Mission and Objectives of the Clergy

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30 Apr 2017 00:12 #282471 by Kyber
This post is a measure taken in response to the meeting of 04/29/2017 where it was evidenced the need for restructuring of the clergy. The main objective is to discuss what will be the mission and objectives sustained by the clergy for the coming years, guiding our activities in working with ToTJO.
I ask that the opinions expressed here are not outside the scope of this discussion so that we do not lose the orientation to solve these questions. Below I leave a few questions that can start the discussion. Thank you for your cooperation and I am counting on the decorum of the participants.

What is the role of clergy in ToTJO?
Should we serve people?
Is our role really supportive?
Is there a difference between being a knight and being a cleric?
How can we support people?
What kind of support should we give?
How can we work directly and indirectly for ToTJO's spiritual health?
How do we understand our order? Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?
What is our leadership profile?


These questions do not reflect my opinion, they are just provocative

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30 Apr 2017 01:08 #282475 by Alethea Thompson
I know I'm not part of the clerical group, but I've always seen clergy as:

People who can answer the deeper questions that relate to their particular religion (death, ethical questions, etc)

People that can provide basic level counseling (nothing high end, but have basic communication skills and are aware enough to know when someone needs to be referred to a professional)

Someone that can perform ceremonial rites (marriage, funeral, whatever else ends up arising....as Akkarin proposed to Gabs and Myself as we wrote the program for Jedi Federation: We shouldn't just build random ceremonies for the sake of building them, but build them when they present themselves as necessary, and that's a really good policy- so far only funerals have come up for us).

That's what I believe a clerical role should fulfill. It is entirely supportive of the people. Is there a difference between a knight and a cleric? Well, only if you actually create a difference. Example, Vandor at FA is working to build a Guardian program that focuses less on the mystical side of things, and more on the physical for people that would pursue jobs aligned with protecting people (military, police, etc). But one thing I've noticed, is that here at ToTJO, the knights and clergy are equally capable of producing sermons. If that's all that is required of a clergy member, to write sermons, then no- there really isn't a difference between a knight and a clergy member. They both teach.

And the other question I'll put my answer on is "How do we understand our order? Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?" That is entirely dependent on what type of tradition the individual clergy member specializes in. If they pursue Zen Buddhism (such as Brother John) it would be more Monk status, if they go the route of exploring eclectic Paganism they might identify more as a Shaman, Christianity a priest or prophet (depending on their focus), etc, etc, I think you get the point. So my question would be: Is there a word that encompasses all of these? Jedi Federation and Force Academy chose "Mystic" to embody all systems one might choose. But there might be better ones out there (though, for the record, we certainly don't hold the copyright on the term "Jedi Mystic")
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30 Apr 2017 01:37 #282477 by JLSpinner
Warning this is an opinion haha.

This how I see the role of ranks put into business terms. The council is our senior management. They make the big calls and focus on the future of the business. Knights are our middle management. They are the hands on leaders with more contact with the actual work force(the forums and students). The Clergy is the human resources department. They handle personal matters and help keep moral up. Now this isn't perfect it's just how I see it.

Do the clergy support the temple? Yes. I've seen plenty of occasions in chat where a clergy member has help calm rising emotions or offered alternative solutions to problems.
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30 Apr 2017 05:14 #282482 by Rosalyn J
What is the role of clergy in ToTJO?
To provide spiritual support for those within the virtual walls of this temple

Should we serve people?
Yes
Is our role really supportive?
Yes, our impact may not often be seen, but those who come to us we do help. I would like to see a greater public presence of the clergy
Is there a difference between being a knight and being a cleric?
Yes, as far as I am concerned there can be. A knight is mobile, out in their community. A cleric supports those within the walls of the temple.
How can we support people?
We can support people by filling working to fill the needs that we see that are related to spiritual health. This can be on an individual and collective basis.

What kind of support should we give?
Some ideas I have been thinking of are:
• Round table discussions about “life’s big questions” (why am I? what is my purpose? What happens when I die?” etc.)
• Round table discussions around difficult issues such as prejudice, disability, mental health, marriage and divorce, gender and sexual identity, etc.)
• Decompression sessions. About once every three months, the forum sort of explodes into something off of reality television. Clergy should be on hand to help people through that on an individual basis and or through group chat
• We should be on hand to provide for ceremonies, rituals for our holidays, BUT we really need to figure out what our holidays are and not just pick some that sound good. I also think at the very least that each holiday should be connected to an act of service either on or offsite
• Create written and live sermons that inspire and teach the wider temple the things that we have learned along the hero’s journey
• Provide a place and a “listening ear” to those in the midst of various struggles within their daily life
• Conduct ceremonies for those in our local communities for various important occasions including weddings and funerals
How can we work directly and indirectly for ToTJO's spiritual health?
See above
How do we understand our order? Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?
Jedi Clerics

What is our leadership profile?
I’m not sure what you mean here, can you help me?

Now to answer the posts so far:

Alethea,

People who can answer the deeper questions that relate to their particular religion (death, ethical questions, etc)


I think one of the things that separates Jediism from other religions is that we don’t have hard and fast answers to those questions. One of the things I think clergy need to do is be comfortable with not knowing the answer. When we sit down with someone, we are helping them discover their own answer. What’s the saying? Knowledge gained is better than knowledge given. I also think that it ends up being more authentic that way to, and more likely to change as knowledge changes. So we need to get good at asking questions and sitting and listening…asking more…sitting and listening.

And the other question I'll put my answer on is "How do we understand our order? Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?" That is entirely dependent on what type of tradition the individual clergy member specializes in.
[/quote}
Point well taken

But one thing I've noticed, is that here at ToTJO, the knights and clergy are equally capable of producing sermons. If that's all that is required of a clergy member, to write sermons, then no- there really isn't a difference between a knight and a clergy member. They both teach.


“Capable of” and “Charged with” are different things. Example, I am perfectly capable of finding someone a job, but Job Developer or Vocational Specialist is not my job description. Social Security Advocate is. So what I am trying to bring forward is a group of individuals that understand their charge. Your point is well taken though and I think it speaks to our public presence a bit more than we would like.

JL Spinner

The Clergy is the human resources department. They handle personal matters and help keep moral up. Now this isn't perfect it's just how I see it.


I was a little taken aback by the use of the word “Human Resources”. I guess it just sounds a little off (maybe I just don’t like my company’s HR Dept. :P) I do take your meaning and I think the point is well placed and something in line with the way that I want to see the clergy move forward. Helping people maintain their connection to the temple, to each other, to their spiritual selves, that’s what I hope we will be all about.


Thank you for the responses so far everyone. They have been wonderful food for thought.

Ros


Pax Per Ministerium
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30 Apr 2017 12:54 #282501 by steamboat28
I'll answer each of these questions when I get home from work, but for now I wanted to say this: there was mention of bolstering the clergy's ranks because there aren't many of us. That's unnecessary. The clergy should strive for quality of membership over quantity. Clerical work is not for everyone; it is demanding and time consuming. It is a calling, not a 9-5 or part-time volunteer gig. It's rough. Just something to think about.
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  • Codex
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30 Apr 2017 13:15 - 30 Apr 2017 15:39 #282502 by Codex
Replied by Codex on topic Mission and Objectives of the Clergy

Kyber wrote: What is the role of clergy in ToTJO?
Should we serve people?
Is our role really supportive?
Is there a difference between being a knight and being a cleric?
How can we support people?
What kind of support should we give?
How can we work directly and indirectly for ToTJO's spiritual health?
How do we understand our order? Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?
What is our leadership profile?


I am most thankful with this, I really am. :blush: Because I ehm.. well.. I thought this would happen somewhere else on the minister corner where I could not see it.

What is the role of clergy in ToTJO?
  • Clergy should aid the well being of the Temple trough support, -aid in spiritual development, -guard the code.

  • Should we serve people?
  • Yes, but we should also serve the greater good in doing.

  • Is our role really supportive?
  • Our role is on paper very supportive. I do not know how each individual role is as I am but a seminarian. I am of opinion that the Clergy does hold many individual roles and that they should be taken with the general role of the clergy to determine the actual supportive level of the Clergy.

  • Is there a difference between being a knight and being a cleric?
  • There is a difference between a knight and a cleric, but we should not forget that a cleric is still a knight. One with clerical responsibilities should serve wile not compromising the other. For some Licensed Ministers it is slightly different of course due to the possibility of not being a knight, we should not forget them and their importance. This is a delicate and sacred task and should not be considered lightly. We must be and stay true to both as close as we can.

  • How can we support people?
  • I am of opinion that each minister should embed at least one visible task in their mission, and exercising that task every day or every now and then depending on if it is feasible, in doing one should ensure that each minister is active while not compromising his other personal life elements of course..

  • What kind of support should we give?
  • Sermons, 'confessions', I would like to see that the Clergy becomes an organ of the Temple that also deals with the individual forming of the missions of the members; bring in more action that is visible. Just as a knight possibly has his or her mission, just like that the ministers have and should have their own.
  • We should not forget that the Temple as a whole needs a 'single mission' while not loosing one his identity and freedom of choice as that is important to Jediism of TotJO. The Clergy could also become a supportive organ to aid us to that goal of unification of Jediism of TotJO without loosing the soul of individual Jediism. It is a bit delicate and nuanced, we need our ministers more than ever to understand this nuance, it should become a part of the seminary, a nuance mission program.. ehm.. just a suggestion of course..

  • How can we work directly and indirectly for ToTJO's spiritual health?
  • Directly: having chats with members, build with Jedi on their own mission, try to build a grid of having a chat with everyone at least 2 til 4 times a year. If more always good I guess..
  • Indirectly: sermons, more clerical meetings, easier acces to ministers, maybe an open clerical meeting ones a year so that non clerical members can give their imput on questions that the clergy has formed over the year?
  • The seminary needs to be cleaned up a bit too, a lot of inactive journals. I would like to archive them all in the Clerical Record Document (inactive journals) ones it is all properly sorted out. I am thankful that people are open for this particular sugestion. It is already being suggested earlier so just mentioning it here for administrative purpose.

  • How do we understand our order? Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?
  • I find it weird that we have honorable ranks besides the actual ranks. I would love to see Bishops having more duties in the temple, and I would love to see priests having a more written out mission than deacons. I am not sure I understand anything as I am just a seminarian.. I need to learn more to actually understand anything.

  • What is our leadership profile?
  • I am not sure that I am in position to answer this question.

  • May the Force shine with you,

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    Last edit: 30 Apr 2017 15:39 by Codex.

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    • MartaLina
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    30 Apr 2017 14:36 #282514 by MartaLina
    Replied by MartaLina on topic Mission and Objectives of the Clergy
    What is the role of clergy in ToTJO?
    *the role of the clergy is to maintain and ensure spiritual growth of the Temple and its individual members
    *to give guidance to the ones who need it and have a listening ear
    *to interfere when TotJO as a sacred and learning place sways from its mission
    *to help people find the right help if talking to the clergy is not sufficient and there are more problems than the clergy can handle , this part is very important because in our zeal to help people one might not refer them to a more professional kind of help.
    Should we serve people?
    is this a serious question and if so , duh yeah...
    Is our role really supportive?
    As one who can be mixed up and confused i can safely say the clergy here is supportive , even if i don't agree with them a lot of time , i find their support a very valuable addition to this wonderful learning place
    Is there a difference between being a knight and being a cleric?
    Yes , i am a Knight i am kind of a workhorse not so concerned with the delicate matters that come with faith , i am protective and i am not afraid to attack when necessary, Codex is a cleric , he will be a Knight one day but he is much more at home in the diplomatic and vulnerable issues that come with being a clergy member than i would ever be.
    How can we support people?
    *Build more rapport with the members
    *Assess what is needed
    *Groupchats for sensitive issues that keep coming back , rape , suicide etc.
    What kind of support should we give?
    See above
    How can we work directly and indirectly for ToTJO's spiritual health?
    *Just BE there
    *Listen
    *Don't be too steering
    *Make clergy member write sermons , i know , i know , i keep bangin on about that but it's a great way to learn , and they don't have to publish them.
    *And last but not least , make us get interested in reading the sermons , attending them , so that our understanding of the Force grows
    How do we understand our order? Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?
    I don't really see the difference in those ? A bit of everything and some sauce to go ;)
    What is our leadership profile?
    That is up to you to decide and build , i wish you good luck and a lot of Force wisdom

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    01 May 2017 02:19 #282611 by steamboat28
    • What is the role of clergy in ToTJO?
      The role of clergy in TOTJO should be the same as the role of clergy elsewhere: to provide spiritual support for those under our care.
    • Should we serve people?
    • Clerical work is nothing but service.[/li]
    • Is our role really supportive?
      100%
    • Is there a difference between being a knight and being a cleric?
      Yes. Knights carry teachings to future generations and are ambassadors of the Jedi, but clergy serves from within. This is why one can be both, or neither, in addition to simply being one.
    • How can we support people?
      Showing care and giving aid, rallying behind those in changes of life, counseling those who need it in what limited manner we can.
    • What kind of support should we give?
      ^
    • How can we work directly and indirectly for ToTJO's spiritual health?
      By being proactive about responding to membership needs.
    • How do we understand our order? Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?
      Guides.
    • What is our leadership profile?
      We lead by example.
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    • Kyber
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    01 May 2017 15:18 #282655 by Kyber
    Replied by Kyber on topic Mission and Objectives of the Clergy
    When I asked these questions it was only provocatively, they did not have to respond so promptly, but I'm glad most of them liked to follow that model.

    I agree with SteamBoat. Clerical work is not for everyone, only for those who have this disposition and different from the knights who take care of more material questions, we have to take care of more metaphysical and often complex issues which requires special training. This is my vision, a line takes care of things related to practice and daily life while we build a religion that does not hold the old standards, but transcends the knowledge that holds us and this often passes through the immaterial.

    My dream for the clergy is to have an order that works to help the people of the temple, where the people themselves come to look for us.At that moment we have many people in the temple, people who suffer from the prejudice of their ethnicity, their ideologies, disabilities, gender, physical and verbal abuse, suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts, depression, bipolarity, etc. Do I know how to solve some of these dilemmas? Yes, at least the ones I've lived in I can advise better. The rest I can look for solutions, even if it is telling the person to look for a psychologist, doctor or law enforcement authority. And even though I can not do anything, I can hear and console, we call it captivating (as it says in the book Le petit prince).

    ==> One thing I think we need to bring to the temple is the question of feminism. Not a radical thing, but bring this dialogue to the temple so that some paradigms are broken and many things are revised. Maybe I'm running into personal and delicate issues? Probably, but I'd rather be a bit rude and nosy to fold my arms.

    ==>
    Our current problem, in my view, is that we are stuck on issues that are bureaucratic and about identity to our order. In the meantime, we have not created a channel to help these people. So I decided to create the motivational project and so I want to create several other projects, put people to work on them and let those reap the fruits of this project.

    ==>
    First of all, my idea was to divide the clergy into work fronts. Each one or two members lead a project and give some autonomy to the people, leaving the Synod and the Council free with more bureaucratic issues.

    ==> Another proposal I have is to untie the authority that council has on the clergy and make our order a democratic issue, leaving the synod not with the decision function, but only with coordination, but with all decisions being voted by the members of the clergy themselves. The council could have a representative within the clergy to bring the vision of the council to us, but it is up to us to decide, obviously respecting the rules of the temple.

    ==> As for the ranks, I think we can wait to change those names until we have a really good idea. For all intents and purposes are just names that tell us how long we are on this walk and what we learn from it. Nothing else.

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    01 May 2017 15:41 #282659 by steamboat28
    Buraeucratic issues are important ones, though, because by establishing an effective hierarchy and discussing those things in that framework, we can get to where we need to be faster.

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