UU Momma writes:
In response to the question of “What is UU Identity” first, we need to acknowledge this is a term being used right now with regard to institutions, not people.
The issue here is not about the worth and dignity of students being dependent upon where that particular student attends seminary,
Ah. This is where the rubber meets the road. UU Momma, being part of the “professional” class of UUism says that they (the professional class) are talking about “UU identity” in terms of institutions, NOT people. But I think I need to reprint what Patrick Murfin wrote:
Although many ministers get outstanding training at other schools, none of those schools are prepared to offer the resources for in-depth study of UU history, theology, and polity to ground at least some of newest ministers in our specific tradition. Graduates of other schools may be exquisitely educated and are often well trained in pastoral skills. But their UU identity is blurry.
Patrick, being a member of the “lay” class of UUism is NOT talking about institutions. He’s talking about ME. And he’s talking about people like me who don’t go to either Starr King or Meadville.
Much as I respect what UU Momma so kindly commented on, I am asking a specific question: What part of my UU identity is blurry? As I said in a previous post:
1. I’ve been in and around this movement for almost 15 years.
2. I didn’t enter seminary until long after 10 years.
3. I have a really good grasp of U/U/UU history. (I have developed an independent study course for my seminary) And I grew up in a more radical congregationalism than most UUs could ever dream of.
4. I know my theology. And can trace the history of UU theology fairly well.
5. I have been involved in this damn denomination at the district and national level for quite a while.
What part of my UU identity is blurry?
Is my UU identity blurry because I listen to Jay-Z and 50 Cent, T.I. and Kanye West? Gospel music and jazz? That when I turn on the radio the first station I go to is NOT NPR?That I’m waiting for new episodes of The Boondocks? That I loathe the grey hymnal? And think, that for all our supposed intellectualism, most UU worship services don’t even come up to the standard of college lecture?
What part of my UU identity is blurry? Really. I want to know.
So it seems to me that the professional class and lay class of UUism are talking about different things. And those of us who are studying for the ministry are caught in the middle. And I will keep asking the questions that nobody seems to want to give a direct answer to: do UU ministry students who don’t go to Starr King or Meadville (and to some extent Harvard and Andover Newton) matter to the UUA? If they do, what is the UUA doing to show its concern and care? If not, what should be done? and……….. What the &*%^# is UU identity?