The annual ADF elections are upon us and I've accepted the nomination for SouthEast Regional Druid. I am dedicating this space to answering questions from the membership for candidates. This is a work in progress.
What sort of Vision do you bring to the table for the future of ADF?
I have been an ADF Druid for a long time, 20 years in fact. My relationship with the org has changed and morphed over the years. And what I want from the org has also changed.
Here's what I think ADF can be: A welcoming church for IE pagans in the modern world. A support system for local congregations offering quality public rites of worship. We have the ability to become a light, a model of responsible public paganism. I want to see ADF embrace its potential.
Are there any *specific* problems or goals that you want to tackle? How do you hope to address those problems/goals?
As RD I'd like to see more engagement of members, online, or at events, or via the newsletter, or some other method. I am open to suggestions and sincerely want to hear from folks in the Region about how they want to be engaged, how they would like to be communicated with.
If you win the position you are running for, what will be the biggest obstacle you will have to overcome? How do you plan to do so?
The biggest obstacle is travel. I think visiting the different areas of the Region is important, but travel is expensive. Since ADF stopped supporting RD travel, it now falls to the members to contribute to the RD's travel fund. I think that is ridiculous.
I would like to see the Council of Regional Druids lobby for a reinstatement of RD travel as part of the annual budget and I would push the Chief of the CoRD to get cracking on that proposal.
Volunteer recruitment and burnout are big problems. Do you have any plans to address either of those issues?
I think for some positions this is a bigger issue than for others. However, I would like to have a larger team of deputy RD's. My goal is one deputy per state and a deputy whose focus is solitary members in the Region. The more robust our team, the more we can support each other and avoid burn-out.
What special skills would you bring to the position?
I have experience in this position, and have built strong relationships with members from MD down through FL.
How will you contribute to building a culture of consent in ADF?
I have just completed the Cherry Hill Seminary's course, Pagan Consent Culture. I have drafted the Consent and Anti-Harassment policy for our Regional festival and will be giving a series of workshops on Consent Culture in the area.
This is an important issue, which is why I lobbied so hard for ADF to send Clergy, MG, and RD's through the CHS course. I think the more of us with an understanding of consent and what consent culture is, the better Our Druidry will be. I will continue to lobby for training for ADF leadership and will make my own knowledge available to the members.
What other roles have you held within the organization, and what have you done while in them?
I became a Grove Organizer in 2000 and help grow the PG into a Provisionally Chartered Grove in 2001. We received our Full Charter in 2010 after I was ordained at Wellspring.
I was elected as SE RD in 2006. At that time RD's served on the MG. I supported the removal of RD's from the MG and helped create the Council of Regional Druids. I served as SE RD until 2012. During that time I helped organize the Regional festival (Trillium Spring Gathering) and served members in the region as well as I could.
I was elected Chief of the Council of Regional Druids in 2006 and served in that position until 2010.
What other roles are you currently serving in?
As SERD I have established a newsletter that is published every high Day, I created a website as a web-hub for information for our Region, I have continued to organize the Regional festival (Trillium Spring Gathering)
as the Chair of the Grove Coordinating Committee: I established a ProtoGrove mentoring committee to help pair new GO's with experienced Grove leaders.
Secretary of the Brewers Guild: I established the Brewing competition at the Trillium Spring Gathering. The Guild is currently working on a regular newsletter.
As Chief Liturgist and Secretary of my Grove: I lead the efforts of ritual-writing and planning and keep the minutes of our grove meetings and events.
How will you encourage ways of making ADF accessible to children (with parental consent, of course)?
One thing I am particularly proud of is how family-friendly our regional festival is. Most ADF festivals are simply not inclusive of people with children. Trillium has, for years, had a strong track of children's activities but has also mindfully and intentionally been held in a space that allows parents to attend workshops and still be in sight of children's areas.
As a parent myself I understand the difficulty of trying to include children in religion while respecting their autonomy.
I am also an elementary teacher and I offer children's programming when I can or when an event has need.