March 16th, 2005
|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: confused
Current Music: "Last Mango in Paris", -JB
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.
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) :)
You need to define what a clergy is: start by researching what clergy is in as many faiths as possible, not just the historical facts as they are known but also through the various biographies and autobiographies available.
Dictionary.com has clergy meaning:
The body of people ordained for religious service (as distinguished from the laity).
To me clergy can be split into four categories:
1. Clergy for the Gods. These people exist to serve the Gods and to further the worship of the Gods. Anything else is just a side effect.
2. Clergy of the People. These people serve the Gods by serving the People.
3. Clergy of the Earth. These people serve the Gods by serving the Earth.
4. Clergy for All. These people combine all of the above into a balance that works for them.
Which, if any is more appealing to you?
I am not sure you do not know what clergy is. Perhaps you are more confused as to what is expected by a member of the clergy and what your responsibilities would be to yourself, your family, your Gods and any people you serve-- yes? no? You question if it is the path you are on and if you are right for it. To know the answer you must know what you think a clergy is, what is expected of you and how to find your own clergy style.
Sit down and think of all the people you know who are ordained (fictional or non fictional) and list the good and bad qualities you see in them (if there are any of each). Then do the same for those who you see as clergy but many not see themselves as such or are not legally/officially ordained. From these two groups create your perfect priest: what qualities do they posses? what are their strengths? what do they do? Pay attention to the negative qualities. Be honest with yourself and where you see yourself fitting within the good and the bad.
For example, I am not a people person (it has been said I foam at the mouth). I work for the Gods alone. I just do not have the time or desire to help people beyond my financial and time contributions to various charities. I worship the Gods, I talk about the Gods, and I do help people reach out to the Gods. But helping people is not my main concern. I see working with people to be something that I can do in the future once my own responsibilities have ceased (re: the children move out of the house) and I can devote myself entirely to it-- because it would require devoting myself entirely to it.
I see clergy more in line with the Tibetan Buddhists. Reading the more dramatic stories leads me to question myself: would I die for my religion? would I die for my Gods? if a God came down before me and said run to the mountains would I? Right now, no.... I would not do any of those things. I cannot as I have a husband, a family and a son who rely on me. When my son is grown and out of the house, when my pets have all passed on, when I am older... would I die, run to the mountains or be a bum if the Gods asked? You bet. But then, thankfully, my religion has a history of people training in their youth, raising a family in their middle years and then running off to the mountains when the children are all grown. ;D
Christians also have many books available (such as ISBN: 0595306012) which exist to help one sort out "God's Plan" for them (although, to be honest, I don't think there is a plan for every individual on the planet, but that is just me and a minority opinion in a community that sees everyone as a priest). These books may be helpful to you-- but be aware that many Christian books are really self-help books that rely on Jesus and God. You could very well find the same information in a non religious self-help book.
There are also a few books available for the ministry that deal with "ok, I'm a member of the clergy now, but what do I do next?" You should be able to find them in the Christian section.
Should I make that list on my LJ? It could get interesting, as a lot of the clergy I know are on LJ. :)
"Let's see, these are gothicdruid
's positive points, and here are his negative points!"
No, not a good idea. :)
Yes, I've already mentioned you as "clergy" in my journals trying to figure out this whole thing. You're very much clergy, in my eyes. As is m3ch
As for what I find more appealing of the four you've talked about, I'd say 1 and 2 are the most important, in that order.
But one does not need clergy "status" for either of those things. One recent entry I made in my journal is all about the fact that one does not need clergy to deal with the gods, or to worship them right.
So part of what I'm struggling with is that feeling: "You know, I don't need that validation."
I don't think I'm doing this for me. I don't know who I'm doing it for, but it appears that I'm doing it more for my Grove and community. At least, that's what I'm interested in doing it for.
You could make that list on your LJ, it would be an interesting activity-- however egos are easily bruised so it may not be a good idea.
And as we talked about today... you already have all the answers. :)