Written by Rachel Hackenberg
Dear Committee on Ministry colleagues,
This month, MESA is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Ministerial Profiles Portal, and I must say that we're still quite enthusiastic about the Profiles Portal and the ways that it supports ministry in the United Church of Christ.
Many Committee on Ministry members may not know about the Ministerial Profiles Portal (nor would you have reason to in your COM work), but it’s actually Committees on Ministry that first give the “green light” for individuals to use the Ministerial Profiles Portal. When a COM approves a person as a Member in Discernment (whether toward licensure, commissioning or ordination), accepts a minister for Privilege of Call, or recognizes a Disciples’ minister as an Ordained Ministerial Partner – and once those decisions are reported to the UCC Data Hub – those persons may begin using the Profiles 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.
Happy anniversary to the Ministerial Profiles Portal, and thanks for all you do in your Committees on Ministry to assess, encourage and consider candidates for ministry before launching them into the Profiles Portal and into authorized ministry!
The Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg
Minister for Committee on Ministry Resources & Conference Support
Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization (MESA) Team
Local Church Ministries, United Church of Christ