Graphic of flowers and text quote: Intention is October's Theme. At the core of life is a hard purposefullness, a determination to live. Howard Thurman
What congregations are doing Theme-Based Ministry that we can learn from?
Who Is Doing Theme-Based Ministry?
Faith Development

Is your congregation using theme-based ministry?  How has it made a difference in your setting?  How have congregants, families, or staff groups been changed through theme-based ministry?  Share your story by emailing themebasedministry [at] uua [dot] org

Congregations of all sizes are engaging in theme-based ministry.  Here are just a few:

Soul Matters Sharing Circles Congregations

The Soul Matters small group approach was developed at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester New York. The idea for a Sharing Circle arose in 2006 when the co-senior ministers, Reverends Scott Tayler and Kaaren Anderson, reached out to a small group of colleagues to explore deeper collaborative relationships. What began as an effort to share material and creativity soon proved to yield the gifts of spiritual connection. Today over 70 congregations throughout the United States and Canada participate in this web of interdependence. Here are some examples of the creative contributions shared in Soul Matters circles with the theme of "Letting Go".

The Church of the Larger Fellowship

Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church West in Brookfield, Wisconsin

  • Utilizes Theme-Based Ministry to explore in depth a different theme each month through worship, music, stories, written and web resources, and programs for children, youth, and adults.

The West Shore UU Church in Cleveland, OH

  • Is using monthly themes in their “year of believing dangerously”.  The monthly themes (pdf) serve as a guide that gives shape to the minister’s preaching and worship services, as well as for small group and coffee hour conversations.

UU Congregation of Fairfax, VA

  • Uses Theme-Based Ministry. They post their resources and their yearly theme schedule on their website.

All Souls Tulsa, Tulsa, OK

White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, Mahtomedi, MN

  • Each month, this community gathers around a theological theme.  It guides their worship, learning, and fellowship together.  For each theme, there are monthly guiding questions along with reading excerpts for personal reflection, journaling, or casual conversation at home or in a monthly Sharing Circle. Learn more at their website

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