Patrick Murfin wrote the following:
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.
This brings up something in me that I just have to ask: What the %*&^# is UU identity? Because I have a feeling that I’m going to have to find a new church if it is what I think it is. So I need to know.
Here’s why I’m asking……
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.
Now if I had just joined a UU church last year and then entered seminary, I could see why there would be some question about my UU “identity.” But that is not the case for me. And it’s not the case for a lot of UU seminary students. So why should we be looked at as if something is wrong with us because we didn’t go to Starr King or Meadville?
So I’ll ask the question again…….What the &*%^# is UU identity?