The UUMA's online membership survey asked for your input on our mission and vision. Some 422 of us responded - roughly a quarter of our membership. Over the next several months, board and staff members will reflect briefly on on mission and the elements of our vision. This month we visit the UUMA's Vision regarding collegial development through the lens of the Good Offices. The UUMA promotes multiple models of collegiality, gathering in covenant to meet both the shared and unique needs of our diverse ministries (including retired, community, candidate, consulting, interim and parish). Shaped by a culture of vulnerability, intimacy,
trust and accountability to one another, we embrace leadership and mutual learning and
model excellence in ministry through collegiality.
UUMA Board of Trustees
Ministry Days 2014
2014 Ministry Days
2014 Ministry Days
Keynote Speaker: Marshall Ganz
Victoria Safford (25)
Judith Walker Riggs (50)
Berry Street Essay:
Monday, June 23:
8:00 Good Officer Training
7:30 Reception & Welcome
Tuesday, June 24:
7:30 Registration Cont.
8:30 Opening Worship
9:30 Snack Break
12:00 Book Signing
12:15 New Member Lunch
1:45 UUMA Board Q&A
2:45 Collegial Conv.
4:15 Snack Break
4:30 UUA President
8:00 Vespers Service
Wednesday, June 25:
7:30 Spiritual Practices
8:30 25 & 50 Worship
10:00 Coffee Break
10:15 Annual Meeting
2:00 Berry Street Essay
Full Registration Packet
Imagine a More Connected Future...
Have you heard about UUMA Connect yet? Due to launch on May 1, UUMA Connect will be new online center for continuing education and collegiality for UU ministers. The new site will offer resources for our ministries and offer opportunities to "Connect" with colleagues across the country and around the world. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQs (link here) and stay tuned for a video introduction later this month!
|2014 Good |
If you are serving as a Good Officer for your chapter please consider planning your Providence travel so that you will arrive in time to attend this bi-annual training. The training will begin at the Omni Hotel with breakfast and worship Monday morning, June 23.
Limited subsidies will be available to chapters to help defray the cost of an additional hotel night.
Keep an eye out for information about the subsidies and program as the time approaches.
Thank you for doing this indispensable work!
"A culture of vulnerability, intimacy, trust and accountability to one another." This is the kind of collegiality we UUMA Trustees are striving to create. As I've begun making my own contribution, some questions are forming in me.
My initial months with the Good Offfices portfolio has been highlighted by
- Convening our first phone conference for our 55 Chapter Good Officers. (We asked ourselves: How can we improve self-awareness in ministers who experience challenges?)
- Beginning regular consultations with the UUA Department of Ministry staff (We're working on clarifying and making more transparent the UUA response to negotiated resignations.)
This work leads me to ask: Is structuring our accountability to one another perhaps the necessary foundation for our collegiality - the base which must support the growth of trust, then of vulnerability, and only finally then of intimacy among us?
My own parish ministry this year, in fact, gave me a view of an actual concrete foundation (for our church building's expansion) being poured around its core steel rebar rods. With this metaphor before me, I've wondered: Might we see our UUMA's Guidelines for the Conduct of Ministry as but the rebar-like core for our foundation of accountability? Could the newly published Fulfilling the Call model for UU ministry be the "concrete" from which to fashion assessment measures for our own and each other's fulfillment of our calling?
To my eyes, though, the great challenge to building constructive accountability to one another is this: Most of us have very limited opportunities to directly experience each other's ministries. Therefore, I'm actively asking
To these many questions, I welcome your (humble) responses.
- How can we maximize our experience of sharing the performance of our ministries? And, perhaps more importantly,
- How can we approach strengthening our accountability to one another in the spirit of profound humility which our oh-so-limited shared experience counsels?
The Rev. Fritz Hudson
Good Officers Trustee
From the Staff . . .
The reason I chose to go into ministry - instead of remaining in a field like nonprofit management or the arts - is community building. Brilliant writing, effective social programs, inspiring music - I don't need to be a minister to attempt those things. However, doing them in the service of community - teaching people to be honest and vulnerable and brave with one another, building networks of mutuality and support, inspiring people to a higher sense of connectedness and compassion - that is the unique work of ministry, particularly in a non-creedal religion. As those charged to be the caretakers of our communities, it makes sense that we ourselves learn and practice community building with each other as colleagues. In every single program of the UUMA the practice of collegiality is inseparable from our educational goals. We practice and learn to be honest, vulnerable and brave with one another through coaching and mentoring, we build online social networks to support each other's health and wellness, and we gather as a body to renew our own spirits and sense of calling. As in our congregations and communities, this work is sometimes messy and often hard. However, I have been impressed, over and over again, by the willingness of our colleagues to dive into this mess, and come out better able to serve the world.
The Rev. Jennifer Channin
The UUMA Office
Collegiality is really at the core of everything we do here at the UUMA. From an office stand point we constantly strive to create settings and processes where collegiality can thrive. Some of the greatest moments of collegiality seems to happen amid conflict and pain. The system of Good Offices and the willingness of those among the membership to stand beside their colleagues is undoubtedly one of the greatest benefits of membership.
We owe a great debt of gratitude to all those willing to serve in this capacity. This June in Providence we will be holding a Good Officer Training preceding Ministry Days. Two GOPs from each chapter will gather to talk about the issues and best practices that inform their work. If you are serving in this capacity please look for more information in your email as the time approaches. You can register for the training on your Ministry Days registration.
Registration for Ministry Days opened on this past Saturday. We are expecting a large turn out and have built time into the schedule to allow for collegial time. Longer lunches, collegial conversations, a dance and reception are just a few things that we hope will give you time to find that deep connection that seems to come when with your colleagues.
It has been a very distinct privilege for me to witness the moments when true collegiality has happened in the UUMA and an even greater gift for me to carry those experiences into my every day life. For this I am grateful for doing this work for and with you. Thank you for the example you set!
With wishes for a joyous day,
Director of Administration
Is the UUMA doing a good job at achieving its Vision regarding Collegiality?
Over half of you agree that the UUMA is doing a good job achieving this vision statement (59% of respondents agreed or agreed strongly; 13% disagreed, the others were neither in agreement nor disagreement). You were in stronger agreement that this vision is important to nurturing excellence in Ministry (89%, with 1% disagreeing).
26% of 340 respondents reported that they had used a Good Officer in the last three years and 85% reported the experience as good or excellent. Of those who have not used a GOP in the last three years 83% cited that they did not need one while 16% turned to another colleague for support and advocacy.
Support and sharing ranked first in what is most important when meeting with colleagues. This was followed by: 2. Learning together, 3. Retreat/renew/relax, 4. Checking in/catching up, 5. Worship, 6. Socializing, and 7. Networking.
165 of the over 300 respondents gave us specific feedback to the question "What do we need to do better to realize this vision?" In June we will be reporting on collegiality in regards to chapter experiences. The responses related to collegiality in general and good offices specifically were diverse and ranged from comments reflecting the need to bring together colleagues of differing stages (retired/candidate) and differing (community/parish) to reflections on creating and growing further into a culture of vulnerability, intimacy, trust and accountability to one another.
2015 Institute For Excellence In Ministry
In A Hidden Wholeness, Parker Palmer writes:
"If we are willing to embrace the challenge of becoming whole, we cannot embrace it alone-at least, not for long: we need trustworthy relationships to sustain us, tenacious communities of support, to sustain the journey toward an undivided life. Taking an inner journey toward rejoining soul and role requires a rare but real form of community that I call a "circle of trust."
A Circle of Trust retreat will be held at the 2015 Institute for Excellence in Ministry, facilitated by John Fenner, Nancy Edmundson, and possibly a visit from Parker Palmer himself. It is just one of the many great seminars being offered when we gather at Asilomar next year. You can learn more about the Center for Courage and Renewal and watch a video about "Circles of Trust" here: http://www.couragerenewal.org/approach
Registration Open Now!
For program registration, click here.
For housing registration, click here.
Be In Touch!
Please share your questions, feedback and ideas!
Thank you for your service in the world and for your commitment and passion for ministry.
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Director of Administration
Rev. Jennifer Channin,