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Dear Candidates for Ministry,
I remember well my time preparing for the MFC [Ministerial Fellowship Committee], stressing
about what I did know or didn’t know, voraciously devouring any UU [Unitarian Universalist] knowledge
that I could get my hands on. And then came The Day, that moment that I had
spent years waiting for. And in one hour, it was all over. I had passed, deemed
competent to enter into preliminary fellowship. Was all that stress and anxiety
really worth it?
Sitting with the MFC this past September further confirmed my
thinking. I was stressing about the wrong thing. The MFC is not concerned with
whether you are the expert in every subject. Very few ministers are. They are
looking to see that you have enough knowledge in each area to be competent as a
minister. But most importantly, they are looking to see you present yourself as
a minister. And not your interpretation of what you think the MFC is looking for
in a minister. They want to see your authentic ministerial presence. And that means that we need to know
So what does this mean for you, the candidate? Know your
packet. All questions begin from reading your packet. If you say that something
is important to you, be prepared to talk about it. If the RSCC makes a
recommendation or a comment about something, make sure you are prepared to
address it. Anything in your packet is a source for questions. Of course, some
questions are not going to be generated by your packet, so be prepared to answer
a history, theology, polity, religious education, or
Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression/Multiculturalism question that might seem to come
It may also be helpful to dispel some myths that I heard as a
The most important thing to know is that the MFC really wants
you to succeed. But they also must hold you accountable to a standard of
competency for ministry. It is very hard for the committee to not give a one or
a two. But it does not do you, your ministry, and our denomination any favors by
passing through someone who is not ready. It is out of love and care that all
decisions are made.
Know that the MFC is not your enemy; they are here to help
you be the best minister that you can be. Come before the committee as a
minister, and they will notice. Remember that you do not have to be expert in
all subjects; you need to be knowledgeable in all subjects. And finally, don’t
forget to breathe.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
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