Monday, May 09, 2016
Two Ideas on the Economic Sustainability of Ministry
Two ideas to advance Economic Sustainability of Ministry.
Two ideas came out of the recent Summit on Economic Sustainability of Ministry.
#1. We need “OWL FOR MONEY”. There is a soul sickness and an ignorance about money in our society. We need to an educational program for different ages and circumstances that teaches about money and leads people in a process to discern their values and relationship to the economic dimensions of life. We can’t just talk about stewardship and generosity without working with people and their whole economic lives. Imagine a program that has sequences aimed at high schoolers, young adults, middle adults, retiring adults, lay leaders in congregations, and stewardship leaders.
#2. We need a network of organizations that are training lay ministers. And that are more than just a few. Those organizations need to learn from each other, develop best practices and begin the work on unifying around common systems of accountability. They need to develop ethical guidelines for lay ministers. Lay ministry training is already going on; no one organization, like the UUA staff, can pull all of it under one system at this point. In fact, more organizations from individual congregations to the professional organizations or identity based groups should be welcomed into the work. Let a hundred flowers bloom.
These were the top ideas to come out of the Summit.
For background: the Summit is convened by some units of the UUA’s national staff to advise and consult on the wicked problems in the economic dimensions of organized liberal religion. The two organizers are Sarah Lammert from the Department of Ministries and Faith Development and Richard Nugent of the Office of Church Staff Finances.
A first Summit was held last June in St. Louis and a followup last week in Boston, MA. Various staff groups of the UUA were represented as well the Presidents of the two UU identified seminaries. Professional organizations like the UUMA and LREDA were there as well.