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Author Topic: What is Clergy?  (Read 15403 times)
High Adept Member
Last Login:July 06, 2011, 04:43:27 pm
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Religion: Jewish
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« Reply #25: April 16, 2007, 08:57:11 pm »

That's precisely what isn't happening here.  Addressing the issues is exactly what we're doing, and TC is hardly the place to find folks who crave conformity with the mainstream in how their religion does things.  This is the conversation I used to wish would happen, before I got all jaded and prickly (the one I tried, many times, to make happen, which is why I'm jaded and prickly).

That's just as many as I can think of off the top of my head, to get the ball rolling.

Someone else talk now.  My typing fingers are getting hoarse.  Grin


Excellent post. You have raised many of the issues that any organization must look at.

I helped found one group, and paid for the 501(c)3 status for that group and one other.

General rule in the US is that if you have a couple of other people who are willing to say you are their clergy; and the group of you are willing to incorporate; then you are clergy. 

Details of what your clergy does, how it is trained is up to the organization. They just have to follow their own rules.

Groups are not required to have clergy, not even to do marriages. Might be a bit of fight, but the Society of Friends (aka Quakers) do it. Minor nit, the Quakers do have leaders, but it's not a simple clergy / no clergy. My 13 yr old was a leader of worship meeting for awhile.

Personally, clergy implies only internal leadership. Accreditation is done by the group, but then recognized by outside if needed. The extent of internal leadership is entirely up to the group. A concept I got from one of the founders of Hellenion was the giggle principle. You can call yourself clergy until the giggles from the other people get to be to much.

In the US, the only things that require clergy credentials are:
1 - right to perform legally binding marriages in lieu of seeing the town clerk
2 - being able to be a minister to prisoners and visit them under different rules than family, friends or lawyers.
3 - having access to people who are sick or dying under different rules than family; (ie seeing the sick outside of regular visting hours).

Only number one is written into the law. the others are policies of the appropiate organizations.

While you are probably correct about the specific answers are not the purview the TC, the questions to be asked of a group probably are.

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