Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Weekly News and Reflections

June 7, 2019

Blessed by Accountability: A Reflection from the UUMA President


Cheryl M. Walker, UUMA President

Three years ago at the opening worship of Ministry Days, our colleague Rev. Theresa I. Soto, left in the middle of the service. Theresa is in a scooter and our service was all about walking. Like so many people, my first reaction was defensive. We didn’t mean to be harmful. That wasn’t our intention. We were using walking metaphorically. Yada, yada, yada.


Theresa was calling us into accountability and I was resisting. Theresa was right; I could have used different language. There was a lot I could have done had I spent a moment thinking about the impact of my words. It was a good lesson and it profoundly affected me. Theresa blessed me with accountability.


Accountability is a blessing. It invites us to become better people than we were. It may not be easy when we are being called into account, but if we practice it gets easier. If the task of being in religious community is to learn how be the best selves we can, then accountability should be a part of our spiritual practice.


This month, we will be asked to vote to study our guidelines in two ways: To strengthen what we should be accountable for, and how we may be called into accountability in better ways. Our guidelines committees have put forth extensive changes to our Ethics (for what we should be accountable) and our Accountability Processes (how to be called into account). This is only a vote to study the changes proposed, not a vote to actually change them.


I hope that we vote to study these changes, but what I hope more is that in studying them, we come to new realizations about ourselves and begin to see how we might engage the spiritual practice of accountability. None of us is so perfect that we do not need this spiritual practice.


I still make plenty of mistakes, but I make less of them. I am sure there is still so much for me to learn. I am now grateful when I have been blessed by accountability.



How Does a Person Get to Be on a UUMA Team or Committee?


Sometimes we put out calls and invitations for particular volunteer roles in the UUMA. More often, though, when we have a vacancy on one of our committees or teams, the first thing we do is run a search on our membership database to find out who has indicated interest in serving on that particular committee or team. Openings happen regularly at the end of each year as people complete their terms of service and then occasionally at other times as circumstances warrant.


If you would like to volunteer in UUMA leadership in some way, the best way to ensure that your interest is considered when we are recruiting volunteers is by update your profile with your current UUMA Committee and Team interest and your Gifts and Talents. You can update your profile when you are logged in to the using the My Profile tab on the top right of the screen. If you have any trouble updating, please or visit us at our GA booth and we’ll be glad to help.




Spaces for Care and Support


We’ve been grateful to receive feedback from many of you in response to the for Sexual Misconduct, which we recently sent to all members of the UUMA. We want to remind those who may be feeling the need that we have identified resources and arranged spaces for care and support. These are posted on the web page that the letter directs to at


In particular, we draw your attention to a scheduled for this Friday, June 7, a , as well as chaplain care for those attending Ministry Days on and off site. If there are other support resources you need, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and let us know.



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