AEthelmearcUnto Glorious Æthelmearc do Timothy and Gabrielle send greetings,

At Our Coronation this past weekend, We announced Our Spark Challenge: Our way of encouraging folks to discover, or rediscover the magic that Our Kingdom and the Society as a whole offer. Any and all are invited to give pearls, any and all are invited to receive pearls. We distributed about 1,000 at Coronation to the Landed Barons and Baronesses, the Kingdom officers and the Peers we could, but that was just to get the ball rolling.

The idea is simple. Try something out of your usual range of activities. You may find yourself in love with your hobby all over again in ways you never thought possible. The things available to do are quite literally innumerable. Broaden your horizons. Never thrown axes or knives? Go to a thrown weapons practice. Are you comfortable at calligraphy and Illumination but afraid to try gilding? We are sure there is someone willing to teach you. Always curious about fighting heavy, but could never get up the nerve? Give it a shot. There are dozens of folks who would love to show you how it is done. Attend a class or a Curia. Sit through a court. Submit a device. Go to a bardic circle. Volunteer at Troll or in the kitchen. You’ll have fun, and hopefully meet new people and make new friends. At Melee Madness, Timothy will be doing something way, way out of his comfort zone (ask any of the equestrians about Tim and horses).

At any time after Crown Tournament, please come up to Us and show Us your 8 pearls, and better still, tell us a story or two of how much fun you had. We will gladly present you with a token commemorating the completion of your quest, and hopefully, the beginning of a magical new chapter in your SCA career.

In service to Æthelmearc ,
Timothy and Gabrielle

The Spark Challenge FAQ:

• Am I giving pearls out or am I trying to earn them?

Both! The spirit of the challenge is to encourage everyone to try something new and to recognize the effort that others are putting into the Society. If you are teaching a class, running an event, or organizing a marshal activity, TRMs hope that you would present a pearl to those individuals who are new to the activity or coming back after an extended absence.

• Is this for new people or everyone?

Both! New members are encouraged to explore all that the Society has to offer. However, long-time participants are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and try something different.

• What if I’ve already done a lot of things?

There are many different aspects of the Society. Some possible activities include retaining, teaching, taking classes, or participating in different martial activities.

• What do I do with the pearls?

Anything you want! You can add them to garb, make jewelry, give them to a special friend, or recognize someone else doing something new. Just make a point to show your collection to TRMs.