Mission and Objectives of the Clergy

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02 May 2017 06:36 #282749 by tzb
Replied by tzb on topic Mission and Objectives of the Clergy

steamboat28 wrote: Traditionally (outside of Jediism), Bishops:

  • consecrate priests
  • oversee large areas of ministry (cities, jurisdictions, etc.)
  • serve as ministers to ministers

It isn't a useless rank. It's simply one you may not see the usefulness of.

Outside of Jediism, it's not a useless rank.

At the Temple it is. I evidence that by pointing out the majority of our Bishops are not involved in clerical work of any nature.

...as I said. :dry:

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02 May 2017 07:15 - 02 May 2017 07:43 #282751 by MartaLina
Replied by MartaLina on topic Mission and Objectives of the Clergy
Ok , so i have been meditating really long and hard on why i have a few issues with the Clergy here and why one would get the vibe from me that i think we could do without , i know its ridicilous that i even join a Temple when i dont like religion , but that is not really the issue here , the issue here is that we have a Clergy that is simply not Present , that as TZB pointed out there are a lot of people with considerable ranks that do bugger all , i personaly feel i ended up at a factory standing at an assembly line , doing my work with 7 managers standing around me eating out of their noses , watching us? ...are not able to get their workers on track and get them to do their work . All they seem to do from my point is , gathering more knowledge. IMO that is, and its not a very humble one even if i just do the assembly work lol

I know i sound very harsh right now but the Clergy is supposed to be the Core part of this Temple , i have seen enourmous potential in your ranks , i have seen wonderfull works of wisdom in your Seminary lessons , and every time someone joins the Seminary i rejoice because it seems they want to take on that kind of responsibiliy but i also see it whithering away again. My talents are elsewhere than in the Clergy but even i thought of joining just because i felt things were sluggish and not very encouraging , nor effective. This discouarages the people who joined the clergy i presume , and i presume a lot of things , that is why i write this post.
Now i dont know where the problem lies , are you letting people study that are too shy or reluctant to take on the role of Shepperds of this community? Are you surpressing their real potential to suit the Clergy's needs? Are you not motivational enough to get people of their booties and get doing clergy stuff? Or are you letting Rosalyn do all the work?

Forum posts like this make one think Bruno , i know you did not expect any responses from us but li think you will know the Jedi that reside here have their own opinion on this matter and will probably shy away from expressing their opinion because they see the Clergy as holy , i am not one of these people , although being a clergy member is a holy vocation , i still expect them to be more present
Now i know the clergy is doing a wonderfull job behind the scenes in the matter of guidance and counselling members and education , and maybe that is what the main focus should be on but this post makes me wonder ... why make a post that makes people doubt about your usefullnes and what should change and then wonder why people respond to it?
Last edit: 02 May 2017 07:43 by MartaLina.

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02 May 2017 13:34 #282770 by Carlos.Martinez3
What is the role of clergy in ToTJO?
As an active clergy member we have a few who lead by example. My personal role as clergy is to serve my temple in a way that I had been served.
Should we serve people?
One of my main ideas is not me. Personally having others to build helps me build myself. Serving others gives me the Avalibility to be the example needed and every one else.
Is our role really supportive?
Everyone has their ministry's in the Temple. In my efforts I make an opertunity often to ask and take time to group and re group. The ability to speak freely with those you are ministering to helps every one grow.
Is there a difference between being a knight and being a cleric?
To me yes. It's different for everyone. A knight defends the faith and the temple with them selfs as examples and direction. Cleric is for those spiritual questions. Is my faith ... Can I have more than one ... Do some mesh? Not mesh ? What do you know about this.... simple things that can start a fire !
How can we support people?
Each individual has them selfs to find out for them selfs their own personal ministry strength and weaknesses . Using these and understanding is needed to give good support.
What kind of support should we give?
I am willing to give as much as needed at any time but that is my personal focus.
How can we work directly and indirectly for ToTJO's spiritual health?
There are basics. Basic structure . We are Jedi so it's like a code ... Kinna like suggestion really... But fit and Taylored by ourself . When we have the basic figured out then we can grow.
How do we understand our order?
I have no idea show others understand our order. It's not my focus to dwell on what others think. My order is to build and my council has agreed to allow me to. My efforts are to keep our faith , the faith with little basics , and help others grow like I did with it.
Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?
What is our leadership profile?
To me these questions should be answers by individuals thru action not words and intentions but that's just grouchy old army Sgt Martinez coming out of me.
There will come a day when we no longer ask questions like what is ...or do we ... The question should state how can I ... I stopped asking do I love my wife along time ago, now I meditate on how . That's the change i hope to see in the clergy, more how ! May the Force we share be with yall

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02 May 2017 22:45 - 02 May 2017 23:04 #282809 by Codex
Replied by Codex on topic Mission and Objectives of the Clergy

MartaLina wrote: Now i dont know where the problem lies , are you letting people study that are too shy or reluctant to take on the role of Shepperds of this community?

I think that is part of the problem.. ehm.. myself included? :blush: Seminarians should push themselves more, it all starts with effective and long training with high standards. I adore what Steam wrote about quality over quantity, lets scale that up. Make the entry requirements stronger with a trial period to filter out passiveness of ministers? We have two 'lines' of learning/rank in the Temple: Clergy and Knight. Why is one feeling 'longer' than the other? Would increasing Clerical Training to the standards of a Knight be effective for the Temple as a whole? Training of a seminarian to be more than just an IP like something? I have so many ideas going inside my head, think too much I assume, and yet I write so little out to be seen by others. I am sorry. :( Ideas, in this kind of something, are only valuable as long as they are being spoken out to be heard. I hope that more people are willingly to say something in this thread. :) The more ideas the more subjects for the next Clergy Meeting, the better the result I guess.
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02 May 2017 22:46 #282810 by Rick D
Replied by Rick D on topic Mission and Objectives of the Clergy
There is a restlessness in our society. Many people feel the pull of a new spiritual awakening but don’t know how to process it or how to proceed. It is the reason why so many people are ditching traditional religion and searching elsewhere for answers; and some of them end up here. Most of our members have some experience with other religions but have found that they just aren’t right for them. I was raised as an Episcopalian then transitioned to Catholicism when I got married. While I still believe, and follow Christ, I am not convinced that traditional Christian churches following His teachings as I would follow them.

As clergy, what can we provide those people who come here; what is our purpose?

What is the role of clergy in ToTJO?

The role of the clergy here should be that of service to our members, and to the outside community that we may encounter in our lives. Yes, our primary focus should be on the spiritual well-being of our members, but we should not overlook the outside world. For me that manifests as the first line of the Jedi Creed: “I am a Jedi; an instrument of peace”. So here are some roles that I wish to provide:
1. As an “instrument of peace” I want to support and uplift those within our temple that may need a word of encouragement, or just an ear to listen. One of the main goals of our clergy is to be there when our members need us for spiritual guidance and support.
2. As a US Veteran, I find myself gravitating towards other veterans and trying to find a way to help them with depression and suicide prevention. This is my ministry outside of the temple, and the training I receive here will help me be prepared for it.

Should we serve people?

Yes, service to others is what should be the main focus for any clergy.

Is our role really supportive?

Yes, supporting others is the highest form of service. I think that we should form some sort of online support network that can be reached at any time of any day so that members can come to us with their spiritual needs. No one wants to call a suicide hotline and get put on hold 

Is there a difference between being a knight and being a cleric?

Yes, knights are tasked with the intellectual training of our members, and helping answer questions on doctrine; the clergy is tasked with seminary training and other spiritual matters.

How can we support people?
What kind of support should we give?
How can we work directly and indirectly for ToTJO's spiritual health?

What are we here for/what is our mission? This is the question that brings us all here today! I think that the main issue is that we don’t have a clear defined structure as to what the clergy does for the temple. We could sit around and come up with the greatest plans, but what if it’s not what the people want? Maybe our first order of business is to address this to the entire population of the temple: “What do you see the role of the clergy as being, and what services would you like to see provided that are not provided now?”

These are the things that I think we should be providing at minimum:
1. Sermons and other spiritual teachings such as study groups;
2. Ceremonies of religious nature: weddings; christenings; funerals; etc…;
3. Counseling on spiritual matters;
4. Training for future seminarians.

Some of these things we already do well (sermons, training) and some of these we need to work on (ceremonies, counseling).
One of the things that I would like to see is more emphasis on how Jediism fits into other religions.

How do we understand our order? Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?

I prefer the word “minister”; we minister to others, therefore we are ministers.

What is our leadership profile?

From the bottom up:
Ministers – see to the day-to-day needs of the temple;
Deacons – see to the training of ministers and head up a specific program (sermons, training, etc…)
Counselors – see to the structure of the clergy and fill in the gaps as necessary.

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02 May 2017 22:59 #282814 by steamboat28

tzb wrote: I evidence that by pointing out the majority of our Bishops are not involved in clerical work of any nature.

Side note: The active clergy are typically as angry about things like that as anyone else, and contrary to popular belief, can see the flaws in the system of which they are a part.

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02 May 2017 23:36 #282816 by Zephyrus
I know I don't have much of a place to say anything here, but I did want to say that... perhaps clergy do inclined should reach out and start being more involved in general. Instead of creating requirements, the clergy who want to be more involved and more useful could just start doing it.

What if the role was defined by what the clergy already did... rather than try to prescribe it before the clergy has done anything? Sure, a direction might be nice.. but, I have faith in the clerics that they already know how to serve.

I am made of star dust | The Troubador | Unknown trajectory
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03 May 2017 06:49 #282842 by Eleven
I appreciated marta's responses. I am currently starting my seminary studies and It does open my mind and attention of some of the core values and needs here at totjo. I do think the rank in clergy is very vital being we are a religion. Myself personally if the council does deem me the rank of a clergymen at totjo I intend to give myself wholly to the work of serving my fellow jedi and being a positive and loving influence in all their lives. I truly love you all and love totjo. I believe in what we're doing now and it's effective but, from reading some of these concerns it's time to step it up a notch. For, the record I don't mean that to be offensive to any clergy here please understand I am trying to be neutral on both sides.
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04 May 2017 16:40 #283030 by J. K. Barger
Seriously, ask yourselves in this situation: What would Yoda do?

What is the role of clergy in ToTJO?
“Clergy” is a word, and a word that may be changed, that describes ritual specialists, religious servicemen and women, and administrators of a/the faith. Coming from a non-Abrahamic background, I know of a few examples of clergy people who function in many roles and capacities such as teachers/mentors/guides, debaters and scriptural authorities on the faith, theurgists, and even administrators.

Should we serve people?
Duh? Altruism seems to be a pinnacle stance in this regard, but the question is: What is Service, and what does it mean to “serve”.

Looking at many of the other posts, it seems a “pragmatic” and very logical, yet spontaneous and “difficult to pin down exactly because it is relative to time, place, and person” approach to Service is being highlighted, but I think there is another side to it that needs pointing out.

This is the “idealist” approach; it is often found as the (symbolic, yet formal) formal, yet symbolic, intuitive, spiritual, or religious side of Service. Meditating, praying, burning incense, reciting a prayer, sermon, mantra, or Code are all examples of this. Honors, both of a titular nature and those of the worshipful/puja/sadhana shade, are even further examples of this.

We are all here for our own reasons, and these two approaches may cover those- so it appears to me that there needs to be a balance struck: what is a Jedi approach to service? Instead of asking a personal question: “How do I/We serve?”, we could ask instead, “How does the Force relate to pragmatic and idealist concerns?”. Maybe this line of questioning will further this investigation?

Is our role really supportive?
I would like to think our role of service is supportive; I think clergy should always strive to maintain a certain atmosphere, so that when we serve, we carry that atmosphere to those we are sharing with.

Cultivating that atmosphere could be related ^^^ to the previous question by asking “Now that the Force has been related to Pragmatic and Idealist concerns, where is my place in this as a mediator or guide, and how do I interact with these concerns?

Is there a difference between being a knight and being a cleric?
In the mythos there isn’t.

It is described as an “old religion”.

It reminds me of a very pragmatic idealism or religion: Zen Buddhism. Zen is historically called the “transmission outside the scripture”, and is the description of the Pathless Path.

It’s funny because often people take it to be iconoclastic and anti ritualist, but in fact it has some of the most ornate observances and voluminous exegetical bodies. I mean, these guys really “dance around The Issue” if you know what I mean- precisely because it is impossible to outline, so what’s to stop them from trying? That’s why so many different lineages exist- it is literally an example of “different strokes for different folks”.

That said, in zen, to become a Sensei you either “get it, or you don’t”. Laity can lead “services” or “rituals”, but only Teachers can teach; just like a Knight, who is authorized as “gotten it” enough to help someone else “get it”, whatever “it” is. A knight is a pragmatic and ideal expression of this, and likewise, free to express how the “get it” and “give it” to another (independent of the “Clerical” title) - and the It sounds like a “relationship to the Force”. How does one share the means to embody a relationship with the Force? How does one embody the Force?

Is there really a difference?

Is there really a difference between serving the ways of the Force as a Pragmatist or an Idealist?

I think not. That’s why the Force is relatable to so many Pragmatic leaning folks as well as Religious leaning folk AT THE SAME TIME.

How can we support people?


What kind of support should we give?
Practical as well as spiritual, through education and training.

How can we work directly and indirectly for ToTJO's spiritual health?
Practically, we have our degree scheme and it’s IP, AP, and Senior Knight programs that equip a basic philosophical foundation for higher life suffused of the Force. Although basic, these are the bones of the Temple.

Spiritually, we are still working it out, but I think things like ::uniquely:: Jedi practices, rituals, and observances will contribute to a greater Force-suffused atmosphere.

How do we understand our order? Priests? Bishops? Monks? Shamans?
Again, what is the relation of the “master/disciple” role in a relationship to the Force? Has anyone tried to style themselves under such an ideal in the Past that is close to what we are doing?

I would say many get close, but obviously fall short. We are looking for something that isn’t “out there” in the spiritual marketplace already; we are postconsumer creators of our own Path(s), and I highly suggest we come up with our own words that have not been used before. If not, I’d call myself a Buddhist, or Jew, or whatever. But I don’t. I call myself a Jedi- I have a higher calling than some deity or personality. The highest spirituality or pragmatic worldview is, IMO, one suffused and observant of the Force.

What is our leadership profile?
I’m not sure what this means? But I think it is asking how Clerical Leadership should look?

I don’t think we can answer that this early yet, but I do think it will look unlike any model out there.

If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend everyone read my post on “the Service of Spiritual observance.” It’s fairly lengthy, but I think it takes a walk down a similar line of questioning like the one I took today^^^^.


May the Force be with you all,

The Force is with you, always.
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04 May 2017 17:06 #283033 by Zenchi
Barger, you keep talking like that and I may have to join up...

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Passion, yet Serenity
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