I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what our initiations mean, and what “being clergy” means when you’re not part of an active, structured worship group (like a coven, or kindred, or church, or whatever). Christian folks use minister, clergy, pastor, and a few other terms almost interchangeably, and priest is only used in a few specific situations….but we’re different.
We talk about everyone being a priest or priestess – everyone is capable of reaching out to the divine and interceding for themselves, without someone standing in between them and a specific deity.
We also talk about priests and priestesses serving specific gods, the way temple keepers would have in the old days. It’s a form of dedication to that specific deity, in service to them.
We talk about clergy when we mean, “able to serve as clergy in the legal sense” – weddings, mostly, but sometimes funerals, hospital visits, and maybe house blessings. Sometimes we use the word ordained here, or ordained minister, because it’s “official”…but anyone can be ordained by the ULC, so I often wonder what this word really gets us 
Ministers…minister. They tend to the spiritual needs of the flock. They do sick calls, they pray with people, they help people who are struggling with faith.
And as pastor, they’re also the leader of the congregation. That’s a lot of jobs to put on one person, and it’s no wonder that so many Christian groups struggle with finding people who can really do all these things.
One of the things that we don’t talk about is teaching. In most other religions, those who are worship leaders are also teachers of that faith. Our teaching is more decentralized, more squishy. Frequently, students are asked to teach as part of their training – learning how to teach by example, and learning more about their subjects as they teach. Even when our working group teaches, we learn at festivals and at events and go to individual workshops and read books and websites – so many incoming sources of information!
And teaching is one of the things I’ve done a lot of over the years. It’s become a focus of mine over the last few, because I so often feel that those formalized learning opportunities are missing as we Pagan folk become less centralized and more and more solitary with occasional group rituals.
It’s one of the reasons I’m opening Lady Arianrhod’s Magical Academy – teaching is a passion of mine, and while there’s lots of good information out there if you google, you have to sort through and figure out what’s credible (just today, someone asked about runes in one of the groups I’m in, complaining that different sources say different things, and how do they figure it out?)
So, head on over, check out the classes currently available, and consider our introductory offer – I’ll likely do a sale for a year’s worth of membership later this year. There are more offerings coming for members too, which will not be released as separate courses.
This is my focus this year – the Academy and the Magical Moms Club – so let’s make 2019 a great year!
 Which is not to detract from the ULC, mind you – they serve an important role, and now that the circle that initiated me as a high priestess, capable of running a circle, and capable of legally acting as clergy no longer exists, I have an ordination from them to help manage the state’s requirements.Check out my new energy work page, http://www.facebook.com/GoodVibrationsEnergyStudio