From the Baron & Baroness: On Core Values

Hello Debatable Lands! Salve Accolens! Hello Neighbors!

Below is a restatement from our letter appearing in the June (2nd Qtr) Althing:

We have long felt and said that the SCA and our Barony is a safe space. A place where we can leave our modern worries at the metaphorical door, and be exactly who we want to be – warriors and artists and leaders and so much more… And you know, while that is true for many of us, to varying degrees, it’s not true for everyone. We are but human. Humans who cannot leave parts of their very selves and souls at the SCA door. We acknowledge this. Now, we ask that we all acknowledge this.

So, what do we do? The SCA does not exist in a vacuum. We are not simply warriors, not simply artisans, not simply leaders, or archers, or builders, or any of the myriad paths that we have the opportunities to follow. The SCA is, at its very heart, based in chivalry and courtesy. It’s in our highest Laws, our highest expectations of ourselves. Our Core Values*.  It’s time we take a hard look at ourselves and what the true meaning of our values are. We must actively seek the ways that our systems, our processes, our words, and above all, our actions, inhibit equity in our game. Every single one of us, even we, your Baron and Baroness, have unconscious bias. We must all examine ourselves, our words, our actions, and the systems that we build and take part in. And above all, when someone tells us that something is wrong – that something in our great hobby is harming them – we must listen.

We will say this, unequivocally: in our Barony, we will no longer turn our heads away from intolerance. We are a people of compassion, reason, and acceptance. *You are welcome here*. Whatever your race, ethnicity, orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, religion, political beliefs, age, socio-economic status, or appearance, you are welcome here. The only thing that is not welcome is intolerance. 

In this self-examination, we are not perfect. Let us be patient with ourselves, let us not rush to judgment, or alienation of friends and neighbors. We say again: we are but human. And humans are flawed. We ask that we all practice kindness, and compassion, and patience, and respect –  as we navigate these current rough waters. 

We know our words this time have far more gravitas that you may be used to hearing from us, and we know that we ask of us all things that may be difficult. Know this: we will continue to hold every last one of you in our hearts, and to strive to keep our vibrant, amazing Barony a fun and welcoming place.

We are here because you believe.

In Levitate et Caritate, and Cheers
Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilda

___________________________

*SCA Statement of Core Values 

In pursuing its mission, the SCA is committed to excellence in its programs, communications and activities and to

∙ act in accordance with the chivalric virtues of honor and service;

∙ value and respect the worth and dignity of all individuals;

∙ practice inclusiveness and respect pluralism and diversity;

∙ promote a safe and respectful environment for all SCA events;

∙ act with transparency, fairness, integrity and honesty;

∙ be a responsible steward of SCA resources; and,

∙ be committed to maintaining the trust of its members and participants.

It is the expectation of the SCA that its members and participants, in all events and activities of the SCA, will conduct themselves in accordance with these tenets.

A Challenge For You!

Hello Debatable Lands! Salve Accolens!

We, your Baron and Baroness, hereby challenge you! In these strange times, it can be difficult to feel the camaraderie, the warmth, the connection among us all. We therefore issue this CONNECTION CHALLENGE:

Between now and the Baronial Social* on Sunday, we challenge those that would like to participate, to call three people that they have not heard the voice of since at least May of this year.

Feel free to use the phone, video chat in the app of your choice, or even an in-person call/visit (all proper precautions, please). CONNECT with your voice, to those folks you have been missing.

And then tell us about it, if you can! Bring your stories from this week to the Social Meeting* on the 20th (1pm), or post to your social media, or our email list. Let’s hear about our connections!

Can we all together make 100 connections? Let’s try!

In Levitate et Caritate, and Cheers,
Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilda

_________

Barony Meeting and Social is on Sunday, September 20th, at 1 pm via Zoom. We’re celebrating AEthelmearc Day, and our connections! Link to the Zoom Room will be posted on our email list, and in the Facebook event (https://www.facebook.com/events/237731854325937) closer to the date of the Social.

Thinking of You

Hello Debatable Lands, from Baroness Hilda! Salve Accolens!

I’m writing to say, I’m thinking of you. Tonight would have been our annual Pennsic Baronial Reception, in a different world. A few hours where our Baronial folks come together, just to chat, eat, see each other… one of my very favorite times different Baronial communities mingle and catch up. Sun or rain, the warmth in our hearts and smiles on our faces are always quite the balm for the soul. We are missing you tonight.

I hope that, this week of all weeks, each of you will reach out to an old friend, or someone you only see at events, someone outside your normal group communications…. At Pennsic we run into these folks that feed our spirits all the time. This year, we must be more deliberate…. Reach out to each other, my friends!

I also wanted to share this bit of Episode 5 of AE Live, the King and Queen’s virtual show, hosted by Baron Brandubh. The theme was “Bling and Brag”, and His Excellency chose to share a video brag, created by Mistress Arianna, of YOU, his Barony.

Here’s the link, video fro 8.50 to 10.45: https://youtu.be/xYfl0Zcel-Y?t=530

Thanks to His Excellency Brandubh, Mistress Arianna, and my beloved Debatable Choir.

See you in the AEther!

In Levitate et Caritate,
Baroness Hilda

Input Requested: Baronial Activities Online

Hello Debatable Lands! Salve Accolens!

By now, you may have heard that the SCA Board of Directors, at the behest of most of the Kingdoms, has suspended all in-person SCA activity until at least January 31, 2021.

Here’s the announcement:
https://www.sca.org/news/resolution-to-suspend-in-person-sca-activity-until-january-31st-2021/

There are provisions for small gatherings like meetings and martial practices, when it is safe and within local regulation to do so. Here in Allegheny County, that may be awhile, as cases of the virus do not seem to be decreasing.

While we can’t hold in-person events, we can continue our activity online! We’d like to hear from YOU! What would you like to see from our Barony over the next 6 months? What would you like to organize and run? Let’s get creative! What shall we do for Barony meetings? For Baronial Courts? Other online gatherings?

What would ignite the fun, passion, and camaraderie?

We’re looking forward to the conversations!

In Levitate et Caritate, Cheers, and In Service,

Baron Brandubh
Baroness Hilda
THL Muirgheal, Baronial Seneschal

Scroll & Award Tour of the Debatable Lands – 6/20

From the vibrant mind of Lady Tierrany Rose Orre:

On Saturday, June 20th at 1pm, we’d love to invite all to participate in a virtual show-and-tell Scroll and Award Tour, via Zoom!

We invite everyone to come and watch, but hope lots will participate in the tour!

If you’d like to join the fun, please choose anywhere from one to five of your favorite scrolls, tokens, and/or awards to share via your webcam, then bring us all on a little trip down Memory Lane, telling us a bit about where, when, and how you received them. It can be as simple as a token received from your favorite Queen’s hand or as ornate as a treasured scroll crafted by a friend. We’d love to see and hear about your items of honor!

We hope this will be a fun chance for our populace to learn a bit about each other, revisit pleasant times past, and view some of the beautiful pieces of artistry the members of our Kingdom (and perhaps others!) have created. Chances are pretty good that you have an item made by one of our barony’s gifted artists… imagine how seeing it once again will make your scribe’s day!

We envision this as a great opportunity to create deeper connections in these disconnected times. Hope to see you there!

Zoom link, when available, will be provided as a reply on the email list, and in the Facebook event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/848414322318730/

On the Pennsic Postponement

Salve Accolens Debatable Lands,

By now, you may have heard the announcement that Pennsic 49 has been postponed to 2021 for the safety of the populace. You can read the words of King Maynard and Queen Liadain on this here. As Their Majesties say, we applaud this difficult decision and the people that agonized over it, including the Pennsic Mayor and staff, and the Primary Kingdom Seneschals, and particularly our own hardworking Kingdom Seneschal, Master Illadore de Bedegrayne.

Our dear friends… we, like you, have heavy hearts today. Like many of you, we feel Pennsic is more than just a convention for a cool hobby…. it’s home. It’s a place to create space outside the mundanities of modern life. A place where strangers and friends alike greet each other with genuine affection. A place where, when you need ANY kind of help, strong hands and smiling faces greet you at every turn. Pennsic is a distillation, in two weeks, in the fields and hills of Western Aethelmearc, of a great part of the love and happiness in our lives. Our hearts ache today. Truly ache.

And yet, we remember today, too, that that happiness and love and joy does not stem from a field in Pennsylvania. It doesn’t come from tents or even camps and fires. It comes from YOU. The peace and well-being of Pennsic is, at its heart, you. Chosen family and friends, joining together in joy and love common interests to stimulate the heart and mind. We are still here!

Dearest Barony, your safety is more important than anything. We can still join in joy and laughter through these strange and difficult times. It’s just going to look a little different for a little while.

We will eventually gather in smaller groups when it is safe to do so. Until then, let us gather aethereally this Sunday, in the Kingdom Zoom Rooms, from 2pm to 4pm. Link to follow. See you there.

With all our love and affection,
In Levitate et Caritate, and Cheers,
Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilda

THL Guillaume Named as Jewel – and more!

Today, Their Majesties held an Æthereal Court – Kingdom Court via Zoom, a video conferencing program. Over 250 people attended, and Their Majesties recognized many worth people. But here, we give our hearty congratulations to the Debatable Landers (and former Debatable Landers):

THL Guillaume le Noir – 48th Jewel of Æthelmearc… Vivat!
Lady Sorcha McKenzie – Order of the Cornelian… Vivat!
THL Gesa von Wellenstein – Queen’s Award of Excellence… Vivat!
Master Illadore de Bedegrayne – Augmentation of Arms… Vivat!
THL Sumayya al Ghaziyyah – Golden Escarbuncle… Vivat!
Baroness Hilderun Hugelmann – Golden Escarbuncle

Congratulations, All!

Note that this Æthereal Court was held on the Kingdom’s new Zoom account, which has 8 channels able to hold simultaneous meetings. Anyone wishing to hold an eSCA activity (personally-hosted or branch-hosted) can request a Zoom Room online here:
http://aethelmearc.org/zoom-room-availability-sign-ups/

If you’re hosting an eSCA activity (personal or official), on ANY platform, and want to be on the Kingdom calendar, use the form here:
http://ae.scaforms.org/view.php?id=53679

See yinz in the Æther!


From Their Majesties

Unto home bound Aethelmerac do Timothy and Gabrielle send greetings,

Things in the world around us are filled with chaos and uncertainty. We have all seen the horror stories of people hoarding things and price gouging things, not caring for their fellow man. However, here in the SCA, we see, hear and read story after story of people looking after the people in their community, whether scadian or mundane. It is very reassuring to be shown time and time again the quality of people who make up the circle of friends we call Aethelmearc and indeed the Society.

While there is a small part of us that is sad that the remaining royal progress events we had scheduled have all been canceled or postponed, We would much rather do what is in the best interests of all our members, and indeed the mundane world around us. We have had a phenomenal time serving this kingdom, and know that these decisions are for the best.

Since so many of you have asked, as of now, the plans for Coronation are still fluid. As of now, Coronation still is planned for April 4th, but it will be very limited, but plans may change, so that the event and ceremony can be a grand celebration worthy of them. They have both always served our Kingdom in with every ounce of energy once could ask for, and we hope their special day can be glorious and memorable.

Most of the items on our court dockets will be absorbed by TRHs, but there are a few that they have graciously allowed us to do as regency courts in their name once things return to normal.

Keep doing those things that make Aethelmearc a model of kindness and generosity that we only wish the world around us would follow. We have been honored and privileged to count ourselves amongst your numbers for many years, and will continue to do so until we no longer walk the earthy,

Timothy and Gabrielle

A&S and Bardic Championships at 12th Night!

Just a quick reminder that both the Baronial Bardic Championship and the Baronial Arts & Sciences Championship are at 12th Night on Saturday!

Any Debatable Lander, or gentle who’s been awarded a friendship (green) Comet is eligible to win, although anyone can display/perform. The new Champions are asked to represent the Barony at the Seven Pearls Champions’ event in the Rhydderich Hael after Pennsic, and to run the Championship next year. They are also asked to display the regalia of their achievement and to stand with us in Baronial Court, if they prefer.

We can’t wait to see your arts!

In Levitate et Caritate, and Cheers,
Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilda

And here’s a little more about each Championship:

From Lady Argentia, current Baronial A&S Champ
Call for entries for the Baronial A&S Display! Show off your latest creations or your current study obsession. If you’re wearing it, just leave a card with what it is that says to see you. Also, it need not be a tangible thing! Are you really into early astrology and divination? Do you have impeccable table manners for an Angelo-Saxon? Can you tell us the signs farmers looked for to know it was safe to plant their seeds? Perhaps you’d just like to set a period table? If so, do a little write up and maybe bring some source materials for us to peruse. It counts! Even a work-in-progress can be put in the display. We want to see your works! Please enter by 1pm.

From Lady Beatrix, current Baronial Bard
Calling all bards!!    Join me, Beatrix, your Baronial Bardic Champion at Debatable Lands 12th night.  
I will be hosting this year’s competition, but more importantly, we are going to fill the hall with music and poetry and merriment all day long.  Open Bardic Circle from 10-12 and again after 2pm. 
Please join me on my cushions and carpets with your favorite song book to share your talents.  All are welcome to join in the singing, playing, recitation and any other performance art, regardless of skill and talent (or confidence).  Let’s sing together and make a joyful noise.  
If you want to participate in the competition, there will be a sign up from 10am to noon and the competition to perform for Their Excellencies will begin at 12:30.    There are no particular rules, but please limit your performance to 5-7 minutes to accommodate all interested participants in the allotted time. 
See you there!