About Us

Board of Directors | History of Hearthstone Open Full Moons

Board of Directors of Hearthstone Community Church Inc.

Alia, Founder and Past President of the Board
~ 1959-2017 Rest in Peace ~

Alia's organizational skills, energy, dedication, and vision carried Hearthstone forward from 1991 to 2017. Alia formalized Hearthstone Community Church, Inc. in August 1991 and began the monthly newsletter. She was steadfastly committed to serving the Hearthstone community, which was especially remarkable in earlier years when she was working full-time, getting a Masters degree, and raising her daughter - all at once, of course. Once she retired due to disability, Alia spent some of her time and energy providing clergy services to the Wiccan/Pagan community. Alia celebrated all the years that Hearthstone has offered a welcoming entrance to the community for folks new to the community. She always felt honored to be part of this church. Her vision of inclusion and her example of service, respect, and compassion inspired many over the years. The Hearthstone community is committed to honoring Alia through our continued commitment to her values and vision for Hearthstone. For more tributes to Alia and her Hearthstone legacy, please read Hearthstone's June 2017 Newsletter.

Catherine, President
Catherine joined the Board in 1998 as Secretary and newsletter editor, became Vice President in 2012, and President in 2017. She has continued her support of Hearthstone, and crafting Hearthstone's monthly newsletter, for nearly two decades while working full-time and attaining a Masters degree. Catherine studied Wicca for many years, and loves both reading and music. Many summer weekends she entertained with her harp at the Colorado Renaissance Festival. Any ritual she offers is sure to include music. She sings with Orpheus Pagan Chamber Choir.

Arynne, Vice President and Treasurer
Arynne joined the Hearthstone Board in 1998 as Treasurer, and added additional responsibilities in 2017 upon the passing of our beloved Alia. She believes Hearthstone's Open Full Moons serve as an important welcoming portal into our wonderful and diverse community. Arynne's coven, Elvenhome, has been an enriching and integral component of her life since 1981. Her studies have included Wicca, shamanism, Qabala, metaphysics, magick, healing, and related subjects. She volunteers also through the Women's Spiritual Leadership Alliance (WSLA) community service projects, through Alexandria Temple of Universal Metaphysics (ATUM) prison ministry, and in animal welfare and rescue.

Cynthia, Secretary
Cynthia joined the Hearthstone Board in 2017 as Secretary. Hearthstone Open Full Moons were her first introduction to the Denver Wiccan community in 1998. She believes in the importance of community and having a safe and welcoming place to practice. Assisting our community to come together "with a willing heart and an open mind" (in Alia's words) is integral to her personal path and her practice as a Wiccan High Priestess. Cynthia is a certified facilitator for HeatherAsh Amara's book, 'Warrior Goddess Training'. She teaches Wicca, holds WGT workshops, and runs a monthly book group while going to school in Boulder for her Clinical Herbalism Certification. She lives in Denver with her loving husband and family.

Morgan, Communications Coordinator
Morgan Drake Eckstein, a lifelong pagan, received his first instructions about Wicca from his aunt. Morgan joined Hearthstone's Board in 2012. Besides his involvement in Wicca, Morgan has been a member of Golden Dawn for many years, advancing to the Grade of Adeptus Major (6=5). A prolific writer and blogger, Morgan has two Bachelor degrees from the University of Colorado in Denver (history and literary studies). Morgan writes about Golden Dawn, Wicca and other mystery traditions in Hearthstone's newsletter and on his blog at: Musings from the pen: The writer blog of Morgan Drake Eckstein; Gleamings from the Dawn: Thoughts about Golden Dawn from one of its members

Amy, Social Coordinator
Amy joined Hearthstone's Board in 2012. She and her children have attended Open Full Moons for many years since her children were little, toddling around the room. Now two are teenagers! She appreciates that Hearthstone has always been family-friendly. Over the years Amy volunteered in our broader community co-leading children's rituals and learning activities, ensuring that our community's children have opportunities to meet other children with whom to share nature spirituality. Amy also led a number of rites of passage for our children. Hearthstone is happy to have Amy's energy and ideas helping to lead Hearthstone into the future.

Deb, Member At Large
Deb feels a special kinship with Hearthstone; the first ritual she ever attended was Samhain at Hearthstone in 1992. Alia was one of the teachers of her Wicca 101 class, and Deb later became a member of Alia's Life Tree Coven. Deb is now a Wiccan Third Degree high priestess, following an eclectic path. She has studied shamanism, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and currently is a student of Sufism. Deb is an herbalist and a Family Nurse Practitioner. She loves the friendly atmosphere Alia created at Hearthstone and her goal is to help that continue, helping all from the community feel welcome, no matter what path they follow. She joined Hearthstone's Board in 2017.

back to top

History of Hearthstone Open Full Moons

-- M. Alia Denny
Written Aug. 2011

It's hard to believe, but Hearthstone Community Church, Inc. turns 20 years old in August 2011. I was a young (OK, 30) single witch when I started on all of this with Gypsy; she now lives in Portland. I've been married 19 and a half years, and have a very independent minded 17 year old daughter. I get called an "elder" now, and people seem to think that my opinion counts for something. It's been a very interesting trip.

The Open Full Moons were started by Morgan Stott and Bried Foxsong about 23 years ago. They drafted various Priests and Priestesses to perform the ritual, which at that time had a script. (If anyone has a copy of that script, I would love to have it for our archives.) When they became busy with other things, they passed it on to Gypsy and Dove, who started sending out postcards drawn by Dove to remind people of the ritual. At that time we met "informally" at Washington Park in Denver. Eventually Dove moved on to other things, and I started helping Gypsy with the mailings. I (gasp) computerized the mailing list, and printed it off on a dot matrix printer attached to my Apple //gs. Gypsy and I began to encourage officiates to present their own tradition rather than reading from the same script every month.

In August of 1991, we had an "informal gathering" of over 100 people for an Open Full Moon. Gypsy and I felt perhaps it was time for a more formal structure, and we incorporated into Hearthstone Community Church, Inc. that month. The original board members were Gypsy, Southwynde, and me. We discovered that to meet at the park legally it was $125 for the park rent, and about $400 for site insurance per site rental. We couldn't afford that. Someone suggested the Unitarian Church on Capital Hill, and we have been there since.

We started a newsletter then too, and it has been going on fairly consistently since then. We gradually moved more and more to an electronic format, and last year completed the move. I still mail the newsletter sometimes to an expatriate in Kansas; everyone else reads it on line, which is more efficient, ecologically sound, and saves money as well. E-mail, after all, uses 100% recycled pixels, right, Catherine?

Priestesses and Priests now schedule when they will be presenting rituals a year ahead of time. This year we managed to have a different group present every month of the year, a trend I hope to continue in the future.

Please join us on August 12 to celebrate 20 years of Hearthstone being an entrance to the community for folks new to the community; and a haven for some people for as long as 20 years! I'm honored to be a part of the church for so long. We will be having cake and goodies for a small celebration after the ritual.

August 2011

back to top