Monthly report of the Synod

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30 Jul 2017 15:21 #293567 by Atticus
Monthly report of the Synod was created by Atticus
Synod report - July 2017

You've undoubtedly noticed that the entire Temple is undergoing a period of growth and change at the moment, and the Clergy is no exception. Here's what the Synod and the Clergy have been working on in the month past:

Synod reorganization - The Synod went from two members to four at the conclusion of the elections for Associate Pastor and Secretary for the Clergy on 3 July. Getting access and permissions squared away went smoothly thanks to Ren, Rosalyn J, and the members of the Council.

Clergy contact form - One of the most exciting developments this month was the launch of a function on the Temple website to request clerical counsel. The roll-out went much more smoothly and quickly than we anticipated (thanks again, Ren!), and it's up and running already.

Outreach initiative - The Clergy contact form is just one piece of a broader project to put clerical outreach at the forefront of the work we do as Clergy and office-holders, but it's the visible piece. Behind the scenes, though, Associate Pastor tzb has been working to assemble a team, including Knights Carlos and JLSpinner, to advance our outreach goals. We want the Clergy to be proactive as well as responsive, available to lend support to members and guests alike, and we get closer to that goal every day.

Seminary program restructure - While the proposed expanded Seminary program went live for comment just last month, this has been in the works for well over a year. In the past month, we have put together two additional proposed lessons in response to comments, but this is still very much a work in progress. If you're in the Seminary and putting off continued studies until the program is sorted, don't put it off any longer; no lesson in the current curriculum is wasted, and you'll get full credit for all the progress you've made no matter how the new program turns out.

Bylaws - The Synod has been working for several months on composing a set of bylaws that will govern the manner in which the Synod and the broader Clergy will conduct business. This is our contract with you, as members of the Temple, so we are taking our time to make certain that before a draft is posted for review by the general Clergy, it clearly reflects policies that are supported by both our history and our Doctrine. Some of those policy decisions are dependent on discussions that are still in progress, however, so this month, we have been working to identify what important policies and processes have not yet been addressed in the drafting process.

Normal business - So the items above are the big projects, but we continue to keep the floors swept and the lights on every day. We welcomed our newest Minister, JLSpinner, to the Clergy, and we have 10 Seminarians active with progress in the past 60 days. We've sorted out the requirements for issuance of a temporary license and made the appropriate edits to the FAQ to reflect the new policies, and the first Member to apply for temporary licensing under the new requirements has successfully completed them. And our Clergy and Seminarians continue to publish sermons for the Temple every Saturday, with occasional bonus sermons or live services.

In addition to our daily tasks, we in the Synod have all recommitted ourselves to continuing our own studies, whether in advanced Seminary, our degree or Apprentice journals, or in our offline ministries. Or all of the above. This is a direct result of one of the Pastor's first charges to the new Synod, and it was met with unanimous and enthusiastic agreement.

Finally, in response to a long-running conversation about the Christian influence evident in our clerical titles, the Clergy is currently voting on a renaming scheme. The vote is not yet closed, but we will be announcing the results as soon as we know them.

This is an exciting time to be a member of the Temple and of the Clergy. I hope you agree.

Please don't hesitate to direct any questions you may have about the Synod or its business to me or to JK. We want to be as completely transparent with our members as it is possible for us to be.

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