Discussion: TotJO Culture Problems

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24 Dec 2017 00:00 #309506 by Senan
Replied by Senan on topic Discussion: TotJO Culture Problems
So, what I see here is a need for clear guidelines about what we can and can’t offer as a church along with clear steps we will take when behavior issues arise. This will be provided to all members and we will answer any questions that arise from it. This is being worked on as I write this.

Next, our Clergy will continue efforts to reach out and support those in need while still being conscious of when outside professional help is more appropriate. This has always been the case, but we can make these efforts more obvious to the membership at large.

We will encourage everyone here to act with patience and compassion and take interpersonal drama out of the public forum and into PMs. This could include a new lesson in the IP and/or lessons required for those who need a refresher after an incident.

As a Security Officer, I realize that this will create an increased need for me to be attentive, transparent, and fair while enforcing the agreed upon code of conduct. I will do my best to be strict, but also understanding and open to criticism. I am prepared to take a more active role, but like Atticus points out about Clergy, I will need help from people who notice things going South before they get out of control. PM me, hit me up on Skype, contact me on Facebook Messenger, whatever works and I’ll respond as soon as possible. I will also publicly explain any actions I take in order to allow oversight from others and prevent any sense of favoritism.

We’re in this together, and we’re taking the appropriate steps to improve this Temple. Thank you all for the input and for supporting the leadership here as we try to enact these improvements.

Where there is doubt, faith.

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24 Dec 2017 00:04 #309507 by Rosalyn J
Ah so one of the issues is that that Contact Clergy button is nameless?

In response to twigga, we can defenately make a "clergy: who we are thread"

we could probably do something like a "meet the team" for all offices

Pax Per Ministerium
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24 Dec 2017 01:09 #309514 by Atticus
Replied by Atticus on topic Discussion: TotJO Culture Problems

Stephen wrote: I tried to use the contact Clergy button and the form to fill out was easy to fill out.
But, to write down a personal question about your faith / belief and then send it to ? I don't know who. Then hope to get an email or whatever response some time soon.
It felt like filing a request. Not sending a message to a spiritual guide.
I would have liked to know who the Clergy were and how to PM them.
This is a Temple / a Church.
The Clergy or Cleric or Pastor should be easy to contact / message.
I hope my experience can be used in a positive way. It is not a bad thing if knowledge is gained.


It's funny, the "contact clergy" button was created to make it easier for people to reach us without having to ask around or without us having to link to the FAQ. If it's not having the desired effect of making the respondent feel comfortable, perhaps we need to rework it.

When I first read your response, Stephen, what popped into my head was when you click on "contact clergy," you get a pop-up 30-second video of half a dozen or so of us introducing ourselves and what we do and what we can offer. I have no idea whether it would be do-able (Tom?) so maybe a "meet the clergy" thread would be the next best thing.




(And then I'll push for video submissions from the clergy to add to it. :D )

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24 Dec 2017 01:19 #309520 by steamboat28
Atticus, I'm working on a project that could dovetail that one. Pm me if that idea goes forward, please.
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24 Dec 2017 01:40 #309523 by Atticus
Replied by Atticus on topic Discussion: TotJO Culture Problems

steamboat28 wrote: Atticus, I'm working on a project that could dovetail that one. Pm me if that idea goes forward, please.


Absolutely, mi amigo. :)

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26 Dec 2017 06:55 #309728 by Lykeios Little Raven
I’ve been reading through this topic for days now, just observing what people are saying and restraining myself from chiming in unnecessarily.

Now, however, I’d like to add something for everyone to consider on this topic.

Before I “say” this I want to make a few things clear. I am not writing this post to minimize or denigrate anyone’s issues here at the Temple in anyway. This is not an attack on anyone’s feelings or concerns about how things are done around here. I am merely bringing this up due to my own observations and opinions.

I think it’s important for us all to think about how high our expectations are about the Temple and the services it offers. It seems to me that many of us (myself included at times) are perhaps expecting a little too much from the Temple. We should keep in mind the fact that no one here is getting paid for their service to the Temple. While this is a church, it doesn’t function like other churches. Our clergy members are not paid. The Council is not a board of directors who are compensated for their time. Some of the people “running” things put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to make this place function and run smoothly. It is important for us all to remember that everyone has a life to live away from the Temple. We all work (or go to school or both) and take care of our families.

The Jedi path, as is emphasized by the Temple and other groups in the community at large, is a path of self-actualization, self-improvement, self-discovery, self-blah-blah-blah. “The path,” just like life, is what you make it. The Temple is, from my perspective, a place that provides support, training/education, and, when necessary, spiritual guidance. It is not, as people have pointed out, a place equipped to handle serious concerns such as mental illness or life crises nor is it intended to provide constant hand-holding and direction. I’m not saying it’s not okay to expect to be able to lean on individuals at the Temple or the Temple in general when you feel you need some extra support. I just think we would all be well-served by stepping back a bit and really examining our expectations of a place offering all its services for free and almost never asking for donations to pay for the expenses it incurs.

Also, on a related note: I’d like to personally thank the leadership and volunteer team here for their support and constant hard work that sometimes goes unremarked on. It is appreciated and I know you all really work hard to keep this Temple functioning and moving in the right direction.

Just a few thoughts I had.

“Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.” -Zhuangzi

“Though, as the crusade presses on, I find myself altogether incapable of staying here in saftey while others shed their blood for such a noble and just cause. For surely must the Almighty be with us even in the sundering of our nation. Our fight is for freedom, for liberty, and for all the principles upon which that aforementioned nation was built.” - Patrick “Madman of Galway” O'Dell
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26 Dec 2017 09:16 #309730 by Zenchi

Also, on a related note: I’d like to personally thank the leadership and volunteer team here for their support and constant hard work that sometimes goes unremarked on. It is appreciated and I know you all really work hard to keep this Temple functioning and moving in the right direction.


From me personally, thank you! Although I myself don't expect it, nor has it ever been the source of motivation for my spending the time and energy here, it is greatly appreciated when others acknowledge what sacrifices are required regularly to ensure the TOTJO continues moving forward, thanks again....

My Word is my Honor, and my Honor is my Life ~ Sturm Brightblade
Passion, yet Serenity
Knighted Apprentice Arisaig
TM- RyuJin
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26 Dec 2017 14:05 #309743 by Stephen
Replied by Stephen on topic Discussion: TotJO Culture Problems
Firstly, the Jedi at the Temple should be commended for the hard work and dedication they put in to the site. Most of us probably don't realise how much time and effort they put in.
However, people should be able to raise concerns and questions. It is how improvements come about.
Also, this is a recognised religion. This is a Temple of the Jedi Religion.
If you can't seek spiritual guidance and feel at ease seeking that guidance.
Where are you supposed to look?
To me, this being a Temple of my Religion. The Clergy are the most important people involved.
This is not a spin off from the film's, TV shows and books.
It is real life. A true Religion.
Thanks to all the Jedi that build, run and maintain this amazing Temple.

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26 Dec 2017 15:57 #309753 by MadHatter
I just wanted to give an update here and thank Kit for starting this thread and Manami for the idea of a Pax Templi. We are working on such a document to clarify rules of behavior, the rights and expectations of members, and the procedure when such things fail. It will also contain a list of who to go to for assistance in Temple matters.

I just want the membership to know that the Council hears your requests and does move to take action on them when we are able. I hope your holidays are going well and wish you the best for the coming new year.

Knight of the Order
Training Master: Jestor
Apprentices: Lama Su, Leah
Just a pop culture Jedi doing what I can
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26 Dec 2017 18:08 #309769 by Kit
I want to thank you all so much for your input. There's been a great deal of good things to come out of this already! And to be honest, I did expect to have to moderate this a lot more than I did. I really greatly appreciate all of your words and care here.

I've spent some time reflecting on what's been said and what I feel on this place. I don't expect us to be a replacement for a professional Mental Health doctor. We're not here to provide diagnosis or medication. BUT I do sincerely feel we are here to support one another. As someone who battles my own often crippling mental and physical conditions, there are three things that help. And one is something anyone can do.

1. An ear listening with compassion. "Oh man, that sucks, I'm so sorry. That's gotta be rough" This is half of the help I need sometimes.
2. Someone who can empathize with me. "I've been there, I can relate, you're not alone."
3. Tips and tricks that has helped others. (as long as it's only offered when asked for lol)

Time and Spoons permitting, #1 is something anyone here can do. I'd love to foster a community where I'd feel comfortable again that nearly anyone could come and find ears to listen, not get batted down and told to Cowboy Up.

I'm not saying we should accept abuse from people who are clearly out of order. But there are many constructive ways that we can redirect that.

If someone says to me "I'm feeling offended by what you said." it's a chance for me to reexamine myself and my words. We can then have a conversation between us by what I meant and how it was received. Sometimes, this means I learn more and can adjust the way I communicate and refrain from saying what I did how I did. Other times, I understand that my words can be taken incorrectly and in this specific case, I don't need to change. But this all requires two things. Productive communication between the two individuals, and serious compassionate introspection. The offended party isn't always right, but neither is the offender.


I'm loving the idea of clear guidelines. Both for what we offer and what we expect our community to follow when we're interacting with each other. I think both these will take a lot of trial and error, so be sure to be communicative with us on what's working and what's not.

I'm really sorry I'm low on spoons today, someone said that the more we learn about our own path, the more we realize there's nothing set in stone or black-and-white. This is where having a nice support community (us) comes in. "By the gods! I just had a shift in awareness and lost my anchor, can someone toss me a lifesaver?" (*snicker* when I was a kid, I thought when they said "lightsaber" they were saying "lifesaver") We can only do so much hand-holding, and I'm not asking anyone who's not willing to do that to do it anyways.... I lost my train of thought. Just support each other ok?

I'll come back again when I've got more brain power to spare. Thanks again everyone
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