Dedicant's Work

Study Program











Pagan Student Association

CafePress Shop


Liturgy Practicum 1: Domestic Cult Practice in ADF, Question 4, Entry 14

First | Previous | Index | Next | Last

Week beginning 11/13/06 - Resumé's and The Game

I spent last night re-organizing my resumé. Yes, that dreaded spectre of job-hunting is rearing its ugly head. Some days, though, you realize you have to do something.

The thing that makes this so interesting, though, is that I have something new to add to the resumé: my clergy credentials.

In deciding where to put these, I had to work through a couple of various scenarios. I mean, who puts "Pagan Clergy" on their resumé? That's job application suicide.

But my training is actually rather valuable in the business world. I have a lot of mixed feelings about running the Grove as a business, but I realized early on that if I didn't, we wouldn't have a Grove at all. We have to cover our expenses, and meeting the needs of the congregation and our mission, unfortunately, isn't free.

But the income/expenditure skills I've picked up running a small church aren't actually the most valuable things I've learned. In fact, they're the things I value least (probably because I dislike them so).

I've learned a lot about communication, speaking, and writing. I've learned how to keep my mouth shut about things people confide to me, and how to keep myself from giving away details about who is confiding in me at any given time (amazingly difficult in a small group like Three Cranes). I'm a more proactive listener, and I am learning to recognize pathways for helping people and avenues of recovery.

I've learned to make an argument and to help people understand things that they couldn't grasp before (often, this is through thinking out loud and learning how to understand the same thing at the same time). I speak to people easily and have learned a lot about human nature, including what motivates people and how to motivate them to do things they don't want to do. Possibly most importantly, I've learned to think on my feet when I have to be there for a person. People are really good at blindsiding you with information you would never have wanted, then hitting you immediately with a request for advice on a situation you are unlikely to have ever been in. Finding something to say in those situations is a skill that is invaluable.

So I put "Ar nDraiocht Fein: Clergy Training Program" at the top of my educational experience, "Instruction ongoing." At the top of my work experience, I put "Three Cranes Grove, ADF: Clergy services, leading services, counseling." It is, after all, my primary job. My University work is listed second, less spectacularly.

I don't have to tell people what sort of clergy I am (nor can they ask, legally, and "ADF" and "Ar nDraioct Fein" are vague enough to most people I'll meet), but it's important for me to tell them that I'm clergy: to a smart person with an open mind, I expect that they'll understand that the skills learned through clergy training are useful in business as well.

I'm still learning a lot of these skills, but they are certainly coming along. I'm suddenly looking forward, very much, to writing "ordained" on my resumé, rather than just consecrated.

Besides, if we want to be taken seriously, then we have to take ourselves seriously. Those are the rules of the game.

And speaking of games. . .

I sent a message to the Senior Druid of the Ann Arbor ADF Grove, Shining Lakes, detailing my proposition for what they need to do, should Ohio State beat Michigan on Saturday.

On my way into work, though, I noticed this message of hope and redemption on a church sign:

Good to know that combining deity and sports is a cross-religion phenomenon

It's fun to play a bit with the Game, and to enjoy it like this. Some people are, of course, against any reference to sports in their religion, which has always confused me.

In particular, I noticed that making small, friendly wagers between other Big Ten schools (I've made bets with Arthur about Penn State-OSU games for two years now, and will make wagers with his Grove, should he ever get around to starting one) are good for bringing the Groves a bit closer. We now have Groves in many Big Ten cities (working on Purdue, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan State, and Penn State. . . remember that there are 11 teams in the Big Ten Conference), so it might be fun to expand to a few other schools with wagers, too.

Last year, we had a small procession from Ann Arbor come down and attend our Imbolc rite. . . something that wouldn't have happened without the OSU-Michigan game.

I suppose, in the end, that it all depends on how you see it.

Btw, the terms I suggested for this year?

If OSU wins, Shining Lakes donates an equal number of canned goods to the shelter/foodbank of their choice as we collect this quarter.

I'm pending their half of the wager.

Also this week, I did some work with the Return Flow. At the Clergy Council Retreat, we changed the way we did the Return flow, breaking it down into more pieces. I suddenly had to re-think this, thanks to the new CoOR, for my own rites.

The three parts of the Return Flow are listed in the COoR as:

  1. Calling for the Blessing.
  2. Hallowing the Waters.
  3. Affirming the Blessing.

This needed some breaking down before I could make a solid explanation of it. First, I isolated it and added in the Omen as "Step 0" with the Return Flow, as the omen details what you're getting.

Thinking about consecration next, I realized that consecration isn't just saying, "Hey Dudes and Dudettes: the Waters are Blessed!" Nice near rhyme and good rhythm, but terrible cosmology.

Consecration is also about "setting apart", and it's the act of "separation" that marks something as consecrated and thus sacred. Because of this, it's the pouring out of waters into another vessel that is then blessed that I truly wanted to physically show during the "Hallowing of the Waters".

I envisioned this as a three-step process: separating the Waters, infusing the separated Waters with the blessing, and then formally pronouncing the Waters as "Sacred" (this final point, I think, is *key* in the consecration process).

Then I thought about the "setup" and the "wind down" around this, and made a sort of mini-climax out of the process. I gave each of the original three steps of the consecration an additional three steps, and worked out the language from there. Now, my "nine-part" liturgical module for the Return Flow looks like this:

  1. Omen
  2. Calling for the Blessing.
    • Reflection on personal application of Omen
    • Reflection on community application of Omen
    • Manifestation (visualization of application)
  3. Hallowing the Waters.
    • Physically separating the Waters
    • Infusing the separated Waters
    • Calling the Waters "Sacred"
  4. Affirming the Blessing.1
    • Recognition of the Waters' status
    • Acceptance of the Blessing
    • Drinking the Blessing

1 - Note: this was discussed recently on ADF-Liturgists, and it's a *tad* off. I should have an article on this shortly that will make more sense.

I hope to work through this more in the coming weeks, and eventually apply it to my Grove's work. But for now, it's just for me and my own rituals.

First | Previous | Index | Next | Last


Content © 2003 - 2006, Michael J Dangler
Updated on 11/20/2006. Site Credits / Email Me!
Basic site design from
(Yes, I stole it!)