As liaison to candidates at the March 2004 MFC [Ministerial Fellowship Committee] meetings, I have come full
circle in my experience of and appreciation for the work of this committee!
I received a “3” my first time with the MFC and it took several months for me
to heal and begin to move forward in my preparations for ministry. Following an
extraordinary second internship I saw the MFC again and was awarded a category
“1”. A year later I was honored to be asked to serve as liaison to candidates!
My advice to current aspirants and candidates is to have faith in yourselves and
in the process, even if there are some unexpected detours along the way. Life
and ministry will never be all smooth sailing, and sometimes it's good to be
reminded of that.
It was a privilege to read the packets of eleven candidates during the two
months leading up to the interviews. As I made mental notes and jotted down
questions I hoped to ask it gave me a real appreciation for the work the
committee does three times each year. It is hard work, and everyone serving on
the committee is a volunteer. During the interviews themselves committee members
focused on being fully present for each candidate. All had done their homework
and were prepared with questions based on the content of the packets. It is
important to be aware of any potential “red flags” in your packet and be
prepared to respond. There will also be questions on UU [Unitarian Universalist] history, UU polity,
world religions, religious education, church administration, theology, and
My experience is that the process does work. Yes, there are subjective
elements to it. We are all human, after all. One of the surprises for me was
that even when there was a strong difference of opinion among the committee
members, what followed was genuine dialog and respect. Decisions were not
rushed, but carefully discussed and deliberated. Compassion and generosity of
spirit abounded on the panel with which I served.
The committee is well aware of the anxiety felt by candidates, inwardly
rooting for each person to do their best. We shed tears over moving sermons,
disagreed with love during deliberations, enjoyed some moments of levity and
laughter, and above all took our role as a sacred responsibility.
Take a breath and take a sip of water.Be yourself.Be the minister
that you know yourself to be.And if at first you don't succeed, try, try,
try again.It is blessed work that we do for the future of Unitarian
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
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