The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
October 13, 2019, 09:57:22 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 13, 2019, 09:57:22 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: What I Expect From My Church  (Read 17981 times)
RandallS
Co-Host
Administrator
Grand Adept Member
*****
Last Login:September 17, 2019, 11:13:29 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
TCN ID: ADMIN
Posts: 17181


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #30: October 13, 2007, 05:49:18 pm »

Well, now I'm miffed. I thought I'd written a fairly clear article.

I thought it was clear and it was pretty obvious to me who the "target" was. However, I think so many Pagans are against the whole idea of Pagan religions with organized churches that they tend to automatically read articles like this as targeted at all Pagans (that is, saying that all Pagans need to belong to and support such churches).

Whereas you article is targeted at those groups who do organize in a "church-like" manner -- telling them that as far as you are concerned, there is more to being a church than just calling yourself one and having open public worship.
Logged

Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog - Forum] -- Out Of Print & Out Of Style Tabletop Roleplaying Games
Software Gadgets Blog -- Interesting Software, Mostly Free
Cheap Web Hosting -- Find an Affordable Web Host

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Eadie
Master Member
****
Last Login:November 11, 2008, 04:19:38 pm
United States United States

Religion: Other
Posts: 628

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #31: October 14, 2007, 01:17:14 pm »

I thought it was clear and it was pretty obvious to me who the "target" was. However, I think so many Pagans are against the whole idea of Pagan religions with organized churches that they tend to automatically read articles like this as targeted at all Pagans (that is, saying that all Pagans need to belong to and support such churches).

Whereas you article is targeted at those groups who do organize in a "church-like" manner -- telling them that as far as you are concerned, there is more to being a church than just calling yourself one and having open public worship.

I agree with Randall on this.  I understood the article to be pointed at those who wanted the whole church set-up as part of their religion.  And I felt it was very well done in terms of laying out what a congregation member wants from a church and what the average congregation member can give.  And I agree with what you have said in the article. 

While I do not feel the need for a church at this time in my life (and since I grew up Catholic (and active in the church) I am fully aware of what I think a church should offer) I realize I might want it later on.  And having an indoor space for the occasional wedding or funeral or what-not would be nice.  And since my SO does (legally) perform pagan wedding ceremonies, I fully understand how big the need is for such a space.  Fortunately we have a UU congregation that has a pagan group here, so the church IS available (at a fee of course, but that's normal if you're not a congregation member) for such things.  Not everywhere has a space that works for such events that can be used by pagans - not all communities are amenable to such things. 

The thing about a 'pagan' church, is that they would be much more likely to be willing to rent out space for regular or occasional use to other pagan groups.  So even though the other groups couldn't afford their own church, they would have a place they could go to meet.  And it would help support the building they were using.  This is not an unusual thing - in small towns it is not uncommon for one denomination to rent from another in the Xtian community (my grandmother's Catholic church used to rent from the Episcopalian church before they raised the money for land and building).
Logged
mandrina
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:August 13, 2013, 11:51:25 pm
United States United States

Religion: Reclaiming practice, still trying to identify diety, but have some ideas
Posts: 3546


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #32: October 14, 2007, 05:29:41 pm »

.....

The thing about a 'pagan' church, is that they would be much more likely to be willing to rent out space for regular or occasional use to other pagan groups.  So even though the other groups couldn't afford their own church, they would have a place they could go to meet.  And it would help support the building they were using.  This is not an unusual thing - in small towns it is not uncommon for one denomination to rent from another in the Xtian community (my grandmother's Catholic church used to rent from the Episcopalian church before they raised the money for land and building).

The methodist church I got married in now contains (and collects rent from) : 1 Korean church, 1 school for handicapped kids, 1 preschool, and 1 girls middle school, along with having a dedicated weekend coffee shop that supports itself and adds money to the church coffers.  Every darn room is busy every single day (except saturdays)  Only about 6 rooms are actually used only by the methodist church, and that includes the minister's office and the choir robe closet.  The middle school would like to rent another couple rooms, but there aren't any to rent.
Logged

"I've got a bad feeling about this."

every good guy in any of the Star Wars movies.





[url=http://dragcave.net/vi
SunflowerP
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:October 07, 2019, 05:12:31 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: Eclectic Wicca-compatible religious Witch (Libertarian Witchcraft)
TCN ID: SunflowerP
Posts: 5485


Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #33: October 14, 2007, 07:13:22 pm »

It applies to those groups that state they want to be a public church. It's no so much "the pagan community" but specific groups that want to serve a public pagan community.
Y'know, that makes a big difference in how I feel about the article.  I'm a bit too jaded by sales talks on "Pagans need churches!  And experienced coven leaders to be our clergy!" so I put it, too hastily, into that class.

I doubt this is lack of clarity on your part, Pete (unless it crept in inadvertently as a side effect of tweaking to include non-ADF groups); I think it's that my personal experiences colored my response too much.

Sunflower
Logged

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
I do so have a life.  I just live part of it online.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others
to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
sailor_tech
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:July 06, 2011, 04:43:27 pm
United States United States

Religion: Jewish
Posts: 3564

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #34: October 14, 2007, 08:37:03 pm »

Y'know, that makes a big difference in how I feel about the article.  I'm a bit too jaded by sales talks on "Pagans need churches!  And experienced coven leaders to be our clergy!" so I put it, too hastily, into that class.

I doubt this is lack of clarity on your part, Pete (unless it crept in inadvertently as a side effect of tweaking to include non-ADF groups); I think it's that my personal experiences colored my response too much.

Sunflower

Well, next time you encounter a "coven leader" (experianced or not) you can show them my article to show how much work they are looking at.
Logged
joshuatenpenny
Journeyman
***
Last Login:November 01, 2007, 08:09:28 pm
United States United States

Religion: Asphodel, recon-derived eclectic paganism
Posts: 158


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #35: October 15, 2007, 12:44:52 pm »

What I Expect From My Church
Read the Full Article

I have always loved this article, and it reminds me of one on my own tradition's website: Why My Aunt Judy Isn't Pagan. (Except Peter's article is better, IMHO, because it clearly outlines specific goals.) My trad does follow a very congregational model, and our structural goals are very similar to the one's Peter describes. With the idea that it might refocus this discussion on the actual points raised in the article, I'll sum them up:

1) Paid full-time clergy
2) Regularly scheduled religious meetings in the same location
3) Rituals lead by clergy according to a specific tradition
4) Religious education for adults and children
5) Rites of passage, including funerals and legally binding weddings.
6) Pastoral counseling
7) Coordinating volunteer projects
8 ) Responsible administrative/financial practices
9) Public announcement of events, policy and decision-making processes
10) Clear church government

In my trad, we do not presently have paid fulltime clergy. The expected time commitment for ordained clergy is 6 hours a week, and while people are reimbursed for expenses, they aren't paid. If/when we come to a point where we desire a substantially greater time commitment from our clergy *and* we have the funds to make it happen, we'll consider paid clergy.

Aside from that, these are all things we have or are working towards. We have a regular outdoor meeting place. We have the money and have begun construction on an indoor meeting place on the same property, for bad weather. We have nine scheduled holidays a year, plus weekly choir practices. My ministry project to qualify for ordination is to run twice-a-month services. These are run in conjunction with a social activity or discussion group and potluck. In the past our monthly/weekly services have failed to draw interest because many of our members live a good distance away and find it difficult to travel that far for only an hour long service.

We have a set annual and daily liturgy that our clergy is trained in. Folks can create new rituals, if they feel moved, but they have a large body of ritual-segments and pieces of liturgy to draw from in assembling a ritual, so they don't have to write everything from scratch.

We have a comprehensive program of religious education for adults. It includes general education for interested parishioners, which may be taken class-by-class as they interest you, or as part of a two-year (180 hour) structured program of study. It also includes advanced study in various areas, including ministry, for qualified/interested individuals. We do not presently offer religious instruction for children, because we have only one interested parent at this time. When we get more, we'll look into offering it.

We offer rites of passage of various kinds, including legal and non-legal weddings. Our ordained clergy is expected to offer a certain amount of pastoral counseling, although at present the congregation generally prefers to seek spiritual counseling from the more skilled diviners and spirit-workers in the community. We have a non-clergy group which is in charge of coordinating volunteer service projects. We have a clerk (me) and a treasurer for the bulk of administrative responsibilities, but clergy are expected to keep track of their own records and coordinate with the clerk and treasurer.

Our announcements are done largely online, which has been a problem because not all of our members have computers or regular internet access. We'd like one of the current ministry students to take on the Asphodel Newsletter as their ministry project.

We're very clear about our policy and decision-making process. While our church government doesn't quite match any of the three described in the article, it works well for us. It is similar to the presbyterian model, I suppose. The leadership and clergy are distinct roles, with the clergy answering directly to the church leadership.

Our group is still in a state of growth and change, but I'd say with confidence that within five or ten years we'll be where we want to be on all of these goals. I'm really very proud of what we've done, especially considering that the article suggest these as happening "50+ years in the future" (40+ now, as the article was written in '97). Certainly, the congregational church model isn't appropriate for every group or every person, and I think the coven-style Mystery Tradition model is a wonderful one. I see the congregational model filling a very real need for many people in the Neo-Pagan community while taking nothing away from folks who prefer small-group or solitary practice.

-- Joshua
Logged

SunflowerP
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:October 07, 2019, 05:12:31 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: Eclectic Wicca-compatible religious Witch (Libertarian Witchcraft)
TCN ID: SunflowerP
Posts: 5485


Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #36: October 15, 2007, 08:46:58 pm »

Well, next time you encounter a "coven leader" (experianced or not) you can show them my article to show how much work they are looking at.
Err, I beg your pardon?  I am a coven leader.  In terms of my personal experience base, I'm the coven leader that <person giving congregationalist sales talk> wants to take on that clergy job.  I don't need to look at your article in terms of the amount of work involved, because I'm not looking at that work - it doesn't interest me, it's a different skill-set, and 90% of the time I'm not even really the same religion as <congregationalist> except in a very loose sense.

<Congregationalist>, who is not a coven leader and usually isn't a member of a group of that kind (s/he wants a church to go to because s/he isn't part of a group), may or may not know just how much work is involved in operating a church/congregation, but s/he knows it's more work than s/he's willing to do; that's why s/he wants me or someone like me to take it on.

That is what I'm allergic to.

Sunflower
Logged

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
I do so have a life.  I just live part of it online.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others
to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
sailor_tech
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:July 06, 2011, 04:43:27 pm
United States United States

Religion: Jewish
Posts: 3564

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #37: October 15, 2007, 09:21:28 pm »

Err, I beg your pardon?  I am a coven leader.  In terms of my personal experience base, I'm the coven leader that <person giving congregationalist sales talk> wants to take on that clergy job.  I don't need to look at your article in terms of the amount of work involved, because I'm not looking at that work - it doesn't interest me, it's a different skill-set, and 90% of the time I'm not even really the same religion as <congregationalist> except in a very loose sense.

<Congregationalist>, who is not a coven leader and usually isn't a member of a group of that kind (s/he wants a church to go to because s/he isn't part of a group), may or may not know just how much work is involved in operating a church/congregation, but s/he knows it's more work than s/he's willing to do; that's why s/he wants me or someone like me to take it on.

That is what I'm allergic to.

Sunflower

Sorry, wasn't trying to insult / etc you. 

Well, you can give it to the congregation person who wants to have such an organization and ask them how much they are willing to pay. I roughed some numbers back in the late 1980s for running a public church. About $150,000 per year exclusive of land & building purchase costs.

From your other posts I was fairly confident that you weren't personally interested in being involved in an organization like the article mentioned. I thought though that you had encountered other coven leaders (or people who claimed they were or wanted to be) who had grand ideas.
Logged
SunflowerP
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:October 07, 2019, 05:12:31 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: Eclectic Wicca-compatible religious Witch (Libertarian Witchcraft)
TCN ID: SunflowerP
Posts: 5485


Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #38: October 16, 2007, 06:23:05 pm »

From your other posts I was fairly confident that you weren't personally interested in being involved in an organization like the article mentioned. I thought though that you had encountered other coven leaders (or people who claimed they were or wanted to be) who had grand ideas.
I sort of wish I had - then, I'd have somewhere to refer the "we need a congregation, will you be our clergy?" types.

Sunflower
Logged

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
I do so have a life.  I just live part of it online.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others
to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
joshuatenpenny
Journeyman
***
Last Login:November 01, 2007, 08:09:28 pm
United States United States

Religion: Asphodel, recon-derived eclectic paganism
Posts: 158


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #39: October 16, 2007, 08:34:12 pm »

Well, you can give it to the congregation person who wants to have such an organization and ask them how much they are willing to pay. I roughed some numbers back in the late 1980s for running a public church. About $150,000 per year exclusive of land & building purchase costs.

Wow! How big a congregation is that figured for? Is there a call for that size organization in your area?

Asphodel gets $1000-$1500 a year in unsolicited donations and has a congregation of around 80 people. About half of those folks are living right around the poverty line or below it. We've got a core group of about ten folks who put in between five and fifteen hours a month volunteer work, and have rent free use of our ritual space. We don't have a lot of expenses, and we work to keep it that way. Otherwise we couldn't effectively serve the congregation we serve.

If you are called to serve a congregation, it can be done without the huge outlay of cash. You just need to be willing to let your structure and services grow as your congregation grows. You let the congregation set the budget by giving what they are comfortable giving, then you work within that budget. You focus on what you can do now with what you have, rather that what you can't do yet because of what you don't have. You look at what provides the most spiritual benefit per dollar, and what the congregation actually wants from the church.

-- Joshua
Logged

Steve - ComW
Staff
Adept Member
***
Last Login:September 03, 2011, 12:22:07 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Flamekeeper
TCN ID: ComW
Posts: 1531


A work on progress

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #40: October 16, 2007, 08:49:15 pm »


The church the figure Peter gives are a "public" church - presumably with a comparable sized congregation to a small christian/jewish church as the essay is about the time after the church is already established as a community center. Given he also in his essay suggested a donaton of $100+ per year and costs include wages for a full time staff, a congregation would be 500 to 1000 individuals regularly plus a equal number of "high days and holidays" members.

Logged

sailor_tech
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:July 06, 2011, 04:43:27 pm
United States United States

Religion: Jewish
Posts: 3564

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #41: October 16, 2007, 09:33:59 pm »

Wow! How big a congregation is that figured for? Is there a call for that size organization in your area?

Asphodel gets $1000-$1500 a year in unsolicited donations and has a congregation of around 80 people. About half of those folks are living right around the poverty line or below it. We've got a core group of about ten folks who put in between five and fifteen hours a month volunteer work, and have rent free use of our ritual space. We don't have a lot of expenses, and we work to keep it that way. Otherwise we couldn't effectively serve the congregation we serve.

If you are called to serve a congregation, it can be done without the huge outlay of cash. You just need to be willing to let your structure and services grow as your congregation grows. You let the congregation set the budget by giving what they are comfortable giving, then you work within that budget. You focus on what you can do now with what you have, rather that what you can't do yet because of what you don't have. You look at what provides the most spiritual benefit per dollar, and what the congregation actually wants from the church.

-- Joshua


That is for 1 full time clergy (paid including a beniftis package), a paid office person, upkeep of a building, on going education materials for the clergy person / congregation.

At $1,000 per family, that's 150 individuals or families. Figure it would take 300 or so families or individuals to actively support the organization.

The major expenses are the paid clergy and office worker since land purchase is excluded from the numbers.

You can do without full time clergy, but it's tough.  You are more likely to have to select somebody who has the time, or partner who can support them.
Logged
joshuatenpenny
Journeyman
***
Last Login:November 01, 2007, 08:09:28 pm
United States United States

Religion: Asphodel, recon-derived eclectic paganism
Posts: 158


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #42: October 16, 2007, 10:18:47 pm »

The church the figure Peter gives are a "public" church - presumably with a comparable sized congregation to a small christian/jewish church as the essay is about the time after the church is already established as a community center. Given he also in his essay suggested a donaton of $100+ per year and costs include wages for a full time staff, a congregation would be 500 to 1000 individuals regularly plus a equal number of "high days and holidays" members.

Hrm. I wouldn't naturally assume for that large a congregation just on the basis of it being a "public church". I've attended a number of small Christian churches and Buddhist temples who get perhaps 20-50 attendees at an average weekly meeting, and couldn't possibly hold more than 100 in their meeting space. I'm most familiar with the Metropolitan Community Church - the Boston MCC has total annual operating expenses of around $25,000. I don't think they keep a tally of how many people are in their congregation, but they usually get around 20-25 people each Sunday. They are certainly a "public church" and have been for almost 40 years.

I would imagine a Pagan "public church" being in the same league. Even 50 years from now, I don't anticipate seeing a lot of 500-1000 member Pagan churches around. A few large festival-based organizations can get numbers like that, but that fills a different need in the community and can draw from a much wider geographical area. I think there is a place for the very small churches, and that is where the congregationally minded folks should be looking. For people who are not interested in or suited to the intense commitment and group work of a coven, a 50 or 100 person church is a wonderful option. Much of what Peter suggests is entirely achievable within that congregation size - not fifty years from now, but today.

-- Joshua
Logged

sailor_tech
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:July 06, 2011, 04:43:27 pm
United States United States

Religion: Jewish
Posts: 3564

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #43: October 16, 2007, 10:25:12 pm »



For people who are not interested in or suited to the intense commitment and group work of a coven, a 50 or 100 person church is a wonderful option. Much of what Peter suggests is entirely achievable within that congregation size - not fifty years from now, but today.

-- Joshua


Are you saying that the small open congregations Do exist?  or can exist?
Logged
rose
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:September 01, 2011, 10:16:28 pm
United States United States

Religion: Shakti Wiccan with Reclaiming leanings
TCN ID: rose
Posts: 2923

Blog entries (0)

rose shannon
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #44: October 16, 2007, 11:34:40 pm »

Are you saying that the small open congregations Do exist?  or can exist?


That is the function that CUUPS serves in the UU church, I believe. Seems to in the one we go to, anyway.
Logged

Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Going to Church? « 1 2 ... 5 6 »
Paganism For Beginners
Hyacinth Belle 89 15237 Last post January 09, 2008, 03:16:53 pm
by AdeleGenevieve
Banned From Church
Religious News
LyricFox 10 2856 Last post January 20, 2008, 04:57:21 pm
by mandrina
Do you miss church? « 1 2 3 4 »
Paganism For Beginners
Mama SummerWind 56 13057 Last post April 14, 2008, 01:26:16 pm
by redladyjewel
What to Expect at a Samhain Ritual « 1 2 »
Paganism For Beginners
Journey 17 9070 Last post November 01, 2008, 08:14:31 pm
by Journey
What do you expect of pagan group events and group work?
Paganism For Beginners
Waldfrau 10 4875 Last post January 17, 2009, 03:27:30 pm
by Waldfrau
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.066 seconds with 49 queries.