Dear candidates for the ordained ministry,
It’s been a few weeks since I served as a liaison for the December 2011 meeting of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee. It was both a pleasure and privilege to serve in this capacity, but I’m grateful to have had some time to process the experience.
Like many past candidate liaisons whose letters I’ve read, I entered my own interview feeling a mixture of excitement, vulnerability, and absolute terror. I felt excited about finally reaching this stage in the process, vulnerability about the areas in which I knew I needed to grow, and terror that the Ministerial Fellowship Committee might not sense inside me the overwhelming, guiding call I felt to the Unitarian Universalist ordained ministry. It was a time of extreme focus and anxiety for me, but I now recall it gratefully, especially when I encounter situations in ministry that challenge my sense of adequacy and confidence.
More than anything else, my experience as a liaison strengthened my respect for the members of the committee and my faith in this sometimes frustrating process. Committee members sacrifice their time, energy, and vacation days each time they serve on a panel, yet my sense was that they have each freely chosen to do so out of real devotion to Unitarian Universalism. I was profoundly moved by the genuine compassion and reverence with which the committee members approached work they knew would change both the lives of ministerial candidates and the shape of our faith, and I had no doubt that the Spirit was present and moving in all of the committee’s deliberations.
Given my experiences, here’s my advice to those preparing to see the committee soon:
Know that there is great cloud of collegial witnesses who will be keeping you and all of the interviewing candidates in their thoughts and prayers. Along with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, I look forward to welcoming you into fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist ordained ministry.
Blessings and the best of luck to you!
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Last updated on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
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