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

  • Senan
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14 Jul 2017 19:06 #290878 by Senan
Thanks for your ideas and feedback, Locksley. We've discussed a few of these previously, so allow me to address a few.

Locksley wrote: 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.


As it stands now, we don't even bring in enough money ourselves to support the cost of keeping the website online. It is coming out of individual's pockets, particularly Br. John's. Kit has done some great work fundraising by auctioning off her amazing TOTJO themed arts and crafts, but it still isn't enough to truly support any efforts beyond keeping the lights on just yet.

Locksley wrote: 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.


There are currently discussions going on about adding to and modifying the IP. We'll see how it goes. As for grammar, we have a lot of international members who speak English as a second language or very little at all. While I'm a fan of proper grammar and spelling (my mother and father are both English teachers), we have to be conscious of others and also accept that sometimes people will be informal online and ignore the standards.

Locksley wrote: 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.


We've heard this message loud and clear and Council is very aware of this perception. It is partly why I and some other Knights are making efforts to be a "go between" and pass along what we know. Some Councillors are more active than others, and some are also spending hours a day just handling administration, so it will vary from person to person. There will be an End of Year Report done laying out financials and membership info from 2017 for all to see, and we're going to try harder to share more information in the Quarterly TOTJO Times issues as well. We're getting there...

Locksley wrote: 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.


I'm not a lawyer or familiar enough with our charter and bylaws to discuss this one. I do know that our Council acts as a voting Board of Directors. It isn't a dictatorship and there are requirements for certain majorities before anyone can make policy changes. I also know that the Clergy often will make efforts to act in conflict resolution between members.

Locksley wrote: 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).


This is a slippery one. We have Jedi that are from other organizations who visit regularly, but are not members here. We also have some who prefer to remain as guests, but are more active than most members. Additionally, there are people here who choose not to identify as Jedi, but still value the lessons that can be learned here. We also tend to forget that we don't own the label of "Jedi". Anybody can call themselves "real Jedi" based on whatever standard they choose to use, and we are not in any place to stop them. Those who are interested in being active here in our Temple will complete the training steps to rise in rank and responsibility, but that doesn't mean their opinions are more valuable. Guests can offer as much insight into the being Jedi as any Master might.

Locksley wrote: 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.


This could be helpful when discussing politics and other contentious subjects. I wonder how often it would be used, and who decides what is "hot button" and what isn't. We should discuss this more.

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  • ReallyRiver
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14 Jul 2017 19:09 #290879 by ReallyRiver

Locksley wrote:
This is a big one for me: more differentiation between members and actual Jedi. I think this could be achieved through simple forum limitations.


Ok, this idea I can get behind. I'm not sure about the forum limitations part; I haven't really thought about that. But I be down with "members" progressing to "Jedi Initiate" or whatever, at the end of the IP. For me, I'd still feel a part of the Temple but getting the title of Jedi-something would be earned.

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14 Jul 2017 19:13 #290881 by steamboat28
I have another one.

Could we look into splitting the FAQ into two parts: the current, administrative one, and one where we actually put the questions we get asked most frequently? The latter could be some neutral statement with links to forum topics about the question at hand. So, say, if Billybob wants to join and his first three threads are gonna be "do we wear robes/carry lightsabers/do magic tricks?" he can see where we've already discussed it 293048230942309482304982304982520935772346219346129473589 times in as many threads before starting his own? I mean, we direct newbies to the FAQ anyhow; that might cut down on repeat discussion a little.
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14 Jul 2017 19:17 #290883 by MadHatter

steamboat28 wrote: I have another one.

Could we look into splitting the FAQ into two parts: the current, administrative one, and one where we actually put the questions we get asked most frequently? The latter could be some neutral statement with links to forum topics about the question at hand. So, say, if Billybob wants to join and his first three threads are gonna be "do we wear robes/carry lightsabers/do magic tricks?" he can see where we've already discussed it 293048230942309482304982304982520935772346219346129473589 times in as many threads before starting his own? I mean, we direct newbies to the FAQ anyhow; that might cut down on repeat discussion a little.


I second this idea. It would be very useful to have a FAQ of the topics that get repeated like they are on a time table for review.

Knight of the Order
Training Master: Jestor
Apprentices: Lama Su, Leah
Just a pop culture Jedi doing what I can
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14 Jul 2017 19:25 #290885 by Edan

Senan wrote: 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.


Just for reference, this is an example of what transparency looks like (and accountability, and progress).

QUESTION YOUR APATHY
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14 Jul 2017 19:39 #290890 by Locksley

Edan wrote:

Senan wrote: 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.


Just for reference, this is an example of what transparency looks like (and accountability, and progress).


Literally just saw that he posted that, like, as I was writing my thing. The one time I go and try to interact on here.... haha
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  • SamThift
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14 Jul 2017 21:43 #290913 by SamThift

Locksley wrote: ...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.


I, personally, do not see the need to support causes as incredibly necessary in this setting. Primarily because it can create a lot of debate and heartache over what a "good" cause is, and what isn't. In addition to the implied complications of what the Temple's support would mean. Lots of such causes also carry substantial political undertones which may not be widespread sentiments of the entire body here, and could begin to create challenges in aligning the larger values and beliefs of the Temple with external organizations unnecessarily.

I would, however, by open to a static "Help the Temple" fund...as has been pointed out by Senan at least, where mere operating costs of this site alone are not widely covered in the "keeping the lights on" sense. Obviously, getting into the theological questions of tithing or offerings/donations, can also be a hairy area...so perhaps just leaving an open post somewhere to the effect of: "If you can help out, $1, $5, $10, whatever, here's how", and leave it up to individual choice, not a pay to pray mentality. Show me somewhere I can find a solid PayPal link, and I'd probably kick a few dollars towards the Temple itself from time to time.

Just sayin.

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14 Jul 2017 21:52 - 14 Jul 2017 21:52 #290915 by Edan

SamThift wrote: Show me somewhere I can find a solid PayPal link, and I'd probably kick a few dollars towards the Temple itself from time to time.

Just sayin.


You mean this one which is linked at the top of every page under the title 'donate'?

QUESTION YOUR APATHY
Last edit: 14 Jul 2017 21:52 by Edan.
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  • Arisaig
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14 Jul 2017 23:49 #290924 by Arisaig

Senan wrote: • Removing the Auto Subscribe feature from forum posts - DONE! Thanks to Ren for discovering the bug and fixing this! :cheer:


What I heard when I read this [ Click to expand ]

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15 Jul 2017 14:53 #290992 by Alethea Thompson
To spring off of Manu's reply: You cannot be considered a member of the Catholic Church until you get through the base training. Before that, you're either a learner or a guest in the House of the Lord. The same is true of many covens I've encountered. So there is precedence for a "basic training" program (the IP, IMO, fulfills this role- even if I believe it needs to be replaced with stuff internally generated from knights and clergy members).

I've always preferred the system of learning the beliefs and traditions first, and then you can choose to become a member of the tradition. It seems more honest to yourself and fellow believers.

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