The Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is making a big step towards transparency. According to an email I just received, the MFC will publish a list of all ministers who have been removed from fellowship:
“In the past, the UUA relied on the UU World Magazine’s Milestones section as the most transparent way to list ministers removed from Fellowship. The UU World is only published twice a year at this time, and it is impractical to search the archives of the magazine for this information. Therefore, the UUA will soon publish a compiled list on its website.”
This email was signed by the two co-chairs of the MFC, Rev. Jackie Clement and Rev. Dr. Rebekah Savage. Given how understaffed the UUA is these days, no doubt it will take a little time for the list to actually make it up on the UUA website. Nevertheless, this decision is a big step towards transparency.
The email, by the way, goes on to give a primer in congregational polity: “only congregations have the right to ordain ministers, and thus the MFC does not have the power to remove ordination, or even to force a minister to resign from a position if a congregation does not vote removal or termination.” In other words, if someone’s congregation wants to keep a minister who has been removed from fellowship by the MFC, they have every right to do so — but now it’ll be harder to hide the fact that their minister has violated the ethical standards of the UUA.