My mission is to provide you, the MFC candidate, with a safe container in which you come to know yourself better: to understand and articulate your strengths, vulnerabilities, and growing edges, so you can minister as well as possible, while reducing the anxiety that is often inherent in the process of preparing for the MFC.
When I was preparing for the MFC, I felt so keenly how much was riding on this work, and I didn’t feel as though I had a lot of support. I was full of anxiety, and I honestly felt as though a lot of that anxiety was built into the system. Not everyone is as anxious as I was, but many of us feel that support in a process like the MFC could be very helpful.
Of course, there were generous people willing to read my packet when it was done and give me feedback. But that was after I’d already put hours and hours of work, sweat, blood, and tears into it. Were they going to give me vague feedback I didn’t understand or couldn’t work with? Was I going to get an evaluation, a number, I didn’t want?
The reality is no one can guarantee that you will get any particular number in your MFC meeting. There is an alchemy between the candidate and the panel that can never be entirely anticipated.
But that doesn’t mean that there’s no help. There is help, and I can provide a bunch of it. There are so many things I wanted help with, and maybe you'd like some too. There were things that would have made me feel more confident and calm about my process. Here's a list of some of what I can offer to you
About MFC Coaching
The concept of MFC Coaching was born of a recognition that, after coming through to the other side of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, I had yearned for greater support leading up to the meeting than was available at the time.
After speaking with other MFC candidates, who voiced similar desires for support through the entire process of preparation, I launched a beta-test. This beta-test was successful: the concept proved to be viable, helpful, and even fun for everyone involved. MFC Coaching clients treat our time just as you might do in time with a tutor in any other context. All the folks who worked with me in those first months have said that our work together helped them develop self-trust, self-awareness, and self-understanding.
MFC Coaching is customized to your needs and can include, but is certainly not limited to the following:
- Feedback on writing
- Accountability with staying on top of the reading list, and discussion about how you're using your study time
- Talking through anxieties related to preparing for the MFC
- Reading evaluations, letters of recommendation and Career Assessments to offer suggestions about where questions may come up
- Quizzing in areas where you don't feel as strong as you'd like to
- Support with sermon process and presentation, including writing and delivery
- Help with clarity, explanation, concision and formatting of areas of ministry pages
Remember, the ultimate goal of MFC Coaching is to provide you with a safe container to come to know yourself better: To understand and articulate your strengths, vulnerabilities, and growing edges so you can minister as well as possible, while reducing the anxiety that is often inherent in the process of preparing for the MFC.
It’s great to have people willing to read your packet. It’s really wonderful, in fact, especially since it’s such a commitment to read through all that stuff. And you should have more people than I look over your materials. It just wasn’t enough for me to have someone look over it all at the end of my work. I needed help along the way and you may too.
Do you need any of the above? I can help you. I can offer support and challenge. I can offer close reading and a preacher’s eye and ear. I can offer clear critique as well as encouragement and praise. I will make suggestions and you decide whether or not to take them.
I also commit to you that I will stay in touch with Rev. David Pettee at the Ministerial Credentialing Office and Rev. Melissa Carvill-Ziemer at the UUMA to make sure I'm as up-to-date as possible on the status of MFC requirements and expectations.
Who am I?
- I am an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. My ordination was in April 2015 at All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington, DC. I also worked at All Souls as the Pastoral Care Coordinator during my time at Wesley Theological Seminary, also in DC.
- One-to-one and small-group ministry really makes my heart sing, and that's why I started this website to hold and shape my ministry. It allows me to offer one-to-one support, classes, retreats, and writing to help people develop and deepen their spiritual lives in a way that also nurtures me.
- I was an editor for years, and a tutor in English vocabulary, the SAT, GRE, LSAT, and GMAT.
- I am a teacher, trainer, and developer of curricula in various subjects.
- I have a particular love for the study of world religions, including Pagan traditions of various cultures, African Diaspora traditions, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
- I maintain a regular blog on this site, as you may know. I also guest blog on such sites as Tiny Buddha and Sivana Spirit.
- Finally, I have been enthusiastically complimented on my preaching by ministers like Rev. Bill Sinkford (“That was the strongest first sermon from an intern minister I’ve ever heard.”), Rev. Dr. Rob Hardies, (To the congregation after a sermon of mine, “Well she surely can preach!”), and early on, Rev. Dr. Susan Newman (“You’re the best seminarian preacher I’ve ever heard.”). Even before I was ordained, I was asked to help seminarians and ministers in preliminary fellowship alike make sermons tighter, more compelling, and clear.
Besides all these “hard skills,” I frankly love this work. I love working with ministerial candidates. I love helping people who are working toward something they love, something so important to them they’ve given years of their lives to it.
My clients have called me, "encouraging," "trustworthy," "respectful," and "uniquely gifted for this work," among other things.
I know what it’s like to feel compelled, impelled to seek ministry. I know what it’s like to be terrified of all the evaluation, all the gate-keeping, and yet to persist. I know what it's like to feel that you need this work, and to find the evaluation and judgment just brutal. You are persisting. You are working hard, and I want to help you persist in this work.
Totally Customized for You
What do you need?
Would you like to have your essays read, discussed, and tightened up? Do you need someone to help you stay accountable with the reading list?
Would you like someone to read evals and letters of recommendation and CA's to offer suggestions about where questions might come up?
Do you need someone to offer impromptu quizzes, especially in areas where youfeel not as strong as you'd like? Would you like help processing first question ideas, or your sermon process and presentation?
Do you need help with those vexing competencies/areas of ministry forms? I am here to help you through the process of clarity, explanation, concision, and formatting.
Whatever you need to prepare, I am here to help you do it with structure, confidence, clarity, and a sense of well-being.
No one can promise anyone else a particular result from the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, but I do promise to answer any question you have via email or on our calls, to be accountable for our time together and the time that I spend with your documents, and to charge a reasonable hourly rate for our time.
Schedule a complimentary, no-obligation call with me and let's see if we are a great fit for working together! Just use the button below, and we'll talk!