When the Obvious Answer is Also the Absurd Answer, Keep Digging

Today’s CARD blog is written by the Rev. Elizabeth Dilley, Minister and Team Leader of the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization (MESA) ministry team.  It’s an apocryphal story, dating to at least the early 1970s. A man wrote into an automobile manufacturer explaining that his car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. In short, he…

Trend: A Broad Range of Calls to Ordained Ministry

This week, a new post by the Rev. Stephen Boyd, Minister for Chaplains and Ministers in Specialized Settings, and Ecclesiastical Endorser, and Rev. Malcolm Himschoot, MESA Minister for Ministerial Calls and Transitions, both team members of the Ministerial Excellence, Support, and Authorization (MESA) Ministry Team in the national setting of the UCC. The Ministerial Excellence,…

Fitness Reviews: Race and Gender

Today’s CARD blog is written by the Rev. Elizabeth Dilley, Minister and Team Leader of the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization (MESA) ministry team.  Fitness Reviews are conducted when a Committee on Ministry receives a concern about a minister’s conduct that raises questions about the minister’s continued fitness for ministry in and on behalf of…

Discerning Readiness for Ministry in the UCC

This week’s post is from Rev. Dr. Tony Clark, MESA Minister for Committee on Ministry Development and Leadership. The UCC Committee on Ministry Research Report[i] states “Thirty of the conferences responded to the question, ‘What requirements do you have for Members in Discernment?’…Of the 30 respondents, 15 reported that Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) was required.…

Asking What we Didn’t Know to Ask

This week’s post is written by  Rev. Holly MIllerShank, Team Leader of the Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization Ministry Team (MESA) Team in Cleveland.  Standing among the big wooden pews with starchy red fabric as a child, I memorized the words “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the…

Licensed Minister Survey Results, Part Two: How Do Our Conferences Use Licensed Ministry?

This week’s post is written by Rev. Elizabeth Dilley who serves as Minister for Ministers of the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization (MESA) Team within the UCC’s national setting.  In the summer of 2017, the MESA Ministry Team surveyed Licensed Ministers and Association/Conference staff about their understandings and practices of licensed ministry. Last fall, MESA overviewed…

Five Things I Think I Think about Committees on Ministry (COMs)

After serving for nine non-consecutive years and counting on the Susquehanna Associations (New York Conference’s) Committee on Authorized Ministry, I have arrived at some speculative conclusions and definitive conjectures about the work that we and other Committees on Ministry (CoMs) do, on behalf of the United Church of Christ (UCC). You know about CoMs. They…