ADF has a traveling clergy program that helps small Groves like Ad Astra have a chance to experience time with clergy. The program provides a small amount of money to help the clergy pay for travel costs, but I suspect that a great deal of money still comes out of pocket. Ad Astra is extremely blessed to be having two priests coming out for our retreat. They will be spending time hanging out, answering questions, doing ritual, as well as leading workshops. Since we do not have paid clergy in ADF, these wonderful folk have had to take time off from day jobs to come out to see us. The sacrifice of time, energy, and money that our priests are putting out amazes and humbles me.
“So, who’s coming?” you ask.
Rev. Jean (Drum) Pagano, is the current Vice Arch Druid, ADF ListMaster, Manager of the ADF Store, and the reason that our Grove exists at all. I met Drum while up at a festival in Michigan, where he proceeded to talk me into starting a Proto Grove (even though I was the only ADF member in Topeka and the next closest member was in Missouri). I’m still not quite sure how he did that. He has been an ADF member for 28 years. He is currently a reviewer, and advocate for the ADF Study Programs; and an ADF Journeyman Bard (soon to be Master Bard). Drum has written a number of articles for Oak Leaves, has written a book of poetry entitled “Arise from Vapours”; and has studied and worked with the ogham for 23 years. Drum is also currently a member of Cedarsong Grove.
Rev. Michael J Dangler has been an ADF member for 11 years. He is currently an ADF Senior Priest; Preceptor of the ADF Clergy Council; a Past Senior Druid and Grove Priest of Three Cranes Grove, ADF, in Columbus, OH. Anyone who has ever thought about doing the study programs that ADF offers all its members, knows his name. He has written a great deal to help people learn what Druidry is all about and his work appears in Our Own Druidry, the handbook for the ADF Dedicant Path. He runs a Druid shop part time, has a regular day job, is a priest, and runs tons of workshops for ADF. I have met Michael a few times at various festivals and one Pagan Fire Seminar (that he co-founded and led).
To say I am excited to have these two here is a bit of an understatement. I was asked by a friend if I felt nervous to have the clergy coming out, since they will be seeing my ritual writing skills first hand. Honestly, I find it weird that I am not. I guess I figured they are coming to help us grow and stretch. I will learn while they are here, and hopefully by the end of our time together, I will put what they are teaching to good use in ritual and make them proud.