Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ministerial Credentialing-What I Notice

What I notice in this discussion, in the several venues that it is taking place, heartens me about our faith.

Firstly, it's been a serious, creative discussion, as if this issue of ministerial credentialing matters deeply to the health of our faith and is therefore worth wrestling with.

Secondly, that there appears to be a consensus that all individual persons within the system are doing the best they can with that system. There's been no blaming, there have been plenty of kudos, and there's a lot of curiosity and hope.

Finally, there has been no suggestion that there is no need for the MFC, for credentialing in general. No one is advocating that we do for credentialing what we did in settlement, which is to open the system to several kinds of free choice. The longing is for us to do a better job of discernment in credentialing, not that there be no credentialing.

Some of this is to protect vulnerable churches with their volunteer search committees and boards, but I think another part is deeper; for all that some hesitate to call us a "denomination", that some are anti-clerical, that some are radical individualists, we all seem to want to be proud of the people who have the right to call themselves Unitarian Universalist Ministers.

And I think that that is a good thing.

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