Questions regarding Clergy processes

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26 Oct 2014 11:08 #166561 by Proteus

Brenna wrote: 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.


Now, is this really necessary? Does being a little confused over the clergy filling in the spot for secretary so that an upcoming meeting can be recorded properly, etc, equate to completely disowning the entire leadership?

Why do we get so upset over these things? Can you answer this without pointing the finger and saying "because they did this" and "they did that"?

Can we not have a little more emotional intelligence and consideration for the party and the matter we are dealing with here?

I'm not here to defend the clergy (even if I am admittedly the apprentice of the priest), but I'm not so sure that the trust in question here is about the clergy so much as it is about the one who is having trouble with trusting.

The clergy and its synod are not perfect. They shouldn't be. They still have things to improve at and find solid footing with. The more they are put under the magnifying glass, the more flaws the one looking will find. Just because they still have a few places to polish, does not mean they are suddenly untrustworthy, scheming, and selfish. Brenna, I know you are much more intelligent to know this for yourself. Instead of blowing whistles, why don't you just work with them and try to consider their side a bit more?

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26 Oct 2014 11:16 #166563 by steamboat28

Proteus wrote: Why do we get so upset over these things? Can you answer this without pointing the finger and saying "because they did this" and "they did that"?


I answered this in a private message, but I'll say it again here.

My problem is not with the appointment of a secretary when one was needed.
My problem is not with the individual chosen; Jamie has a lot of qualities that make her perfectly suited to the task at hand, among them a hardworking nature and willingness to help.
My problem is not that the Synod took "too long" to address the query, because they were not available at the time.

My problem is that anytime you dismiss a question of transparency, however small or ludicrous it may seem, it undermines that very transparency. A clergy without public transparency for public matters, or one that lacks the proper trustworthiness and sensitivity for private matters, is a clergy that slowly undermines its own authority and usefulness.

The reason I jumped into this thread is that I do not want to see this clergy go that route. I have seen it happen in "real world" churches countless times, and it literally destroys faith in faith in the people it affects.

This issue is not a huge deal. It's not even a moderately-sized deal. It's a trivial matter, honestly, when taken in a vacuum.

However, to Brenna, this issue is perhaps the pebble that started an avalanche; watching her trust for the clergy slide down the hill. Maybe she's sad. Maybe she's disappointed. Maybe she feels that if the Synod doesn't feel like it has to uphold small rules there's nothing forcing it to uphold the large ones. I don't know. I'm not inside her head. But I know that if I were in her place, all those would be very valid reasons for making a stink about this.

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26 Oct 2014 11:31 #166569 by Proteus
I don't know if a level of transparency is possible that can properly satisfy everyone enough at all times and not give the entire clergy a complete headache every time a small insignificant motion is made and everybody jumps in with contrasting opinions and demands. Isn't this where faith (trust) must come into the picture? It's easy to begin over-thinking all kinds of possible what-ifs whenever one doesn't know every little thing going on behind the scenes at all times. If that was possible, there would be no place for faith in the first place.

How do you any of you people know for sure that I am not a serial killer stalking one or more of you? You don't know enough about my life to know this for sure. There is a lot of information about what I do and who I am that I keep from you... but you have faith that that I am trustworthy still... Otherwise, none of you would ever want to associate with me. The things I say here at TOTJO have influence - just as clergy's presence has influence. But nobody is demanding that I show and announce every little thing I do to make sure that I am without a doubt trustworthy.

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26 Oct 2014 11:35 #166572 by steamboat28

Proteus wrote: How do you any of you people know for sure that I am not a serial killer stalking one or more of you?


This is perhaps not the best way to make your point.

The issue at hand is that something was done that, on the surface, seems to actively be against the manner in which the synod agreed to do business. It has since been explained, but the original point was valid.

The problem I see at work in this thread is the same problem I see any time a query is brought up about how TOTJO is run: people asking questions get hand-waved, patronized, or condescending responses in their threads instead of feeling that their concerns have been acknowledged and investigated.

That is not an environment conducive to trust.

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26 Oct 2014 11:43 #166574 by Proteus

steamboat28 wrote:

Proteus wrote: How do you any of you people know for sure that I am not a serial killer stalking one or more of you?


This is perhaps not the best way to make your point.

The issue at hand is that something was done that, on the surface, seems to actively be against the manner in which the synod agreed to do business. It has since been explained, but the original point was valid.

The problem I see at work in this thread is the same problem I see any time a query is brought up about how TOTJO is run: people asking questions get hand-waved, patronized, or condescending responses in their threads instead of feeling that their concerns have been acknowledged and investigated.

That is not an environment conducive to trust.


This portrays that the leadership of totjo do not discuss matters with people who complain but instead, just post nothing but dismissive replies all the time and don't care to do anything beyond this measure. That is a misconstrued assumption that tends to contribute to the negative side of the situation, and puts images on the individuals of the leadership that damage what trust is left to justify and maintain.

Now, the reality: people in leadership are always discussing, both on the forums, and in pms, and on skype, about the matter. Things are not being dismissed. People are not being talked down to in condesencing manners. Concerns are not blocked out or shot down. Things are explained to the best of their ability and concerns presented are thought about a lot between those conversations. They are important and they do spread agreements between individuals in the leadership.

It seems that I know that I know.
What I would like to see is the 'I' that knows me when I know that I know that I know.
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26 Oct 2014 11:45 - 26 Oct 2014 11:47 #166575 by steamboat28

Proteus wrote: This portrays that the leadership of totjo do not discuss matters with people who complain but instead, just post nothing but dismissive replies all the time and don't care to do anything beyond this measure. That is a misconstrued assumption that tends to contribute to the negative side of the situation, and puts images on the individuals of the leadership that damage what trust is left to justify and maintain.

Now, the reality: people in leadership are always discussing, both on the forums, and in pms, and on skype, about the matter. Things are not being dismissed. People are not being talked down to in condesencing manners. Concerns are not blocked out or shot down. Things are explained to the best of their ability and concerns presented are thought about a lot between those conversations. They are important and they do spread agreements between individuals in the leadership.


...yeah, I think I'm done here.

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26 Oct 2014 12:49 #166583 by user15542
Just a point of clarification - I've repeatedly referred to a meeting scheduled for next Sunday. It's actually on Saturday, as per the thread which was started.

Sorry.. I'm absolutely lousy with dates.
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26 Oct 2014 13:47 #166588 by Akkarin

steamboat28 wrote: The problem I see at work in this thread is the same problem I see any time a query is brought up about how TOTJO is run: people asking questions get hand-waved, patronized, or condescending responses in their threads instead of feeling that their concerns have been acknowledged and investigated.

That is not an environment conducive to trust.


But it isn't just "people asking questions" is it?

A question was asked for a member of the synod to answer, but before any member of the synod could even respond we already have talk of "lack of transparency", "letter/spirit of the law", "stepping backward", "waving concerns".

There was this big thing about talking about the way the synod is run for 14 posts before a member of the synod even had a chance to come in and begin explaining what happened. People shouldn't make up their minds about "trust" or whatnot before the other side even has a chance to defend themselves.

People need to stop posting so quickly, because you can easily get carried away with yourself.

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26 Oct 2014 17:37 - 26 Oct 2014 17:51 #166606 by Jamie Stick

Brenna wrote: I wonder if the Synod would be able to take a moment to clarify the new appointment of a replacement (interim from my understanding) secretary to the clergy that has happened with no notice or announcement?

I think the person appointed is a great choice (congrats Jamie) but I am uncertain as to the process, considering the following paragraphs from the Synod charter.

"When an Office is available, a public notice will be made to the Temple requesting applications. Applicants must be a member of the Clergy or a Seminarian and be in good standing with the Temple. All applications will be fairly considered, an interview conducted and a vote taken among the Synod members as to the successful candidate. "


and

the Synod is organised into an open and accessible administrative body, dedicated to transparency and balance in Clergy management


I think (for whatever worth my word is in this) your concern is valid. The problem I see is that the charter doesn't talk about officers of critical positions who go on LOA: how long can they be on leave for? Will those positions be filled by someone in the mean time? How is that substitute chosen? None of this is stated in the charter. Since MSCH still occupies the position of Secretary of the Clergy, there's been no violation of the charter, but at the same time it's kind of an oversight. I would imagine LOA was not one they really thought about until it had already happened.

Now, the way I understand it and the way members of the Synod have explained it is this: I'm just subbing, like a a substitute teacher- here today and gone tomorrow. The full-time teacher is not being replaced, they are simply being covered by a temporary teacher. If MSCH decided that he would need to step down from the position, then I would only be working this position until a full-time officer had been chosen by the method and means described in the charter.

I don't know how to be any more affirming and honest than that.

EDIT: I am disturbed by the way this thread went from inquiry to accusation before anyone of official standing was able to respond.
Last edit: 26 Oct 2014 17:51 by Jamie Stick.
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26 Oct 2014 18:39 #166625 by Cabur Senaar
Precipitous...

Moving forward, could a clause be introduced that discussed LOA's and made these resulting short-term changes public, assuming the next meeting wasn't days away?

Asking questions is important. If nothing else, this conversation made us aware of a kink in the rules. Fine. Fixable.

But we could have taken a few breaths along the way.
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