Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

A Relative Outsider’s Perspective: The Ways You (and I) Have Grown in Ministry Part 1
Family Minister newsletter column for March
Part 1
This is the seventh year this congregation has had a second minister on staff.
Prior to that UUSS had been served by a full time professional Director of Religious Education.  A number of leaders asserted that a congregation of this size and level of activity needed more than one minister, in particular to help UUSS reach out to meet the needs of families with children.
When I was hired by the Board of Trustees in 2008, you all had just made a leap in funding to raise this position from that of “assistant” minister to the level of “associate” minister.  I had to dye my temples gray just to look worthy of it.  This position has stretched my abilities and caused me to learn new things about ministerial leadership and Religious Education.  It has given me the character-building experience of feeling not just overwhelmed but in over my head.  Fortunately not too many of you have caught on to me yet. I hope you find the following summary useful as you consider the past few years of experience with a second minister at UUSS.
My portfolio includes Child and Youth Religious Education (RE), Adult Enrichment, the Membership Committee (especially New Member Orientations), All-Ages Activities and the Task Force on Ministry to Families with Children.  In addition, I attend most of the monthly Board, Executive Committee, Program Council, and Steering Committee meetings.  I have weekly Ministry Staff meetings, RE Assistant meetings, Senior Staff meetings, All-Staff meetings.  I preach at least once monthly, among other roles I play in worship services.  I’ve led the search to recruit and hire a new child care provider, and we expect to hire more new staff soon. I have consulted with or participated in Social Responsibility programs, Stewardship and fundraising campaigns, the Alliance, and several other activities where I smell food cooking.  I’ve officiated at weddings here and in the local area.   I respond to hospital calls and other pastoral requests as much as I can, and I welcome families of all kinds to reach out to get acquainted and tell me how the church can be of help.  (I also am active in several volunteer roles in the local, Pacific Central District and denominational realms.)
Clearly, there is more ministry to do.  Doug works an average of 60 hours a week, sometimes more. I don’t want to know if I surpass him!
The RE program cannot rely on me alone (even if I were competent)! It must rely on the cooperative leadership of the RE Committee and especially its chair, Jeannine , and many other lay leaders…like you.

to be continued soon


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