What The &%*^# Is UU Identity?!? pt. 3 or What Schools Count? pt. 4, The Swedenborgians Are Coming pt. 5

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?

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “What The &%*^# Is UU Identity?!? pt. 3 or What Schools Count? pt. 4, The Swedenborgians Are Coming pt. 5

  1. “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 … matter to the UUA?”
    I would suspect the reason nobody is giving a direct answer, is that nobody reading your blog knows the answer.
    Who speaks for the UUA? and specifically who speaks to ministerial students as a representative of the UUA?
    The UUMA? The Ministerial Education Office?

  2. Well, since you asked “Who speaks for the UUA?” Steven, I do believe that one of the roles of the President of the UUA is to be the official spokesperson of the UUA. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong about that.

    Kim, you asked, “What part of my UU identity is blurry?”

    Did anyone actually suggest that *your* UU identity is blurry?

    I don’t believe that Patrick Murfin did, as it seems quite clear that he was talking in quite general terms. “What is UU identity?” or “What constitutes U*U identity?” is a great question and I hope that you get some good answers to it but I do not think that you should take Patrick Murfin’s words too personally. I have no reason to believe that Patrick Murfin was questioning your own UU identity.

    Best Reagrds,

    Robin Edgar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s