Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Weekly News and Reflections

February 8, 2019

On Trust and Power: A Reflection from the Director of Education

Darrick Jackson, UUMA Director of Education

Recent conversations within and outside the UUMA have got me thinking about trust. As colleagues, we don’t all trust each other. Trust is missing amidst many of our congregations and community settings. And there is a lack of trust of our institutions. There are valid reasons for many of these gaps of trust. And it affects our ability to work together to live into the values of our faith.


There are different approaches to developing trust. For some, trust is something you jump in and do. It requires taking a risk and letting the trust happen. On the other end of the spectrum, some feel that trust is earned. People and institutions need to show themselves as trustworthy before trust can be granted. When adherents to these two approaches engage, trust can be hard to establish and lead to an impasse in the relationship.


It is becoming clearer to me that we cannot talk about trust without talking about power dynamics. Trust as an act of risk is a lot easier when the power dynamics are equal, or if you are the one with power in the relationship. And earning trust means that someone decides what the qualifications are for earning that trust, and when those qualifications have been met. Power dynamics can influence the implications of meeting and not meeting those qualifications.


We will not be able to move forward as institutions and individuals if we are not able to move towards trust. Not everyone can, and should, jump into total trust. But we can commit to the development of trust over time, giving priority to our needs for safety and our healing from wounds and trauma.


Web of Life, Spirit that moves within and between us,

Open our hearts.

Help us to discern when we are ready to trust.

Help us to discern whom we can trust.

And teach us how to trust.


Holy one,

Help us to find the right balance of safety and vulnerability

So that we can engage in community that builds,

So that we can live our faith in action as well as belief.

Remind us that we need one another.

Held in an encompassing love, we pray.

Blessed Be.


Ministry Days Temporary Staff Positions

While we continue to rely on the generosity of volunteers to support programming during Ministry Days, we will be hiring temporary staffing to assist with the 2019 programming, based on feedback received from members. All temporary positions will be compensated in relation to the level of time commitment. Please spread the word.


Temporary Staff Positions:

  • Worship Administrative Coordinator
  • Hospitality Coordinator
  • Small Group Coordinator
  • Chaplain Coordinator
  • Covenantal Relations Team Coordinator
  • Off-site Small Group Coordinator (not on site in Spokane)

Continuing Volunteer Opportunities:

  • AV Assistants*
  • Registration Volunteers
  • Easy Access Assistants
  • Navigation Partners
  • Ministry Days Hosts
  • Small Group Leaders (on and off site)
  • Chaplains*
  • Covenantal Relations Team*

Once coordinators are in place, we will send out a call for volunteers.


*Because of larger time commitments a stipend or registration waiver may be included for these roles.


February Meeting Reminders


Later this month, there are several conference calls scheduled. Your participation is needed and appreciated. Click on the registration links below to sign up for each call and receive connection information.

  • February 25, 6:30 PM EST: Understanding and Confronting Ableism
    Open to all Unitarian Universalists and others who wish to further their learning, and become more conscious of, and responsive to the cultural, social, psycho-spiritual, and social justice impact of ableism. Repeated March 4 at 9:30 PM EST:
  • February 26, 3 PM EST: Conversations about Collegiality
    Collegiality is a central value for members of the UUMA, but it is not clear that we all have common agreement about what collegiality is and how we can practice it well. To deepen our understanding of your perspectives, UUMA’s Collegial Development Team will be hosting two open conversations about collegiality. Second conversation March 1 at 12 PM EST.
  • February 27: Conversations on Multi-Minister Task Force Report
    • 3 PM EST: Call for those serving in Assistant, Associate, Religious Education/Faith Formation or any other supporting ministry positions.
    • 4:30 PM EST: Call for those serving as Senior Ministers in mid-size to small congregations.


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 Collegial Practices


Director of Education


Director of Operations


, pro tem

Melissa, Darrick, and Janette


Program Assistant


Office Assistant




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