What would help the Temple Be A Better Place? Suggestions please...

12 Jul 2017 16:56 - 12 Jul 2017 16:57 #290598 by Wescli Wardest
In addition to my previous post...

We have said for years now that Council is really just a body of people that do the day to day stuff that keeps the site running. That the ultimate goal is to have the knights run the Temple, have more knights in Officer Positions and the members come up with the stuff that explores Jediism.

You all are Jediism. You’re studying and sharing and growing and bringing Jediism further into the light of the world every day. You set the tone for what it will become and should have a say in what a Jedi is. Not a handful of people that basically won a popularity contest. (and that's basically what we are) Just because we are in an administrative capacity on an internet website does not make us the moral arbiters of your spiritual development. Nor does it make us smarter, wiser or “know” what is best for you, Jediism or your spiritual path. No matter what capacity, office or role one of the elected or appointed people holds that remains true.

And I would caution you to question anyone who say, believes or implies otherwise.

That is in part why the IP is self-paced. We are not supposed to tell you what to believe. What is true. Or what you should think or get from something. Who the hell are we to tell you what your spiritual course should take or what you should believe. We’re just people setting behind a desk and typing stuff out for an internet web site. And the stuff that was picked for the IP is there because we thought it would give you the most exposure to a basic set of ideas that we shared at one point. Something to start you on your journey. It is not the end all or be all of wisdom.

Just as your path is for you to discover. Just as you have to find the knowledge that you seek and just as your spiritual journey is in your hands, so is the future of what happens.

And just as is mentioned in several places throughout out the IP, extended lessons, and books of wisdom throughout the world, be weary of self-proclaimed gurus.

Monastic Order of Knights
Last edit: 12 Jul 2017 16:57 by Wescli Wardest.
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12 Jul 2017 17:01 #290600 by Goken
Cabur, as usual, that was wonderfully well put. Tzb, also great points made very well. What I take from these most recent posts is (prepare for Goken's unofficial catchphrase) it's about balance. B)

Sure there are plenty of things that the Council can and should do and we need to hold them accountable, but we are also all in charge of our own paths and experiences. Ask both what can they do and what can I do.

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12 Jul 2017 17:06 #290601 by Rosalyn J
I agree. I think the new approach, sending things in small peices is a little better than sending a whole package through, but we shall see

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12 Jul 2017 17:08 #290602 by Breeze el Tierno

tzb wrote: Given many actions undertaken here, even those which already have officer-led administrative bodies attached (eg from my immediate experience any amendment to any clerical documentation, training etc) must pass through them, and are I would say regularly blocked (or "hung up") by them, that's not really possible.

If the Council were to delegate responsibility to Officers a little more, that would be a great opportunity for the community to feel empowered and for that situation to come about. As it is, we even HAVE the Officers you'd need to make that happen...

So two options present themselves... either loosen the grip and focus on keeping the lights on and floor clean, or make the Council more effective. Up to this post I've focused on the latter, but there's loads of room for the former.

A fair point. I would like them to be the most efficient broom-pushers possible. ;)

Over the few years tha tI have been here, my priorities have shifted around several times. Speaking for myself, the things that I think are the most important (continued training of myself and others) do not require them overmuch.

I relaize that my priorities are not the only priorities. I just wonder if some of our focus, temple-wide, is misplaced.
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12 Jul 2017 17:09 #290603 by tzb
Another thing which would make the Temple a better place:

Not making all posts Subscribe by default. Drives me mad! :blink:

*unsubscribes from two posts he forgot to untick in 2 minutes*

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12 Jul 2017 18:37 #290613 by Atticus

tzb wrote: Another thing which would make the Temple a better place:

Not making all posts Subscribe by default. Drives me mad! :blink:

While I appreciate the touch of levity, this is a real thing. I second Stu's request, for the sake of my work-related sanity. :D

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12 Jul 2017 18:39 #290614 by Rosalyn J
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12 Jul 2017 18:57 #290616 by Senan
What I'm hearing is a need for accountability on all sides.

As a Knight myself and being in contact with others, I'll continue to keep track of these suggestions and start encouraging (harassing :) ) Knights to step up and start doing what we can on our own. We will also look to Apprentices to help where they can and also continue to solicit ideas for improvement. As part of the TOTJO Times staff, I'l make sure we include a page updating the progress on various projects and who is accountable.

When we hit stumbling blocks along the way, my hope is that we can get timely support from Council to remove those blocks and offer approvals before the efforts fizzle, or to decisively squash them before we waste too much time and effort on anything that will ultimately never get through.

Time to go to work, Jedi. Less talk and more action!

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14 Jul 2017 16:35 #290859 by Senan
Based on some suggestions made here, some Knights and Councillors have been working hard behind the scenes to make some changes, so I want to share this progress update with everyone in order to be transparent and keep everyone here in our Temple in the know.

• Use a different chat client that doesn’t interfere with the site/ability to open a separate window - Our IT whiz Ren has looked at many other alternatives, but they don't work with our current website template well. For now, we'll make the best of what we have, but he is always looking for solutions.
• Broken links in the FAQ and Library - Knight Zenchi is working with others to identify and fix these. If you notice something, let us know!
• Website color theme - The colors can be changed and will be eventually, but functionality of the site is more important right now. Once everything else is stable, we'll begin the cosmetic makeover :)
Removing the Auto Subscribe feature from forum posts - DONE! Thanks to Ren for discovering the bug and fixing this! :cheer:
• Require IP completion in order to become a member - Consensus so far seems to be "NO", but discussions are ongoing about rank and status names, whether to combine or eliminate any, and what access each should have in forums.
• Support more causes/fundraising - We're looking at ways to support the wider community, but the focus now is our own financial well being. We are a charity too, after all.
• Create original material for the IP - Any material should be shared with Knights first, then we will pass it along to the Degree Scheme Administrator and Council for review. It is also valuable to look at the huge number of Sermons that have been contributed by members here. This is our original work!
• Meditation Forum/focus - Knight JLSpinner and Knight Kit have expressed interest in working on this project. You should see a home for meditation topics in the forum soon.

These are just a few of the topics immediately relevant to the Temple. Our Council continues to perform day to day administrative duties as well, and our Clergy has been very busy updating the policies for the Clergy in general and Seminary Training. We're making progress, even if it seems slow at times. Keep the ideas coming and don't be afraid to offer your skills or assistance if you think you can be of help with any improvements.

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14 Jul 2017 18:39 - 14 Jul 2017 18:41 #290876 by Locksley
How cool to see so many ideas that have such a positive bent to them.
Some of the things the Temple might want to do more of, like support specific causes, or offer funds to more Jedi who are actively engaged in some social project, require funds. To that end I'd suggest a more obvious "support us" section of the site, which quickly explains how money collected in this pool will generally be spent, and allows anyone who wants to donate to do so quickly, securely, and easily.

Perhaps a yearly winter fundraiser as well? All of the Council members could write a letter to the Temple that goes over the events of the previous year, the hopes and plans for the next one, and in this way tries to set a clear path for how the Temple will progress. This sort of thing could also help draw in those necessary supporting funds.

The IP could be cleaned up a little more, and perhaps elongated to cover a few crucial elements it is currently missing. It could have a greater focus on comparative religion, a section dealing with how a Jedi behaves and relates within and to the social sphere (Jedi are servants within society, after all). I also don't think it'd be too much to include an optional add-on module to the IP that deals specifically with improving English grammar, spelling, and structure. Even if it was just a collection of links, and a few simple exercises, that would be dramatically helpful.

Accountability and accessibility to the leaders here on the Temple. Right now I feel like there's a divide between people at the "top" and everyone else. I have no idea what the people "up there" are thinking and saying, really. I might not agree with them at all, or I might really want to hear their ideas. There should be more visibility of all those "behind the scenes" aspects of the Temple.

An impartial interior legal system is an absolute must-have, as this organization grows. A group that has power to override other branches of the Temple on certain issues, can act as arbiter in disputes, and can defend the interests of members.

This is a big one for me: more differentiation between members and actual Jedi. I think this could be achieved through simple forum limitations. A post limit, or perhaps a limitation on where non-Jedi can post, and what they can see. This might slow down the forum conversations slightly (which might not be a totally bad thing, actually), but I believe it would be a good idea to start focusing on the opinions of people who are actively and actually interested in being Jedi (with case-by-case exceptions made for specific circumstances, like ex-Jedi who are in good standing).

A specific section of the forum dedicated to "hot-button" issues. If you want to post something that might be inflammatory (and you're seriously interested in a discussion) you can post it here. This frees up the rest of the forums a little. To go along with this, a more clear and readily accessible "rules of decorum" for how to behave on the forum at-large.
Last edit: 14 Jul 2017 18:41 by Locksley.
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