Unitarian Universalism changes lives for the better. Unitarian Universalists (UUs) want to spread our faith far and wide and share it generously with all who are seeking their spiritual home. So we support our emerging ministries: new groups or projects that are grounded in Unitarian Universalism and bring people together with intention.
Congregations, Covenanting Communities and Beyond
Emerging Ministries take many forms. Some groups, called Emerging Congregations, are working toward becoming member congregations in our larger association. Other initiatives come from within, between or beyond our congregations. One way new to be in authentic relationship with our larger movement for non-congregational groups is by becoming a Covenanting Community. Confused about these terms? See our glossary.
The Road to Covenanted UU Living
Your new group or project is trying to move people into covenanted UU living. How can staff at the Unitarian Universalist Association help you get there? You can hop on the road by getting in touch with your regional staff. Staff are prepared to support emerging congregations, meeting groups, campus ministries, intentional living and missional communities and multisite ministries. We also value other forms of ministry, such as prison and military outreach, and can connect you with resources for such projects. Confused about these terms? See our glossary.
People, Purpose, Partners
Starting an emerging ministry is sacred work and requires gathering core people, discerning your purpose and finding partners. A group needs a team of dedicated leaders who are committed to the project and to being in right relationship. Once gathered, these people must get clear about their purpose: what is the need this project will serve in the community and how will it work? Grounded in purpose, a group can then seek partners who share similar goals and will support the project. Partners such as existing UU communities, UU professionals, other faith communities, and local non-profits might offer funding, space, expertise, volunteers, publicity or collaboration on events.
Creating, sustaining and supporting emerging ministries means learning as you go!
- Learn from projects that helped chart the way: UU Community Cooperatives (PDF) and Beloved Cafe (PDF).
- See examples of emerging ministries from the Spotlight Series: Sacred Fire UU, the UUs of the College of Wooster, and The Sanctuary Boston.
- Look outside Unitarian Universalism to get a Methodist (PDF), United Church of Christ or Presbyterian perspective on emerging ministries and changing religious landscapes.
- Scope out religious and secular ways millennials are gathering for meaningful community by reading the reports on How We Gather.
- Find out about how our entrepreneur-in-residence program helps emerging ministries flourish.
- Applying for Emerging Congregation Status - Emerging congregations in the Pacific Western Region (Montana, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming) can submit their application for Emerging Congregation status online.