I have decided to move on to a new site name. I appreciate all those that follow me and if you would like to keep an eye on what is going on come on over to the new blog The Wyld Goat.
It has recently come to my attention that my lack of pursuing a religious background for my children may actually be hurting them more then helping them. They live in a very eclectic household of mixed beliefs. They have several versions of Paganism, an Atheist Uncle, and the majority of their friends attend church.
Most recently my daughter came home and told me that she knows we are not Christian so we must be Jewish. I said really how many different religions are there? She said two of course. Then there was my son who came home and asked why we don’t believe in God. I asked him why he thought that and he said well we don’t go to church and we don’t celebrate Christmas, so we must not believe in God.
This started bothering me as personally I do believe in a Deity and so does their Nana. We do not however believe in the Christian idea of God. We also celebrate the wheel of the year and have eight holidays throughout the year. Apparently thou I have failed to explain or give them any idea of why we do these things.
I really want them to have an opportunity to find their own path but it seems to be becoming more obvious that they need a foundation of understanding. I am hoping to approach this with an interfaith approach and teach them what we believe as well as to understand it’s not the only way. Of course I worry that they will go to school and talk about it when their friends question them. This could lead to questions from their school, which has happened before with a so so outcome.
I do not however want to beat religion into my children but give them knowledge and understanding. At the same time I am not sure how to accomplish my goal. Is anyone out there teaching their kids religion at home? How to you teach your children religion and understanding in your home?
Well I have let life take over a bit again. I do not know why since right now I spend much of my time at home with my youngest son. Mainly a stay at home dad at this time in life. I have been up to a bit lately so I figured a brief recap should be in order as I try to find ground to get this blog moving again.
- Volunteered for the Interfaith Gala and dinner in St. Louis. I found it very intriguing and interesting. There is so much going on in St. Louis that I did not even know about. For instance there is a Muslim group of Doctors that have set up a free community clinic in a Church (not sure the denomination), and a large group of Jewish teens that are helping homeless communities. It was a great opportunity to get to go and be involved even as a volunteer as I would not of been able to attend otherwise.
- Preparing for All Hallows Eve, of course. Besides it being an important holiday of my families’ beliefs, it is also the family’s favorite holiday to celebrate even more than Yule.
- Planning my little one’s first birthday. He is my forth but my wife’s first so it is kinda turning into a little family blow out, lol.
- Last is our wedding anniversary. We were married on Halloween so we have to celebrate early since it is a big family day. This year she tried to one up me from last year. We went to The Melting Pot for dinner (a fondue place) and then hit up two haunted houses. It was allot of fun. This does put me in a bit of a predicament thou as now I have to top her next year, lol.
Well that is what has been keeping me busy lately. I hope to get back to regular posting. They are probably going to be random for a bit as I try to find that grove that allows me to keep to a regular posting schedule.
Recently I have found that there are alternative seminaries that I could attend for the training that I am looking for. However they have some conditions that I can’t meet. I am not sure how I feel about these strict requirements to attend the school. I can understand that there has to be an expected level of competency to attend what is considered a Master level degree yet…..
See our faith thrives on the concept of self-education, experiment and growth. We thrive on being self-taught in our religious beliefs. Some of us may have training through a group or tradition but most are solitary practitioners. That being said while we may be a highly educated bunch we are not all traditionally schooled trained in our knowledge. For me, all my education and ability is either self-taught or through vocational training. I have allot of vocational training. This however does not qualify me when they required transfer credits or a bachelor degree as I have neither.
I have researched these seminaries and they want that bachelor degree and some tests I have never taken. I have attended college just never completed it and never had to take these tests. Not to mention I am 32 almost 33. So the question comes up again, where do I go from here? I still want the training and really want to become a useful contributing member of our community. I don’t feel I have the time nor do I really have the desire to go through roughly eight more years of school.
I hope to find answers as my path unfolds. The only option for me now is to do what I’m doing and watch for those possible opportunities as they appear. I hope the future brings me the chance to be part of the community in the fashion that I feel driven toward. The possibilities have to be available I just have to find them.
To be a religious leader (ok really leader is a little strong for what I want to do but not sure what else to call it).
You hear people talk about their calling all the time. Life changes, unexpected circumstances, tragic events, or just a sudden realization can lead to the discovery of your life’s calling. These callings can be anything from hair stylist to rodeo clown or lawyer to surfer. Your calling is personal and brings a happiness and joy to your life.
For me personally this calling has happened many times over the years. Where they all a calling to say “Hey you need to do this for the rest of your life”, I don’t think so. However I do think that I have accomplished the many things I have in preparation of something greater down the road. What this greater thing is I am not sure yet but I do know I feel a strong new calling to had in a new direction.
This started a long time ago and has been an ongoing process for me over the past twelve years. When I was twenty I had a strong urge to join the ministry. For reasons unknown to me I knew this was a direction I wanted to head in my life. Being that I do not follow, believe, or subscribe to any of the most “common” religious views I hit a rock wall in this process. I did however find the Universal Life Church and become ordained through their online services. I know some individuals do not like what they do, so before you start sneering at my being associated with them, please read on.
As is obvious from the blog name I am a Pagan, Earth-centered Nature Worshiper, and we do not have any form of centralized organization that monitors of controls things such as ordination. I very much wanted the ability to be able to offer similar things legally to my brethren that other faiths offered (weddings/hand-fasting’s, baptisms/wiccanings, funerals, etc.). I found the ULC to be my in to offering such services.
So that was my start. As you may or may not know their ordination comes with nothing more than the recognition and certification that I am allowed to legally perform those services. That means no schooling or official training in any way. They offer much research and study to get you going but that is about it. Of course I wanted more than that.
The question came about how to get more. Being Pagan they do not have schools or facilities that teach you to be a minister. It was rare to find a group outside word of mouth that offered any training when I started. Being determined as I was I just kept reading, researching, and redefining what it meant for me to be a minister.
Eventually I did come across Witch School. I found them to be very good for what they offered. I am actually a lifetime member of Witch School. So I took on their degree system to pursue training through their tradition. I found the first degree very informative and acquired a solid understanding of the tradition during my studies. Upon entering the second degree training however I became very disillusioned. It was a year of learning all the forms and methods of fortune telling. Understanding their existence and use is one thing but I was there to learn the religion not the props. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against them and their use just not enough interest to last a year in learning. I also do not believe there is enough there to study for a year, unless you are concentrating in it for use. So once again I was at a point in my calling where I was not sure where to go.
In 2009 I did finally start to find some purpose and starting performing weddings. Since then I have only performed three weddings but I enjoyed being able to be such a big part of those couples lives. That alone restocked the fires and got me looking at this calling desire to serve the community and be a credentialed minister to the people. However it seems to be an impossible calling to have. There is so much standing in the way of making this a lifelong goal for myself and the community.
(continued in part 2)