As clergy, in the United States if you witness or learn of behavior that constitutes child abuse, elder abuse or domestic violence, in many jurisdictions you are REQUIRED to report these to authorities. Rules vary by U.S. state–here is a federal overview of the requirements for reporting child abuse specifically, with details about each state. In other countries, rules will be different–make sure you are familiar with them in yours.
It is essential that you research the reporting requirements in your area and be familiar with them. As clergy, we are here to serve the community, and that sometimes means we have to do things that are hard. Hopefully, you will never have to use these rules, but it is important to be aware of them.
General Training and Ethical Guidelines
- The General Ethical Guidelines for Atheopagan Clerics Performing Community Services
- Values guidance: the 13 Atheopagan Principles and our Statement of Policy Values.
- This list showing a curriculum of topics and skills that a thoroughly trained Atheopagan cleric will have a working knowledge of.
- The Society has published a downloadable introductory guidebook for clerics to help with conducting weddings, funerals, etc.
- The Atheopagan Ritual Planning Workbook and Ritual Primer
- The Rites of Passage series on Atheopaganism. org. This series of posts examines naming ceremonies, passages into adulthood, weddings and dissolution rituals, passages into elderhood, and funerary rites from an Atheopagan perspective. A good grounding in this material will be helpful for a new cleric. Be sure to click the “older posts” button at the bottom of the page several times to see the whole series. Posts will load five at a time.
Hospital and Hospice Service
For many who become Atheopagan clerics, the primary goal is to be able to perform legal marriage ceremonies. Here are some links to help you get started on planning such weddings with those who plan to marry.
Note that these links are about secular weddings–whereas Atheopaganism is a religion, just a naturalistic one. So you may want to introduce some ideas like the wonder of the Cosmos, the wonderful long odds of two people finding one another, etc., and Pagan traditions such as handfasting (binding the wrists of the couple together with a ceremonial rope), jumping the broom, and so forth.
Life Prayers from around the World. This is a book recommended in the Atheopaganism Facebook group, the companion to the volume Earth Prayers from Around the World, and it specifically focuses on the changes and cycles in a human life. Both books are recommended as a source of liturgy for rites of passage.
And don’t forget about the Atheopagan Hymnal! Songs and poetry for Atheopagan rituals!