The UUA will be holding a big meeting in a couple of weeks, called the Excellence in Ministry Summit. You can find a little more information here. Not much more information, however. Basically, it's a convocation of a variety of parties who are interested in Excellence in ministry through the ministerial lifespan, from recruitment through theological school through continuing education for ministers in place. Representatives have been invited from theological schools (UU and other) funding sources, UUA staff groups, UU Ministers groups, the Fellowship Committee, the UUA Board of Trustees, and Religious Education interests. The idea is to have an overall conversation about how to manage these tricky and expensive programs and institutions and produce that "you know it when you see it but can't really define it" product called "Excellence in Ministry."
More people wanted to come than could be included, and lots of people are interested or even concerned about the directions that might be discussed in this meeting so I was asked to attend and blog about it. It seems that I have a reputation for being an independent but sane thinker, grinding no axes but in no one's pocket...a designation that pleased me so much that I just had to say yes....to a three day trip in Mid December...just the busiest time of a minister's year.
I am crazy. But I do also care...I care a lot....about our denomination and I know of no single more important way to contribute to the health of our ministry than to be a part of discussions about fostering excellence in this profession.
After I said yes, I heard that the definition of "ministry" was expanded to include, not just the work of ministers but everything wonderful that UU's do in the world. I certainly hope that that's not the case. That would be a wayyyyyy to big subject for a two-day summit. I notice that the keynote speech will come from Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools, so I have hope that our discussion will stay relatively focused.
The Summit is a couple of weeks away, but I thought I'd start posting about it, giving others a chance to weigh in in comments and perhaps help me to be more oriented when I arrive.