When I began seminary as a Unitarian Universalist (UU) I was told quite clearly by both my Christian professors and fellow UU students that I had better be prepared to “jump through hoops” for the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC). I had clear aspirations, and two kids to feed, so there was never any question in my mind that whatever it took was whatever I was going to do, and as quickly as humanely possible. My view of the MFC was neither positive nor negative—the MFC was not personal, it was a force, like the wind and the tides.
What I can tell you, now that I have sat with the MFC as a Candidate Liaison, is this: The MFC is comprised of Unitarian Universalist ministers and lay leaders doing sacred work with great integrity, and they WANT you to succeed. Nothing would have made the panel I sat in on for five days happier than to have given a “1” to every Candidate who came before them. They are the gatekeepers, yes, but they are also the Welcoming Committee. Follow the standards and guidelines that have been set and reinforced over the years, show yourself to be a person who does sacred work with great integrity, and you will find yourself welcomed with open arms by this incredibly serious, but warm group of people.
So, if this is true, why don’t folks always make it through the first time around? Here are a few things you can be sure will absolutely, positively, deter you from getting a “1” and make your life, and the life of the members of the MFC, difficult on your big day:
Good luck, to all of you, as you strive and study and change. The MFC is waiting, patiently, seriously, and with gentle humor, to welcome you into the professional ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
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Last updated on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
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