A fee to see the MFC?

So, I’ve heard through the grapevine that ministerial candidates are being charged $250 to see the Ministerial Fellowship Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Said grapevine is not happy about that.

I would love some commentary about that, but first I would like confirmation and (better still) a statement of reasoning. Or perhaps this is old news — I met the MFC a very long time ago — but if the story’s making the rounds, then it’s worth discussing it plainly and in the open.

Does anyone know?

3 Replies to “A fee to see the MFC?”

  1. While I applaud the eventual creation of a “travel cost equalization fund”, this forced contribution from candidates is one added hoop in the MFC journey of many hoops. And to be waived from paying this fee one must demonstrate “extenuating circumstances” – yet another hoop (and a potentially humiliating one for candidates of very modest means).

    What troubles me is that this is another contributor to a pattern, where candidates for ministry are asked to carry more and more of the financial risk of religious service in the Association. What responsibility does the larger UU community have, to bear the financial risks of those we encourage and call out into roles of religious leadership? If we want well prepared leadership, are we willing to pay for it?

    Maybe we do not want to pay for the ministry that we benefit from? Perhaps professional ministry is merely a vocational option for the wealthy, or for those whose partners/spouses are well compensated?

    Sorry for the cynicism. The policy as spelled out in the document hits a very sore spot for me.

  2. Wow! That is news to me. That is simply grose. So those who have been nurtured toward ministry and who wish to enter professional religious service are a burden? What message are we sending and what do we expect people to read in this fee. Funny me I had been thinking that we need to have funding to back up things like professional development training, and financial counseling, and possibly professional coaching and recruitment services available to those who leave ministry before retirement or do not decide to continue following MFC as a way of recognizing the risks and sacrifices involved in entering ministry and also by providing such support we could better insure that our most dedicated members are encouraged and supported in continuing to act on that dedication to Unitarian Universalism even if not doing so in a position as a religious professional. I guess I am stunningly out of touch.

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