Rev. Gordon B. McKeeman said that “Ministry is all that we do -- Together”. The ministries of the congregation are much larger than that which can be done by professional ministers alone. The ministries of the congregation are the work of us all, together.
Doing ministry well, however, takes training and preparation. It takes being in intentional relationships that involve mutual accountability. It takes preparation and resources. It takes boundaries and self care. It takes intentionally and responsibility. Because the ministries of Unitarian Universalism address those places where we may be the most vulnerable, in the most pain, feeling the greatest separation.
It is a sacred trust when a congregation entrusts its ministry in the world to us, whether we are professional ministers or lay-members of a pastoral care team. None of us know what challenges and fears someone may have brought with them into the doors of our congregations on a particular Sunday morning, and as leaders of a congregation’s worship ministry we are entrusted to the care of more than we can ever know. When we visit someone in a hospital or a nursing home, we are not there just as ourselves, but representing the care of the congregation and all of Unitarian Universalism in that person’s life, in that moment.
Worship Associates, Pastoral Care Associates, Committee on Ministry Members, Caring Committee Members, Lay Ministers, Parish Nurses, Visitation Volunteers, Professional Ministers, and so many others are the physical embodiment of a congregation’s ministry. Congregants and others invite us into their life because of that sacred trust. It is up to us to make sure we are prepared to hold that trust.
- Central East Region Commissioned Lay Ministry Program
- UUA Worship Web
- The Committee on Ministry Model by Robert Latham
- Lay Pastoral Care Training (PDF) by Rev. David Pyle
- Article on Forming a Committee on Ministry by Rev. David Pyle
- Book - Giving Counsel: A Minister’s Guidebook by Donald Capps (on Amazon)
- Worship Design Studio Blog and Marcia McFee