Below are our Frequently Asked Questions. These questions are updated as we receive them, or if we feel there is other precedence to add to or modify them. Our FAQ is meant to address the real questions we received from curious individuals. If there is a question you have that isn’t addressed by our FAQ or by any of our other pages, feel free to email us at info@fornsidrofamerica.org.

Why does Forn Sidr of America call itself a ‘church’?

In order to become a recognized religious entity in the United States, an organization must register as a 501(c)(3) Church. We use “church” as a way to demonstrate we have this registered status and can operate as a religious entity for our membership body and followers. However, we do not call our houses of worship “churches,” but instead use the word “hof,” which means “hall.”

Do you offer religious beard accommodations for those serving in the US military?

We do not. You may read our official statement regarding beard accommodations here.

What do you mean by ‘Universalist Heathenry’?

Universalist Heathenry celebrates the various beliefs and practices present in Heathenry. How faith is expressed should be determined by the individual, not a committee or institution. Universalist Heathenry celebrates the veneration of any and all Powers that the practitioner deems sacred. Additionally, it affirms that the Norse Powers and Deities love and accept all who come to them, instead of focusing on Germanic lineage and genetic purity.

What do you mean by ‘Humanist Heathenry’?

By ‘Humanism’ we mean that we put the needs and well-being of the whole person before creeds, doctrine, or dogma. We feel this is important for any modern religious movement.

How will you ensure the safety and acceptance of LGBTQIA+?

As part of the LGBTQIA+ community, our leadership is very aware that achieving this is a multi-step process. It involves a shift in accepting language, promotion of used pronouns, and other small but vital changes. We are committed to educating leaders and community facilitators in how to validate and protect LGBTQIA+ identities, as well as how to appropriately handle bias incidents. This begins with an Inclusion and Diversity Agreement and is solidified in how members and leadership exemplify our community standards of love and compassion daily.

How will you represent and empower minorities?

We recognize that implicit biases and systems of oppression exist in the world, and therefore will exist within our community. Breaking down inequities between our fellows starts with us and it starts in our immediate communities. We are committed to continuing our education on empowering minorities in our community and through representation in leadership. Additionally, we will establish a permanent position of Social Justice Director to be held by a person who directly experiences and understands the effects of social iniquity first-hand.

How will you ensure safe spaces for minorities?

As a faith organization, it is the responsibility of leadership to ensure the safety of everyone in our spaces; with special consideration for those who are consistently at risk from biases, microaggressions, discrimination, and extremist violence. We are committed to educating and training our leadership and community facilitators in communication and social justice. They will be equipped to safely and appropriately engage in conflict resolution, de-escalation, and, when necessary, removal of the person expressing aggression. Restoring equity between our fellows is not a single lesson, but an ongoing education in compassion and awareness.

How will you confront discrimination, hate, and violent extremism?

Extremist ideologies have no place in a faith that is built on community and compassion. However, we also recognize that their proliferation is a complex problem that uses subtle methods to spread fear and distrust. In light of the growing extremism exhibited by self-proclaimed “Asatru” world-wide, our faith must take responsibility in confronting these threats. We have and will continue to consult professional experts who can provide the appropriate procedures and tools for confronting violent extremism, in and outside of our immediate community.

How will you protect victims and offer alternatives to Hate?

We will not be complacent when it comes to addressing incidents where extremist hate is exhibited. All leadership, staff, members, and guests will be held accountable for their rhetoric and behavior while within our spaces. Conflict resolution will focus on the protection of the victim and removal of the aggressor immediately following an incident. If an individual within our spaces consistently expresses extremist ideologies, we will refer them to groups that specialize in helping them leave Hate Groups. When necessary, incident reports will be filed, investigations will be conducted, and/or the proper authorities notified.

Will you have a Membership?

Yes! Once we have the startup funds we need, we will file our registration as a religious faith organization that includes memberships. Members of a religious non-profit, such a Forn Sidr of America, become part-owners and therefore attain voting rights, a voice in community decisions, funds utilization, and part of the organization itself. While Membership is not required to access our Heathen resources, they will grant additional benefits in the form of perks such as workshop discounts, first access to new materials at discount, priority signup options, and more. We hope you will join us and help us build a community that best serves you!

Will you have Chapters?

Yes! With the opening of Memberships will also come the opportunity to apply for Chapter appointment. Chapters within religious organizations are recognized Churches and can therefore offer their own religious and spiritual services. Once accepted, we will provide training tools and resources to the leadership. We would love to have your Group or Kindred become an official chapter of Forn Sidr of America.

Do I need to be a member to access your resources?

All of our educational content is 100% free. You do not need to be a member of Forn Sidr of America to access our resources. We believe Heathenry should be available and accommodating to everyone. Hiding our resources behind a paywall would be antithetical to this belief.

What will my contribution be used for?

By donating to Forn Sidr of America, you are helping us cover the initial costs we have for startup; including fees for filing 501c3 paperwork to become an official Non-profit organization in the US. Together we can build a Universalist Heathen organization that will hopefully serve the faith needs of future generations.

Are you affiliated with Forn Siðr of Denmark?

We have no affiliation with the Forn Siðr group in Denmark that expresses sentiments of White Nationalism and White Supremacy. We chose the anglicized name ‘Forn Sidr’ due to the inclusive views of the Forn Sed organizations in other Scandinavian countries. We also chose it because ‘Forn Sidr’ has never been used in the Americas before.

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