The February 2015 issue of COMma, (an e-newsletter for UCC Committees on Ministry) celebrated the one-year anniversary of the new UCC ministerial profile, and the online searchable Profiles Portal. While the profile and portal are still new on the scene, they are delivering on the promise of a more useful profile for search committees and a searchable database of profiles and talents for Conference placement staff.Are you an authorized minister in the UCC? Have you updated your profile?? I encourage ministers to regularly update their profile. With the new profile now available, I urge you to move to the new format. Your old (vintage) profile will no longer be available after your 18-month background check expires. If your references are concerned that you are updating your profile, tell them that I encourage all minister to maintain a fresh profile. Updating your profile doesn’t mean you’re moving… it means that you now have the freedom to stay! The process of writing a new profile will help you constructively reflect on your ministry.And when times get rough in your ministry setting, a current profile will provide you with the comfort of options. Instead of feeling trapped, you can choose to stay, or you can choose to circulate your profile. You are no longer stuck in your church, with no alternatives. An updated profile is the foundation of a healthy relationship between a minister and a congregation. It gives you the freedom to stay…Our CPC clergy retreat leader, Rachael Hackenberg, authored the recent article in COMma. Here’s part of what she had to share about the ministerial portal:In the Ministerial Profiles Portal, ministers and MIDs can draft their Ministerial Profiles (including profile essays based on the Marks of Faithful & Effective Ministers), and they can develop their Snapshots, a brand new tool that helps individuals advertise their talents to conference staff – e.g. a minister can use the Snapshot to tell conference staff, “I’m a great retreat leader” or “I can teach boundary awareness training.” Also in the Profiles Portal, conference staff can review and validate Profiles, download eligible Profiles to give to local search committees, and even “google” the Profiles Portal database for ministers with specific skill sets (e.g. interim ministers with experience in urban settings or MIDs available for pulpit supply).Here’s a look at the Ministerial Profiles Portal by the numbers:
- In the United Church of Christ, we currently have more than 7,800 active authorized ministers (all forms of authorization) and over 700 Members in Discernment.
- After 12 months with the Ministerial Profiles Portal up-and-running, over 2,000 accounts have been created in the Profiles Portal: approximately one quarter of all MIDs and active authorized ministers!
- Currently, there are almost 1,200 in-progress Ministerial Profiles and nearly 900 Snapshots.
- Over 190 users in the Profiles Portal indicate that they are prospectively available for ministry in Montana-Northern Wyoming Conference; almost 170 indicate availability for Hawai’i Conference.
- There are 74 folks in the Profiles Portal who have combined skills in website technology and social media.
- 18 ministers who are available for interim ministry in Iowa also have skills in anti-racism leadership.
- 4 persons in the Profiles Portal speak Hawaiian, Melanesian Languages, or Chinese.
If you haven’t completed the new UCC ministerial profile, I urge you to make it part of your Lenten discipline. Or, put it on the calendar of post-Easter activities. An updated profile is good for you, and your congregation. It’s important to be prepared, and remain open to the call of the Spirit as we follow Jesus “On the Way.”
Yours in Christ, walter john