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Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Weekly News and Reflections

Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?


Being the newest member of the Board (beginning my time as Vice President at the most recent Annual Meeting this past June), I am full of questions about what and who and how, when, and what, knowing what it all means. (When, for example, is my column due for the UUMA Weekly?)


These detail-oriented questions are important, of course, and our excellent Staff and Board members have always responded quickly and patiently to offer guidance and information. It is all too easy for me, however, (I know from my work in the congregation I serve) to get caught up in the details and forget (or at least to shelve indefinitely) the big picture in favor of crossing off the next task on my to-do list.


I am excited that one of the details I am learning about here is the Board Monitoring Schedule, which requires the UUMA Board to renew our Mission and Vision this Fall. It is exciting, not only for the head-clearing, soul-filling, heart-inspiring benefits that come when we engage with our purpose, but because we are living through a time of adaptive cultural changes and new directions and initiatives at the UUMA. Building on work which the Board has engaged with leaders of Chapters, committees, and teams over the past few years—identifying the most essential functions of the UUMA and --it feels like a very opportune time to engage with some fundamental questions about why we exist and what we are thus called to do.


The title of the Paul Gaugin painting, that also supplies the words to our hymn and the title of this article, always serves to ground me in what is important. Mission and vision work allows us to reconnect with our history (where do we come from?), articulate our reason for being (what are we?), and reimagine the promise of that which we are working toward (where are we going?)


Friedrich Nietzsche famously wrote, “If we have our own why in life, we shall get along with almost any how.” To riff a bit on Nietzsche, I would say providing a why has the potential to make the how downright joyful. If we have a shared understanding of our purpose, and a common vision of where we are headed, we can join together in the how, when, what knowing what it all means and the promise that it holds.


I am honored and humbled to serve on the UUMA Board and I am truly excited for the work that lies ahead.


In Faith,


Rev. Rod Richards

UUMA Board of Trustees Vice President

Updating UUMA Recommended Scale of Fees


The UUMA maintains a recommended scale of minimum fees for services and rights of passage. The last time the scale was updated was 2011 – it’s time!!


Please take a moment to complete concerning the fees you ask and/or receive for services. It is generally understood that called ministers offer rights of passage without charge to members of the congregation. The scale of fees apply to non-members/contributors and to requests for service from those persons and congregations with whom ministers do not have any other formal agreements.. We will be collecting data from our membership, seeking input from partner groups and researching similar industry standards.



The Northern New England and Metro NY retreats are right around the corner. Please register today if you plan on attending either of them.


We are excited to be opening enrollment for all aspirants and candidates who would like to take part in the this academic year. The MFN provides collegiality, discernment support and supplemental education free of charge. Participants in the program have expressed gratitude for the advising and learning and connections they have developed through the MFN. They have also given us helpful feedback which we are using to make the experience even more responsive to the needs and concerns of people preparing for ministry today.


to learn more about the support the Ministerial Formation Network can offer you in your formation and to sign up for this academic year. When you do, please note that the dates, times and locations for the retreats we will hold this academic year have all been set and most are in the fall. to sign up for a regional retreat, which is also free of charge. (You will see that we have not yet opened registration for the reception at the TRUUsT gathering, the retreat adjacent to FOWH or the retreat prior to Ministry Days. These will be open later in the year.)


More information can be found by .


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