The AFA Gothar program is a two year course designed by AFA Gothar Board for experienced and dedicated AFA members who wish to serve their community in the capacity of Gothar with the AFA. These positions are ones of service to the community and inherently bear many responsibilities, such as leading marriage ceremonies, funerary rites, naming ceremonies, land takings, coming of age rites, and other rituals for our community. Gothar also organize AFA and community events, assist with the formation of new kindreds, provide counseling services, and educating those not familiar with our tradition. Gothar often engage in many other forms of public service that are generally expected of Clergy in this day and age. This is not an easy responsibility, but it is an honorable path. AFA Gothar, recognized as Ordained Clergy, carry weight in most states and regions, having legal rights and legal recognition for ceremonies performed and services rendered to their community due to the direct support and association with the AFA, which is a religious, non-profit organization.
The curriculum is an in-depth study, organized in a collaborative style that is akin to the time-tested apprentice-mentor dynamic, and so each year a mentor is granted to facilitate the learning experience for each new student. Through the course of the program, the student can expect reading and composition assignments, regularly scheduled phone and/or video conferences, educational discourses, ritual performances before leadership, spiritual tasks and assignments, testing, and more. The propriety, professionalism, patience, timeliness, dependability, communication skills, and aptitude of each student are under constant review throughout the curriculum. It is important to remember that students can and have failed the program by not maintaining the aforementioned to a high and acceptable standard. Upon graduation, new Clergy are required to fulfill an obligation to the program, such as mentoring a new student. AFA Goðar are expected to remain active with the AFA, online, at AFA events, and in their local region.
The AFA Gothar Program is designed for those who already give their time and service to the Folk. A minimum of 5 years of Ásatrú experience, and no less than 2 years of membership with the AFA are required. Being experienced means that you are past the fundamental groundwork of Ásatrú: you know the rituals, are familiar with the mythology, philosophies, history, and social stratifications, and you agree with the AFA’s stances and values. Applicants are expected to be an active AFA member that is in good standing, show obvious and consistent support and dedication to the AFA, be a self-sufficient, contributing member of society, and be able to maintain a professional and well-composed demeanor at all times.
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