I am Boston bound early this December as I journey to see the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC), one of the last steps on my journey to becoming a Unitarian Universalist minister. The MFC reads over the hundred and some pages of essays, reflections, evaluations, and letters about my journey; then during my appointment listens to my sermon and asks me anything they want to. Afterward, the MFC deliberates whether they deem me to be qualified to become a fellowshipped Unitarian Universalist minister. It is rather astounding to arrive here, years after falling in love with Unitarian Universalism and the people of our faith community.
My call to ministry began over 15 years ago, but I heeded that call by engaging in lay ministry with youth, young adults and as the program director at a congregation. Four years ago, with the full support of my partner Erik, I made the decision to pursue ministerial education, truly a leap of faith for us. As a partner of a minister, I had few illusions about the learning process; we knew it would be a strain on our family. I started seminary when my child was just two years old, knowing I would need to leave a fine job to complete my ministerial formation and that it would require me to do difficult things. Yet, I knew we needed to take that risk if I wanted to serve our families and children to the best of my abilities, the way I felt they deserved. I want to do my part in making Unitarian Universalism faith formation reflect the powerful life affirming theology it contains.
My experience as a director of religious education made me deeply aware of the pastoral needs of families and children, my limitations to serve them in this capacity, and is at the core of my call to ministry. I am an educator and I recognized that I needed a ministerial education that would give me the skills and confidence in pastoral care, theological reflection, worship, social justice, spiritual development, and administration. I am awed to finally be nearing the end of this formal ministerial process and happily employed at a vibrant congregation doing the work I love. I am deeply grateful for all the wisdom, companionship, support and love I have received on my journey. So, on December 8th light a chalice, whisper an affirmation or say prayer for me if you feel so moved, I am Boston bound and will hopefully return with good news!