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Governance Document for the Clergy

of the 
Temple of the Jedi Order

05 December 2022

  1. MISSION

To foster the relationship between the Clergy and the Temple at large by meditation, contemplation, and study; to provide adequate and effective spiritual guidance; to share the foundational directive of promoting awareness, the vital experience; and attention to morality and ethics as expressed in Temple of the Jedi Order Doctrine through teaching and ministry.

  1. OFFICES OF THE SYNOD
  2. Pastor of the Order

It is the responsibility of the Pastor to see to the spiritual well-being of the individuals and the community who are the Temple of the Jedi Order through sermons, teaching, and presence. The Pastor maintains a dialogue with active members of the Clergy, whether personally or in the context of Clergy Meetings, and oversees the curricula and training of clerical trainees in the Seminary and post-seminary work. The Pastor serves in and is accountable to the Council of the Temple of the Jedi Order. The Pastor has the authority to promote members of the Clergy at any time, with the consent (simple majority) of the Synod.

VP of Clerical Affairs 

Whereas it is the responsibility of the Pastor to see to spiritual wellbeing, it is the responsibility of the VP of Clerical Affairs to see to the Administrative tasks of the Synod and Clergy, supporting efforts and providing guidance as needed. Furthermore, the VP of Clerical Affairs presses the agenda of the Synod and the Clergy to ensure follow through on measures proposed.

 

Assistant Pastor of Seminary

The Assistant Pastor for the Seminary is responsible for engagement and intake of new Seminarians (clerical trainees), assistance with their ongoing studies, and tracking the completion of Seminarian’s training journals. Additionally the Assistant Pastor for the Seminary assists in the procedural functioning and services of the Clergy including producing Sermons and providing pastoral care.

Assistant Pastor for Outreach

 The Pastor for Pastoral Care is responsible for connecting the Temple to the community members and for the development and fostering of relationships across all levels of participation. This includes leading a team tasked with welcoming new members, providing spiritual outreach services and spiritual crisis mitigation, conflict resolution.

APPOINTMENT OF SYNOD OFFICES

When an Office is vacant, public notice will be made to the Temple requesting candidates who would like to fill this office to submit a letter to the Administrator of Clerical Affairs. Candidates must be an ordained member of the Clergy and in good standing with the Temple. If no suitable ordained  Clergy are forthcoming, a suitable Licensed Minister may be appointed as interim officer for a maximum time period of one year and one week. Interim Synod members assume all the roles, rights and responsibilities of the Synod position they are filling, this includes the ability to vote on Synod decisions. Seminarians who complete their studies while in office will be considered standing officers. All candidates will be fairly considered, interviewed, and voted upon by the General Clergy If the Synod vote results in a tie, or there are fewer than four members of the Synod, Councilors that are also members of the Clergy (but not the Synod) may be asked to cast deciding votes.

REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

These are the reasons for which an individual may be removed from an office of the Synod/Clergy

  • Dereliction of Duty
  • Long stretches of inactivity or invisibility (6 months or more)
  • Failure to perform duties in accordance with the description of the role
  • Abuse of the power that comes with any role

. RANKS AND ROLES

The Clergy is the part of the Temple that deals specifically with the spiritual well-being of the community as a whole. The Clergy are not spiritual authorities, but are entrusted with helping guide people along their Jedi journeys. The Clergy are not mental healthcare professionals- they are guides, and if a member is feeling particularly emotionally distressed, they should seek the appropriate clinical help.

As a non-profit religious organization, the Temple of the Jedi Order has the ability to license and ordain ministers to serve in a clerical capacity. All Ministers can officiate weddings and conduct other religious ceremonies. Both licenses and ordinations are Legal in every state in the USA and may be in foreign countries (check with your local civil authorities for guidelines). To become a Minister of the Force, you must be Licensed or Ordained by the Temple of the Jedi Order; it is not a Certificate that makes you a Minister, but our records on file.

All members of the clergy must maintain good standing within the Temple and generally function by regularly contributing to the Sermon Calendar, engaging with members regularly either in a 1-1, on the forum, on discord, or in a group setting to foster the spiritual health of the community, and (even) creating and maintaining a ministry project. Due to the nature of the vocation, a Clergy member must report any criminal convictions immediately.

Entering Seminary

In order to enter the seminary interested individuals must be ranked Knight or higher within the Temple of the Jedi Order. A live interview is conducted with the Dean of the Seminary or in their absence, another member of the Synod. If a live interview cannot be arranged, the questions may be sent via direct message to the interested party. Admittance will be determined by the person conducting the interview. In the case of a negative response, the individual may appeal to Synod Ordination 

Ordination

occurs when an individual completes Seminary and has completed at least six months as a Licensed Minister. A vote is called for within Synod where a simple majority of voting members rules. The announcement is made that an individual is to be ordained in Clerical Promotions and the ceremony [linked here] is carried out. The newly ordained person conducts a live service as a part of their ordination ceremony which is then posted in the sermon archives

Clerical Ranks 

Licensed Minister

Licensure is granted by the Synod to a minister who has completed Seminary Training. It is a rank one holds for a minimum of six months while learning the practicalities of ministry within the Temple of the Jedi Order.  With this license, a minister is permitted to create and facilitate a personal ministry, may serve as part of a ministerial team, is expected to regularly contribute to the sermon calendar, and craft a Clerical Handbook. As a Licensed Minister is not ordained, they cannot act as a Confidant.

Ordained Clergy Person

The first ordained rank of the Clergy is that of the Ordained Clergy Person. In conjunction with ongoing Ministry and sermons, a cleric takes an Oath of Confidence during Ordination so that they may legally act as Confidants (or "take confession"). The chief role of the Ordained Clergy person is Pastoral Care. 

Sr. Ordained Clergy Person

The Sr. Ordained Clergy Person is a visionary for the Clergy and as such sees the "big picture" of the Temple. Sr. OCP looks out for themes that crop up in the Temple in need of addressing while identifying possible areas of growth and filtering that information down all the way down to the Licensed Minister so that projects can be created to address these needs. While reaching out to the wider Temple, Sr. OCP’s are also expected to contribute to the sermon calendar and maintain regular contact with the governing body of the Clergy (Synod)

GOOD STANDING 

Members of the Clergy are in Good Standing if:

They engage with meetings of the Clergy either by attending the meeting live or by providing feedback in the thread announcing the meeting. 

They update their ministerial statement and handbook at least once per year

They provide a report once per quarter concerning how they are completing their ministerial statement

They complete at least 10 hours of continuing education every year by either completing lessons provided for that purpose or contributing lessons to the bank provided for that purpose

MEETINGS OF THE CLERGY

The members of the Clergy will meet once a quarter. The dates and times of the meetings will be determined by an assessment of the availability of members of the clergy

Three weeks before the meeting,  the agenda will be presented in the Temple of the Jedi Order forum and a link will be posted in the #Clergy-General discord. During this time, members who cannot attend may present their points for discussions for each part of the agenda. Each aspect of the agenda will be refined until a suitable proposal of each item is created. The meeting portion is designed for voting for each point of the agenda. Once all members of the Clergy have voted, the majority rules.

VII. FORMING COMMITTEES

Committees may be formed on an ad-hoc basis and overseen by an Ordained Clergy Person or Senior Ordained Clergy person depending on the competency required. 

VIII. THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS

 The administrative process of the Synod is directly governed by the Doctrine of Temple of the Jedi Order. Mindful that no one is completely immune from character fault or flaw, the following administrative procedure has been established to provide for the equitable conception, discussion, and decisions of the clerical leadership.

All members of the Synod are encouraged to put forth ideas for improving any of the functions of the Clergy.

These ideas are then discussed, refined, modified, and then voted upon.

All members of the Synod may vote on any measure. The measure passes when a majority is reached.

If the measure passes through the Synod, the Pastor will then submit the proposal to be ratified by the Council of the Temple of the Jedi Order as necessary.

Veto power for any measure rests with the Council of the Temple of the Jedi Order.

Any member of the Temple of the Jedi Order may submit ideas, requests, or grievances to the Synod for investigation, examination, and discussion.