Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Tuesday report from Salt Lake: Ministry Days

The first day of our UU Ministers Association meeting (Ministry Days) has been devoted to continuing education for about 25 years. That will change after this year, when UUMA ceases trying to pack so much into one day. The plan is to establish a series of residential retreats for several days each for in-depth work on a variety of ministerial themes; for example, a week at Asilomar near Monterey. This will involve a near doubling of UUMA dues, but the rate will be more progressive, based on one’s salary.

Our speaker for the morning was Sonia Sanchez, the African American poet, teacher, activist, now from Philadelphia. It was a rather stream-of-consciousness talk interspersed with poetry. Many colleagues resonated with her words, and I copied down a few choice sentences, but I left at the mid-morning coffee break.
In the afternoon I attended an excellent workshop called “iMinistry,” in which the Rev. Nate Walker, the new young minister from First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia (oldest Unitarian church established as such in America).  We first spoke about our relationship with technology with regard to our ministries, and learned we were not alone–whether early adopters or those who need lots of hand holding, like me.  He gave several great examples of the use of internet tools for pastoral care, all-ages community building, social witness, administration, and worship.  But the point was that our ministry should use technology; we should not let the technology use us.   As with any relationship, boundaries are important.  As with all other aspects of a demanding occupation, spiritual practices are important to keep up. 


More soon.


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