CUUPS Officers for 2017-18

At today’s business meeting, a record turnout of Denton CUUPS members elected the following people to serve as officers for the 1-year term beginning November 1.

Coordinating Officer: Hannah Nutt

Events Coordinator: Brea Henson

Membership Officer: Linda Masten, Emily Pearson, and Adam Henson (co-officers)

Treasurer: Cynthia Talbot

Education Officer: William Nutt and Morgan Milburn (co-officers)

Communication & Technology Officer: Rhys O’Brien and Gabrielle Milburn (co-officers)

Recording Officer: Gwenyth Robicheaux

Please congratulate our incoming officers and give them your support as they lead our CUUPS group in the coming year.

Also, please give your thanks to those officers who are stepping down this year: Bonnie Davidson, Erin Kane, Russell Griffin, and Debbie Griffin. As I announced in April, I am also stepping down at the conclusion of this term on October 31.

John Beckett
Coordinating Officer

New Mission and Vision draft

Below is the current draft of our revised Mission and Vision statement. We discussed it at our Spring Business Meeting – the membership asked the officers to make some revisions, which we did.

We will vote on approving this statement at our Fall Business Meeting on October 15.

Denton CUUPS Mission and Vision 2017


The Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans is a covenant group for UUs, Pagans, and friends with an interest in Pagan and Nature-centered spirituality. We welcome all who come in love and friendship to celebrate, learn, and serve with us. We are united by our commitment to UU values and our support of the Denton UU Fellowship.


Denton CUUPS is a home for all expressions of Paganism in alignment with UU values. We present public rituals that facilitate religious experience and meaning for our members and guests. We study, practice, and teach our religions and their sources, both ancient and contemporary.

We value Nature, our experiences of Nature, and our relationships with Nature.

We have a diversity of thoughts and beliefs about deities and spirits, and we recognize the inherent uncertainty in such matters. Nevertheless, we explore deities and spirits deeply and we form and maintain honorable relationships with them however we understand them, both together and on our own, even as we remain open to new ideas, new practices, and new experiences.

We work together to build a respectful and caring local community of friends and allies dedicated to supporting each other on our spiritual journeys and to building a better world here and now. We support our community by living in alignment with our Pagan values and by contributing our time and treasure as we are able.

2017-18 Denton CUUPS Officer Campaign

This year’s CUUPS officers have been working hard to make Denton CUUPS run more like a democratic organization and less like an informal group. While we still have over three months left in this chapter year, it’s not too early to begin thinking about officers for 2017-18 – especially considering we will have a new Coordinating Officer for the first time in twelve years.

It is not proper for the current officers to function as a nominating committee. Any active member is eligible to run for any office (one qualification: the Coordinating Officer must be a member of DUUF) and anyone who wants to serve should be able to run for an office without facing an “approved” candidate. At the same time, this year’s officers have an obligation to insure all offices are filled.

To help us reach the goal of free and fair elections, to encourage new people to run for office, and to insure we have someone to fill each office, we have come up with this campaign process.

The Election is October 15

The officer election will be held at our Fall Social Gathering, Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 PM at Erin and Tezra’s house. The election process is governed by Article X of our by-laws and nothing in this campaign process changes that. Nominations may be made from the floor and proxy voting is permitted for those who cannot attend.

This process deals with how members can announce their intent to run for an office. Then, if no one has declared for a particular office, we know we need to find someone to fill it.

Announce Your Campaign

A campaign signup sheet will be posted on the CUUPS bulletin board at DUUF prior to our Lughnasadh Circle. A signup thread will be started on our ProBoard site (if you aren’t on ProBoards yet, please contact Tezra).

If you want to run for an office, simply write your name beside that office on the signup sheet and reply to the signup thread (if you do only one, I’ll add your name to the other). That’s all there is to it. At the Fall Social Gathering, be prepared to speak for a minute or two about why you want to serve in that capacity and your ideas about the position.

The Details

  1. I hope this statement is unnecessary, but just to be clear: by signing up you are declaring your intent to run for the office. There is no “claiming” of offices.
  2. If two or more people sign up for the same office, we will have a contested election – the person with the most votes wins. Per the by-laws, if there are three or more candidates and no one gets 51% of the votes, the top two candidates will have a run-off.
  3. Two people may decide to share an office, as Erin and William (Education Officer) and Hannah and Tezra (Communication and Technology Officer) have done this year. However, unless they both freely agree to share the office, we will have a contested election.
  4. The by-laws prohibit anyone from holding more than one office at a time. Therefore, you cannot campaign for more than one slot. However, if you declare for an office and lose the election, you may be nominated (or self-nominate, if you’ve been a member for more than one year) for another office that has not yet been filled. You are free to make your plans known ahead of time.

Undeclared Offices

If no one has announced their intention to run for a particular office prior the next Officers’ Meeting on September 17 (at the Fall Camping Trip), the current officers will begin recruiting someone to fill it.

The Order of Election

Our by-laws do not specify the order in which we vote on offices. Since we have to have an order, as presiding officer I am declaring this order – which happens to be the order they were established in the by-laws. Since I am making this decision only on parliamentary authority, if anyone objects it may be changed by a vote of the membership.

  1. Coordinating Officer
  2. Events Coordinator
  3. Membership Officer
  4. Treasurer
  5. Education Officer
  6. Communication and Technology Officer
  7. Recording Officer.

Description of the Offices

Here are the descriptions of our offices from our by-laws, along with the people who currently hold them.

  1. Coordinating Officer (John) – Primary facilitator of officer and member meetings. Responsible for ensuring that all members serving as Officers are adequately fulfilling the responsibilities of their positions; serving as the primary liaison between the Officers and Members/friends of the chapter, between the chapter and CUUPS, between the chapter and the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Board of Trustees, and between the chapter and the community at large; acting as general spokesperson for the chapter. This officer must be a voting member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
  2. Events Coordinator (Russell) – Coordinates with event leaders of the eight public rituals held each year regarding progress and supplies needed. Work with the Coordinating Officer to ensure that organizers/leaders are in place for all planned events, that meeting/event locations are reserved. Also responsible for maintaining chapter supplies.
  3. Membership Officer (Linda) – Primarily responsible for recruiting of new members and collecting dues. This officer will maintain the membership roster, be responsible for actively raising awareness of Denton CUUPS with other groups and the community at large, and will be responsible for follow-up contact with visitors.
  4. Education Officer (Erin and William) – Assists facilitators of CUUPS courses, workshops, and small groups. Coordinates scheduling for those groups, courses, and related activities. Monitors area Pagan announcements in order to present opportunities for education and involvement to the membership, and develops and maintains educational resources for use as needed.  Consults with the Membership Officer for new member orientations as needed.
  5. Treasurer (Debbie) – Responsible for handling chapter finances and maintaining financial records, collection of dues and other monies owed, and payment and/or reimbursement of any authorized expenses. Maintains chapter finances and provides printed financial reports to the membership at all scheduled Board meetings. One additional member must have access to chapter accounts at all times.
  6. Communication & Technology Officer (Hannah and Tezra) – Primarily responsible for managing the chapter calendar, publicity of chapter events, e-mailing calendar events, updating the chapter website and maintaining chapter technology.
  7. Recording Officer (Bonnie) – Responsible for preparation of meeting agendas, recording and distribution of minutes, maintenance of meeting notes and discussion topics, archival records and ritual scripts. This officer shall work with the members of the Board to ensure that all appropriate members are notified of meeting minutes, discussion topics and decisions made.

How can you best serve our community?

Denton CUUPS is the home for Paganism in Denton and the surrounding area. We provide a necessary and sacred service to the local community, and in doing so, we serve our Gods and our various Pagan traditions. All of us benefit from CUUPS’ presence and its success.

Serving as an officer is work, but it’s not a particularly large amount of work. I’ve been a CUUPS officer for 14 years – what I’ve learned in that time has been tremendous. This is necessary work, but it is also educational work, enlightening work, and transformative work.

I encourage everyone to think about where you can best serve, and to launch your campaign in the coming weeks.

Beltane – The Cernunnos Ritual

Beltane – The Cernunnos Ritual
Saturday, May 6
Gathering begins at 7:00 PM
Ritual begins promptly at 7:30 PM

Come join us for our celebration of Beltane, the Celtic fire festival which in ancient times marked the beginning of Summer. We will begin our circle with a traditional Maypole Dance.

Our main working will be a ritual to Cernunnos, the Lord of the Animals and the Lord of the Hunt, the God of the Forest and of Green Growing Things.

It is no surprise that in our era of environmental challenges he is calling to many who share his love for Nature. This ritual will feature a procession, drumming, and dancing.  We will make offerings to Cernunnos and ask for his inspiration and blessing on our work to honor and protect the Earth and all her creatures.

Our circle will be outdoors unless it is raining – please dress for the weather. Children who can participate maturely and respectfully are welcome to join in. We will have childcare available for younger children.

Please bring an item of food or drink to share after the ceremony. Donations help defray costs are appreciated but are not required.

If you have any questions, please contact John Beckett at or 972-948-9211.

at the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1111 Cordell Street
Denton, TX 76201

Ritual Theory and Practice

Sunday, February 19
1:30 PM to 4:00 PM

If you’ve been to a few Pagan circles, you’ve probably seen some really good rituals… and you’ve probably seen some not-so-good ones too. Over the years, Denton CUUPS has learned a lot about what works well and what doesn’t, common problems and ways to work through them, and a process of planning, researching, composing, rehearsing, and presenting rituals that we’ve found to be very helpful.

This workshop will cover ritual theory, the elements of modern Pagan ritual, and our process for ritual planning and composition. It will be led by John Beckett, the Coordinating Officer of Denton CUUPS, a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, and the author of the upcoming Llewellyn book The Path of Paganism – An Experience-Based Guide to Modern Pagan Practice.

There is no charge for this class, but donations are requested. This class is family friendly and is appropriate for older children. We are unable to provide childcare for younger children at this event.

If you have any questions, please contact John Beckett at

at the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1111 Cordell Street, Denton, TX 76201

New CUUPS Officers and By-laws Changes

Denton CUUPS held its Fall Social Gathering and business meeting on October 15. Our membership approved two by-laws changes, our slate of officers for 2016-17, and our 2017 circle calendar.

Bylaws Changes.  A modification to Article IV: Chapter Officers was approved that revises the duties of the Events Coordinator and creates two new positions, a Recording Officer and a Communications & Technology Officer.

A modification to Article XII: Adoption and Amendment was adopted that explicitly allows for electronic voting.

The following officers were elected:

  • Coordinating Officer: John Beckett
  • Events Coordinator: Russell Griffin
  • Membership Officer: Linda Masten
  • Education Officer: Wren Kelley and William Nutt
  • Treasurer: Debbie Griffin
  • Recording Officer: Bonnie Davidson
  • Communication & Technology Officer: Tezra O’Brien and Hannah Nutt

The 2017 calendar will be posted shortly.

Please congratulate the new officers on their election, and support them in their duties in the coming year.

Denton CUUPS Samhain Festival

Saturday, October 29
Gather at 7:00 PM, start promptly at 7:30

Come join the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans for our 2016 Samhain Festival on Saturday October 29th. We gather at 7:00 PM and the ritual begins promptly at 7:30.

We’ll honor our ancestors and beloved dead, the Gods of our ancestors, and John Barleycorn, the embodiment of the harvest. Bring a memento of your beloved dead, a representation of a deity or several of your choice and join in the memorial ritual, as we cast the last of the harvest onto the fire and celebrate the ancient Celtic end of the year.

Please bring an item of food or drink to share after the ceremony. Donations of 2-3 dollars to help offset expenses will be appreciated but are not required.

Children who can participate maturely and respectfully are welcome to join in. We will have childcare for younger children.

For questions or information, please contact John Beckett at 972-948-9211 or, or see our website at

at the
Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1111 Cordell Street, Denton, TX 76201

DIRECTIONS: From I-35, exit US-380 (University Drive) eastbound. Go approximately 1.8 miles east on University, then turn right (south) onto Fulton Street. Go three blocks, turn right (west) on Cordell. DUUF is on the left, on the southwest corner of Fulton and Cordell – our illuminated sign is on the corner.


Gleichentag: The Autumn Equinox

Saturday, September 17
Gather at 7:00 PM, start promptly at 7:30

Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1111 Cordell Street, Denton, TX 76201

Please join the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans for our celebration of the Norse festival of Gleichentag (“even day”). This is the Autumn Equinox, a time of balance when light and dark are equal. It is a celebration of the grain harvest and a time to take stock of the year, to gather together, and to share food and drink with each other, the landvettir, ancestor spirits, and the Gods of the harvest time.

We will be holding a feast as part of the ritual, or as the Norse would have commonly called their High Day rites, a symbul, where we will share food and drink among those here, and with all those who come in peace to join us for feasting and song.

The first part of the celebration will be outside (weather permitting, which it usually is this time of year) and the ritual feast will be inside in the RE wing. Please bring a dish to share, and a favorite poem, a toast, a reading or song if you want to honor you ancestors, spirits, or deities aloud.

Children 10 and older who can participate respectfully are welcome to attend with a parent/guardian. Childcare will be provided for younger children.

For questions or information, please contact John Beckett at 972-948-9211 or

Gleichentag 2015 Facebook header