February 28th, 2023
Hello everyone - After three long years, multiple stops and starts, some serious rough patches, and a lot of craziness - We did it!!!
I'll be completely honest, it still doesn't feel real.
Way back in 2019 I started studying the sephirah we would be working through for this ConVocation and I set goals for myself on what I wanted to bring to all of you. Diversity, inclusivity, accessibility - it was all in there. Then covid happened and my goal posts started to shift. I saw the stress and pain moving through our community along with the sense of isolation and disconnection from each other, our spirituality, and our core selves, as well as the feelings of helplessness and loss that just seemed to be everywhere. I started to think about what we as a group needed to be able to move forward through Tifferet and Netzach and this time in our lives. What tools and supports we needed to be able to pull ourselves together individually, as a family, and as a greater community. I made a list of what we needed in addition to diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility and this is what was on it:
Grace (for ourselves and each other)
I saw all of this, this past weekend, in all of you.
I have so many thank you's to say that I know some will be missed. I can only apologize and claim exhaustion and an amazing overload of emotion.
To all of our teachers - You were incredible. I've only glanced through the class reviews a little so far but they are by far the most positive I have ever seen.
Mary K. Greer , Jason Mankey , Oberon Zell , Ivo Jr. Dominguez , Elizabeth Hazel , Clifford Hartleigh Low , Ted Jauw , Kate Henriot Jauw , and Diana Rajchel - Thank you for joining with us this weekend and sharing your knowledge. I know that every single person who attended your classes walked away knowing a little more than they did when they walked in. You were all a joy to work with through this entire time and I hope you will all consider joining us again sometime in the future.
Baba Teddy and Lady Kate - Thank you for broadening my understanding of Tifferet and Netzach and for both an opening and closing ritual that allowed all of us to share the challenges and losses of the last three years together in a way that honored every person there. I believe the saying is " Joy shared is doubled, sorrow shared is halved". The beautiful rituals you both wrote and presented for opening and closing as well as the multiple other rituals you carried out through the weekend helped the entire community halve their sorrow and double their joy - and let us find and feel hope. Again, thank you.
To all of my staff - I am so proud of you. This was hard. The hardest ConVocation I've ever worked and I am including the year of the Tower in that. All of you rose to the occasion and did it anyway. I could not have done this and would not have survived it without you. I noticed every single time one of you did something extra, took over a task for someone else struggling, and how you all did it with every bit of kindness and compassion you could bring to that moment. I'm humbled by your trust in me to keep things moving forward and am completely beyond words grateful for each and every one of you. I also noticed all the sneaky taking care of the conchair when you didn't think I was paying attention. As much as I grumbled, I appreciate that as well.
To all of our attendees - Thank you as well. You are the sole reason that we keep doing this. No amount of work would have made this happen if you hadn't shown up, opened yourself to the energy, and gone on the wild ride we had this weekend. I know that we had some seriously frustrating challenges this weekend, particularly early on, and yet I still saw kindness and compassion being displayed. You proved that even under pressure it is possible to include everyone and treat them well. We're a family and we act like it - with everything that entails.
Here I'm not going to name names but there are those among all the groups who went even further in their care and support over the years and over the last week. Words truly do fail me. Thank you for being a shoulder to lean on and cry on, someone to vent to and complain with.
As a group ConVocation still has a ways to go with increasing our diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity. This year though all of you helped meet my goals and I think it will only get better from here.
Thank you all for allowing me the privilege of being your Conchair for ConVocation 2023. I hope that you will join me one last time on March 26th, 2023 at 3pm for the Transition Meeting at the Dearborn/Detroit DoubleTree hotel. We will be going over all the things that happened at ConVocation 2023, discussing ConVocation 2024, and performing a short ritual to transfer the energy of ConVocation to the new Conchairs
Convocation 2023 ConChair
January 14th, 2022
During the last MEC board meeting we discussed the current stage of the pandemic, Covid rates, and the Omicron variant. We have concluded that no matter what protocols or rules we put into place, we cannot safely place 1,000 or more people in a hotel next month. This decision was not made easily, lightly, or without a risk to ConVocation and MEC.
Instead of going forward with ConVocation 2022 as planned, we have decided to reschedule it for February's 23rd to 26th 2023. We know this is a long wait and a big disappointment. We’re disappointed as well.
We are also aware that there will be many questions about refunds on registrations and hotel rooms, as well as questions about myriad other things. We shall attempt to answer all of them in this post, but please feel free to reach out here or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional questions.
For hotel room reservations please contact the hotel directly. They will help you through the process of getting your reservations moved or refunded.
For attendee registrations through eventbrite - you will all be receiving a refund from us within the next 30 days. Please bear with us as we move through the process of returning everyone's money. If you haven't received your refund by February 18th, 2022 please email us at email@example.com and let us know.
We are doing our best to make as few changes as possible going forward into 2023. The theme and art work will not be changing. As we move through the next year updates will be provided here and on our website www.convocation.org.
For any questions not answered here please feel free to reach out here or to email the relevant department @convocation.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com for answers.
Thank you all for the immense support and patience you have all provided over the years the last 2 and a half years in particular. It wouldn't be worth all the hard work without you.
December 3rd, 2021
Note from the ConChairs.
We would like to remind everyone that the guidelines in place due to the public health crisis may have changed since the last time you've checked, AND may change in the future. Please stay current with any and all national, state, and local guidelines regarding the public health crisis. We want to see everyone, but we much do it safely.
November 11th, 2021
We would like to invite all of you to join us at the Detroit/Dearborn DoubleTree Hotel on January 23, 2022 at 3pm for our ConVocation Volunteers Meeting.
This meeting is where we open up our volunteer grid to our pre-registered attendees who wish to earn back their registration and help make ConVocation amazing. We will go over the different departments we need volunteers for as well as what type of work each job entails.
We look forward to seeing you all there!
October 21st, 2021
It's that time again for your voices to be heard at the biannual MEC Town Hall Meeting. Come join the MEC board of directors to discuss the topics that directly impact our community and help shape the policies and programs that will help us continue to build the community we would all like to see.
There are two topics for this meeting - An overview and update on our Diversity Committee as well as a discussion of the COVID 19 protocols for ConVocation 2022.
The town hall meeting is being held at the DoubleTree Dearborn/Detroit Hotel this coming Saturday October 23rd, 2021 from 12pm-3pm and will also be streamed live on Facebook. There will be time for a question and answer session during the meeting and we will also have a live moderator in the Livestream chat to clarify anything that may be difficult to hear from the live discussion and to relay comments and questions during the discussion.
We are greatly looking forward to seeing you all there!
September 27th, 2021
ConVocation 2022 COVID 19 Protocols
Pre - ConVocation:
Pack your proof of COVID 19 vaccination card or your proof of a negative COVID 19 test from within the last 72 hours.
All registrations canceled because of a positive COVID 19 diagnosis will be refunded during the month after ConVocation ( March 2022). Proof of positive diagnosis will be required. A picture of the positive test result is sufficient - As long as we can see the attendees name, all other personal identifying information can be redacted.
If you have had COVID 19 and are out of quarantine 15 days prior to ConVocation 2022 a negative COVID 19 test will be required regardless of vaccination status.
Do not attend ConVocation 2022 if you have tested positive for COVID 19 within the last 14 days - even if you are asymptomatic or have been vaccinated. People who have tested positive for COVID 19 and are per-registered are eligible for a full refund.
Either a COVID 19 vaccination card or a negative COVID 19 test taken within the last 72 hours MUST be presented at registration to attend ConVocation 2022.
Masks must be worn in all indoor public areas at all times. At this time masks are not being provided by ConVocation. Attendees must bring their own. We are working on donation options for masks and will update this as we have more information.
If you are unvaccinated or at high risk for COVID 19, please practice social distancing.
Frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer is highly encouraged. We are currently working out ways to make hand sanitizer available and easily accessible to attendees.
Please use substances responsibly - it is easy to forget masking and social distancing guidelines when inhibitions are lowered.
Even if you are vaccinated - DO NOT attend ConVocation 2022 if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID 19 - (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea).
This is current policy based on current science and are subject to change.
November 11, 2020
The MEC Board has decided that in light of the rising number of COVID-19 infections and deaths, along with the logistics of attempting to hold a safe and socially distanced in-person convention, or trying to hold an online convention that lives up to the standards we require for ConVocation; we will be postponing ConVocation 2021. We know this is upsetting and disappointing to many of you - it is to us as well.
For those Merchants, Artists, and Teachers who have submitted classes or applications for 2021 - we will be reaching out to you all with information on each of your situations shortly. We wish to bring you all with us into 2022.
We are excited to announce that February 24th to 27th 2022 we will be continuing on with our current theme of "Finding Our Balance" and working with the sephiroth Tifferet. We look forward to seeing you all there!
If you reserved a room with the hotel, please make sure you remember to cancel the reservation as soon as possible.
June 14, 2020:
After further reflection upon our previous statement we (the MEC board) have realized that we were not sufficiently clear on where MEC stands. MEC can not and will not tolerate racism of any kind, explicit or implicit. We stand with and support the fight to end injustice and systemic racism.
In the recent statement MEC posted, we focused on the actions MEC has committed to in continuing to educate and better ourselves and our community. We hear and acknowledge that in making that our focus we buried and undervalued the trauma and the severity of the issues faced by people of color and the importance of Black Lives Matter and related movements. This was not our intention. We Apologize.
The violence, bigotry and disenfranchisement that people of color have to face and have been facing for centuries cannot be allowed to continue. MEC will continue to strive to meet the goal of eradication of these plagues on our society and in our communities.
Hatred and intolerance have no shelter within our community or at our events and therefore must be actively uprooted. Racists and bigots of all stripes can stay home, they will not be welcome among us.
June 12, 2020:
MEC was founded with the goal of making a safe and inclusive community for all as laid out in our mission statement right from the very beginning:
The Magical Educational Council was established for the following purpose: to create community by promoting the sharing of knowledge, experience, and fellowship among people who follow mystical and esoteric traditions.
In order to promote community, we do not include those paths or traditions whose doctrines advocate bigotry and / or violence against others on any basis including but not limited to race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or religion
It is in the core of what MEC is and what we want to provide the community to stand against racism not only at our event, but in our community and in the world. To this end we had planned on using our Spring Town Hall to start an initiative of creating a community wide Diversity Board, however our plans were cut short by the pandemic that has threatened the health and taken the lives of so many.
This has not stopped our plans, but has delayed them. We are committed to continue to have ConVocation be a place for everyone in our community to feel safe, welcome, included and represented. When we can confirm that it will be lawful and safe to host a Town Hall (hopefully in October) we will be making announcements to invite those who want to help us improve ConVocation and all other events, groups and organizations be as representatively diverse as our community truly is.
In the meantime, know that we understand that we CANNOT understand what people of color have experienced in their lives, but we support you, we are listening to you and we are here for you.
Justice for only some is no justice at all. Black Lives Matter.