Tuesday, December 30, 2008

iMinister, the Summit on Excellence in Ministry, and Other Shout Outs

Thanks to iMinister for the shout out about this blog. iMinister is the blog of the Rev. Christine Robinson, a participant in the Summit on Excellence in Ministry, a 12/10-12/08 conference of UU leaders engaged in the formation of both our professional and lay ministers. This conference was convened by the UUA Panel on Theological Education at the request of the UUA Board of Trustees. Rev. Robinson's live coverage of the Summit thru her blog was one of the inspirations for this blog.

And while we're shouting out, please look at this post by Politywonk. Politywonk effectively argues that the Renaissance person is a myth. Candidates for ministry frequently quake in their boots because they know that they don't know it all and can't be all things to all people. And yet under current practices, they are more uncertain than is necessary because they are often under-informed about what is expected of them.

Peacebang talks about this "profound insecurity" that affects some seminarians preparing for MFC or Regional Subcommittee interviews and states:

When I prepared for the MFC I simply thought, “I trust that these people will tell me what they see and, if need be, direct me to do more work to prepare for the ministry.” I was very worried about the financial implications of being instructed to do more work, as I was already $60K in debt from my M.Div. degree but I went before the MFC prepared to heed their advice even if it should cost me more time and money. I considered genuine humility and obedience to be part of the process — and neither of those qualities come easily to me (surprised, right!!?).

Her comments remind me of government reform under Clinton and Gore. Then Vice President Gore went around to the Federal agencies saying: "We have good people in bad systems." After all the beating up on Federal employees by Reagan and Carter, it was great to hear someone who wished to engage us as allies in improving the government.

We have talented, well-intentioned, generous people who volunteer their time to help in the formation and development of UU ministers. However, the system in which they are participating can be improved. May this current dialogue in the blogosphere help inspire such improvements.


  1. Calling Ministers will now be featured on DiscoverUU.com
    Please let me know if you'd like a change in your listing. It'd be great to be listed in your blog roll as well.

  2. Thanks for this post. We who have been through it can intellectualize all we want, but it's the voice from the trenches that makes it real.

  3. I just got out of one trench (preparing for initial MFC approval) and am now in another (preliminary fellowship). I decided to do this blog now while I still had fire in my belly and before I got distracted by other tasks.