When it comes to being in a religious leadership position, clergy or other roles we are often called upon to help members of the folk, congregation, church or community. While not all of us are skilled and trained in counseling and mental health, I wanted to talk about what makes a successfully pastoral counseling encounter. This is geared toward those helping but could just as easily be looked upon by others in terms of what to expect when asking for help.
I watched the sun setting tonight, deep and red, a sign of things passing and the long quiet road to the West. We look to the Sun as a guidepost: the morning Sun is new and hopeful; the evening Sun is mournful and passing. I felt that passing tonight.
When I first joined ADF some 16 years ago, something that set them apart from other Pagan movements at the time was the emphasis on openness and inclusiveness. Most of the groups I had encountered at the time required very specific beliefs, by very specific people and were secretive, by invitation only. Things have changed today as we certainly have far more public groups around but the culture of inclusiveness is still what draws me to ADF as a church.
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, an armistice was signed ending the war to end all wars, the Great War, what is now known as World War One. Since then, we have had more wars, and have more veterans of military service. The day was renamed in 1954 here in the US to Veterans Day.
Today is a day to set aside our personal feelings about war, and about the military. It is not about us, but about recognizing those that have selflessly served our country, for that service is surely a sacrifice that they have made.
"We always light the HearthMother's lamp while cooking."
This familiar phrase, shared with many of our guests when they inquire about our practice of having a small oil lamp burning on the back of our stovetop, isn't always true. Many times, absolutes like 'always' and 'never' aren't accurate. Sometimes being human means forgetting things, and tonight was one of those times.