Our Blog Community – By Kevin Lowry

8 Jan

The Unitarian Universalist Minister Gail Lindsay Marriner says that “Humans are relational beings: like it or not we are always embedded in community. This is good because it means that by tending to our community we also support our own well-being. Creating stronger relationships and a vibrant commons gives all of us and each of us a better quality of life. Nurture what is better in the community and we arrive at Better for each individual.” It is our intention at NCMA to build a community of campus ministry professionals that are empowered to advance their ministries on their campuses across the country.  As Campus Ministers sometimes we forget that we are not alone in our ministry. For 50 years NCMA has been offering a professional community to those who are working in higher education ministry in campus across the country.  We come into this community to share our experiences, struggles and successes. We form strong bonds, forge new friendships and discover new ways of providing this vital ministry to our campuses.

This blog is a vital part of the Ministry of NCMA. We come here to connect with each other. This platform is a link to equipping, educating and empowering you as a campus minister. We welcome you into the conversations that we will have over the next year.  This is your place to connect with others in the field. We welcome your feedback, your comments and your voice as part of this blog. Over the next year you will hear voices from campus ministry professionals from across the country. You will hear perspectives from many different religious traditions and we might even sneak a couple secular thoughts in there as well.  We encourage you to engage in thoughtful and respectful dialogue. We welcome debate that add to the conversation and challenge our ideas. We welcome your perspective.

Our blog is a safe zone for ideas and perspectives, we ask that as you engage with us you remember that we are in community together and that you respect the voice and perspective of the different bloggers that we have asked to contribute.  We ask that you follow a few guidelines while being part of this community.

  1. There is no Vegas Rule: What is said on this blog is open to everyone and is intended to be shared with others. If you wouldn’t sign your name to it, don’t post it.
  1. Share the comments: Everyone should have the opportunity to comment. Some people tend to speak up as their way of “participating” while others tend to listen as their way of “participating.” It is important for everyone to step into the dialogue and for those who speak up frequently, it is important for them to step out and let others speak.
  1. Check Presumption at the Door: What we presume to know about others is often based on stereotyping or profiling and gets in the way of learning. If we set aside our presumptions, we open ourselves up to what is real and authentic.
  1. No Proselytizing: We understand that for some traditions efforts to evangelize/convert others are very important and we respect that. We also understand that these for others these efforts may create a barrier to open dialogue. Therefore, we ask that efforts to evangelize/convert be suspended during our time together.
  1. I-Statements: Speak for yourself only. Using “I statements” relieves the pressure to speak on behalf of all others who share your identity and precludes generalizing about people with other identities.
  1. Aretha Franklin Rule: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. We are here to learn and seek understanding in a respectful manner.
  2. Reserve the Right to Change Your Mind: If you say something and then later disagree with yourself, that is a-okay! This is a safe space to say something and then later feel differently and change your mind. We even encourage it.

We look forward to connecting with you this year on the NCMA blog and hope that it will become a vital resource for your ministry.

Peace!

Kevin Lowry is the Unitarian Universalist lay campus minister at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.  Kevin is a member of the Coordinating Committee for NCMA. 

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