Nomenus Speaks: Ministers

Nomenus speaks to the IRS; Questionaire B, p40.

Ministers

6. Do you have an organization of ordained ministers ministering to their congregations?

Yes. Nomenus is a single congregation. The responsibility for ministry of this congregation rotates among the members. Ministers are not ordained for life,
but pro tempore. To be ordained as a minister, a member offers to facilitate a ritual or a religious study-circle. The member’s ordination is recognized for the duration of his facilitation. Members renew their ordination by repeatedly taking active roles in our religious worship and study. A Spiritual Gathering, taking place over several days, might have several ministers, each performing a key role in a particular ritual or study-circle.

7. Are your ministers selected after completing a prescribed course of study? If “yes” describe that course of study?

Yes. We expect our ministers to have been engaged from early childhood in a recognized spiritual quest, consisting of important life experiences and discoveries. We think of these experiences and discoveries as milestones in the development of a particular character and consciousness, and we recognize the
ministerial capability of members by comparison with these milestones. Even though the course of study completed by the individual may have been self-selected, we expect it to include particular texts, practices, and principles and the individual to be familiar with these, before being selected as a
minister.

As is also true of many Eastern religions, our principal spiritual work and study involves ourselves. We ourselves are the subjects of our prescribed course of study. The milestones record how we discovered our own specialnatures from very early on, and how we built our character and our spirituality on those discoveries. Among the important milestones shared by our ministers are:

1. Dissatisfaction with the religion or irreligion practiced or professed by our families. We expect this experience opened the individual to his own original religious experience and to the truths fundamental to (but often buried in) many traditional religions.

2. An innate and continuous searching for the meanings, origins, roots and fundamentals of human experience. We expect this seeking to engage the individual in a study of the sciences and traditions which deal with the profundities of human behavior and existence, including psychology, political science, economics, philosophy, history, medicine, and biology.

3. Discovery of the parallel wisdom, experience, and mythology of different peoples. We expect this experience to affirm for the individual the essential unity of human consciousness.

4. Strong attraction to nonrational, irrational, or metaphysical phenomena. We expect these interests revealed to the individual the one-sided focus of modern Western consciousness and freed him or her to find value in traditions and practices which have been rejected by that consciousness as superstitious, backward, silly, religious, primitive, or irrational. We expect such traditions and practices to include magic, witchcraft, paganism, spells and charms, chants, alchemy, meditation, divination, time-travel, outof-the-body journeys, transformations, communication with spirits, etc.

5. Continuous interest in non-Western healing methods. We expect the individual to be acquainted with folk healing, herbalism, acupuncture and acupressure, massage, shamanism, and yoga.

6. Eschewal of the inappropriate social expectations placed on him or her; nonconformity with expected economic, class, gender, or family roles. We expect that the individual through these nonconformities feels alienated from his parent society; that he makes a thorough study of his society, and of society in general; and that he begins to search for others who share his experience.

7. Concern with ecological balance. We expect this concern to be a deep and abiding influence in the individual’s life, beginning with a natural and conversational rapport with the plants and animals of his childhood environment. This concern extends to a general interest in animal and vegetative life, in interspecies relationships, in food chains, in the pollutant effects of various products, and in energy efficiency. This concern is present for the individual in his choices regarding food, clothing, recreation, etc.

8. Conviction that the present instability of the world is the occasion for making the next evolutionary leap in consciousness. We expect this conviction motivates the individual to link with others in order to complete the next stage of human evolution. We believe that ministerial ability is innate. That ability is revealed in an individual’s responses to situations such as those above. The individual with innate ministerial capability transcends the limits of his parent culture. He is not limited to socially defined reality. He frees himself to explore the depth and unity of human experience so that humankind, equipped with this Balancing knowledge, may grow.

We expect that the individual through the experiences above will become familiar with certain texts, beliefs, and practices which prepare him for spiritual exploration within the context of our church. The turning-away from traditional religion and inappropriate social roles opens us to self-discovery of our immanent divinity. Through our study of human nature and our comparison of human religions, we become aware of the widely held truths which may help us restore Balance to our precarious world. Through our delving into the roots, origins, and histories of all phenomena we come to our sense of Nature and Spirit, Nature being renewal, and Spirit being that which is renewed.

All of us who have shared the ministry of Nomenus have also passed a very special milestone, in which we recognized that we were not alone on our spirit quests. Each of us has been drawn, specifically by our spiritual explorations, to others whose developing consciousnesses parallel our own. Many fairies mark the passing of this vital milestone by assuming a fairy name. When individuals come to Nomenus to share their spiritual exploration, we expect them to be familiar with various texts listed in the attached “An Annotated Bibliography: Texts and Readings Created or Adopted for the Educational and Spiritual Needs of the Church of Nomenus” (or with the principles or records contained in those texts).

In assuming fairy identity, we “shed the ugly green frog-skin of subjectobject consciousness.” This is a phrase we use to affirm that we are a special people who are called at this particular stage of human development to make our contribution to that development, our contribution being Subject-SUBJECT consciousness. This affirmation of our special identity is itself a milestone in our course of study. It is after passing this milestone, when individuals begin consciously to collectivize their individual dreams and visions, as part of our collective spiritual mission, that members are recognized as eligible for ordination.

Questionaire C, p1

1. Is any officer, director or trustee of your organization an ordained minister? Please list the name of each such individual and submit proof of ordination.

Yes. As explained in our answer to item 6, Questionnaire B, ministers are ordained in recognition of their taking a leading, f a c i l i t a t i n g or coordinating role in the conduct of a r i t u a l , study-group, Spiritual Gathering or other church a c t i v i t y . Their ordination is witnessed by the other participants in the r i t u a l , study-group, or Gathering and is valid only through the duration of the a c t i v i t y . This witnessing of a member’s ordination by the other participants in the a c t i v i t y is the only proof of ordination necessary according to the beliefs of our church. According to this doctrine of the “priesthood of all believers” (which many Protestant denominations in America share), we have ordained many members of our church pro tempore, their ordination being terminated at the conclusion of the a c t i v i t y for which they were ordained.

Edited by jphartsong on Apr 13, 2011 2:50 pm