Swingin' on the UU gate

A series of coincidental emails from [Unitarian|Universalist] Christian clergy colleagues reminds me of what’s become a troublings trueism: you usually have to keep one of your feet in another denominational world — or Independency — to grow spiritually and professionally.

There are exceptions, but they seem few. With the real costs of entering the ministry, and the opportunity costs of not entering it in a decently remunerative way, what does the future hold for the Christian ministers? And, given that “gate swinging” isn’t so much an option for non-Christian ministers, what particular frustations and (lack of) opportunities do they face?

One Reply to “Swingin' on the UU gate”

  1. For straight Christian clergy the gate-swinging can well lead to eventual departure, especially if they decide that the grass really is greener on the other side of the denominational fence. For those who are gay/lesbian/transgender the picture is more complex. In other denominations, including the oft vaunted UCC, there are still enourmous barriers to being OUT in many parishes. That sexual orientation barrier is mostly gone in the UUA. But inside the UUA there is still a barrier for both gay and straight Christian clergy. I believe that Brother [anonymized, just in case] on the E-mail List Which Shall Not Be Named said that he is routinely passed over when prospective UU churches see “Liberal Christian” listed on his profile. This leads to an odd cross-current that leads straight Christian clergy towards departure, and keeps gay Christian clergy straddling two worlds.

    But it is interesting that Christian UU clergy are routinely wanted outside the UUA, which diversifies their choice of ministry placements. Our non-Christian colleagues may feel a tad hemmed in by the geographic limitations of only being suitable for service in the UUA.

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