Anon, the Clergy

16 Aug 2017 15:48 #297703 by Rosalyn J
Rosalyn J replied the topic: Anon, the Clergy
Atticus thinks of brilliant things ;)
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16 Aug 2017 16:09 #297707 by Atticus
Atticus replied the topic: Anon, the Clergy
i want to join the clergy but im not sure if it is a good idea to pursue it while doing an apprenticeship. any advice?

Yes, although what follows is my own personal experience, and no two Apprenticeships are the same. No two TMs are the same. But I can completely relate to this question, having wrestled with it myself, and I'm willing to bet that most of us in the Clergy understand exactly what you're feeling.

The first thing I would urge is that you have a frank talk with your Training Master, and not because your TM will have to consent to your joining the Seminary. Seminary is a commitment, just as your Apprenticeship is a commitment, and only the two of you will be able to give due consideration to how well these courses of study will mesh. Don't be afraid to open up about any concerns you might have, and don't be afraid to hear your TM's concerns if any there be.

Talk with others who have done both, and others who chose to focus on one at a time. I did the programs simultaneously(-ish), but I know some who have chosen to step back from Seminary while completing the Apprenticeship, and others who held off on the Clergy altogether until after they reached Knighthood. Only you will be able to determine which way will be best for you, but assuming you and your TM are on the same page, it won't hurt to hear others' experiences if you desire to do so. I encourage folks to share their own feelings and experiences on this issue (here or in another thread, whichever).

Here's one thing to keep in mind, though, when you're having these talks. If you decide to undertake your Seminary studies alongside your Apprenticeship and only then discover that it isn't working for you, you don't ever get dinged for that. Ever. Seminary will always be there when the circumstances are right for you to work at it. Yes, we like for Seminarians who haven't posted for a while to keep us in the loop, but it's not something we require. We may in the future address reasonable guidelines for Seminary inactivity, but if that discussion occurs while I am a member of the Clergy I promise that it will be with the spirit of encouraging people's studies and having clear expectations for teachers and students.

One more note about my experience doing both. I encountered a number of instances in which my Apprenticeship lessons reinforced what I was studying in Seminary and vice versa, beautiful synchronicities that each deepened my understanding of the other. Just as Knights are revealed rather than made, so are clerics. It's tough for me to conceive of a hypothetical in which clerical training and Knighthood training as they currently exist would ever be at cross purposes.

It's clear from the syntax of your question that you have concerns. I stand ready to listen to anyone who feels the call to the Clergy.
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16 Aug 2017 16:12 - 16 Aug 2017 16:24 #297710 by Atticus
Atticus replied the topic: Anon, the Clergy
Thank you all not only for your questions but for your words of support, public and private. If I haven't made it clear, I intend this to be a discussion, not a dialectic didactic; I welcome perspectives on any of these questions from Clergy and non-,
Last Edit: 16 Aug 2017 16:24 by Atticus. Reason: ugh, I should never confuse those two words

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16 Aug 2017 19:52 #297761 by Atticus
Atticus replied the topic: Anon, the Clergy
What are ways that us plebs not in the clergy can help the clergy? Does the clergy have any special programs for those wanting to explore deeper thoughts? Is the clergy developing things like vacational bible school and other things to help teach and keep the populace engaged?

Back to front: no, I'm not aware that anyone has proposed something specifically like a vacation bible school. Is that something for which there might be interest? Hmmm. What we do do is continue to compose and publish messages through sermons and services, as well as through less structured conversations, and continue our own education. If that paradigm should be expanded (and I don't disagree with that premise per se), I think we would all entertain creative ways to do so.

Besides the usual, individual members of the Temple (Clergy or not) do have special programs such as you describe. First thing that comes to mind is the weekend guided discussions pioneered by Nakis, but I see deep explorations of many topics in threads, chats, FB comments. Anywhere we can come together to discuss the philosophy and doctrine of our Path can be a good place to dig deep. Sometimes a little structure can keep things on track, but sometimes you have to toss the syllabus aside and go where the Force leads.

Which leads me round to the first question you asked. If there's a discussion you want to see, that you think you or others would benefit from, let 'er rip. If for whatever reason you don't feel you can lead off a particular discussion yourself, give one of us a shout and we'll make it happen.

Up this thread a bit, I gave another sitch in which the Clergy could always use help, and that is helping us watch for situations in which clerical support should be proffered. I'm grateful for the chance to clarify that I in no way think that you couldn't offer your own support as well, whether you are in the Clergy or not. This Temple is built on service, which seems to me to make every one of us a servant as soon as we decide we belong here. :D I suppose we can divide us into plebs in the Clergy and plebs not in the Clergy, but that seems a distinction in job title rather than qualification, isn't it?

As with every post I make, in this thread or any other, this is just my own experience at a particular moment. I welcome any other perspective y'all feel moved to share.

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16 Aug 2017 20:01 #297767 by Connor L.
Connor L. replied the topic: Anon, the Clergy
Things the clergy could do to serve the membership:

Online courses (like a Sunday school maybe)
Regular Live services. (Google hangouts, the chat)
Community service, like maybe sending out care packages to members in need.
Supporting arts like commissioning art work that could have proceeds going to charity.
Coming out with strong stances against Naziism and calling for humanitarian efforts.
Providing ways for the lay leadership to participate. I know we can write sermons now, but what about lay led community service? TOTJO is one of the only churches I've seen where only the clerically minded do most everything. I mean, what if the lay leadership formed its own committee that was in contact with the pastor? I have no intention of returning to clerical service right now, but I would like to contribute.

I could go on, but that's a good starting place to get some ideas going.
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16 Aug 2017 20:04 - 16 Aug 2017 20:06 #297768 by Aqua
Aqua replied the topic: Anon, the Clergy

Atticus wrote: i want to join the clergy but im not sure if it is a good idea to pursue it while doing an apprenticeship. any advice?

Atticus wrote: Thank you all not only for your questions but for your words of support, public and private. If I haven't made it clear, I intend this to be a discussion, not a dialectic didactic; I welcome perspectives on any of these questions from Clergy and non-,


I do my Seminary and Apprenticeship at the same time. And guess what? It is amazing! :blush: It allows you to switch between lessons and it can even be 'combined' a little bit if the Apprentice lessons hold additional information for a Seminary lesson, with combined I mean that lessons of your apprenticeship may contribute to your writings wile doing seminary lessons.

Of course it will be a lot of work, several lessons require you to actually dig trough a lot of stuff. It should not be underestimated. Quality above all else for the Seminary lessons can be used very well to build a Clerical book, so you do not have to search things out again! :) Some this might be more easy than for others, but doing both an Apprenticeship and a Seminary at the same time does require you to be able to deal with two studies at the same time. Some may enjoy that, and others may not. Personally I love doing several things at the same time, though I do it very slow! :lol: Eventually it will get the job done and it is not impossible. ;)
Last Edit: 16 Aug 2017 20:06 by Aqua.
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16 Aug 2017 20:37 #297776 by Atticus
Atticus replied the topic: Anon, the Clergy

Connor L. wrote: Things the clergy could do to serve the membership:

Online courses (like a Sunday school maybe)
Regular Live services. (Google hangouts, the chat)
Community service, like maybe sending out care packages to members in need.
Supporting arts like commissioning art work that could have proceeds going to charity.
Coming out with strong stances against Naziism and calling for humanitarian efforts.
Providing ways for the lay leadership to participate. I know we can write sermons now, but what about lay led community service? TOTJO is one of the only churches I've seen where only the clerically minded do most everything. I mean, what if the lay leadership formed its own committee that was in contact with the pastor? I have no intention of returning to clerical service right now, but I would like to contribute.

I could go on, but that's a good starting place to get some ideas going.


Thank you, Connor. I may not agree completely with each of your ideas at first blush, but I very much appreciate you bringing forward ideas whether they resonate with me at this particular moment or not. Sometimes I have to allow time for things to percolate before I grok in fullness.

I'll be nudging this post for further consideration by the Clergy. To your last point, though, I am not convinced that folks who choose not to join the Clergy are impeded from engaging in most clerical activities as the note implies. There are to my knowledge only three things Clergy do that the general membership cannot: preside over formal liturgical ceremonies IRL like weddings and funerals, take formal Confiding under clerical seal, and ordain other clerics. (Legal reasons, legal reasons, and Temple authority, respectively. And for those reasons, these three things are unlikely to change in the immediate future.) But I don't know of any prohibition against a lay member conducting a live service, for example, and I can't think of any other clerical activities that are reserved only for Clergy. I may be misunderstanding your point.

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16 Aug 2017 20:41 #297778 by Atticus
Atticus replied the topic: Anon, the Clergy

Aqua wrote: I do my Seminary and Apprenticeship at the same time. And guess what? It is amazing! :blush: It allows you to switch between lessons and it can even be 'combined' a little bit if the Apprentice lessons hold additional information for a Seminary lesson, with combined I mean that lessons of your apprenticeship may contribute to your writings wile doing seminary lessons.

Of course it will be a lot of work, several lessons require you to actually dig trough a lot of stuff. It should not be underestimated. Quality above all else for the Seminary lessons can be used very well to build a Clerical book, so you do not have to search things out again! :) Some this might be more easy than for others, but doing both an Apprenticeship and a Seminary at the same time does require you to be able to deal with two studies at the same time. Some may enjoy that, and others may not. Personally I love doing several things at the same time, though I do it very slow! :lol: Eventually it will get the job done and it is not impossible. ;)


That's a very good point. I can relate to switching between lesson tracks as you describe. Sometimes putting in time on a Seminary lesson helped me feel like I was still making progress even when I might be momentarily stuck on an Apprenticeship assignment.

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16 Aug 2017 20:54 #297781 by Connor L.
Connor L. replied the topic: Anon, the Clergy
I mostly included that last point as a way of further connecting the general membership with the clergy. If we do stuff with the clergy, then maybe it will become less of a mystery. I'm with you though.
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16 Aug 2017 20:58 #297783 by Atticus
Atticus replied the topic: Anon, the Clergy

Connor L. wrote: I mostly included that last point as a way of further connecting the general membership with the clergy. If we do stuff with the clergy, then maybe it will become less of a mystery. I'm with you though.


Ah, I see. I'm with you on this too. ;) Thank you for helping me understand.
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