- the old Reese's commercials about accidentally getting chocolate in peanut butter and vice versa;
- a poetry workshop in which we were given the task of creating poems using randomly selected words to start each line (a great exercise that produces amazing results);
- a desire to let you know that I do not spend all my time thinking about ministerial examining; and
- my interest in discovering links between ministerial examining and climate change, two of my current passions.
I'm grateful to report that my trip to despair was quite brief. (Not a nice place; don't recommend it.) It occurred to me that UU communities, littered as they are with scientists and engineers, might be a good place to start tackling climate change. Naturally, at least for all of you who have been paying more attention than I have, I found that many UUs and others such as Bill McKibbon of www.350.org (YouTube video here) had preceded me in this thought.
So what does all this have to do with ministerial examining? Before I answer that question, one more aside.
I just finished listening to the book Change or Die, which I highly recommend. In it, the author tells the story of Madison Avenue advertising account reps who made quite a good living placing ads on broadcast television. As the audience for that medium shrank, the cost of the ads increased. This could not go on forever, and in time, many account reps saw their commission income drop significantly as more and more advertising dollars moved to the Internet.
There are many types of "climate change." The "climate" in which UU ministry is practiced is changing, as the new UUA President frequently reminds us. Like the advertising account representatives, UU ministers may need new knowledge and competencies to thrive in the midst of change. If that's the case, then ministerial formation, examining, and development will be enhanced by changing too.