Ombudsman Writings - January 2021
By Rev. Randy Fillmore
"What's In A Name?"
Over the past several years, the membership and make-up of the Alliance of Divine Love has changed - and that’s a good thing.
My observation is that we as an organization are no longer lone islands of light scattered around the country and some other far-away lands. We are no longer defined by our regional affiliations. We are no longer limited through long-distance calling periods.
As our organization has matured and evolved, we now seem to be connected through consciousness, just as much as Zoom, Skype, or Facebook.
Even in this evolution, some things in our human-ness remain - our egoic way of looking at what we see, believing what our senses tell us, and our desire to speak our Truth. All this can be our individual way of expressing ourselves and sharing with the world our beliefs within our understanding of the Greatest Degree Of Love.
In our human-ness, we are still subject to engaging and putting up with rules, regulations, and processes. There might be times when those rules, regulations, or processes conflict with our understanding or beliefs. This is where I, as the Ombudsman for ADL make myself available.
It’s been 5 years since the ADL Board established the Ombudsman position and asked me to fill that role. Ombuds are largely known throughout many corporate and federal organizations. There are a handful of Ombuds who support religious or spiritual organizations.
For those who might not be aware, Ombuds support an organization by providing a mechanism or methodology for informal, independent, impartial, and confidential process to hear complaints in a safe environment without fear of retribution or retaliation.
The name “ombudsman” (om budz man) comes from Swedish and literally means “representative.” At the most fundamental level, an ombudsman is one who assists individuals and groups in the resolution of conflicts or concerns.
In the past 5 years, I have worked with ADL Chapters with questions and concerns on Bylaws, ADL National Committees on processes, ADL Mentors, and the ADL National Board.
As the Ombud, I hold all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and I do not disclose any confidential communications unless given permission to do so. The only exception to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm or illegal activity.
My role as the ADL Ombud is not to dictate what I believe. My role as Ombud is to listen, work to understand, listen some more, and offer thoughts, suggestions, or recommendations. I don’t enact policy or procedures. I’m available as a sounding board. I’m there as an unbiased traveler along for the ride in human form.
I’m certainly not looking for areas to stick my nose in or processes that I believe need fixing.
I’m here. I’m available. I’m willing. I care.
Blessings along your path
Rev Randy Fillmore (Chapel 1709)