Archive for April, 2010

By-laws and Patience.

April 18, 2010

I had to set a boundary today.  The committee was just pushing on my nerves so hard I had to leave the room.  I said I would not yet again put red line and strike out through the entire by-laws like they didn’t like when we did it before.  They finally came around to my point of view after I left the room steaming.  I did not leave the building.  I sat on the couch in the foyer, considering my ministry.

This steams my cookies.  People who come in last moment with great suggestions yet refuse to be involved with the committee that’s been meeting for most of a year  to clarify the situation.  That toasts my cookies quite well.  I think I would have been more reasonable on another day.   Not  a good day for me over all.

I’m thinking can I be a minister with my high expectations?  I expect people to read and care about the rules they make for themselves.   I expect people to show up early in the process if they have a concern about it.   I expect people to try and have something that they do that speaks to their spirit or builds the community each week (outside of Sunday Service)  I expect people to read before commenting (or listen)

I don’t think it’s an attack on me personally, however, I have lost patience with useless badly formed suggestions late in the process that are not helpful.  If you care,  get on the committee, don’t show up once a year and expect all your situations that you just thought up a minute ago to be implemented because you communicated them to the right people…

So can I be a minister with this attitude?  Is it possible?  How can I communicate in such a way as to accept such comment gently?  I think you have an idea there, how would you feel about implementing that yourself.  I feel like I’ve put in massive effort here and don’t want to go in that direction, but if you have the energy to implement it.  Feel free!  I just cannot bear unergetically funded mandates.  Why doesn’t the “committee” just do double effort?  Are you part of this committee?  Can you double yours  first and we’ll see how that feels?

I thinks I needs a vacation.  Let’s hear it for summer when there are no by-laws meetings, no after church events, no choir even, let’s see how I do with an easier schedule for heaven’s sake!

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Amazing District Assembly

April 11, 2010

The Florida District Assembly was held at the Miami Congregation in  South Miami.  I had the best time and got to meet a superstar or two. Gini Courter is the UUA moderator and she was there.  I sat up front, because,  why not?  So I got the opportunity to go,  I got funding and support and here I am in the presence of one of our leaders.  Should I sit shyly in the back and look out the window?  I think not.  I was no further than 3rd row back for the entire weekend.  Gini was just as wonderful as I remember from watching her work in podcasts and online streams from General Assembly.  I was not surprised but pleased to have my socks knocked off.  (Okay I don’t really wear socks anyways, it’s Florida okay?)  I am very happy that I got there and was able to spend time with so many great people from the Florida District.  I enjoyed talking with Kenn Hurto and Gini together.  They were joking around and I was loving it.  Such amazing learning opportunities for me and it didn’t hurt a bit.

Actually I am a bit tired out, but I think that is a base requirement for a good meeting.  I did run into some food I shouldn’t have eaten.  I am a touch itchy.  I know it will pass after another dose of benedryl.  So I continue to wonder if I am going to be a minister some day. Surely if it were not so expensive I would already be started.  Now my life is about finding some kind of J.O.B. to keep myself in housing and groceries until my tech skills are needed again.  It would be an awesome time to work on a degree, but I have old student loans that must be taken care of before I can start on new ones.  Can I realistically handle the stress of ministry?  I know I have competencies already.  I am fluent in Islam, and Christianisty,  I know a  bit about Judiasm and some about Hindu and Buddhist teaching.  I am good at building bridges between people.  I am good at talking to folk through sermon, in small group and one on one. I am growing in my knowledge of UU history and how the UUA works now.   I wonder whether I would love the stress of doing that stuff all day every day.  I wonder if my affected extroversion ( I act extroverted to make myself comfortable. )  would serve me well. I know I need more at home do nothing time than I get at District Assemblies and GAs and so forth.  But life is not usually so intense all the time is it?

So part of my path of discernment is to read the MFC list and keep notes on what I have read.  I think it lets me know part of what I would be getting myself in for.   And if I learn more things, gain more competencies it will not hurt me.  It will help me.  I was looking at what Gini does (flying around to go to district events, serving (yay running) the board and knowing her UUism backwards and forwards).  I was wondering if life as a lay leader could be enough.  I sure do love to present sermons.  I am comfortable in the pulpit.  Who knows why. Sometimes I feel and act all ministerial.  Is it enough?

By the way, the idea to read the MFC list was mine,  my minister is not “making” me do it.  She does support me in the idea that reading that list will give me enough information with which to make a decision.  She loves the idea, and although I understand no one does it that way, I have no idea why not and I figure I can keep track of the work I am doing on the competencies real time while I am working on it in an organized fashion.  I can’t imagine maintaining a list of books read in my head, that would be crazy.  I understand most people put it all off to the last moment, but I think I will do it first.  With my memory as it is, with my stress being as it is, I think I will have to play at being organized even in order to make a decision of whether or not to apply to attend seminary.

I am still working on this and Kenn told me today to Don’t do something, just sit there.  So here I will be sitting patiently with discomfort, while reading on and sharing my thoughts.  Perhaps I need a lotto ticket though.  I big pile of money sure would clarify things..  Yeah.