So long since I’ve been here. So long.
Let’s jump in!
First, I should mention my RSCC interview. RSCC = Regional Sub-Committee on Candidacy. It is the body that interviews Aspirants to the UU ministry to assess some of our strengths and
“growing edges” along our way. It is certainly possible not to pass the interview—that is, to be told you are discouraged from continuing ministerial discernment and formation. Generally, though, what happens is that you are either told to return in a year to interview again or are granted Candidacy (the next “role” in ministerial formation) right away. Either way, you get some information about how you come across, what the Committee’s sense is, and where you have gaps or growing edges in your development. Beyond that, and happily, you also receive information and affirmation about the strengths they see that they hope you continue to develop.
It can be a really nerve-wracking experience. In fact, the week of my interview, despite all the encouragement and reassurance I had received from friends, ministers, and fellow seminarians, I was a WRECK. I really had a hard time, and felt invited to look at that anxiety more closely. (But more on that perhaps some other time.) By the day before my interview, however, I felt much better, and I was even looking forward to it.
I had a great chaplain-companion for the experience. A good seminary friend, Sue, came with me, and was a lovely, grounding presence. We have similar ideas about preparation, being on time, and how to approach significant events. So her way of being centered and calm also felt really affirming and helpful.
I got to the interview, and things moved along. My chalice lighting words were about the life of discernment, about defending our traditions while tending our passions, all in the context of accountability to ancestors and descendants. Just three or four little lines, but it said what I wanted to say, and as soon as that chalice was lit, I knew I was in the right place at the right time.
The interview was a great experience! I enjoyed the folks who were with me, I respected the work we were doing together, and I really felt able to share myself and my passions with them.
I felt connected: We laughed together, we were thoughtful in our questioning and answering, we were there to do a shared work. At the end, I thought, Wow, I could do that again! Just for fun! And then I thought, very appropriately: Wow-even-more, I am a big dork.
At any rate, the “end” result—though not so much an end as an encouragement along the way—was that they affirmed my ministerial presence and identity, and recommended some concrete, specific actions for me to take in my formation. I left with a sense of elation, confirmation, and humbled to be part of this process of corporate/communal discernment.
It was a great day.
More to follow…