Thursday, March 18, 2010

Been feeling snarky today and need to let off steam...

so here we go. Actually, I took a walk on the beach a little while ago and the wind off the Sound blew a lot of my snark away, but when I got home and discovered a delicious email from one of my very favorite seminarians, I was moved to write out some of the thoughts her note inspired. In fact, I think I'll anonymize my reply to her and put it here.

OMG, this is just what I needed to hear today! You are so right on----this is what we need, not futzing around about little stuff. Heck, I might even be tempted to put (the essay she sent me) in my packet, were I going to the RSCC or MFC or some search committee anytime soon. At least put in the essence of it, if you can, and share it with your RSCC mentor if that person isn't too uptight and scary. You are so right on, sweetie, and your passion is clear-headed and infectious.

I've had it up to here (gestures toward sky) with petty chat dialogues and fussing about details of growth or non-growth. Passion is what grows us! Passion is what infuses us with love and gives us a bloom that no amount of education can stifle. What has gotten me feeling snarky today is how people place huge value on competitive kinds of things----grades at the MFC and candidacy for certain pulpits come to mind.

That's not what is important! Of course, it's important to do our best, but when we are second-best, runners-up despite our strongest efforts, we are not worth less than those who got 1's or a big church.

There's been chat on the part-timers list about feeling second-class because we work less than fulltime and it's MFC season once again, so there's some posting about that here and there. I want to tell them that it's not important! Ministry, rubber on the road, pedal to the metal, that's what's important and it won't matter in a few years who got what. What will matter is what you and I do to show our love for our ministry-ees and getting in there and working our tails off with them. That's what will make you say "jeez, they pay me to do this! I can hardly believe it!"

Love,
Kit

So there you have it---I am snarked about the competitiveness that crops up this time of year, even though I am thrilled for the ministry candidates who have gotten the go ahead from RSCC or MFC and excited to know who will be installed where, once the dust has settled. I am also distressed by the ministries I see ending sadly or being put on hold because of the heavy demands of this vocation.

I am thrilled to be a part-time minister in paradise, serving people who love me and appreciate me. I am no longer miffed because I got a 2 from the MFC many years ago; it quit mattering after the first few weeks. And I am glad to have been runner-up in a few instances of looking for a job; it quit mattering once I realized that where I am is where I am supposed to be.

I hope for that outcome for all those who are hoping to get a call from a congregation, hoping to hear encouragement from the Ministerial Fellowship Committee or RSCC. It's hard when it doesn't come out the way you hope, but you'll survive and even find yourself happier than you might have been.

And, by the way, those of you newish ministers who sit around at retreats and talk to other newish ministers about how your congregation just doesn't "get" ministry and how you're going to have to whip them into shape-----good luck with that. It tends not to work that way; you have more to learn than they do. Arrogance is not an effective tool for ministry.

11 comments:

Desmond Ravenstone said...

Good for you, Kit!

Robin Edgar said...

"I am no longer miffed because I got a 2 from the MFC many years ago;"

Well I'm still a bit miffed that I got O from the MFC many years ago, and another Big Fat U*U Zero more recently.

I think that I just might have to have a little Boston TEA Party again this spring. . .

Robin Edgar said...

Thanks for posting that "snark" courtesy of The Emerson Avenger Ms. Kitty. I wasn't sure that it would get a pass from you, but I sincerely appreciate that it did!

I am quite serious about the Boston TEA Party. In fact I am looking at mid-April as a propitious time for it. I only learned in that last few days that my first protest in front of 25 Beacon Street in Boston in May 2000 might have had a somewhat bigger impact on the UUA than I thought it did at the time. . . Unfortunately for all concerned however it did not produce the desired *results*.

So here's a capital 'T' Ta from TEA once again.

Anonymous said...

Robin, just what do you want? You keep doing all these protests and online complaining, what exactly do you want the UUA and other UUs to do? I notice you have been asked several times and you just tell people to "go look" and when they can't find it "try harder". There is a time to be snarky and a time to be clear. Please be clear. WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU WANT?

ms. kitty said...

Anon, I have published this comment, but I do not want this post to devolve into an argument about Robin's desires. If you two need to talk about this, please do it elsewhere.

Robin, I will publish a short answer from you, but that's it.

ms. kitty said...

PS. There is a great new blog for this kind of conversation. It's called Reason and Reconciliation. It's sponsored by a group of UUs who want to give others a forum for topics like Robin's concerns, so that they can be discussed there instead of through comments on others' blogs.

ms. kitty said...

And here's the URL for Reason and Reconciliation: http://reasonandreconciliation.blogspot.com/

Robin Edgar said...

I have been *very* clear to both the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA throughout this matter Anonymous. Their obstinate total refusal to enter into dialogue with me does not help matters does it? If you want tom know what I want I suggest that you read the letters that I have sent to the UUA and UCM in the past. In short I want some real restorative justice, real equity aka fairness, and real compassion for me and every other victim of U*U clergy misconduct of ALL kinds. So far I have had none and see little evidence of other victims of clergy misconduct receiving any justice from the UUA. Here are a couple of very recent "electronic communications" that I sent to UUA President Peter Morales.

Groundhog Day Letter

Ash Wednesday Letter

Read 'em and weep for the abject failure of the Unitarian*Universalist religious community to respond in responsibility to the Spirit that bloweth what it listeth in a timely manner. . .

ms. kitty said...

Thank you, Robin and Anonymous, for your exchange and now please take any further thoughts to Reason and Reconciliation.

Robin Edgar said...

As far as the 'Reason and Reconciliation' blog goes I am not convinced many people are visting it. The very reason that I make comments on other U*Us' blogs is to ensure that my serious concerns that I have to share with U*Us are and remain *visible*. Even if I do participate on the 'Reason and Reconciliation' blog that will not mean that I will cease and desist from sharing my legitimate concerns in comments on other U*U blogs or other U*U forums. The best way for U*Us to see a significant decrease in my critical comments is to ensure that both the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal start to respond to my legitimate grievances in a manner that genuinely honors and upholds U*U principles and ideals, rather than repeatedly disregarding them and quite flagrantly violating them as they have done for well over a decade now. . .

ms. kitty said...

I understand that, Robin, but it's this kind of conversation that will inspire people to read it. I check it daily and I suspect others do too, but when there's nothing new there, I am disappointed.

So put something new there!