A decent chunk of the Handbook concerns the Clergy, its organization, and rules. This section lays out a broad outline, however anyone wishing to become a novice or aspire to ordination should read the full description.
Prelates – Prelates are members of the College of Prelates, and are generally accorded the title of “Bishop” after their elevation or consecration. As with most titles in TTO, the exact choice is somewhat at the discretion of the individual.
Clergy – Clergy are official representatives of EGH. They have initial and continuing educational requirements
Confirmed members of the EGH may enter into Novitiate Training by submitting a Declaration of Intent to the Secretary of the College of Prelates. In respect to the individual nature of Thelema, there are no formal requirements to submit a Petition for Ordination, however it is expected that the Novice must undertake Mastery in three Qualities:
Novice Clergy are restricted to the performance of Official Rituals, or to Rituals which are lead and supervised by Ordained Clergy. The reason for this is that all deviations from Official rubric must be vetted for safety, consent, and other issues. In rituals of the Order General, this is done by the Local Master. In initiations, by the Chartered or Sovereign Initiator. In rituals of EGH it is done by the Ordained Clergy.
Novice Clergy may, of course, collaborate with and aid Ordained Clergy in the development of experimental and unofficial ritual, or may propose such material to Ordained Clergy, but may not present it as an EGH ritual without the supervision and explicit prior approval of Ordained Clergy
Like Initiators and Local Masters, Clergy are required to participate in initial training and continuing education regarding consent, safety, and leadership.
🗹 The Understandings
🗹 TTO Handbook Section “The EGH”
🗹 TTO Handbook Section “Liturgical Appendices”
🗹 TTO Handbook Section “The Canon”
🗹 TTO Draft Consent Policy
🗹 NCSF Consent Counts
Four articles below
🗹 TTO Policy on Absolute Separation of Minors and Adult Content
🗹 UCC Guidelines for Congregations and Clergy on Political Action
The Understandings – read entire text
TTO Handbook – read sections.
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) Consent Counts Program – this is a useful and temporary educational source while we bring our own materials online – read these items
United Church of Christ Guidelines for Congregations and Clergy on Political Action – This is a useful and easy to read temporary resource while we prepare more detailed guidance. Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” TTO does not, as an organization, participate in, promote, or act on behalf of any candidate for elective public office. When running official TTO events as an Officer of TTO, or producing any organizational newsletters, etc. which carry the TTO brand, you are bound by this policy.
Note that no part of the IRS guidelines requires that TTO refrain from advocacy on social issues, only from advocacy for specific candidates.
Additional Continuing Education must be completed within the timeframe allotted after the issue of Charter.
🗹 No additional material at this time
The Lay Clergy is made up of all of those individuals who are at least Corresponding members and who hold various roles of leadership and responsibility within the EGH, but who do not currently intend to progress to ordination. The organization and acceptance of various positions within the Lay Priesthood is under the authority of the Ordained Clergy of a Chartered Group. For example, a given Group might establish a system of Deacons, Assistant Priests, Sacristans, or any other arrangement which suits their operation.
The College of Prelates will make available to Novice Clergy:
Additionally the College of Prelates will make available to all Clergy:
Obviously the programs of the EGH are in development during 2019-24. We expect to develop basic trainings in the 2020-2022 timeframe, and expand training and educational resources on an annual basis.
TTO tolerates no discrimination based on gender, gender expression, sexuality or sexual expression.
The choice of title, roles, etc. within the various rituals of EGH is at the discretion of the individual clergy member on a fluid ritual-by-ritual basis.
It is expressly against the discrimination policy of TTO for any officiant, Ordained Clergy, Local Master etc., in any setting private or public to disqualify an individual from a preferred role solely on the basis of gender, gender expression, sexuality or sexual expression.
Preference may not be used to mask discrimination. Thus a phrasing such as “we would prefer a cis-gender male for this role” is coercive and constitutes discrimination as it would clearly tend to dissuade persons of any other gender from applying for the role.
Any individual member of the Clergy may choose at any time to withdraw from any ritual or ceremony for any reason. That may include being placed in a situation where they would be forced into any interaction which would be uncomfortable for them for whatever reason. The choice to withdraw is personal, a vital element of consent, and should not be questioned.
Withdrawal may not be used as a public, de facto, weapon of exclusion. The private choice to withdraw because of discomfort with a co-celebrant’s gender expression is a matter of personal consent. Expression of it in such a way as to cause strife, disharmony, humiliation, or dissuade further participation on the part of the co-celebrant is discriminatory.
While individual gender expression may be fluid, provided there is no special discrimination in regards to individuals of a given gender, “locking in” certain roles in a given ritual a sufficient time in advance to allow for rehearsal, advertisement, and planning, is not discriminatory.
A consistent preference for working in ritual with a given partner or circle of partners is not evidence of discrimination. At public bodies it is expected that due consideration will be given to ensuring all Clergy are able, on some reasonable cycle, to participate in ritual. At private bodies, the prevalence of a given group of Clergy may constitute a norm.
EGH allows for the use of many different titles for Clergy.
Priestx, Minister, Priest, Priestess, Deacon, Shaman, etc. are all acceptable, as would be many other choices. Likewise for Prelates Bishop, Hierarch, Abbott, Abbess, Sophia, etc.” or other choices may be used.
“Clergy,” or “EGH Minister” are considered to be appropriate for all use, including publications when it is not convenient to ascertain the preferred title of the individual being referred to.
Roles within given rituals may of course have specific titles, whether they are “Priest, Priestess, Beast, Psyche, Child,” etc.
“Reverend” is considered appropriate title or address for all EGH clergy, and may be used by EGH clergy in any context where some specific prefix is required. “Very Reverend” is used for Prelates.
Preferred title is specified on the Declaration of Intent for Novice Clergy, and the Petition for Ordination. It may be changed by submitting a request in writing to the Secretary of the College of Prelates.
The EGH may disallow titles which:
Individuals can have multiple titles on record, however they must designate them in order of preference so that they can be used in notices or in publications along with their public Order Name, without consulting them on every individual occasion.
More detail is given in the Handbook.
Applying to be clergy is the start of a conversation, not a legal process. Likely someone will come back to you with questions and more conversation before making any final decisions. We want to guide everyone to the best possible choices. Note that Clergy will be appointed and recognized, but Ordinations will occur after June 1.