Ours is an association of congregations. Even with congregational polity, most congregations appreciate the economy of scale, and work together for their common good. Sharing best practices and new techniques, questioning others who have experience with the circumstance we face—cluster, district, national and international connections have a lot to offer. Maintaining these relationships requires that we give of our time, energy and money, but so far, I generally believe the benefits to be worth it.

The UUA offers minister-specific connections, as well as its congregational resources. I, too, have the opportunity to learn from those who are more experienced. Equally importantly, I find a lot of friendship and support in my collegial relations.

I think Unitarian Universalism has a lot to offer the world. I want to work to make our movement stronger internally, and more widely effective externally. I serve the local congregation first, but that service includes strengthening its associational context.

“Chip brings to his vocation a deep and profound commitment to Unitarian Universalism.”
–the Rev. Mr. David Bumbaugh

I feel it important to pursue our UU connections—in cluster, district and larger UU settings. I participate in “pulpit swaps” with other UU ministers, and I have engaged in an “office swap,” where our whole staff met with the entire staff of another congregation, learning best practices from each other and developing relationships to draw on later.  I have held numerous leadership positions, in cluster, UUMA chapter, and district bodies.  I hope to contine that good service to our faith tradition.

I co-edited The Arc of the Universe is Long: Unitarian Universalists, Anti-Racism and the Journey from Calgary with the Rev. Leslie Takahashi-Morris and Dr. Leon Spencer.  The Moderator of our UUA, Gini Courter, said in her report to the 2010 GA, “the fine volume, ‘The Arc of the Universe…,’ by a trio of our fine historians…This book will help you understand much more about our culture and our General Assemblies and our Association.”

I am serving on the General Assembly Planning Committee–GA’12 and GA’13 (and I am running for election to the GAPC through GA’17)

I served on the UU Men’s Network Steering Council 2007-’10

I served on the Board of Trustees of the Central Midwest District (Secretary, 2004-‘05)

I have served on panels and presented workshops at General Assembly (2007, 2008, 2009); I was a Theme Speaker at SUUSI (Southeastern UU Summer Institute) in 2008, and presented a worship service at SUUSI in 2007.

I have presented worship at two District Assemblies: Heartland (2007) and Central Midwest (2004)

I have been an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) since 2003; I was Chapter Secretary of the Heartland Chapter from 2007-2010, and served as Facilitator of the Western Michigan cluster of the Heartland UUMA Chapter in 2009-2010.

I served as Chaplain to the UUs protesting the Arizona anti-immigrant law, SB1070, July 2010; and as a Security Check Point Gate Chaplain at Fort Lauderdale General Assembly, June 2008.

I have attended ten General Assemblies, six District Assemblies, four Winter Institutes and two youth conferences.

so may we categorize: