Mentoring Matters: Cultivating Trees For Our Forest

Mentoring is essential in cultivating new leaders in an organization.  Those of us who are already in those roles need to become mentors so that those following us can more easily manage the journey.  As mentors, we seek to help our mentees feel welcomed, valued, and part of their own learning process. We walk alongside them, providing support and insight, encouraging reflection, risk-taking, and confidence in their growing skills, and challenging them to continue moving forward on their path.

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Members Advocate Candidate Responses 2019

The Members Advocate is the organizational ombudsperson.  They represent individual members of ADF to the Mother Grove, especially minority members that are otherwise not well represented.  The Member’s Advocate manages compassionate memberships as well as handling complaints that are both interpersonal and inter-organizational.  They are expected to mediate these complaints before they reach the Mother Grove. The Member’s Advocate is a 1 year term, with a 3 consecutive year term limit, and is a non-voting member of the Mother Grove, though they are expected to attend all Mother Grove meetings.


Bios can be found here.

The list of all questions can be found here.

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Non-Officer Director Candidate Responses 2019

The Non-Officer Director is elected to represent the membership at large. They are not given any specifically defined duties, but are often the heads of various subcommittees as determined by the Mother Grove. There are 4 NOD positions on the Mother Grove, with 2 up for election each year. The Non-Officer Director is a 2 year term, with no term limit.


  • Desiree Cook
  • Julie Desrosiers
  • James Fielder (Pigeon)

Bios can be found here.

The list of all questions can be found here.

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Regional Druid Candidate Responses 2019

The Regional Druids represent the membership of their region, both solitaries and groves.  They are expected to welcome new members to their region, help prospective and new protogroves with challenges they may face, and stay in contact with the members in their region (often by physically traveling).  They are also in charge of mediating complaints that arise in their region before escalating them to the Member’s Advocate. The Regional Druid is a 2 year term, with no term limit.  They are eligible to run for Chief of the Council of Regional Druids (a voting Mother Grove position) after having served as RD for 1 year.


Bios can be found here.

The list of all questions can be found here.

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Arch Druid Candidate Responses 2019

The Arch Druid is the President/CEO of the organization, as well as the Spiritual Leader of the organization and Head of the Clergy Council.  Please note that the Arch Druid is a paid position.  They are an employee of ADF and receive a monthly stipend, making it especially important that our funds are spent on a qualified person.  Arch Druid is a 3 year term, with a 3 term limit, and is a voting member of the Mother Grove.


  • Rev. Melissa Ashton
  • Rev. Jean Pagano (Drum) (late response)

Bios can be found here.

The list of all questions can be found here.

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Eileithyia: For Childbirth

I had a messy draft of this for when my daughter was born, and then actually solidified it when another friend had a baby.  It’s been nice to have handy, because the birth of a child is an important and often scary event, where prayer proves comfort and support from the spirits.


I call out to gentle Eileithyia!
Make your way swiftly to this mother and child
That labor may be eased and pains dampened.
Sweet Opener of Ways:
As new life springs forth hold your torch high
That the path may be illuminated
so this shining child may join us here
In full health and full joy,
Bright-eyed as he shouts his arrival to the world!
Eileithyia, for your gentle and practiced protection and delivery,
I make this offering to you!

ADF Election Questions 2019

The ADF Elections are coming up, and while the bios that candidates provide are helpful, they are by necessity too short to truly convey the things the membership would like to know before casting their votes.  To that end I’ve compiled the many questions that folks have asked across social media.  I’ll be sending out the questions to the candidates, and providing their answers here, in a separate post, so that they are all in one place for folks to read.  If you’ve got any last minute questions you want to see added to this list, please send me and email at rev.jan.avende @

Additionally, sometimes it’s hard to know what all these leadership positions actually entail, so I’ve summarized the basics of them below.  To see the full list of descriptions for the Mother Grove officer positions, look here: (you will need to be logged in as a member)

Here’s the list to see who has been nominated thus far:

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ADF Elections: take a chance on someone new

Some thoughts on the upcoming ADF nominations and elections:

While we have groves and protogroves as the backbone of our physical community, solitaries make up the backbone of our online community, which is not only much larger, but also the only community many of our members get. That being said, if you know folks in our online groups who have thoughtful opinions, often seem to be starting or contributing to conversations, and seem like someone whose ideas you agree with: reach out to them and see if they’d be willing to run for an office. We want our leadership to be people who are passionate about ADF Druidry, and those who are active participants in our various groups often are. If everyone waits until they feel recognized enough or experienced enough, we will continue to have the same people in leadership, which leads to stagnation in any organization. A lot of people just need the little push of someone else thinking they would be a good fit to convince them to run.

Additionally, I always encourage diversifying our leadership. Diversity is important, and it doesn’t happen by accident. We have to deliberately cultivate it. We like to think of ourselves as a welcoming and inclusive organization, but we need to walk that talk by encouraging, electing, and supporting our minority members into various leadership positions.

Part of diversifying our leadership also has to do with giving more folks a chance to be involved in leadership. This means encouraging and electing folks to hold only one leadership position, rather than electing some who already holds one or more leadership positions. The more positions a person holds, the more likely things are to fall through the cracks, the more likely certain aspects of a particular job will not be a focus for them. We won’t get new folks in leadership if we keep stacking people into multiple positions and not giving new folks an opportunity to serve. Take a chance on someone new this election cycle.

Once the nomination and election period gets a little more underway there are often folks who put together a series of questions that they ask nominees to answer. Feel free to ask your own questions and listen to the answers that the nominees give. This is a chance to for you get to know them a little better, but more importantly to see if their vision for bringing ADF into the future matches your vision for what you want to see from your church.

Regarding what positions are up for election this year, Rev. Amber Doty has put together a great listing of our organization-level positions: