James Stevens 1944 – 2010

James Stevens died earlier today after a long, painful battle with cancer. We who counted him as a friend are sad to lose him, but we’re thankful he’s no longer in pain.

The thing I’ll remember most about James is his generosity. He opened his land to Pagans, motorcycle enthusiasts, historical re-enactors, and just about anyone who asked. He didn’t just let us use his land, he improved it for us, mowing it, building picnic tables, and of course, dragging up brush and dead trees for firewood. His lasting gift to the community is Summerlands, the stone circle and ritual area.

James had a quiet spirituality about him. He wasn’t big on ritual, but he had a great love for nature. And he loved the stone circles and other sacred sites of the British Isles. I remember the enthusiasm in his voice as he described his trip to Newgrange, and his hope that he’d win the lottery to be inside on the Winter Solstice.

James was a much-beloved member of our CUUPS group. He loved having us camp at his place, but he didn’t just wait for us to come to him. It’s about 70 miles from his house to mine, but he made the trip for our cookouts – and he brought beer too! He didn’t make it to church all that often, but he was a faithful supporter of DUUF.

James asked for a Pagan funeral. David Sparks (whose pastoral care was as strong as any professional minister’s) will lead the ritual at a time of the family’s choosing.

James, may the Goddess and God welcome you into the Summerlands and grant you peace and freedom and reunion with those who have gone before. Know that you will live on in the hearts and minds of those of us who were privileged to be your friends.

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About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.


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