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A Ministering Congregation
The task before us is to foster and develop a ministering congregation.
A ministering congregation:
- Has a communal sense of call,
- Knows the community that it is aiming to serve,
- Mobilizes its resources and programs to respond to the diverse ministry needs of its gathered congregation and surrounding community,
- And provides a formation process to engage its membership in this shared ministry.
A ministering congregation has specific characteristics:
- Is mission focused,
- Is committed to spiritual growth and development of its members and the congregation,
- Knows its surrounding community and is responsive to the community's needs for ministry,
- Has outreach that is intentionally coordinated with all the congregation's programs,
- Has small groups that are a source of pastoral care, religious education, new member inclusion and leadership development,
- Conceives it programs as "ministries" to the congregation and the surrounding community,
- Has an intentional and ongoing "shared ministry program," a process for helping lay people discover their gifts and live out their ministries in the church and in their daily lives,
- Understands religious education as a faith development and formation process for the ministry of the laity,
- Is able to reach out to and serve more diverse populations within the community,
- Is committed in word and action to antiracism, anti-oppression and multiculturalism,
- Has responsible stewardship and engages in a mission budget process that is informed by its sense of mission as a congregation within a particular community,
- Is "Association-al" and has covenantal relationships with other Unitarian Universalist congregations in the area, district and continent,
- Engages with other faith communities in common social ministries, advocacy or service.