Search Our Site

Page Navigation

Section Banner

Readings: “Anyone's Ministry

Also appropriate as Meditation Manuals

Ministry is

  • a quality of relationship between and among
    human beings

    that beckons forth hidden possibilities;
  • inviting people into deeper, more constant
    more reverent relationship with the world
    and with one another;
  • carrying forward a long heritage of hope and
    liberation that has dignified and informed
    the human venture over many centuries;
  • being present with, to, and for others
    in their terrors and torments
    in their grief, misery and pain;
  • knowing that those feelings
    are our feelings, too;
  • celebrating the triumphs of the human spirit,
    the miracles of birth and life,
    the wonders of devotion and sacrifice;
  • witnessing to life-enhancing values;
    speaking truth to power;
  • speaking for human dignity and equity,
    for compassion and aspiration;
  • believing in life in the presence of death;
    struggling for human responsibility
    against principalities and structures
    that ignore humaneness and become
    instruments of death.

It is all these and much, much more than all of
them, present in

  • the wordless,
  • the unspoken,
  • the ineffable.

It is speaking and living the highest we know
and living with the knowledge that it is

  • never as deep, or as wide
    or a high as we wish.

Whenever there is a meeting
that summons us to our better selves, wherever

  • our lostness is found,
  • our fragments are united,
  • our wounds begin healing,
  • our spines stiffen and
  • our muscles grow strong for the task,

there is ministry.


Singing in the Night: Collected Meditations, Vol. 5 edited by Mary Benard. Skinner House, 2004.

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

For more information contact

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.

Sidebar Content, Page Navigation


Updated and Popular

Recently Updated

For Newcomers

Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.

Page Navigation