A fun loving place to be
I have been on my spiritual path and part of the Mid-South Pagan Community for 25 years. A few years ago I was looking for a new group of like minded people to be a part of; I had been out of the community for a few years due to work and life. I went to all the local groups to see which one felt right to me. I found a new home at The Temple of the Sacred Gift. I have found a warm loving spiritual family and a wonderful place to worship. The present and former clergy have taken a dream and made it a reality, to provide a permanent place of worship that is open and available to the public. This is an accomplishment that rare in the pagan community, where most groups meet at private residences, parks and public places. Being in the South where it seems that we only have two seasons winter and summer it is nice to have a indoor space to gather in, especially as I get older. The members of the Temple are a very diverse group in many ways, spiritual path, age, race, sexuality and experiences. The Temple is there to help you on “your path” and guide you to find your own answers. Come worship, learn and share.
I have been a member of Temple of the Sacred gift for over 2 years now. It is my family I consider Sonya Miller and Brian Miller not only my elders and friends but my sister and brother our children are growing up together in our temple. We all give 100% to our community and do what we can to support each other. Not only do we put our time and effort into our own temple we support several other things in our local community. We are trying to build a better Pagan future for our children by changing the way pagans are viewed in mainstream society. There is never anything but love and friendship when I walk through the doors of the home for our Gods and Goddesses that I help to build. We all give our time , our love, our energy, and yes our money to this temple because we believe in what it stands for and yes I believe in my High Priest and Priestess and follow them. I am not a blind sheep being led. I am an informed member of a group of like minded individuals. There is not a day that goes by that I am not proud to say that I am TSG!
Many years ago my spiritual searching brought me into the Memphis Pagan community. And through out these past years many pagans have wished for the things that TSG has been able to accomplish. Beautiful church that is in a beautiful location. Amazing people of all walks of life, and something always going on for the community at large, not just the 'Pagans'. The walls are filled with the magic of fellowship and even the power of children's laughter. I am happy that the temple has offered my family an atmosphere that the other 'groups' could not.
Temple of the Sacred Gift is one of the best churches, of any religion or denomination, that I have gone to. I have been a member here for years. It is the only government recognized Wiccan church in Memphis and the church works diligently within the Memphis community. They offer full and new moon rituals, they honor all the Wiccan Sabbats, they have classes, workshops and host other community activities in their building. There is something for everyone here!
I have been a member of Temple of the Sacred Gift for two years. As clergy, Sonya and Brian Miller have gone above and beyond to encourage amd support both my personal and spiritual growth and that of my family's. We have found a place that feels like family and is filled with loving individuals. Temple offers a wealth of opportunities for growth and learning. I know I have never seen anyone at Temple engage in the lapse of integrity that a copy/pasted smear campaign indicates.
TSG has been a wonderful and loving place for my family and I. I also appreciate the fact that they will not tolerate those who would harm others among their ranks, Clergy especialy. To often the wrongs of Clergy are swept under the rug to avoid making the organization look bad as a whole. Not so at TSG. The HP and HPS have a zero-tolerance policy against harmful actions towards others in the community, and they are open and honest about their actions with all church members. I always leave the temple with a sense of comradary and family, and can't wait to come back.
I joined this church because it is one of the only places where Pagans can meet up in a safe friendly environment! From the first time I stepped through the doors, I have felt nothing but love and friendliness. The clergy are wonderful people, who actually take time to help those newer to the path understand what is going on. I highly recommend everyone come and see for themselves, there is nothing but love and happiness here!
Everyone at TSG follows their own path, and at rituals we follow a more streamlined ritual. So far I have never seen any one pushed out, or ignored. Again I highly recommend this church.
Food, friends,jazz - all great!!!!
I left Temple of the Sacred Gift when they "accepted the resignation of" (read: fired - no resignation was ever submitted) two clergy for nothing more than disagreeing with the High Priestess, Rev. Sonya Miller. In the four years this church has been around they have lost no less than five clergy to firings or resignations, all resulting from conflict with the HPS. I have seen her behave badly at events she is invited to, including verbal abuse of event staff and vandalism of a rented site. She has also given grievous disrespect to community elders.
TSG expects a whopping amount of financial support from all members. In addition to their $120/year "dues" (compared to no dues asked from members of Neshoba Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and $25/year asked -- but, at this time, not required -- from members of Summerland Grove) TSG holds a fundraising event nearly every week. Even those contributing their time and skills to present a workshop or energy share at these events are expected to pay for the privilege, something I have never seen from any other Pagan or Wiccan organization anywhere.
TSG is run on the "coven model" -- all final say is vested in the High Priestess. TSG, at least during the time I was a member, tried to cover this up by having clergy councils and member representatives, all for show as their decisions could be (and were) overridden by Sonya. This is not a healthy model for a church and not one that I support. Once I found out that I had been deceived about the locus of control, I was no longer willing to be a part. Worryingly, the church rewrites its own history every time clergy leave or are fired: names of founders removed from the church history, long-time clergy being told they were never clergy once they quit even though evidence exists that they were previously listed as clergy on TSG sites. This behavior reminds me of another problematic church -- Scientology.
The Mid-South Pagan community is vast, but you wouldn't know it from asking TSG, which likes to pretend it's the only game in town. Please, before deciding to involve yourself with this money-focused and problematic organization, research and see what other options the community holds for you. Find a group that will value you as more than a pocketbook and sycophant. Don't get burned.
I was a member and clergy for Temple of the Sacred Gift for 3 years. Most of the members of this organization are truly wonderful people. The leadership, however, leaves a lot to be desired. In the 4 years the church has been open they have elevated 8 people to clergy status, now only 2 remain clergy, the married couple who started the church. The rest of clergy either left because of personal conflict with Rev Sonya Miller or were forced to resign. Members don't tend to stay around long either. TSG expects a lot of time and money from its members, especially those in the inner circle who are the only ones allowed to lead events or have roles of responsibility within the church.
Memphis has several pagan groups and churches. TSG acts as if they are the only group in town. They do not support the other groups or encourage their members to become a part of the greater community. I recommend Summerland Grove Pagan Church or the CUUPS group at Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church. Both of these organizations encourage practitioners to make and follow their own pagan path, they lack the dogma and strict adherence to Wiccan laws found in TSG.
I would not recommend this "church" to any free thinking individual. It has numerous problems with keeping clergy and members. I attended for three years and in that time they lost 4 members of clergy and numerous members because they could not follow the high priestess without questioning her or agreeing with her. I have been involved in the Memphis wiccan and pagan community for 13 years. I have never had a more disappointing experience than I did with TSG.
Avoid if at all possible.
The 'clergy' have no place leading anyone. The 'church' does not seek to teach nor fulfill Spiritual needs. They seek only monetary and material support. They lie about their founding, their history, and their credentials.
Summerland Grove in Memphis is a better group to look into.
My experience with this group left me with serious feelings of unease and distrust, much like going to a used car lot.
Had an awesome time listening to the blues express .great band, loved the guitar player :)
I give them 2 stars for trying. The pizza really has no flavor and out of all the pizza places in Memphis, Ciao Baby shouldn't be on the radar..
Dr. Jane Hooker will be inducted into the Education Hall of Fame at the U of M before that event. So when you come to her book signing, you will have it signed by a Hall of Fame inductee. That is AWESOME !!! (proceeds of the book signing benefit Cordova Museum.)
Local Artists from Fisherville/Eads will exhibit their art. (portions of the proceeds will benefit MDA MidSouth.)
This event is in EADS 38028 on Macon Rd near the intersection of Collierville-Arlington. Just co me off Houston Levee at Macon. Go East on Macon till you get to the Collierville Arlington intersection. Contact phone for this event 901-649-8321.
great prices and quality food
The opening of ArtWorks Gallery was outstanding and so beautiful. So many wonderful, local artists!
This place has the worst BBQ I've had in Memphis. Maybe it was a bad day, but there are too many other places to get good Q in this town to bother going back. We had lunch delivered for a business meeting. The first strike was that the containers were covered in grease and sauce, and took 10 minutes and a stack of napkins to clean them off. I had the pulled pork with beans and sweet potato fries. The fries were completely limp and the pork had zero flavor. Not even a hint of smoke. The beans were just okay. Don't remember what everyone else had, but none of them were happy either.
By Leonard Gill
download this issue
click here to see more »