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 September 2024. Please read the following Frequently Asked Questions:

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 participants are selected through an intentional application process, Rev. Erika (and, likely, other UU ministers) will facilitate the eight sessions beginning in September. 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.) 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. Our covenant with one another comes before the writing, or the outcome of the writing. People who approach The Shared Pulpit as a writing seminar will likely be frustrated, as our work prioritizes spiritual/inner reflection, trust, and building relationships more than grammar and wordsmithing.
How will applicants be chosen?
Erika will offer Zoom Q&A sessions in August 2024, followed by an application process to ensure that applicants understand how important covenant is to this program, and how the process of writing might be challenging.
I'm interested! What's next?

Unfortunately, applications are closed until early August 2024. Please stay tuned for next time.