Friday, April 25, 2008

dreaming big - wake up

I appreciate the "Dreaming Big" initiative (see below); I agree that we need to focus on large-church ministry as a separate specialty; I respect all the ministers leading the effort. And I wonder: why have our seminaries been left out of the project? Did they really turn down the opportunity? Or is this another example of our movement (all of us, not just our leadership in Boston) under-valuing and under-supporting theological education? I hope this project succeeds, *and* I hope it somehow incorporates Meadville Lombard and Starr King.

"Dreaming Big is a ministerial development program co-sponsored by the Senior Ministers of Large Unitarian Universalist Congregations (SMOLUUC) and the Ministry and Professional Leadership staff group of the UUA (MPL) created with a small grant from the Panel on Theological Education as part of the Association's excellence in ministry conversation. It is intended for ministers not currently (or only recently) serving in UU congregations of 550 or more members who believe they have a vocation and good potential to serve these congregations as lead or co-minister. The development team for Dreaming Big includes the Revs. Janne Eller-Isaacs, Jane Rzepka, Scott Alexander and Gary Smith from SMOLUUC, the Revs. Beth Miller and Jory Agate from MPL, plus a consultant, the Rev. Susan Beaumont, large congregation specialist with the Alban Institute." (I couldn't find a link to a program description on


At 8:46 PM, Blogger Christine Robinson said...

Dreaming Big is a continuing education effort, not a ministerial formation effort...if I remember correctly, applicants had to have had several years in parish ministry. I'm not sure what this has to do with seminaries...

At 6:06 AM, Blogger Chip said...

Hi, Christine. I meant to suggest that our seminaries might have had some useful information to contribute to designing and/or running the Dreaming Big program.

This appears to me (from my admittedly ignorant viewpoint) the sort of benign neglect that is *part* of the problem of our declining seminaries.

Do we really think we can build large churches and large-church ministers without thriving seminaries?

It seems to me a missed opportunity.


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