1. Why do you want to be a Priest, and what is your plan for making that goal happen?
Becoming clergy is something that I have wanted to do since I was a child. Living in Nebraska, I grew up in a small town where nothing out of the ordinary was accepted. I began attending the local Church hoping to find someplace to connect to the world. It was through that church that I met Rev. Delano. He was the first person I met who would discuss religion with me, and answer my questions about life and the universe, even when they didn’t quite match up with the path he was on. He helped to guide me and instilled in me the idea that my path was right for me. He was a beacon of light in a very dark and lonely. I knew from that moment that I wanted to be able to help people in the way that he helped me. Because of that, I have worked hard to become comfortable with my personal path and knowledgeable about the general Pagan community.
Also, being the Central Regional Druid has shown me just how much we need to have positive Pagans that are active in the community. Nebraska currently has approximately 5 Pagan clergy that I can locate and 4 of those have been ordained through Universal Life Church. Unfortunately this means that they frequently have little to no training, so their ability to be of service to the community as a whole is limited. The Central Region also currently has no active ADF clergy. My goal for the past several years has been to help build activity in the Central Region and ADF in general and I believe that becoming clergy would add to my ability to do that.
In order to make that happen, I want to work through the ADF Clergy Training Program and continue to work within my region and the organization to help foster a community and help build positive interactions between people. I also will continue to be active in my local community through local groups, my protogrove, Pagan Pride Day, and any other areas that I possibly can. (347 words)
2. Why do you want to be an ADF Priest in particular?
When I first stumbled my way into ADF over 6 years ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. At that time I was looking for a community to share my path with and a group to learn from. ADF has absolutely filled both of those roles, and more. Through ADF I have been able to build relationships with people that I would otherwise never have met. I’ve been able to make friends, become active in the community, and better myself. For years I was the only member in my entire state, and I’ve been so proud to watch the region grow and increase in activity over time. The study programs have allowed me to learn more about my religious path and myself. It has also given me a pillar of strength when I felt like the rest of my world was in shambles. I am forever grateful for all that ADF has given me as a member, and I want to do my part to help make it a positive experience for others. I’ve been fortunate to be active in many roles, including Roman Kin Praetor, Central Regional Druid, and Registrar for the Artisan’s guild. This is an organization that I am proud to claim as my own and I would be honored to serve as clergy for ADF. It has literally changed every part of my life, and my world is better because of it. (236 words)
3. What does being a Priest mean to you in the cultural context of your Hearth Culture?
I have always found myself drawn to the Hellenic hearth culture. The mythology and pantheon have always felt like home to me. The role of the priest in the ancient Greek culture was one of service. They would act as spiritual leaders and advisors for the people by leading their rites, maintaining temples, and sharing the wisdom of the Deities. It was also one of the cultures that allowed both men and women to act in the role of clergy, which is quite important to me as a woman. Overall, their goal was to unite the community in rituals and help to share the word of the Gods with the people. I believe this fits well with my desires to be an ADF Priest. Through ADF I have worked to build the local community and serve as a role model for people who are just starting along the path. I also started a local protogrove and through it I have been able to create and share liturgy with the community, which has been very interesting and rewarding. (177 words)
4. What has been your experience of the Work of the ADF Dedicant, and what do you expect when you begin the Clergy Student Discipline?
Working through the ADF Dedicant Path was a definite journey for me. The sections of the program required me to do a lot of introspection and study, both of myself and the world around me. The Dedicant Path took me nearly 5 years to complete but during that time I can honestly say that my entire life was changed dramatically. Each time I thought I had a handle on the program my world was turned upside down. Each change caused me to re-evaluate my life, which would lead to me re-evaluating my work in the Dedicant Path. However, it also gave me the time to grow and become more confident in my own spirituality. It also allowed me the time to get involved with the local Pagan community in ways I never thought possible. However, I know that I have to expect the unexpected because if nothing else, the Dedicant work taught me how to survive the trials of life and come out successful. I see the Clergy program as being an extension of the work I started with the Dedicant study and a continuation of the work required. I expect to be challenged and changed. I expect to change the way that I look at myself and the world around me. Overall, I expect to become a better person. (220 words)