It has become very apparent that many individuals and organizations do not understand what ordination means, and how it works in terms of the law, and religious organizations.
Being ordained, is the legal ability to provide religious community services.
Such as weddings, funerals etc.
It does not necessarily mean one is a Gothi, etc. that is for YOUR community to decide. But as far as who can marry who, and how; the federal government gives that authority to churches. Laws in certain states and nations will vary, but often all one has to do is provide proof of said church giving you ordination abilities etc.
It doesn't mean "the gods chose this person" or that we speak for the gods etc.
It has nothing to do with that. What is has to do with, is the legal ability to perform certain binding ceremonies etc. The United States Federal Gov, via the IRS recognizes the ability of a church, a unified religious body, to declare who has the ability, experience etc. to perform the rituals within their community. It may vary in some states, (and may vary in other nations) but in the US, typically if a church can provide the proper documents, they are allowed to ordain individuals, giving them the ability to perform certain rites, and confirm that they indeed do know how to.
As a 501(c)3, we are. CHURCH. It took a great deal of time, money and paperwork, but after all that we achieved this status. Many people do not understand what a 501(c)3 is, thinking its just a "non profit", but its much more than that.
There are good ways of doing research, and then there are less effective ways. We implore each and everyone of you to learn about what Ordination means, what it means to be a 501(c)3 , and what power and abilities that gives us. Many of the "Asatru Groups" that you know of, are in no ways recognized outside of what they are, internet groups, Facebook pages etc. Of course, there are many others that like us, have gone through this process, the Troth, the AFA (unfortunately) as wells a few others. Now, this does not meant to say those Facebook groups have nothing to offer etc. quite the opposite. But its important to understand the difference when one is looking to joining, and or looking into the legalities of ordination etc. A Facebook group, cannot offer you these things, many other things yes. But you must understand and realize this. The government cannot dictate what is, and is not religion. If you do the proper steps, and fill out the paperwork, its not incredibly hard to "become a church", and it will depend on the state whether or not to comply with that. But if one is a 501(c) THREE in particular (one of the many types of 501 organizations) you have the option to register as a CHURCH. WHICH WE HAVE DONE. We have taken a lot of time, effort, and research to learn the process, and to actually go through it.
As to our programs, OUR COMMUNITY set guidelines as to what a Gothi is required to be. If someone meets those, then we will ordain them, and name them Gothi, so all those in OUR community can know.
If other groups and communities respect our guidelines, and decide to recognize our Gothis, then great. That's up to them.
As to the government and legal right to marry people in a binding way, we have worked hard, and earned that authority and responsibility.
The opinions of any other organization or group are void in those terms.
And we will not abuse it.
Now, it is also important to understand that many people are confusing our two programs. A. The Clergy Training Program and B. The Ordination Program.
The Ordination Program (B) is up and running now, and is a program for us to test, and confirm that an individual has the knowledge, and experience by our requirements for them to become ordained by us.
The Clergy Training Program, which is to debut at the end of 2017, or early 2018, IS an educational program to train, and teach individuals so that they may at some point reach the level where they, and the community feel they can take on the mantle of being ordained
This is not a joke, this is not games. This is real, and we are doing real work to strengthen, and grow both the local, and worldwide Heathen communities.
Learn more about the Ordination and Clergy Programs here: http://www.theasatrucommunity.org/ctp