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Crisis Response, Question 7

Discuss why an individual in crisis might seek an ADF clergy person for help and explain whether or not you feel this is an appropriate function for ADF clergy, why or why not? (minimum 200 words)

Crisis brings chaos, and the mitigation of chaos through order is something that ADF Priests are trained to do in our ritual lives. This does not mean that we are necessarily trained in helping people who are in crisis, but it does mean that we have some experience, though it is in a different arena, in what the person needs.

Many ADF members and individuals within our communities understand the notion of "priest as pastor," which logically leads the person to believe that priests are people who are both trained and prepared to help people in crisis. Unfortunately, this is not the case: while all our Priests may have training by the Third Circle that will help them deal with crisis, not all of them will be prepared to do so, nor will all find it within their calling: by finding inspiration in an ancient priestly class, we are sometimes limited by that inspiration to magico-religious functionaries; not an ideal model for persons who find counseling and helping important.¹

ADF Priests are not an appropriate person to seek out for all manner of crises, but a well-prepared Priest can be an appropriate starting point for help in crises. By this I mean that an ADF Priest should have a list of resources he or she can fall back on if someone comes to them with an issue that they cannot handle, and, if the Priest is so willing, also be able to help the person create a rite of passage or other sort of ritual to help the person in crisis work through their issues in a religious manner.

¹ - I find myself both amused and horrified at the notion of ancient Druids attempting to work with someone in crisis: fatalistic answers about how the stars are misaligned or how you pissed off a particular god or goddess don't seem as helpful as we might hope.


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