by Stephen A. McNallen
from The Runestone Fall – Winter 1999

January 2, 2000

The lights didn’t go out. Hordes of frenzied cannibal yuppies didn’t fill our streets. Instead of the rattle of automatic weapons, popping champagne corks welcomed in the New Year. Y2K, the collapse of the computerizedd infrastructure of modern civilization, was a nonevent.

Now can we all get back to work?

Our apprehensions consumed much of our energy over the last year or so. Many of us, myself included, spent time and money planning for everything from a power outage to a The End Of The World As We Know It. Quite a few Asatruar turned inward, preoccupied with questions of survival, and the energy feeding into our common religious life dropped off noticeably. This was understandable – but hey, folks, we survived. It’s time to focus on both our private spiritual lives and on the tribal, community aspects of Asatru.

Even though the millennium is a Christian milestone with no religious relevance to us, this is still an appropriate time to ponder the future of the Asatru Folk Assembly. I will be giving a lot of thought to this question in the next hundred days or so. At last August’s Gathering of the Tribes I said I would not be doing “status quo Asatru” in a year’s time, and I was entirely serious. We have to continually examine our actions, even to the point of challenging our basic premises, if we are to keep the AFA on the cutting edge of forward movement in Asatru.

One priority for the coming year? Organizing our Asatru community here in northern California. Between now and the next issue of The Runestone, we will make significant physical improvements on the land. At the same time, we will continue attracting quality individuals and families to our area. Our plan is to build a model community, one which will lure still more Asatruar – and which will inspire others to emulate our success in their own localities.

On another topic – Y2K has come and gone, and now it is time to tackle V1K … Vinland One Thousand! Yes, this is the one thousandth year since Leif Erikson’s first voyage to North America and we must use this as an educational opportunity to enlighten others. We are Vinlanders, and by the end of the coming year we need to make the name of our nation a household word from New York to San Diego and every point in between!

Whatever the shape of our various projects in the coming months and years, we must remember that the AFA did not come into being so that Asatru could be practiced by a handful of the faithful, safely out of sight of the larger society around us. We came to lay the groundwork for fundamental historic changes. I, for one, am not interested in anything less. Any smaller vision, any diminutive and unheroic mission, is not worth our trouble. Join with me as we rise to this challenge and prepare to make our mark on the twenty-first century! Hail the AFA!

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