WHAT IS A GOOD OFFICER?
Within our tradition, the highest operative value is collegiality. It is mutual affection, mutual support, mutual aid, and mutual accountability. Collegiality is our DNA as a body of ministers; it creates the historic organism of the Living Tradition; it is both why and how the tradition continues beyond any single lifetime. It carries the blueprint out of the past into the future.
The Good Officer is the gene that carries the genetic information of the Living Tradition. It is the responsibility of the Good Officer to incarnate collegiality in the concrete situations where the living tradition of the liberal ministry is at stake.
The Good Officer helps ministers when we're in tension with each other.
The Good Officer helps ministers when we're in tension with the institutions we serve.
The Good Officer helps ministers when we're in tension with the Unitarian Universalist Association.
In all these situations, the Good Officer helps us apply the accumulated wisdom of the liberal ministerial tradition, as articulated in the Guidelines, to our conflict. Lofty and abstract goals, like “supporting each others’ ministries”, take on flesh and blood in these conflicts. The Good Officer helps us navigate these situations, holding us accountable to the high standards of our ministerial tradition in all aspects of our lives. The Good Officer is there when painful and difficult conversations must happen.
Most Good Officer work has nothing to do with grievances. It has to do with helping colleagues who are having problems in their ministry. At its heart, Good Offices work is pastoral. It’s colleagues caring about colleagues.
HOW ARE THE GOOD OFFICERS CHOSEN?
Chapter Good Officers are appointed by the UUMA Board of Directors acting on nominations submitted by Chapter Officers. They serve three-year terms. They are eligible for re-nomination and re-appointment. They serve under the supervision of the UUMA Executive Director.
In nominating candidates as Chapter Good Officers, Chapters are encouraged to give weight to:
experience in the ministry;
maximum geographical access to Good Office services by all Chapter members; and
maximum diversity in the Chapter Good Officer corps by race, culture, gender, and sexual orientation.