CER Arts of Ministry

People holding hands in worship

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.


About the Author

David Pyle

The Rev. David Pyle is the Regional Lead and a Congregational Life Consultant with the MidAmerica Regional Staff. Rev. Pyle holds a Masters of Divinity from the Meadville Lombard Theological School and a Bachelors of Arts in History and Political Science from East Tennessee State University. He...

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Learn about the Commissioned Lay Ministry Program

From Central East Region

The Commissioned Lay Ministry (CLM) Program provides an opportunity for committed Unitarian Universalist leaders in the Central East and Southern regions to deepen their faith while serving their congregations in more significant ways. Initiated in the Ohio-Meadville District in the 1970s, this...

Commissioned Lay Ministry

Welcome to WorshipWeb

From WorshipWeb

Welcome to WorshipWeb! Here you'll find meaningful, inspiring resources, grounded in Unitarian Universalism, for worship services and personal spiritual practice.

WorshipWeb Library

Forming a Committee on Ministry

By David Pyle

From LeaderLab

In consulting with congregations about their “Committee on Ministry”, I have learned that a necessary first step is to ask the congregational leaders to tell me what they expect their Committee on Ministry to do.  And in every congregation, the expectations of a Committee on Ministry seem...

Forming a Committee on Ministry