Reading “Search”

I’ve started reading Michelle Huneven’s church memoir Search, about her experience with a ministerial search in a California Unitarian Universalist congregation. The details are altered to create a cloak of anonymity, though it doesn’t take much effort to pull back the veil. (I don’t know how much is fiction; the author and the protagonist have a little dance of identity.)

I’m about a fifth the way through. I’m not sure how a general audience will read it, but I feel like another veil — the practices of and about the ministry — are also being pulled back, and that’s not a bad thing. Several times already, I’ve been slingshot back twenty or twenty-five years to my own formation and the search that brought me to Washington. But I also see the clouds gathering in the book; conflict is coming. I’ll comment more as I go along, or when I finish.

While I don’t recommend prospective ministers develop their vocation in a Unitarian Universalist context (more about that later) if you feel yourself drawn that way, go ahead and get a copy: it’ll surely become part of the folklore of the calling. Anyone else reading it?

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