Come As You Are (CAYA) Pagan Congregation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 matriarchal, eclectic, interfaith, open, drop-in congregation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our mission is to create safe, loving, magic(k)al space for those who wish to participate in our community rituals, public service initiatives, and social events. Our Congregation community is based on mutual respect, personal responsibility, integrity, and honor for all spiritual paths. Our Clergy gathers around the mysteries of our core Traditions, and our Congregants gather around a shared commitment to Earth-centered and polytheistic spiritualities. We hold for the highest possible good in all that we do: for ourselves, for our community, and for the world.
We sustain a shared vision of a society that provides for the spiritual and practical needs of all of its members, is free from harm, is safe and consensual, is specifically feminist, is inclusive, and is environmentally-conscious. Our Congregation is governed by three sacred tenets:
- We honor one another’s unique spiritual practices, and seek to enrich our sense of community through diversity.
- We accept one another’s divinity as inherent and non-negotiable.
- We believe that we are each qualified to determine our own personal path, and share our experiences and thoughts in a spirit of generosity, without presumption.
The vision, operations and protocols of Come As You Are Coven are held at the center of our organization in the hands of the CAYA Council of Elders. This body is a leadership-focused representative sampling of our Coven's population. In CAYA Coven, power follows participation, commitment, and demonstration of action toward the highest good of all in the community, individually as well as collectively. Meetings are quarterly.
Council decisions, in order to be adopted, must be unanimous among voting members. This is because unanimity in collective discussions is only possible when individual agendas are set aside in favor of the shared vision. Those who willingly participate in a consensus system or unanimous decision making find, over time, that commitment to the shared central goals becomes the most rewarding possible solution to nearly every question we encounter. When we can serve the good of all, excepting none, we are deeply satisfied in our work.
CAYA Coven follows a matriarchal philosophy of governance. In CAYA, we define patriarchy as the power-over, tiered, pyramid-shaped model that is often seen in modern business and social environments, where success and growth are predicated upon a sense of lack of resources and competition for limited possible returns. We define matriarchy as a circular, power-from-within system that allows for multiple overlapping needs to be addressed and strengths to be shared simultaneously without competition for resources or top position. Our Coven is open to all, and all members who share these principles are charged with upholding the matriarchal nature of our philosophy and work, regardless of gender or sex.