Questions regarding Clergy processes

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26 Oct 2014 06:14 #166530 by Jestor
Well, you stated it was "interm", I guess a Synod person will have to post on it....

I took what (evidently) you wrote, as it addressed permanent appointments...

Sith ain't Evil...
Jedi ain't Saints....


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26 Oct 2014 06:40 #166533 by Brenna
Even if that is a "loop hole"

the Synod is organised into an open and accessible administrative body, dedicated to transparency




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Part of the seduction of most religions is the idea that if you just say the right things and believe really hard, your salvation will be at hand.

With Jediism. No one is coming to save you. You have to get off your ass and do it yourself - Me
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26 Oct 2014 08:12 - 26 Oct 2014 08:26 #166537 by steamboat28
May I ask a genuine question, sarcasm-free?

Why are we hand-waving someone's concerns about the way in which this Temple operates instead of acknowledging the legitimacy of their feelings and offering to investigate the matter, whether or not it ultimately turns out to be true?

Being completely honest here: a situation in which the Clergy is questioned on their adherence to their governing documents, and that question is answered with anything except a promise to look into it, my trust in the Clergy is shaken. If we trust anyone here at TOTJO, it should be the clergy. We trust them daily with our thoughts and feelings, we trust them to help guide us back to the proper path, and we trust them with a legally-binding seal of confession in all but two ranks. We should also be able to trust them to hold to their own rules, and if their adherence to them is questioned in any way--even a way that is caused by misunderstanding or is blatantly false--we should be able to trust them to investigate the issue and give a clear answer.

Because if you can't trust the clergy completely, they serve exactly zero purpose in this organization.

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Last edit: 26 Oct 2014 08:26 by steamboat28.
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26 Oct 2014 08:32 #166538 by user15542
OK... I'm confused, sorry. We haven't recruited a new Officer - our Secretary for the Clergy is MCSH.

A few days ago we heard he was going on an LOA from his duties, of as yet indeterminate length. Full transparency, at the moment we're not sure how long Saj is going to be busy for, so if this LOA is short-term or whether a resignation might be more appropriate. If this is a 2 week sort of thing, making an announcement of a vacancy, taking applications, conducting interviews and announcing a "replacement" would take longer than that.

The point being... Saj's post is NOT available. He's filling it, just either on a short-term LOA, or pending his resignation if we discover this is long-term and that's more appropriate. If that turns out to be the case, the procedure you quoted Brenna will be followed and a notice of vacancy posted... when the post is actually vacant.

Given we have been slipping in the sorts of areas usually taken care of by the Clergy Secretary (meetings and sermons), we reached out to a current, active Seminarian with an opportunity to help us out. Jamie is well aware she's serving in MCSH's stead only for the period of his LOA.

We made a comment about the Secretary for the Synod in the Charter, which represents the "spirit of law" we followed here:

This role is not currently filled [...] As such this office will be supported by other members of the Synod, Clergy and Congregation in the interim.


That's the only reference to "interim" support in the Charter, and is exactly what we're doing here.

I'm sorry this seems like a lack of transparency, but frankly we didn't feel an announcement was appropriate until we knew what was actually going on with Saj. We have a Clergy meeting next Sunday which we started putting together as soon as we were sure we could staff one (ie with a Clerical Secretary), and all of this was due to be discussed there.
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26 Oct 2014 08:37 - 26 Oct 2014 08:44 #166539 by steamboat28
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


The full text of that clause is thus:

* This role is not currently filled as Synod initiatives will not require a dedicated officer at the outset. As such this office will be supported by other members of the Synod, Clergy and Congregation in the interim.


I bolded that part in the middle, because
  1. If Jamie is assuming MCSH's post in the interim, that's a change to an official post--however temporary--and we should've been notified.
  2. If Jamie is assuming the interim post of Secretary of the Synod, that rather makes Jamie the "dedicated officer"--however temporarily--and we should've been notified.
The running theme here is why people are confused/upset.

And, quite honestly, I can't blame them. How long has this topic been up without an official answer from the Synod? How many people asked about it in the chat messages I just read through in Skype? Why was Jestor the only person answering questions here when there were (without a doubt) other clergy members--potentially even synod members--online? If you were busy, or asleep, or afk, that's fine. I understand. But if any of you were here and could've answered in an official capacity and instead chose to let Jestor field it and catch the flak for it, I'm afraid I don't understand the reasoning there.

The problem with this isn't Jamie's appointment as secretary--congratulations, by the way, Jamie--or even that this particular issue is a "big" deal. But it rather does set a poor precedent, the kind of precedent that I understand this whole synod transparency restructurey-thingy was supposed to avoid making in the first place.

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Last edit: 26 Oct 2014 08:44 by steamboat28.
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26 Oct 2014 08:41 - 26 Oct 2014 08:44 #166540 by Rosalyn J
I've just had a conversation with Maitre Alexandre Orion about this matter. Here are the specifics:

Sajjad, who is the Secretary to the Clergy, has taken a Leave of Absence from his duties. The Synod was informed of this three days ago. Because an official appointment is not in order, Jamie Stick is now functioning as a temporary replacement until his return. Sajjad has not resigned, but without the immediate appointment of a temporary secretary, the Synod is handicapped.

Such a course of action should not cause us to loose faith in our clergy or the leaders therein. In fact, their immediate response to this temporary vacancy should inspire confidence that they take everything seriously and strive to find effective and efficient solutions.

Hope this helps clear everything up.
-Roz

Edit: Tzb got in there before me :D
Last edit: 26 Oct 2014 08:44 by Rosalyn J.
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26 Oct 2014 08:42 #166541 by user15542

steamboat28 wrote:
The full text of that clause is thus:

* This role is not currently filled as Synod initiatives will not require a dedicated officer at the outset. As such this office will be supported by other members of the Synod, Clergy and Congregation in the interim.


I bolded that part in the middle, because
  1. If Jamie is assuming MCSH's post in the interim, that's a change to an official post--however temporary--and we should've been notified.
  2. If Jamie is assuming the interim post of Secretary of the Synod, that rather makes Jamie the "dedicated officer"--however temporarily--and we should've been notified.

The running theme here is why people are confused/upset.


1. You were due to be, at our meeting next Sunday. That's our standard mechanism for communicating and discussing administrative issues with the Clergy.

2. That's not the case, at least no more than it has been since the Charter announced members of the community will be supporting the role, and Jamie is a member of the community, if you see what I mean.
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26 Oct 2014 08:50 - 26 Oct 2014 08:50 #166542 by steamboat28

tzb wrote: 1. You were due to be, at our meeting next Sunday. That's our standard mechanism for communicating and discussing administrative issues with the Clergy.


So meetings will be happening at least monthly again starting Sunday. Right?

2. That's not the case, at least no more than it has been since the Charter announced members of the community will be supporting the role, and Jamie is a member of the community, if you see what I mean.


The wording in the Charter carries the connotation of a per-session basis. Perhaps that wording should be clarified to include temorary interim appointments of undetermined length, even though the office temporarily vacant and the office being filled aren't the same office, and arguably have different duties.

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Last edit: 26 Oct 2014 08:50 by steamboat28.

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26 Oct 2014 09:12 #166546 by user15542

steamboat28 wrote: So meetings will be happening at least monthly again starting Sunday. Right?


That's always been the plan and it hasn't panned out that way... but as much as that's our plan, yes. Like I say, one reason we've sought Jamie's support is to make this possible. If not, we'll be looking for another solution.
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26 Oct 2014 09:24 #166551 by Brenna
While I appreciate the replies Tzb, this does little to quell my concerns. And it’s made me realise just how little faith I have left in the clergy and its processes, because of this, because of previous issues with the same lack of transparency, and because of the many behind the scenes conversations resulting in rifts because of a refusal to just go along with things that are not in keeping with the “spirit” of what we are meant to be doing here.

For me, this seems like just yet another example of decisions being made on the fly, with the lack of transparency and a “secretive” nature that has been brought up by many members before me.

I have reached a stage where I can have no confidence in the leadership or manifestation of purpose of our clergy.



Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet

Part of the seduction of most religions is the idea that if you just say the right things and believe really hard, your salvation will be at hand.

With Jediism. No one is coming to save you. You have to get off your ass and do it yourself - Me
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