UCGI leadership effort.

6) All active members IGS now have membership cards. This is a way to show that they

belong to the group. The IGS members will soon havetheir membership cards in their

mail (if they don’t have them already), and we will then post photos of some cards

on the site so you can see how they look.

7) We now have a new website http://www.ulfilas.org! The “Computer geek team” has

been working on the new layout for the website. Facebook is probably not forever,

and it?s good to have our own website where we can post all things needed for an

international organization. A professional Web designer in the U.S., Andrea Kendall,

analyzed our initial Web design and, for free (!), gave us invaluable input on how

to revamp the site for maximum usability and a professional look. BTW, Andrea is

Jewish and a wonderful person. Talk about an inter-faith effort!

8) Discussions have opened with the Church of Sweden, and it seems like the UK group

is working in concert with the Anglican church. The Gothenburg group is working with

the Swedish Lutheran church (former state church) to help the organisation and try

to work with them in outreach to the Goths/emos that hang out in the city center.

The Birmingham group has been working with the Anglican church from the beginning.

Madeline Sebastian Burtenshaw has created an Ulfilas UK Network to engage Goths

throught the country, both inside and outside the church. This work emphasizes that

Ulfilas not some kind of isolated cult but seeks to continue in cooperation with

mainstream churches and related organizations. Pastor Dave Hart, one of our

Leadership Board members in San Diego, US, is working on an outreach plan to extend

and enlarge this effort.

9) Last but surely not least, Catherine Cocks has organized a powerful prayer group

as one of our working groups, to emphasize the importance of prayer and spirituality

within Ulfilas. We have a prayer list that his group uses to pray for individual and

corporate needs on a daily and often hourly basis. If we truly wish you thrive as an

organization we must NEVER forget our lifeline to our heavenly Father, His Son Jesus

Christ and the Holy Spirit.

As you can see, at this point in time, Ulfilas is becoming a truly international

organization with members of the Leadership Board from across the globe. We are also

building bridges between us and other Christian organizations and people as well.

Yes, we haven’t forgotten outreach to non-Christians! Just as importantly, Ulfilas

has become a living, spirited group of people working together to expand the mission

of helping and empowering Goth Christians everywhere to do the work of our Lord

Jesus Christ.

These are only the things I can think of at the moment. I believe we have done a

great work during these three months, not just myself or the Leadership Board, but

ALL of us. I truly believe that with the delegating that we?ve started in growing

the different working groups, Ulfilas will grow and will not be depending on just a

few to let it continue.

OK, these are just some thoughts. To God, and not us, be the glory! 🙂

Yours in Christ,

Daniel Jansson

UCGI Board President Pro Tem

Sermon “Judgement day”

By Daniel Jansson Brask on Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 5:06 AM

The Snooze button sermon.

I have a hero, the man/woman who invented the snooze button on my alarm clock.

I love to snooze for a long time every morning. Then I feel truly rested. I can set my alarm at 7 am if I´m supposed to be up at 8 just to know that I can snooze for one hour.

Sometime I´m at camp and have to share a room with someone else. Those days i can´t set my alarm clock to snooze but I need to have the alarm set at 8 am and get up then.

For me that destroys a lot of the day. I don´t feel ready, I don´t feel rested.

This sunday in the swedish church it´s about when Jesus returns. It will be judgement. Some of us are afraid of the judgement. I believe that we forget that a judgement can also be a judgement of freedom.

When we think of the forgivness of sins we can see it as a big old black board from school. The Devil goes before and writes down all sins with white chalk.

* Daniel took five minutes longer lunch today.

* Daniel lied to a friend

* Daniel…

and so on, the board gets full pretty quick. And I know that I won´t ever get away with it on judgement day. But what I don´t see is that everytime I ask for forgivness Jesus comes after with a big wet cloth and wipes away what the devil has written on the board.

And nothing can be seen where the sins have stood before.

But if it´s that easy why don´t Jesus return today?

Jesus will come back soon, but soon is a relative term.

I´m 37 years old in three years time I will be 40. For me that is a pretty short time.

I can easily say to people I´m soon 40.

If you ask a three year old how long three years is for her she would probably say a VERY long time. It´s her entire life.

God is eternal, 2000 years from an eternal perspecive is short. 20.000 years from an eternal perspective is short. So Jesus can come back tomorrow, he can come back in 2000 years it will still be short in Gods perspective.

But why doesn´t He return now?

I believe that it´s because a lot of people won´t be ready. They won´t be able to accept Christ. Their board is to full. There are to many sins on it, sins that havn´t been cleansed by the blood of Christ. Sins that can still be seen and that still hurt. They don´t feel worthy to be in the Kingdom.

I believe that every time people hear about Christ it´s like snoozing. They hear it, think “Well ok that sounds good for later, not now” and they keep snoozing. Perhaps for five years. Next time they hear it “Oh, I remember this well just a few more years”

Perhaps after the tenth snooze fifty or sixty years later they are ready.

So help get people to wake up and let them snooze on. You may not be the instrument God has choosen to get them reach Christ, but you may be one of the “snoozees” that takes them a bit on the way.

God bless you all!

/Daniel

Sermon: Love, Control and Hope

By Russ Williams on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Advent 1: Sunday, December 2, 2012

I Thessalonians 3:9-13, “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all.” (Excerpt)

Advent is my favorite season in the church calendar and the first Sunday the day of my deepest, most profound feelings. Even when I was a child, this season was always a wonderful time for me, filled with hope, expectation, love and excitement. Anticipation has always been one of the key emotions of this season, looking forward to Christ’s second coming as well as His first.

However, as the last sentence above implies, Advent has its dark side. The second coming of our Lord will indeed be filled with joy but will also happen with judgment and terrors. During Advent the church reads many Bible verses and preaches sermons encompassing both the good and the bad. So we have hope on one side and apocalypse on the other. What could possibly bind these opposites together?

The answer of course is Christ’s love. This love, called “agape” in the New Testament, is infinitely purer than the selfish love that we can summon within ourselves. Mere human love breeds the desire for control, and sadly, control is the destroyer of love. Our own love contains the seeds of its destruction, as well as hurting the ones we love. Christ’s love comes to set us free, to liberate us from the need for control that consumes so much of our lives.

I remember a time, when I was a child, when I caught my first frog. I put it in a large jar with leaves, sticks, insects, and so on, hoping to create an environment it would like. At the same time, I could watch it, have it close, and keep it “under my thumb” so to speak. Of course, I punched holes in the lid of the jar for air, and gave the small animal plenty of water. Presto! I was proud of my first living terrarium.

My pride lasted for only a day. The next morning, I pulled out my jar, and the frog was dead. Sadly, I took the jar outside, emptied the pitiful contents into a small hole and buried it. Yes, I did control the frog for a time, but it simply could not live under such constrictions. My terrarium was really a prison for the thing, and without freedom, it soon died.

So does our own control-seeking love threaten to wreck the lives of our loved ones and finally ourselves. Our one hope to escape this terrible cycle of love and its destruction is to enliven ourselves with the pure love of Jesus. Such love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,” according to St. Paul in I Corinthians 13. This love never ends. It is our eternal hope.

Yes, Christ will come on the Last Day to liberate us and the world from all sin and selfishness. No doubt, there will be much destruction. Also His coming into our hearts daily, provided we let Him, will here and now free us from the controlling love that destroys love. Just as the Last Day will bring the annihilation of the old, so we must allow the crucifixion of our own selfish love, so we can experience Christ’s real love within ourselves and for others. In this way the darkenss of Advent becomes the light and hope of Jesus’ love.

Here is an eternal, immutable law of God and the cosmos: Before something truly new can come into this world, the old must pass away. During Advent, let us remember a dark and mournful world over 2000 years ago that waited for Jesus and His love. Such were the times of the ancient Hebrew prophets who foretold the coming of a Savior.

However, when Christ was born, lived and resurrected, that old world died. May our own small-hearted and control-obsessed love die as well. Dear God, help us grasp the opportunities we have each day to show Jesus’ selfless love to all around us in a world of direst suffering and need.

Sermon: The kingdom of God is at hand.

By Daniel Jansson Brask on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 4:13 AM

The kingdom of God is at hand.                                                                              

War violence, Cancer, hurricanes, icecaps that melt, busses that stops going.

Ibland vill jag bara lägga kudden över huvudet och blunda.

Sometimes I just want to put my pillow over my head and close my eyes and pretend that everything is fine with the world.

But you can´t have much of a life if you´re under a pillow…

What to do?

The time is short, it will soon end.

It runs away minute by minute

But we are here, you and me.

For time and eternity our choise is now.

Choises, choises, choises…

I don´t even have time to rest in one choise before it´s time to make three more.

And what will I do when I regret something, or when I really don´t think any of the alternatives are ok??

The time is short, but it is enough,

 to do what you really want.

For eternal life with substance

the time itself doesn´t matter.

Some Christians believe that it´s ok that the icecaps melt.

That species of animals gets extinct, that wars are multiplying.

They feel that it´s a sign that the judgement day is at hand. And then we will have it better, so what happens now is not relevant.

Feelings and trends,

It entices and lures

To follow it as a lost football

It´s the modern, it´s the tune of the time

But is that really what Jesus says?

Is that the help and the advice he gives?

-Just trash the place, think of yourself and chill out. Then I get to meet you sooner.

But to stand up against it and say Yes.

Only to what you really want.

To find out what is right.

It´s to live life in a different way.

When will we really understand that Jesus is already here?

That the kingdom, the land he talks about already exists?

The eternity is always

As an alternative

Not as an extension of time

But as a way to live your life.

The moment Jesus died and rose again, something happened that hadn´t happened before.

The eternity broke inty time and as a small crumb of yeast in the dough, as a small seed in the earth something started to change. It takes time, but that which is meant to be good, needs to take time.

In the power of God, is the power to heal and to reacreate that and those who have suffered

Gods last way out to save everything is to come and take over.

But that is a last resort.

So until the time God  sees that we can´t manage he will wait.

Because God want´s me and you to fix it.

Small things made many times make a difference.

Think about what happens when many small things are done many, many times.

Gods kingdom is not at hand, it´s here now with you and me right now.

And we are here, me and you

For time and eternity we choose. Now.

A Christmas Message for Goths and Other Alternative Folk

By Russ Williams on Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Happy and blessed Christmas! And the word became flesh and dwelt among us! As I looked at the congregation today, I saw mothers holding children. The God we love chose to show his vulnerability by becoming vunerable, by becoming dependent on a human mother, by needing feeding , changing, and bathing! Doubtless, he went through a rebellious phase, getting lost, hanging out with older men in the temple. He needed discipline too.

So God, the hands that flung stars into space, like many high-powered business and alternative lifestyle people today, chose age regression therapy as the starting point to lead humanity to Himself.

This is shocking, shockingly vulnerable! God takes on human flesh! Flesh that bruises, flesh that needed tender care! Human flesh has marvellous properties both to bare scars and to heal!

Naked and afraid, God incarnate comes to us. Naked and submissive, he is obedient through trial and torture unto death, even death on a cross! He resurrected from the dead, and in his encounter with Thomas and on the Emaus Road had the scars of his trial and death!

Now as anyone who has been around alternative lifestyles can confirm, it’s not the master or the dominant who has the power but the sub! Christ is the true servant leader. At what appeared to be his weakest moment of obedience to corrupt humanity, he actually changed the cosmic order forever and gave us the strength to experience heaven in the now and eternal hope!

Today at Mass we say the words, “Though we are many, we are one body.” So we Goths, starting at the place of the skull, become part of the scarred and beautifull body of Christ! We are the Holy Communion, both holy through our Lord’s attonment and common through our humanity!

So in your private lives, be you sub or dom or somwhere in between, clothe yourselves in the form of a servant. Be that infant in need of a cuddle or a leather-clad Goth in need of a thrashing! But as you do tese things, change your mind and give up on seeking power. Abandon yourselves to your weekness and insecurity, to those who love you and those who seek love! Read Philippians slowly and see where God wants to lead you as you journey into 2013! 

Blessings and subby hugs,

Father Alex Gowing-Cumber x

Ulfilas Prayer  – September 2012

Thank God for:

  • Daniels new book ‘Prayer in Darkness’  that has been recently published . 

Pray that it may become a blessing to those who share this resource with others.

Seek God’s will for:

  • Ulifilas board elections to be held soon.

Pray for Gods will to be heard and acted upon. Ask God to bless those who are elected with obedience and wisdom  so they may steer the group for the sake of Gods Kingdom, for the conviction of sinners and for Gods Glory to be seen by all.

For individuals known to Ulfilas who have requested prayer over August: 

  • Marian for God’s blessing so she has some relief from pain. 
  • For Jeffery’s son Nick, that God keep him safe and close to his heart.
  • For the outreach work of Pastor Dave Hart and others involved in similar communities.
  • For all who hurt who need the gentle touch of Gods kind and comforting presence to begin to bring healing to broken hearts and those who hurt in life.

The Real History of Halloween

There are a lot of stories told about Halloween. Some stories are fond remembrances of family celebration, spooky stories, “trick-or-treating” in the neighbourhood, bobbing for apples, and the genial fun of a night of mischief. Some stories are profound and moving worship of God through the mourning loss of those who have died over the years. Some are stories of the end of labour, as the harvest finally draws to a close and winter begins, bringing with it the care and worries that the season brings to farmers.

All of those stories are true ones, and many of us have heard them one way or another. Yet there are other stories told of this time of year: stories of ancient Druids who terrorized the populace into giving bribes ranging from the best cattle to virgin daughters; stories of gruesome witches who poison candy and steal children for horrid sacrifices; stories of dark occult practices, and of modern-day evildoers, who use the mystery of this night to perpetrate acts of atrocity.


Year after year, Christians are warned of tainted treats, dangerous pranks, or random acts of cruelty that some people play on others on this night. Such warnings are certainly important, and should be heeded. Yet there are also sermons, tracts, and literature that speak of spiritual danger, portraying Halloween as the “Day of the Devil,” and telling a dark history of cruelty and evil. Yet others—some Christian, some not—have come forward to decry these statements as falsehoods.


Christians are called to resist the devil: yet we are also called to speak the truth. If, as some state, Halloween is the Devil’s Day, then of course Christians should shun it, “for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” [1] Yet how are we as Christians to know the facts of the claims being made? More importantly, once we know the facts, how shall we respond to them in a manner that honours Jesus?

Do Druids Trick-or-Treat?

There are a great many things we “know” about the Halloween. We “know” that the Druids were the priests of the Celts. We “know” that Halloween was an ancient Celtic festival, where the Druids would go from house to house asking for sacrifices (the origins of “trick or treat”). We “know” that the Druids would take humans as sacrifices (hence the stories that modern Witches and Satanists will do the same). We “know” that the Druids held the Celts in awe and fear by reason of their power, until the advent of Christianity (hence St. Patrick’s confrontation with the Druids, as represented by his “driving the snakes from Ireland”). The problem with all that we “know” is that most, if not all, of it is wrong.

Most people assume that it was the Celts who started Halloween. It is quite true that there was an Irish festival called Samhain but this was not the name of a god in Celtic mythology; indeed, we cannot even be sure if Samhain was a religious festival as we envisage today.


In modern Irish Gaelic, the word Samhain simply means “The end of summer,” and refers to the harvest festivals that scholars speculate probably occurred at that time. We can imagine a joyful festival, rather like the modern Thanksgiving in America or the Harvest Home church festivals of the UK, or we can imagine dark rituals of sacrifice and divination, but the honest truth is that we do not know how, or even if, the Celts celebrated Samhain. No evidence survives, and the Celts left no written records, and if anyone definitively says that the Druids did this or the Celts did that for the festival of Samhain, they’re either speculating or lying outright.


Scholars are fairly certain that the Celts did not have a “unified” religion. The Gods of one tribe were called by different names than the Gods of other tribes, and though much speculation has been made about the role of the Druids in unifying the Celts, there is no archive or archaeological evidence to support this.


It must be understood that the Celts were not a single people: though they spoke similar languages, the Celts were over a hundred different tribes that usually got along almost as well as Liverpool and Millwall fans in the UK. Surviving Celtic literature—such as the Táin Bó Cúalnge [2] of Ireland, or The Mabinogion [3] of Wales—is rife with tales of raids, wars, and grudges nursed and passed on over generations. Additionally, contemporary authors—including Tacitus [4] and Julius Caesar [5]—tell us that the Celts were just as likely to start a fight between themselves as they were to go to war against the Romans, or the neighbouring Germanic tribes. With this kind of reputation, it hardly seems that the Druids could have been an all-powerful force within the tribes as a group, though it is quite possible that they may have held considerable power within an individual tribe.

What about human sacrifice? 

At the time of writing, there is one archaeological find that contains sufficient evidence of ritual that has led archaeologists to suppose that he MIGHT have been a sacrifice—or might not have been one. Whilst other bodies have been found within the Celtic time period in contexts that have lead scholars to suggest they may have been murdered or had unusual burial rites performed upon them [6] this is a long way short of the quantities of bodies described by the Roman contemporary historians of that time. The famous “Lindow Man” also known to the press as ‘Pete Marsh’ was one of four bodies so far [7] discovered in a peat bog near Manchester in 1984, and while Drs. Ann Ross and Don Robins of the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London have published a popular book concerning this “Druidic Prince,” the fact of the matter remains that many of their arguments are based on weaving a cloak of supposition from a scant few threads of evidence. [8] 


And what of the advent of Christianity destroying the power of the Druids? Both in England and in Ireland, many of the Druids converted without dissent or quarrel: Adomnan of Iona writes in his Life of St. Columbus that several Druids who were converted were granted large tracts of land by the Church, [9] and we know that the class of Druids was recognized by post-Christian Irish law. [10] Indeed, from the evidence now available, the Druids were not the “priests,” but were the intellectual caste of the Irish, skilled in such disciplines as philosophy, poetry, history, astronomy, music, medicine, sorcery, and prophecy or divination; this parallels the Brahmins, who are the intellectual caste of the Hindu. It is probably true that priests were drawn from the Druidic caste, but again, this is speculation, not definite knowledge.


One thing that must be acknowledged about the Druids was their connection with magic and divination, both of which are forbidden by the Bible, and their possible connection with pre-Christian worship. However, it should also be acknowledged that the Druids were a recognized and accepted part of the administration of laws of Ireland well into the late eleventh or early twelfth century.


Indeed, as both the civil and criminal law code of Ireland survive in their completest form in the ‘Leabhar na h Uidre’ (Book of the Dun Cow) dating from the late eleventh or early twelfth centuries, it might be remarked that there had been no amendment of the laws relating to the Druids by that time. Two reasons can be argued: One, that the Druids still existed with a definite, if diminished, role in Irish society; Two, that the Druids had vanished and so no one bothered to change the laws. [11]


It is likely that the Celts, as did most ancient societies, had some form of harvest festival—but we do not know what they did, how they celebrated, or even with certainty whether or not they did. It is quite probable that at least some of the Celtic priests were of the Druidic caste, but not all Druids were priests, and we are not certain that all priests were Druids. It is likely that the Druids did engage in sacrifices, perhaps even human sacrifices, but the only evidence we have for this are the writings of their enemies in war, and the uncertain evidence of a handful of archaeological finds.


Our knowledge of the Celts and the Druids—what little we have of it—does nothing to explain the origins of Halloween. Yet history does show that the roots of this celebration do rest in Ireland and England—specifically, the Ireland and England of the Medieval and Renaissance ages.

Halloween’s Beginnings

The establishment of All Saints day is relatively well documented. Originally held the first Sunday after Pentecost, the date was moved to November 1st by Gregory III when he dedicated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to “All the Saints.” In 835, Gregory IV permanently moved the celebration to November 1. [12] Originally, All Saints Day was a solemn occasion, to be celebrated with a vigil spent in fasting and prayers the evening, followed by a “feast day,” a day to attend Mass and refrain from servile work. [13]


For some, however, this release from work devolved into a carouse, but even in this, the medieval Church tried to moderate the worst of the excesses. The solemnity of All Saints Day became combined with the festivity of harvest celebrations. While there may have been parades and bonfires and revelry, the Church worked with the nobility to keep the celebration within reasonable bounds—and also offered the revellers alternatives to debauchery.


Local practices emerged connected with the harvest glut including local cuisine specialties: in Europe, apple dishes were a popular food on this day (especially since the apple harvest ends relatively late in the year), and in England, the custom of making “soul cakes” to distribute to the poor in exchange for prayers for deceased members of the donor’s family.


It is to this time that we must look for some of the customs of our modern Halloween. Late autumn was apple season, and there was a bounty of apples: it becomes evident that this is the most likely origin of such games as bobbing for apples. The “soul cake” custom was the probable origin of our modern, “trick-or-treat.” Far from the horrifying pagan blackmail of pre-Christian Druids imagined by some, this was actually a method of not only feeding the poor, but of persuading attendance at Church!


This is not to say that all of these activities were innocent. Even at this time, it is certainly possible that people attempted to divine the future with apple peels, or by roasting chestnuts. Yet it must be remembered that these local customs were just that: local, frequently isolated folk practices that had little influence across cultural or national boundaries. It was not until the Colonial Age, and the advent of cross continental and inter-continental travel that these local practices combined to create the Halloween customs that we are familiar with today.

The influence of Emigration and Travel

Harvest celebrations, and the various local customs that attended them, came to America with the waves of colonists. Just as Europe does not share all its traditions and customs, neither were the American harvest celebrations identical. In New England, with its heavy population of Puritans and Calvinists who disapproved of frivolity in any form, the celebration of harvest festivals was frowned upon; in Maryland and the more southern colonies such celebrations were popular.


As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included “play parties,” public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbours would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country. [14]


This American indifference was changed by an event in Ireland. The advent of the Potato Famine in 1846 led to a dramatic influx of Irish immigrants to all parts of the world, including America. While they certainly brought their customs and traditions with them—including their Halloween traditions—they faced many obstacles, including a growing anti-Immigrant and anti-Catholic prejudice. It is possible that the origins of the “Anti-Halloween” movement stem from this prejudice, as many of the complaints directed by Christians against Halloween are also directed against the Roman Catholic Church. [15]


Yet for all of the potential for problems, Halloween adapted to America as readily as the Irish and English immigrants who took it there.


In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mould Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighbourly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century. [16]

Yet there are problems with Halloween. It has been known since the 1920s as a night of mischief, pranks, and vandalism, and since the 1950s, there have been tales about poisoned and adulterated sweets, diabolical witchcraft, Satanic sacrifices, and spiritual danger. 

Is there any basis to these tales? Where did they come from? Most importantly, what is a Christian supposed to do about Halloween?

Halloween has long been known as a night of mischief, but in the eyes of many Christians, it has also become a night of devilment—literally. Since the 1950s, various groups in England, the Americas, and Australia have emerged that celebrate the time around October 31st as a night dedicated to their pagan gods.

And we Christians have responded; though not always with wisdom. Since the 1970s, various Christians have come forward claiming to have once been members of the occult. They have given testimonies that they had witnessed, been the victims of, and even participated in, diabolical acts. Lurid tales of sacrifices, orgies, debauchery and cruelty have sprung up in countless places, and various forces—from Wiccans to Satanists—have been accused of committing crimes that are almost unspeakable in their atrocity. [17] 


Both Pagan and Christian authors and reporters have called these witnesses into question, and many of the tales have been proven false. “Sacrifices” have left no forensic evidence for the investigators; locations where “bodies were buried” prove to have been undisturbed for decades; and those who were supposedly engaged in such activities are frequently nowhere near the location they claimed to have been. Yet these stories continue to circulate, without evidence—and in some churches, without a critical challenge. [18] 


Samhain is a pagan and also a wiccan festival occasionally shared by those witches and occultist who have empathy with the Celtic deities and entities. Not all occult practitioners celebrate Samhain.


As far as Satanists are concerned Halloween is not their most high of unholy days it was and will remain their birthday. The only Satanists you will find celebrating on October 31st are those who were born on that day. [19] Some satanic lodges do use both Walpurgis Nacht (30th April) and the 31st October to hold initiations for their new ‘recruits’ but this has an awful lot more to do with the new recruits wanting a ‘special’ night in their own eyes a for their initiation to take place. It is part of the sardonic humour you will find shared by the more serious students of the occult.


Perhaps the most crucial story about Halloween is that it provides a gateway to the occult.


Halloween is potentially harmful when it lures people into exploring occult practices. Many children are introduced to occultic practices at Halloween parties. Some I meet have their first occult taster at a Halloween party as teenagers.  Many kids get their first exposure to the film world’s notion of occult/horror movies at Halloween parties. Many will simply treat their experiences as a bit of fun but some children after an initial exposure are attracted to the occult because of the perceived power it offers them. For others slipping off to a scary Halloween party is the ultimate means of rebelling against their parents. [20]

So what is a Christian to do?

For any Christian at any time prayer remains an essential part of our relationship with God. [21] Such is prayer’s importance that Christ Himself taught people how to pray to God [22] Some Christians feel a special conviction to pray at this time of year so what should we be praying about?


Ephesians tells us that our battle is not against people but in resisting the hard sell of compromising with a fallen world. [23] It is Christ who, by his sacrifice upon the cross, has the authority to rebuke fallen entities so we should follow the example of Michael and leave the actual rebuking to Him [24]. However we should pray for those who are spiritually seeking the ultimate reality especially those who feel that this can only be reached by exploring evil practises at this time of year. Pray that they be touched in such a way that they begin to seek God as God is and not as they imagine God.

  • Pray for those who work with and care for young people. For teachers, youth workers, mentors, social workers and parents. Pray that the example of their lives provides a positive witness for Christ to young people.
  • Pray that God protects, blesses and gives Gods peace to all who find this time of year un-nerving or frightening.
  • Pray that those who celebrate Halloween are not drawn towards practices forbidden by God in God’s scripture.
  • Pray that those who plan to use this time of year as an excuse to cause fear, malicious mischief and criminal damage become convicted that such would be wrong and refrain from doing so.
  • Pray that the emergency services; the police; the fire service; ambulance crews and hospital staff that they have a peaceful night free from the consequences of out of control celebrations.
  • Pray for those churches that are hosting alternatives to Halloween for their young people that they are honouring to Christ and a good witness for Christ to those who are not Christians.

“They (the church) are afraid because wolves have come to fleece the flock repeatedly with their fictional stories of sadistic rituals and evil madness. They are afraid because they ignorant of the truths that come to bear upon this whole matter. Even IF every urban myth was true, Even IF every witch was out to get you My God is still on the throne!


If only my brothers and sisters in Christ would study God’s word rather than Rebecca’s or Bill’s then would I no longer fear this season of the year? Let every Christian know that these myths are just not so. Hide away if you feel you must but while you do that pray for the rest of us who feel this season tug at our souls. God made this day too. He is the King of Kings.


Let every child of God spend their efforts preparing for this day. How often does the world beat a path to your door? Now you will have extra people to pray for. So why not give them some treats and pray for them to come to know Jesus? And in between the precious little ones dressed in weirdness calling read your Bible and pray, having thrown the mislabelled fiction away.”


Mark Ex-occultist

Praise Parties.

As Halloween as opposed to Samhain was originally a time of prayer and celebration within the church consider reclaiming it with a party that honours God. Many young people have vibrant ideas on ways of worshipping God. When given the opportunity and encouragement they can become more involved in their church’s life. Perhaps younger children would appreciate a party in which they celebrate the awe and wonder of God. Older teens might prefer a worship celebration they have organised with opportunity to socialise during and afterwards so they could invite their none-churched friends.


Remember most teens would far rather have somewhere warm and safe to have fun together than be cold and bored on a dark wet street.

Building relations with school 

There are many teachers who welcome the chance to enliven their teaching sessions with seasonal activities. In recent years, thanks mainly to the commercial hard sell of Halloween goodies, awareness of Halloween has been raised. There are certainly plenty of books aimed at children with themes of ghosts, witches, fairies, dragons, monsters and the like.


If Christians choose not to partake of school life for the rest of the year and only go in to complain and demand that evil Halloween activities should not take place they will appear as fanatics. It is far better to gradually build up a relationship with the school over a period of time so that those involved in teaching and administration at the school appreciate you share their concerns in providing a safe environment for their children. Even pagan teachers will appreciate that concern if you are known and your views are considered, reasonable, thought out and motivated by compassion. This will then allow you to explain with reason your concerns about Halloween activities and request that it would be sensible to advise youngsters not to experiment with occult activities.


There will always be some who, despite warnings from Christians and mature pagans alike, do try and experiment with what they imagine the occult to be, so consider also suggesting that if any child is or becomes worried or scared by activities they do over Halloween they can always speak to their parent, teacher or even Childline UK. Childline UK is there for any child who has worries, difficulties at school and so on it is not just those who suffer abuse.


Trick or treat

Christian children and the children of Christians should not be involved in this activity. In the UK more so than on the USA the tricks can be rather malicious and frightening. It is not honouring to Christ to partake of an activity that in essence is pure blackmail to prevent vandalism and reprise attacks.


Encourage children to consider how this activity can frighten the very young and the very old if they were to turn up unexpectedly wearing scary costumes and latex masks. Enter into debate to consider the impact of being repeatedly woken up and disturbed on the frail and elderly. Most young people do have a sense of justice and once they begin to explore an idea they can see injustice and cruelty. Even pagans urge their children to think and act responsibly and take care for their elderly neighbours at this time of year.


Encourage your friends and neighbours to talk to their children into declining to take part in trick or treat and explain your reasons why in a way that allows for debate. You never know you might begin to build a bridge that will allow you to share why you have faith in Christ.


If your church fellowship is having an open Praise Party why not extend an invitation to your friends and neighbours inviting their children to that instead.


Please be aware that how you act and react at this time of year can nurture or destroy opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with others. Pray that God guides you to act responsibly compassionately and with care for others as Christ Himself had.


For our own children?

Most of our young people will have friends at school who are wiccan; some will be exploring assorted pagan beliefs and a few will perhaps have blown pocket money on Lavey’s Satanic Bible. Our children are less likely to have our hang-ups about being friends with those who have different faiths to their own and be comfortable discussing different beliefs with such people. It is important that we as Christian parents provide our children with the most accurate information we can. If we do not, they will know we do not know what we are talking about in regards to the occult and that could lead them to wonder if we know what we are talking about when it comes to Christ.


Many teens do feel the pressure that wanting to identify as part of a group brings. Pray that your Children know God’s peace and strength about their own convictions so that they feel able to make a stand when they feel they are being pressurised into decisions that concern them or they feel are morally wrong.


As young people grow they appreciate, even if they do not like, explanations as to why you view something as wrong or evil and would prefer them to refrain from doing something. Allowing discussions on ‘sticky’ subjects keeps open the door for your child to communicate with you. As children become teenagers and begin to explore their own morality, belief and faith and yes enter rebellion against their parents this becomes even more important.


If you are banning Halloween parties with none Christian friends outright it can help if you are able to offer your children an alternative. Check if your church or a neighbouring church has any youth activities planned they could attend instead. Perhaps you could allow them to invite friends back to your home with a take away or other favourite foods on offer. There are a range of secular DVDs they could share that would allow a wider debate on the nature of God. the only limit is your imagination and confidence. ‘Raiders of The lost Arc’ could lead to the question ‘well would you steal and try and open Gods box?’ to ‘Bruce Almighty’ and the ethical dilemma of ‘what happens when man tries to be God’ and for those parenting stronger minded challenging older teens ‘Dogma’ When angels go Bad and God makes better than new’.

One final word of caution.

Despite all that has been said there will remain a small group of people who for whatever reasons will attempt occult explorations for the first time this Halloween simply because it’s the 31st October. The majority of such people are going to be disappointed but given the unpredictable nature of the spiritual domain some may well get a lot more than they ever anticipated possible. If you have concerns about someone you care about and need support or if you feel you have got out of your depth or want to know more about Christ then please make contact with your local Churches.


As a post-occultist who now follows Christ I wish to thank all those pagans and occultists who have so willingly shared their time, resources and thoughts with me regarding this article.


My most grateful thanks must go to Mike Stygal and Justin Eiler.

To Mike – thank you for understanding the need for an article that would provide insight to allow constructive dialogue to begin. Mike’s comments and suggestions from the point of view as a pagan, a parent and a teacher were most helpful.

Justin whose willingness to share his scholarly knowledge and access to early historical resources and social history allowed this article to be complied quickly. Justin also patiently proofed the first edition of this article. It would have taken me far longer to source the material and you would have suffered far more from my dyslexic writing style without his help.


I also wish to thank those who identify as ex-occultists ex-wiccans and ex-Satanists and those still practising who have read through commented and made suggestions.

Thank you to you all.


Caitlin Smith.


— Footnotes —

1: 2 Cor. 6:14. All Bible quotations taken from the King James Bible.

2: A translated version of the Tain is available at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/cool/ (Accessed and link checked 23/10/2013)

3: A translated version of The Mabinogion is available at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/mab/  (Accessed and link checked 23/10/2013)

4: A translation of The Annals of Tacitus is available at http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.html (Accessed and link checked 23/10/2013)

5: A translation of Caesar’s The Gallic War is available at http://classics.mit.edu/Caesar/gallic.html (Accessed and link checked 23/10/2013)

6: British Archaeology No38 October 1998 ‘Human Sacrifice in Iron Age Europe.’ Miranda Aldhouse Green

7: British Archaeology No 13 April 1996 ‘Plastic Pete and Lindow Man’

8: Ross, Anne and Don Robins. The Life and Death of a Druid Prince: The Story of Lindow Man, An Archaeological Sensation. (Touchstone (July 15, 1991)) For the opposing view, please see Ellis, Peter Berresford. The Druids. 9 Constable; First edition (4 July 1994)) 

9: Sharpe, Richard, transl. Adomnan of Ionia: Life of St. Columba. [Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (23 Feb 1995))

10: Ellis, op cit.

11: Ibid.

12: http://users.rcn.com/tlclcms/saintori.htm [Note: Link correct in 2002 now void]

13: For the definition of vigils within the Catholic Church, see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05647a.htm For feasts, see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06021b.htm  [Accessed and both links checked 23/10/2013]

14: http://www.history.com/topics/halloween It should be noted that the earlier part of the document engages in some rather irresponsible speculation concerning the “Celtic connection” to Halloween. [Accessed and link checked 23/10/2013]

15: Bethancourt, W. J. Halloween: Myths, Monsters, and Devils. http://www.featherlessbiped.com/halloween/ [Accessed and link checked 23/10/2013]

16: History Channel, op cit.

17: Examples include Michelle Smith and Lawrence Pazder, authors of ‘Michelle Remembers’ ; Mike Warnke, author of ‘The Satan Seller’; Lauren Stratford, author of ‘Satan’s Underground’; and Dr. Rebecca Brown and “Elaine,” authors of ‘He Came To Set the Captives Free’. Please see  http://www.religioustolerance.org/bk_fraud.htm : for more information. However, it should be noted that the Religious Tolerance is a “religiously neutral” website but their research is first rate, many Christians may disagree with some of their conclusions. [Accessed and link checked 23/10/2013]

18: Please see http://www.religioustolerance.org/chrw_int_i.htm However, it should be noted that the Religious Tolerance is a “religiously neutral” website but their research is first rate, many Christians may disagree with some of their conclusions. [Accessed and link checked 23/10/2013]

19: The Truth about Satanism by Lance King. http://www.spiritwatch.org/sattruth.htm One of the best-researched articles on Satanism by Christians available on the web [ original of writing. ] Sacred Tribes Journal Vol 1:1 Fall 2002 is now available to view online at http://www.sacredtribesjournal.org/stj/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1&Itemid=53 [Both Accessed and links checked 23/10/2013] 

20: Quoted from http://logosresourcepages.org/halloween.html [accessed and link checked 23/10/2013] 

21: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” Ephesians 6 v18 KJV

22: Matthew 6 5-15

23: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Ephesians 6 v12 KJV

24: “Yet Michael the archangel when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation but said, ‘The Lord rebuke thee’” Jude 1 v9 KJV 

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