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Am I nucking futs?

Am I the only person that believes that a religious community has an obligation to care for its clergy's needs (speaking mainly not material needs here) as well as clergy tending to the community needs? Separate it out from whether clergy is paid or unpaid as a vocation. To me it is obvious. To others it is a ridiculous requirement. Ok. Religious community. Why wouldn't there be reciprocal caretaking? Eh? Hermits-r-us can be all about self care to the point of exclusion from a group -- but a religious community? Perhaps I am just nuts. *shakes head* Or maybe, just maybe the other poster is being deliberately obtuse.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2005 12:10 am (UTC)
Ok....what set this off? And, by the way, I had lunch with V today. I will be sending the email and not her...I think LOL...with a laundry list of bullet points. (PS Chaptaire 46 is up.) Um, I and I'll be at the Mountains for the weekend.
Oct. 7th, 2005 12:18 am (UTC)
LOL. Nothing around here - message board conflict. Self-sufficiency is fine, but we're humans. Mostly we live in community for a *reason*. Geez.

Good on the email, someone will take it better from you - oh tradlady of 20 years - hahaha. Me, I've only been a witch for um ever. Oh wait - so have you!

I'll send my supportive response to the email - I'll avoid any festing of it. I'm sssoooo tired of BSing around - I just want to advertise! Anyway ..... have a wonderful rest in the mountains!
Oct. 7th, 2005 12:26 am (UTC)
I'm not commenting on that thread tonight, because I don't think I'm in a mood to be civil about it.

I do think there's a possibility for congregational Paganism. (Though, honestly, I haven't seen it work terribly well even for people who *do* have all sorts of relevant training, but I'm willing to chalk that up to individuals, not the basic concept, as a working discussion notion.) But it's so foreign to a tremendous amount of Craft work that.. where do you start the comparison?

I think there has to be reciprocal caretaking. And especially in any community where you're aiming at group mind stuff. How else do you form those connections?

As part of our ritual for Mabon, I (as HPS) and the woman who was doing HP (we are short of men) asked our group's HPS and HP if they'd do something in ritual.

The wording on that was pretty blunt: [circle name], priestess, guide, teacher, friend, sister/brother.... And all of those things need to be true for us to have a functional circle. If they were just (or we were just) HP and HPS, it wouldn't work right.

There need to be other connections - and for me, friendship *has* to have a layer of mutual care and support. Otherwise, it's friendly acquaintinceship. That's not a bad thing and in many settings it's totally appropriate - but it's not the same as friendship.
Oct. 7th, 2005 12:38 am (UTC)
I think there is likely no way to stop congregational Paganism. I have mixed feelings about that, I'm not totally against it, but I hope the coven model does not disappear (I really don't think it will disappear). Still, my big issue other than the "clergy as self-sustaining spiritual individual" is why the *hell* would pick up a flawed model and implement w/o changing it? Sure the changes may suck, too, and need adjusted, but try for crying out loud.

Eh, maybe someday I'll be like that poster and have all the answers. ;-)
Oct. 7th, 2005 02:01 am (UTC)
The other poster is someone I've run into on other lists that has no *clue* about smaller group functioning. All of her work has been done as prison ministry or in larger groups.

She doesn't get that small groups are family before they're clergy.
Oct. 7th, 2005 03:11 am (UTC)
Too bad. She's missing a vital part of the community, one that would serve her well in designing the type of congretional/clergy model she seeks if she would prefer that it last longer than a year.

I guess she just wants to be someone's paid clergy, get the paycheck, and when she's "tired" tell her 'flock' "Sorry, it's ME time, fend for yourself like a good little Pagan. After all my job training taught me to respond this way." Yeah .... another group of empty clergy - that's what we need!!
Oct. 7th, 2005 01:07 pm (UTC)
From what I recall of her, she's always been more interested in the theory and psychological aspects of things. Like I said, her theories are good, but they aren't exactly practical...and practical knowledge is what she needs to drive theory into practice.
Oct. 7th, 2005 01:11 pm (UTC)
Well then, she can be the clergy support person - the one who helps keep the balance so the laity does not drain the priest/ess. Theories are always a good starting point, well sound ones anyway, but you are correct they need to be practically applied.
Oct. 8th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
Isn't that what a community is? A group of people who bond together in mutual support? Okay. Rephrase...isn't that what a community *ought* to be?
Oct. 9th, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
I can understand some of her issues--doctors do not go to their patients for medical advice; if clergy are supposed to have serious training in counseling & spiritual guidance, they shouldn't have to go to amateurs to get those things for themselves. (Counseling really shouldn't be learned by trial & error.)

But her notions are completely oblivious to the *individual connection* method of religious interaction... like most congregational models, it assumes that all congregants are created equal and are interchangeable.

Yes, for serious theological conundrums, clergy are going to have to find other clergy to help them sort things out. But most "need support" issues aren't those, and often are things that only the congregation can help with--things like "I need to know that I'm not fucking up people's lives even though I'm giving them disrupting advice like leave that guy who hits you or maybe you *should* quit that job you hate & go back to school, even though money'll be a lot tighter."

And sometimes they just need pick-me-up energy, and a sense of perspective that not everything is focused on all those serious religious issues... they need to go out to the movies with congregants, see them as just people having fun and not "those people I'm supposed to guide into their Highest Selves."

Most congregational systems don't do either of those; they want to maintain the hierarchy of "wisdom and support come FROM the clergy and go TO the congregation, not the other way around, or the congregation would become confused." (I believe this stems more from modern public school systems than from religious settings. Don't get me started on the evils of the american classroom structure.)
Oct. 9th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
Right. She seemed to completely ignore the more mundane needs of clergy and connection that I was talking about. She seems to want to model it after UU. UU is great at what it does, but what it does is not spirituality of the depth that I am seeking. I seek community that *mostly* doesn't want to piss on me because I'm pagan when I attend the UU church. A lot of that has to do with having a very pagan friendly minister even though she does wear that label. Hhhmm ... that's probably why we're more welcome - because it doesn't appear she is pushing her own agenda. Anyhow - paganism the UU way is much less than I need from my path.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )