Mission Statement

We are dedicated to protecting the rights and practices of visionary churches across North America, while building bridges for spiritual practice across the Americas. Our mission goals include:

      • Working for the legal rights of the visionary-church community
      • Advancing education and support among North American churches communing through visionary sacraments
      • Raising awareness on the legitimacy of Ayahuasca in religious practice
      • Sponsoring educational opportunities on topics related to visionary plant sacraments and best practices among visionary churches. 
      • Cultural outreach by member churches for sharing their positive work in society
      • Advancing interfaith practices in growing healthy communities
      • Supporting visionary churches in raising their collective voice
      • Outreach to all faiths, the medical community,  and academia
      • Furthering a return of spiritual practice within the medical practice
      • Outreach to South American based churches for common cause
      • Establishing clear, safe, and legal pathways for the importation of Ayahuasca into North America for the benefit of member churches

 

About Us

NAAVC is ecumenical in serving a broad range of churches with legal, informational, and network support in the protection of their rights for the free practice of religion.  As a California state non-profit (2019), NAAVC is reaching out to visionary churches interested in becoming founding members.  NAAVC is an organization of churches seeking to support their rights for their free expression of religion.  We have a three-person governing board in addition to an Organizing and Legal Advisory board. Membership is private and confidential.  

 

Membership

Membership is for North American based churches engaged in the sacramental use of Ayahuasca and other sacramental plants.  Being a member doesn’t confer special legal rights or privileges; rather, it’s a way for visionary churches to stand together to protect their common right to the free practice of religion.  There’s strength in numbers, and power in solidarity.  Membership lists are shared only with other member churches, and will be protected from disclosure by all lawful means.   

Who should join?

    • Churches whose leaders understand that by standing together, we can advance our common cause most effectively.
    • Churches seeking legally protected status for their spiritual practice and communion services
    • Churches doing pro-social work in a safe environment.   
    • Churches seeking to establish visionary spiritual practice for today and future generations.
    • Churches participating in a growing social movement to advance the truly free practice of visionary religion.
    • Churches that are ready to say . . . “We’re a church working with other churches to secure our rights to a free and open spiritual practice.”

When you register you’ll have the opportunity to either share or not share your church contact information with other churches.

Annual membership is $200.  Churches applying before October 1, 2019 will become NAAVC founding members.

 

 

FAQ

What is the NAAVC?

We are a non-profit group serving North American churches engaged in the use of visionary sacraments.

NAAVC is ecumenical in serving a broad range of churches with legal, informational, and networking support for the maintenance of their rights to the free expression of religion.

 

Why join?

Be proactive about your church’s legal status.  If you represent a church doing pro-social work in a safe environment, joining NAAVC will put your church leadership in touch with other likeminded churches to protect our chosen spiritual practice today and for future generations. 

 

Will our membership list be kept confidential?

When you register you’ll have the opportunity to either share or not share your church contact information with other churches.  Member churches can enjoy the benefits of NAAVC’s legal strategy without having their identity revealed to the public or to law enforcement authorities.

 

How will NAAVC serve its member churches?

Our membership receives regular newsletters with legal updates on court cases and government policy changes potentially effecting member churches.  Member churches that wish to have an attorney review their practices and procedures for legal compliance will have access to direct consultations at membership rates on federal law with our staff attorney after a legally-required conflict check.  NAAVC will be building a “brief bank” of relevant authorities accessible to attorneys representing NAAVC member churches.  In addition, we support our membership by facilitating pathways to communication between churches and the wider communities they serve.

 

What was the inspiration for starting the NAAVC?

Necessity.  We saw a common need among churches for an organization that can advance the interests of visionary churches as a whole.  We also saw a need to acknowledge the common practices and religious sentiment among visionary churches.  In addition, we acknowledged that legal obstacles remain for visionary churches seeking to exercise their religious rights.  The NAAVC is stepping in to fill a gap. We see common interests and common goals among churches. We’re inspired by the potential for cross-affiliating between churches of varying practice, but common interest.   We believe there’s strength in numbers, and that the community is ready to move forward into a new era in which visionary churches are able to practice completely free of legal concerns.

 

Does NAAVC have a legal strategy?

Yes.  NAAVC’s legal strategy is focused on helping member churches obtain the greatest possible level of legal protection for their spiritual beliefs and communion practices.  NAAVC’s Staff Attorney has over thirty years in practice and a deep background in both federal criminal defense and state court prosecution, is strongly committed to the cause of visionary religion, and during the past year has collaborated with a team of like-minded attorneys to prepare a series of legal analyses that outline how visionary churches can fully realize the promise of free exercise of religion held out by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First Amendment, and controlling judicial rulings.  The goal of NAAVC’s legal agenda is to act cautiously and wisely to secure clear lawful status for member churches while helping them to protect themselves from all foreseeable legal hazards.

 

Are the legal analyses supporting NAAVC’s legal strategy available for review?

Yes.  Access them by clicking the following links.

It’s Time for an Association of Visionary Churches to Stand Up and Claim the Religious Freedom To Which They Are Entitled   by Charles Carreon 

Be Careful What You Wish For — The Peril of Regulated Status for Psychedelic Churches by Charles Carreon

The DEA’s Guidance Regarding Petitions for Religious Exemption from the Controlled Substances Act under RFRA: Door to Religious Freedom or Fifth Amendment Trap for the Unwary?   by Charles Carreon

 

Contact Us

North American Association of Visionary Churches (NAAVC)

1 Sansome Street
Suite 3500
San Francisco, CA 94104

Tel: 1-415-992-8172

Email: action@NAAVC.org