Albert Schweitzer Visiting Ministries: Short-term Ministry Opportunities with German Unitarians
The Visiting Ministries Concept
The Albert Schweitzer Visiting Ministries program seeks to connect Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) ministers with Deutsche Unitarier Religiongemeinschaft congregations in Germany in order to provide short-term professional services.
Deutsche Unitarier Religiongemeinschaft (DU) is a lay-led community of about 1100 members and 500 "friends" organized in 17 congregations and a cooperative but independent youth fellowship (Bund Deutsch-Unitarischer Jugend). Both are organized according to democratic principles. The community descends from the Free Protestants, a private association in the Palatinate founded in 1876, and legally changed its name in 1950 to Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemenschaft .
The movement considers the religiousness of every person to be derived from one's autonomy and capability of fulfilling one's life in a meaningful and responsible way. It tends toward scientific and philosophical humanism while acknowledging other faith traditions as well. Within this framework, the members recognize the liberty of shaping and developing their individual beliefs, and they agree on a number of (democratically resolved) basic ideas about religion, belief, human beings, life, and living together. The community runs a medium-sized conference center at Klingberg near Hamburg and publishes a bimonthly newsletter, Unitarische Blatter fur ganzheitliche Kultur.
From 2009-11 the DU was served by a UUA minister fluent in German. Following his tenure it became clear that further service opportunities for UUA ministers in DU congregations would be mutually beneficial. This program seeks to organize that opportunity.
- The Albert Schweitzer Visiting Minister will be presented at a ceremony in one of the DU congregations. A corresponding certificate will be issued.
- Visits from ministers will be scheduled for approximately 2 weeks spanning at least two weekends.
- Sermons will be delivered to 4 congregations (two/weekend)
- Additional activities – workshops, music events, young adult or youth gatherings – are also possible.
- Travel expenses and allowances in Germany will be provided.
- The DU administrative staff will organize travel and accommodation in Germany.
- The timing for the visits is flexible from September - June.
- Some assistance for international travel may be available from the UUA.
Ministers applying must:
- Be in Final Fellowship with the UUA and in good standing with the UU Ministers Association,
- Submit a complete application at least 3 months before their visit would begin.
- Have considerable fluency with the German language. Assistance translating sermons can be provided as long as the material is available 3 weeks before the visit begins.
Strong consideration will be given to applicants who:
- Have experience working in an international context,
- Ability to provide assistance in the DU’s priority program areas
- Applicants will be interviewed by UUA staff and recommended to the DU for selection.
- Please submit an application (PDF) at least 3 months prior to the dates you are available to be in Germany.