‘Ethics 1’ Posts


Ethics #1 Passes

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The status of the Rev. Crystal Groves (Crystal Groves)’s Ethics 1 submission has been changed from In Review to Approved. This change was made by Rev. Michael Dangler at 2012-09-19T13:05:56-06:00.


Ethics #1 Works Cited

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“Certain Privileges and Immunities.” Table of Contents, Title 42, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. Pennsylvania General Assembly, n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2012. <http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/42/42.HTM>. “Priest-penitent Privilege.” Priest-penitent Privilege. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2012.

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priest%E2%80%93penitent_privilege>. Thompson, Keith A. “Chapter 9, Religious Confession Privilege in the United States.”Religious Confession Privilege and the Common Law. Vol. 9. The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 2011. 278. Google Books. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 11 Apr. 2011. Web. 22 Aug. 2012.

<http://books.google.com/books?id=8XHbu0LjdqAC>. Derr, Kevin. The Clergy-Communicant Privilege in Pennsylvania. Working paper. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2012.

Derr, Kevin. The Clergy-Communicant Privilege in Pennsylvania. Working paper. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2012. <http://www.uss-elca.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/The-Clergy-Privilege-in-Pennsylvania.doc>.


Ethics 1, #10

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The Nine Virtues described in the ADF Dedicant Path are proposed as a starting point for individuals embracing a value system inspired by traditions of the past. Utilizing the ADF nine virtues, develop a Code of Ethics for your use as ADF Clergy. Describe how you derived this code from the Nine Virtues and how you would apply this Code. (No minimum word count for the Code; however the Code must contain a minimum of five principles; 300 words minimum for the description)

As Clergy I will see issues with a clear, unbiased vision and initiate the necessary action to resolve them.

As Clergy I will continually educate myself on recent situations within my local community, the ADF community, and appropriate world events that may influence concerns within these communities to better share my wisdom with the folk.

As Clergy I will conduct myself with ethical integrity in all proceedings where I am acting as a source of guidance and leadership.

As Clergy I will remain pious in all clergy-lay activity to nurture my relationship with the Kindred and the folk.

As Clergy I will offer reasonable hospitality and impartial understanding to those in need.

My Clergy Code of Ethics, as derived from the Nine virtues is bare-boned and to the point simply because much of what I adhere to as Clergy (also nicknamed a few years back as “Reverend No-Bullshit”) is pretty much common sense.  I have written an article in the past that was published in Oak Leaves that references the nine virtues as applied to ethics in Personal Finance Management.  This is just another example of how these virtues can be applied in various facets of life administration, such as with Clergy-lay relationships with the folk.

A good way to start an application of a Code of Ethics is to carry a copy with you to review before all dealings as Clergy.  A reference sheet or card of sorts will help keep the Code at close-hand at all times and act as a refreshing commodity for when a new or tough situation arises when we need to act as Clergy.  This is also a tool that we as Clergy can use to inform our prospective confessor or patron of the type of Code that we follow so that they also know the foundation of our ethics before relaying any sensitive information or situations to us.

Another good way to  apply our personal Clergy Ethics is somehow adding them to our daily affirmations to reinforce the ideals that we wish to fulfill as Clergy.  We will not always have advanced notice when our services are needed, so a daily refresher will allow us to accomplish that.

Essentially my Code of Ethics is a way for me to be as fair and unbiased as possible in all encounters where I am acting as Clergy.  I see these Ethics as a foundation in which I can provide proper services for all people regardless of disability, sexual-orientation, racial ethnicity, or ineptitude.

(Word Count: 305)


Ethics 1, #9

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Compare and contrast the Nine Virtues described in the ADF Dedicant Path and prominent values in the dominant culture of the country in which you live. (200 words minimum)

The nine virtues in ADF act as a set of core values that I can practice as an American and as ADF clergy. These virtues are essential in conducting ourselves as Clergy in a way that is ethical and beneficial to the folk as a whole.

Vision is a value in modern American culture that allows us to set goals for the American Dream and plan the necessary steps in order to accomplish that dream.  In my culture, the American Dream is a value held by most Americans as a vision that we all have equal opportunity to achieve, and prior proper planning and personal guile allows us to reach those goals without restriction with enough determination.

Wisdom acts as a foundation to most of the other virtues in that the decision we make as clergy and in society as a whole are based around knowing what is right and wrong and necessary in regards to individual situations.

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” – George S. Patton
Perseverance is a very high ranking virtue in the American Culture, because American Culture was defined by Perseverance.   When American Colonies fought against the British Parliament for independence, it started what are known as the core values of the founding of America that many Americans are so proud of today.  It shows in our military, it shows in our patriotism, in all classes of American society.  Perseverance is our unwavering will to move forward against odds to reach our goals.

The act of piety is a strong element in the United States.  We show a natural devotion to our patriotism, which is a definition of being pious.  Our children say the pledge of allegiance every morning before school, even in one of my elementary schools we were required to sing the National Anthem every morning as well.  All of our sporting events devote a period in the beginning where the National Anthem is sung, hats are removed, hands are placed over our hearts, and we honor our country.  When someone significant to our lives or our country passes, we often take a moment of silence or fly the symbol of our country, the American Flag, at half mast.  These are all examples of devotional piety that is important to our culture as Americans.

Courage in America can be a hit or miss value among our American peers.  The ones who stand up against crowds for what is ethically and morally right.  Our military is a great example of American Courage, and brings out the best of our people to defend for the rights of others and protect our culture from those that would oppose it.

Integrity is shown across America by organizations established by Americans such as the American Red Cross, whose purpose is to serve those in need through Humanitarianism.  The ability for the American people to give and do work for others is a prime example of our ability to show ethical integrity.

America is a fruitful country of opportunity, our foundation as a country in modern society is based on the “Land of Opportunities”.  Our creativity, devotion, perseverance, and unique perspectives all act as seeds planted to allow for growth and equal opportunities for all people with enough drive to harvest them, hence our fertility as a country.

In America there are two dominant things that we either really succeed at, or really fail at in regards to moderation.  Fiscal responsibility, and our health.  America is dealing with both a recession and an obesity epidemic, both of which (in my personal opinion) could be avoided by probably at least half of the people suffering through those situations.  Our inability to moderate our decisions on getting into debt or eating unhealthily is due to lack of moderation.

In CedarLight Grove, we have done several charity events with the “Adopt-a-family” organization where we are given the names and likes for a needy family in the area. Our Grove will go out and buy holiday foods and presents for the family and their children so that they can experience what we consider a “normal” holiday.  One of the best virtues that I feel America offers to the world is our ability to be hospitable.  Whether it is through acts of charity like the Red Cross, small gestures of hospitality like what CLG does for the holidays, or even global hospitality such as when America comes to offer aid to countries suffering tragedy.


Ethics 1, #8

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One of the main principles of ethics is to “do no harm”. Discuss the meaningof this principle as it applies to the clergy-lay relationship. (100 words minimum)

The meaning of the principle of “do no harm” as it applies to the clergy-lay relationship is to conduct clergical actions in a way that does not affect people negatively.   Essentially the work that we do should bring a positive experience to the folk and those that look to us for guidance and spiritual needs.  We as human beings, but more essentially as clergy , that are looked to for spiritual counsel are required to direct our correspondences with the folk in a way that does not bring about physical or mental harm to the folk in question. It is in this understanding that we can direct our action in a way that is ethical and beneficial.

(Word Count: 117)


Ethics 1, #7

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Discuss the meaning of confidential privilege, the laws in your state that provide for this privilege and the extent to which it applies to clergy-lay communications in your community. (200 words minimum)

The meaning of confidential privilege, or commonly known as penitent privilege, is the practice of protecting the substance shared between a clergy-person and the “penitent” or confessant in confidentiality (“Priest-penitent Privilege”).

In Pennsylvania, the law of pentient privilege is listed in Civil code 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (“Certain Privileges and Immunities”) which states that any Clergy of an established church or religious organization that has acquired information in confidence is compelled or allowed without consent to disclose that information in any legal proceeding, trial or investigation before any government unit.

Further research indicates that in 1959 penitent privilege was instituted into federal common law by the Tenth Circuit (“The Clergy-Communicant Privilege in Pennsylvania”, “Religious Confession Privilege and the Common Law”).  In addition, as of 2008 there are only 27 states that are exempt from reporting if information they receive of abuse was given in confidentiality, and Pennsylvania is included in that list (“Religious Confession Privilege and the Common Law”).

The extent to which confidential privilege applies to clergy-lay communication in my community is,  partially referenced in the ADF Clergy Code of Ethics adopted by the Clergy Council in 2011, are the concepts of Service, Competency, and Integrity.  These concepts as a whole adopt principles of responsibility to the folk, the kindred, and taking care of ones self.  It also touches on competency of our knowledge-base and skills and the development and maintenance of those skills that we may use regularly in our work, as well as the training of others in these skillsets.  Finally, we are obligated through our personal integrity to promote excellence, responsibility to our duties, and unbiased action in our servitude.

(Word Count: 274)


Ethics 1, #6

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Discuss the importance of ethics to the clergy-lay relationship. Do you believe a clergy person has ethical responsibilities? If so, what are these responsibilities? (300 words minimum)

The importance of ethics to the clergy-lay relationship is the ability to know right from wrong, as well as appropriate responses to individual needs. Anyone who is a representative of people, or someone who is looked to for any sort of guidance has an important heavy requirement of being ethical.  They represent a need and presumption by humans in general to know that we are moving in the right direction, that we have someone who can help guide or understand the experiences in which they go through.

A large responsibility then rests on the shoulder of anyone in a leadership or clergy position, or that provides counsel or guidance to sooth or direct someone in a positive and applicable direction.  An example of this would be the ability to provide unbiased consultation to someone who has been convicted of a felony of some sort, including those felonies we don’t necessarily agree with.  I experience such a situation in my own Grove with a registered sex offender (non-violent), and his desire and right to seek spiritual sanctuary and to do so without bias on my part.  I fully accept his rights and provide what services I appropriately can, while still maintaining my responsibility as clergy, and keeping the thoughts and feelings of the membership in consideration as well.

There are certain expectations that society looks for from a clergy-person, such as confidentiality, wisdom and/or guidance, pastoral duties, as well as ceremony and ritual.  Clergy should lead by example and not set a misleading depth of knowledge to anyone seeking counsel, nor expose a bent stance on who deserves or has the right for services where appropriate.  Obviously there are times where we cannot provide a service requested or needed and have to refer to professionals who can, such as mental counseling.  We must acknowledge our own limitations in order to give an accurate account of what services we are able to administer.

(Word Count: 320)


Ethics 1, #5

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Discuss how an individual’s values relate to the decisionmaking process. (100 words minimum)

Values are a type of ethic or “code” that are set on a more personal level than morals.  Morals are more generic and all-encompassing of humanity, whereas values are something we develop individually based off our own personal beliefs and experiences in how we grew up.  When it comes to making decisions, like the scales of truth and fairness held by Lady Liberty, we have to weigh or “value” each decision carefully.  We compare and contrast the decision we make based on what our individual values are, and also our human morals to find the best, or most positive or appropriate decision.  Our morals as humans on what is just and good is the measure that we must adhere to in order to make decisions.

An example of decisions being measured, were if two people came upon the same home-less man on the street, one may value a proper donation to the man differently than the other based on their history with home-less people, their upbringing and bias imbued in them by their parents and experiences.  Some people may place a higher value on one thing, whereas another will place the value on the opposite.  Amusingly enough this also relates to a situation I’ve mentioned several times within my Ethics Course in regards to a situation being dealt with in my Grove right now with a convicted sex offender.  This example has really split people within the Grove based off individual’s own values and what they perceive to be of higher value ethically than the other.  It’s interesting to see the contrast between peoples values in comparison to what is morally right.

(Word Count: 272)


Ethics 1, #4

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Describe several reasons why an individual would strive to “do the right thing”? (100 words minimum)

“Doing the right thing” is the very basis of what humanity and spirituality is about.  As spiritual individuals, or even as Druids, our purpose is to serve.  Whether this is serving the Shining Ones, the Nature Spirits, or the Folk matters not, it’s still an existence of service to something other than ourselves.  Not necessarily greater than ourselves, but even things that humans in general may think as lesser than ourselves (our dedication to our pets, for example).  Service to someone or something lesser than yourself, to me anyway, is an even greater form of service and sacrifice.  This not only shapes our legacy that we leave behind for a better world to follow after we are gone, but it also just plain feels good and makes us elevate our “karma” so to speak.  Doing the right thing can be seen as a form of sacrifice in a lot of situations, because it’s not always the easiest thing to do, and it’s not always what we would like to do, but to sacrifice our wants for needs is one of the highest forms of “right”.

(Word Count: 185)


Ethics 1, #3

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Discuss how an individual learns to determine right from wrong and explain the factors that influence this determination? (100 words minimum)

Learning right from wrong is a very convoluted process that starts at birth.  There are so many outside factors that influence and determine our initial mindset, from parents to peers at school and eventually co-workers and religious institutions in our adulthood.  I firmly believe that while all of these are major influences, and childhood likely being the most influential, we are all capable of changing our way of thinking based off of what is humanely right and fair.  Equal Opportunity is one of those most raging topics when it comes to ethics and morals, or right and wrong.  Everyone has the right to live a free and good life, and much of what we will have to make a judgment call on as leaders will be based off of this concept.  I envision many of the issues that I’ve had to deal with over the last 8 years as a leader within my own Grove coming back to the idea of Equal Opportunity or “fairness”.  Much of what we go through, our experiences and our ability to look at things from all sides to come up with a just decision are what influence us the most in leadership positions.  We learn from our mistakes, we learn from the mistakes of others, and we move forward with this knowledge, bettering ourselves for the next time.

(Word Count: 224)