Friend and colleague, the Rev. Adam Tierney-Eliot, commented following my post on “unsettled” ministers:
What StephenR said makes sense to me. Scott, what you need is a union.
Funny. I’ve written about ministers’ union before, but was thinking the same thing about ministers actively seeking settlements. For those unfamiliar, this is the dry season for looking for churches. The UUEnforcer started to game out who would be settled where come this fall, and those votes and elections are going on now and for the next few weeks.
The churches that are open now — I’d guess — are either part time, less attractive, had a disastrous call process or opened from unforeseen reasons. There are twenty-four congregations in search. Thirteen of those positions are part-time and three of the rest are below fair compensation levels. None are in this area.
If I was looking, I would be very worried. But I’m not and am quite happy with my compensation and the character of work.
That said, there needs to be more opportunities. I’m not advocating that the UUA’s growth strategy should have full ministerial employment as its rationale, but that a progressive and varied new congregation program would address a number of issues that trouble the UUA today, including identity shaping and ethnic breadth.
Which worries me when I saw a zero budget for congregational growth in coming UUA fiscal years. If the responsibility for church planting as devolved to the districts, I’d like to know exactly how that’s supposed to work.