On recording gifts in ministry
October 18, 2013 § 12 Comments
Many Friends in the Liberal tradition oppose the practice of “recording ministers”. I support it.
Or rather, I feel that it is extremely important that meetings do something to proactively recognize, name, and nurture the spiritual gifts of our members and attenders. This is one of the things we are here for, to nurture each other’s lives in the Spirit. This is one of the key responsibilities of a Quaker meeting. We don’t have to record people as ministers, but we should be doing something.
I got to thinking about this because of a post by Ashley W (I think the W is for Wilcox) about being a recorded Quaker minister student in a Methodist seminary. I clicked on the label “Recorded” for that post and found that she has blogged quite a lot about her experience as a recorded minister—really good stuff. I highly recommend reading her posts on recording, especially if you don’t understand or agree with the practice.
I published a piece myself on this topic in the online edition of the November 2012 issue of Spark, the newsletter of New York Yearly Meeting. You can click here to read my “On Recording Gifts in Ministry.” The issue’s theme of Recognizing Gifts in Ministry was part of an effort of the Yearly Meeting to reconsider the practice in light of resistance from some in the Yearly Meeting to its continuance. The Yearly Meeting was not able to come to unity on laying the practice down, and so the practice stands. Thankfully, to my mind, as you will see if you read my article.
New York Yearly Meeting has a pamphlet offering guidelines for recording in the Yearly Meeting, available here: “Recording Gifts in Ministry”.
What do you think? What has been your experience?