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Showing posts from January, 2015

A candid summary of UUMA Connect So Far

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I have written a candid summary of the online continuing education platform, UUMA Connect, and posted it there. Because it is of interest only to UUMA members, I am not reprinting it here, but linking to it. It will require a UUMA sign-in to read.

Breaking Down the Walls to Build the New [Landrum]

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Tom Schade has been writing about the adaptive problem facing Unitarian Universalism and offers
this premise:
For debate: Resolved that the material and professional interests of the UU clergy hamper the development of new ecclesiological models more suitable for UU evangelism. I can see how this is true in several ways.  For one, clergy are the great generalists.  I love being a UU minister.  And, truly, one of the things that I love about this profession is that it's a generalist profession -- UU ministers do a little of everything at a basic level of competency.  The draft of the new MFC competencies outlines seven:
1. Leads Worship and Officiates Rites of Passage 2. Provides Pastoral Care and Presence 3. Encourages Spiritual Development for Self and Others 4. Witnesses to Social Justice in the Public Square 5. Leads Administration 6. Serves the larger Unitarian Universalist Faith 7. Leads the Faith into the Future The truth is, though, that not all of us are great at all seven of …

Are We There Yet? More

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My blog post "are we there yet?" asked the readers to consider the following qustion:

For debate: Resolved that the material and professional interests of the UU clergy hamper the development of new ecclesiological models more suitable for UU evangelism.

Part of the argument that I am making is summarized in this paragraph:

One theme in modern UU history is the narrowing of our evangelical concern to the growth of congregations. We want congregations to be bigger and stronger, and for individual congregants to be more generous with their resources. And practically, the unit of measure that we use to chart congregational growth is ministerial employment. "They went from quarter-time to half-time ministry." "They just added a full-time associate minister." And, "They reached fair compensation level in their package."

More than just the practical difficulty of creating stable prosperous churches in today's economic climate, the problem is that m…

MFC moving toward adopting Fulfilling the Call as statement of Competencies.

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The UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee, which credentials candidates for the UU Ministry, has been reviewing the way that they name and categorize the competencies that candidates must have. They have just released a progress report on that effort. What is newsworthy is that the Committee is moving toward using the Fulfilling the Call as a model for their competency framework. 

What effect does this have? It shapes how candidates will plan and document their skills and learning as they move toward fellowshipping. It means that the Fulfilling the Call schema, which is available everywhere, is becoming an association-wide set of definitions of what ministers are expected to do. It gives a common language for talking about a minister's performance and skill. 

Fairly objective, commonly understood, and universal standards by which ministers are evaluated, whether by the Fellowship Committee, Search Committees, or congregational leaders, are necessary to treat ministers fairly, a…

Are We There Yet?

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I posted the following debate topic on a thread on Facebook, where it will get lost among other worthy discussions and eventually be lost forever in uncatalogued sediment of Facebook discussion.

For debate: Resolved that the material and professional interests of the UU clergy hamper the development of new ecclesiological models more suitable for UU evangelism.

I felt a small tremor in posting it, because the subject is scary to me. 
I am a minister, duly educated, credentialed and ordained. Ministry is no longer my source of income, and thanks to a very talented and well compensated spouse, the wolf is not at my door, or even in my neighborhood. So I have the privilege of not being anxious about such things as ministerial compensation, ministerial job security, ministerial retirement, and ministerial educational indebtedness. I try to be aware of how that shapes my perspective.
On the other hand, my childhood was shaped by my father's inability to earn enough money as Unitarian minis…