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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

March 16th, 2005

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06:00 pm - I know some of you are/have been Clergy. . .
Got home, and remembered I wanted to ask a question:

For those who feel they're pre-disposed to clergy**, what should I be looking for to tell me I am?

I've got the idea that I should be looking for a calling. . . a vocation if you will. Can anyone describe that? Or point me to a good book that does? (And no, I'm definitely not opposed to reading books about Christian "vocations".)

Because damnit, I'm confused. It's official. And it bothers me that I can't figure it out.

** - note: I don't mean necessarily ordained clergy: self-styled clergy works just fine for me. I've been trying for over 7 months to figure this thing out.
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Current Music: "Last Mango in Paris", -JB
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(34 comments Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 16th, 2005 11:14 pm (UTC)
It's a difficult feeling to describe. It's something you know you have to do, even if it's not necessarily something you want to do.

Seems to me that you already fill a somewhat clerical role with your grove and the various things you do in ADF. What made you want to do those? What makes you, or made you, want to keep doing it?
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC)
You're right, in that any Senior Druid is going to preform a very clergy-like role, but I'm not at all sure that what I'm doing is clergy. Then again, that's another thing I'm trying to figure out.

As for why I want to run a Grove (and lead rites in particular), though, I'd say that I actually kind of like it, it's fun, and I'm very happy when I'm leading a rite. There's something about getting up there and doing the rite that really gets to me. It's an indescribable sort of thing. The word I've always used to describe it, but that falls short when I use it, is that I feel "full". Full of what, I'm not totally sure. But definitely "full".

And it's that feeling of fullness that keeps me doing it, really. I could do without the paralyzing stagefright beforehand.

There's also the fact that no one else is dumb enough to do it, and in the end, I'm pretty darn good at it. But I imagine that I'd still want to do it even if others were willing.
Date:March 17th, 2005 01:09 am (UTC)
You seem to be pretty much all over ADF, and you certainly do a lot of interesting things. I've not read up on the whole clergy thing liek you have, but it seems to me that unless you have a clear idea what you want you'd end up at risk of limiting your ideas about yourself. Which may not be good.
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 02:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, I've been thinking much about the limiting factors of clergy. I'm not entirely sure that being a chaote is at all compatible with being clergy, and that causes me some pause: would I end up needing to deny part of who I am? Or would it be more like, "Well, the Chaote part is just a game, anyway, and if I stop playing, I'm not stopping being me"?

Or can I do it, anyway? I mean, I've always been a Druid first. Is there even a change needed?

Yeah, that whole thing is an interesting question that might not occur to lots of people, but it's an important one for me.
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 03:10 am (UTC)
My personal opinion is that you are actively "looking for" a calling, then its probably not a real "calling." It's something else (a predisposition, a self-delusion, a means to an end, an interest, a hobby, a ... whatever). I have always been uncomfortable with leadership positions. Some elders say that this makes me the right sort to be a leader. I say it just makes me ... uncomfortable. I tend to look up most to those leaders who don't get off on being leaders...the reluctant ones, the humble ones, the ones who do the job because it needs doing, then get the hell out of the spotlight so that they can get back to being regular folks. I'm rambling, so I guess I'll stop now. Good luck on your quest/hunt/search.
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC)
I, too, am rather uncomfortable with leadership, in most cases. Until I started working as ADF's deputy preceptor, I had one leadership postition in ADF: Senior Druid. I took that because Columbus needed a Grove, and I thought about it very hard for a long time, built up ritual experience with 6th Night. I've refused leadership positions in the past, even though they're available to me, especially in ADF. I just can't ever help but think there's someone better for that position than me.

Like you, I don't need the leadership position to justify my existance. Having a position doesn't mean squat to the Gods: it's competence and scincerity that mean something there.

Mostly, I don't think I'd know that "vocation" if it came up and kicked me in the ass, and I need to know if there's something that I should be able to see/hear/feel/touch that'll give it away. So it doesn't matter how many rocks I look under, I've probably seen a sure sign one way or the other and just haven't recognized it.
Date:March 17th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC)
Well, are you a

creative ritualist
good listener
good speaker
self motivator
craft person
telephone or e-mail fanatic
detail oriented s.o.b.
problem solver
challenge maker
willing mistake owner
etc. etc. etc.

and most of all, are you able to think on your feet and stay humble at the same time?

At least in my experience, this is what that means.

There's something to the idea that anybody who would WANT that job is crazy. It's a job that gets done because it needs to be done. Don't expect a lot of thanks or glamour. It's more about organization, researching and creative skills than that.

Be okay with people talking smack about you when you don't play by their rules.

If you can deal with all of this and still feel fulfilled at the end of the day, then you're in the right place. There is no magic line you cross over one day when you know that you know what you need to know to do the job, and feel like you're qualified, because there will always be days you know for sure you have no idea what you're doing or what business you have being clergy in the first place. But those are the moments that keep you real, and keep you learning - which is probably the most important requirement of all. Continuing learning and being willing to do the work that you have to to make it happen.

[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 02:44 pm (UTC)
Jack of all trades, master of some, and willing to say that the "all" in "jack of all trades" is really kind of a misnomer? Yeah, I might be able to pull that off :) Thanks.

And yeah, there's not much thanks or glamour in it. Certainly no cash, women or booze.

Always something to think about when considering a future path.
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 06:34 am (UTC)
I do clergy stuff because it needed done & I'm willing to do the work. I didn't seek it out or "get called" or whatever, just saw the need.

I disagree with the idea that those who don't want the job are the right ones. I think the issue is that there are folks who enjoy the title & the preceived power or glamour that they see with it. The good ones are the ones who see that the Folk need to be served & that the Kins need to be served & are willing to do the sort of work that is entailed in that.

Which is why I find it kinda funny that this is an issue for you, let alone such a large one. You're already *doing* the work. You're either expecting a Decree from the Gods with Shinging Lights & possible smack upside the head OR you're looking for a reason to duck out of it.

I've told you before- you're already clergy. At some point you'll figure this out & stop wasting your energy trying to figure out whether or not you should be something you've already become.
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC)
I'd find myself remiss if I didn't seriously examine what I'm doing, consider it very carefully, and make damn sure I'm making the right choice.

I don't want to look back and say, "What the hell was I thinking?"

As for power and glamour, who sees that in clergy? It seems to me to be a darn dirty job.
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 01:26 pm (UTC)
Interestingly enough, having been raised catholic and groomed for the clergy rather nicely, I have a few thoughts on the subject.

The clergy is certainly a vocation. It's a big step, but the surest sign that it's a step that you should take is if it's a step you've already taken. That was always the way in the catholic church. the clergy is mostly made up of people who have been doing the job their whole lives anyway. They know the mass, the faith, and have a solid understanding of it and most of those people were already acting in many of the other capacities. Advisors, councelors, moral compass, etc.

Personally, I do think it'd be a fine choice for you. I think that if a bunch of druids came in from out of town and we told them that you were in the clergy they'd never know the difference and they'd probably be surprised to learn that you weren't. I can't think of much that would change if you went that route (barring the process). Just out of curiosity, what's holding you back?
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC)
Interesting on the "step you've already taken" bit. I have been doing a lot of that (dunno if I've been doing it my whole life, though Kori recently mentioned something about being surprised I haven't done it yet), but there's the wondering if I'm doing it because I'm SD, or if I'm SD because I'm doing it.

Personally, I do think it'd be a fine choice for you.

Thanks for that. :)

I've had to correct people before after rituals. After our first Imbolc, there was a whole conversation where someone said, "You're a really good priest," to which I replied, "Actually, I'm not a priest at all," and the conversation went on from there.

The thing that's holding me back is that I'd have to dedicate a lot more time to it, it's not a step I want to take lightly with little forethought, and it's not something I'm certain I'm "called" to do.

Another thing that holds me back are the ADF clergy requirements. The requirements basically say that I need to be SD to a Grove of 9 members for 2 full years, which 3 Cranes won't reach until 10/25/05. I could apply to have that requirement waived, but the Grove already has one clergy member, romandruid, so it's not needed at the moment.

Here's a counter question that I'm suddenly interested in, though: if you were groomed for it, why are you not seeking ordination right now? (Or are you, and I just don't know?)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 03:05 pm (UTC)
The hope is mainly to recognize it when/if it does come calling.

And a Quest. . . Now that sounds like fun. . .
(Deleted comment)
Date:March 17th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC)
Define "clergy".

I cannot say whether any of these books are of any value:

Call of a Lifetime: Is the Ministry God's Plan for Your Life? by Keith Drury ISBN: 0898272629

Sorting It out: Discerning God's Call to Ministry by Alice R. Cullinan ISBN: 0817013024

Before You Quit: When Ministry Is Not What You Thought by Blaine Allen ISBN: 0825420121

Before You Move: A Guide to Making Transitions in Ministry by John R. Cionca ISBN: 0825423929

Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: The Paradox of Personal Dysfunction by Gary L. McIntosh, Samuel D. Rima,Sr. ISBN: 0801090474*

*Really, I think that there are far better candidates than you who need to read this book, if it is any good.
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 04:48 pm (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure I can define clergy. That's part of the fun of this whole thing.

I'll have to look through some of those books, see if any look good.

(and thanks for that last asterick) :)
[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 05:02 pm (UTC)


If a blind man leads a blind man, then will both not fall into an open manhole cover?

How much better for one blind man with a seeing eye dog to tell the other where he can find his own seeing-eye dog. Then, perhaps neither shall fall into the manhole and the dogs will have a nice home.

What sort of blind man do you want to be? You can lead, and your mistakes are heaped upon those who follow... or you can act as a pointer, an advisor or simply a friend.

Clergy, seems to me, often to fall into one of those categories. History is full of examples of 'clergy' that lead and mislead many people (intentionally or not). History also records those who seemed desirous of helping their fellow and nothing more.

I think I know what sort of clergy you would be, and if I'm wrong... well, I'll just send Our Lady over to have a chat with you. ;-)

[User Picture]
Date:March 17th, 2005 06:52 pm (UTC)

Re: Clergy

Actually, I believe it is wiser that the city workers remember to replace the manhole when they finish working.

At the mere threat of Our Lady having a nice tea-time chat, I know what I'll try to be, that's for sure.

Time to find some puppies a good home.

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