On June 18 the congregation surprised me (yes, I was surprised!) with kind words and celebration in honor of my completing of the requirements for ‘Final Fellowship’ – the last step in the Unitarian Universalist’s national ministerial credentialing process.
It’s fitting that the congregation and I celebrated together. Since 2013, when UUFE hired a just-out-of-seminary minister, you have been an active partner in my development, review and evaluation. Over the last four years the Committee on Congregational Ministry and Board have completed three rounds of assessment (and completed the many forms!) as I worked through the requirements of Preliminary Fellowship. A special shout out to those of you who were active in the review process. The words and cake (mocha and more!) were wonderful, and the new stole is beautiful.
At the national level, I’ll be recognized along with other colleagues who have met these requirements at the Service of the Living Tradition at General Assembly in New Orleans. At this worship service with 3000+ present, those of us reaching various ministerial milestones will be honored. In our robes and stoles (in my case a new stole!) we’ll have to cross the stage (our picture flashing on the jumbotron!) and then stay on stage for the service.
There is a sense of pride in having satisfied the requirements, and too, a deep sense of humility and gratitude for all it means to be a minister, to do the work I love, and to be privileged to be in partnership with such an amazing congregation. My hope is that while the more intensive reviews will ease, my own growth and development as a minister will not.