The Shared Pulpit an online program for laypeople

Book cover for The Shared Pulpit

Rev. Erika Hewitt, the UUA's Minister of Worship Arts and author of The Shared Pulpit, invites laypeople to join her in this virtual, 8-session sermon-writing experience beginning in October 2023. Please read the following Frequently Asked Questions before clicking through to our application page.

What is The Shared Pulpit?
This transformational small-group program is founded on the belief that laypeople have the wisdom, skills, and lived experience to create meaningful sermons. The Shared Pulpit centers personal experience, refined through theological reflection, as participants learn about the theory and theology of preaching. Those participants practice writing and speaking with authenticity, gradually building toward sermon-length reflections.
What's different about this offering?
This virtual program is being offered to pairs of laypeople from the same congregation, so they're supported in developing leadership skills and shifting the worship culture of their congregation.
When will the program be held?

"During The Shared Pulpit with Rev. Erika Hewitt and commissioned lay ministers, I had a profound opportunity to practice my values and create reflections to share with others. I grew in my comfort and joy in the pulpit. I felt companioned through the experience of moving into my own leadership. Bless them all!!!"
—Laura Cockle

Once eight participants are selected (four pairs of laypeople, representing four congregations), Rev. Erika will facilitate the eight sessions beginning in October. Meetings will occur regularly but not necessarily once a month. The dates and times of meeting sessions will be selected by the participants.
Is there a cost?
Yes. When confirmed, each participant will be expected to pay $100 for the course. (This money goes directly to WorshipWeb programs, not to Erika.) They will receive a free copy of The Shared Pulpit.
We recommend that congregations pay this fee as a gesture of stewardship—an investment in the participants and the congregation's worship life itself. Since the UUMA rate for a single sermon is $270-$330, $200 per congregational team is a fair and worthwhile investment.
What else should I expect?
To center relationship and mutual encouragement. People who approach The Shared Pulpit as a writing seminar will likely be frustrated, as each session will prioritize covenant over grammar and trust over wordsmithing.
How will applicants be chosen?
It all depends on how much interest there is! If more people apply than the program can accommodate, Erika will speak to applicants' references, take their identities into consideration, and make choices that create a balanced group of participants.
I'm interested! What's next?

Unfortunately, applications are closed. Please stay tuned for next time.