Monday, January 02, 2012

Poll: Should your bylaws say only UUMA Ministers?

Should your Church’s bylaws hold the Congregation to only calling Ministers who are members of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association?

Poll at the upper right of the blog.  Please explain your vote in comments.


John A Arkansawyer said...

I wonder what our bylaws say. Here are reasons I think it's a bad idea:

Suppose the congregation suffers a rapid and serious decline and feels the need to call a minister regardless of UUMA affiliation.

Suppose the congregation wants to designate certain external activity as ministry and designate the person most in charge as a minister.

Just my off-hand thoughts.

Bill Baar said...

good reasons John... curious what your Church bylaws say.

Steve Caldwell said...

Bill - there is no reason that this level of administrative minutia should be in a congregation's bylaws.

That being said, any decision to call a minister with denominational fellowship credentialing for one's congregation should not be undertaken without an in-depth conversation (which is what I think your original question was really about and that is a bigger question than UUMA membership at the continental or district level).

This conversation should involve your district executive and the district UUMA chapter.

You want your locally ordained minister to have the support of your district ministers.

Otherwise, you've created a position in your congregation where a person has to deal with the pressures of being a minister without a professional peer support network. This would put your locally ordained minister in an unsupportable position -- he or she would not have a support network outside the congregation and using congregants for spiritual support would lead one down the road to ministerial misconduct at worst and a blurring of professional boundaries at best.

Our congregation in Shreveport, Louisiana has an ordained and called minister who does not have the "fellowshipped" credentialing status from the UUA but she is a member of our district's UUMA chapter.

She has an undergrad degree in church careers from a Methodist liberal arts college ("pre-med" degree for seminary students).

She hasn't attended seminary and doesn't have the M.Div. degree but she does have CPE chaplaincy training.

Bill Baar said...

Thanks Steve... it had been in my Church's for years and we just recently took it out.