In this congregation, as in many Unitarian Universalist congregations, the minister and the congregation share responsibility for the leadership and ministry of the congregation. We call this “shared ministry.”
This concept of ministry may be a new idea to you, especially if you have come to Unitarian Universalism from another faith tradition. There’s a place for everyone in our Fellowship. Ours is a progressive, inclusive faith.
When we practice shared ministry, we honor our involvement in the church as more than simply “getting a job done.” Instead, we see the church as a community in which our gifts are cultivated for the enrichment of the lives of others and for our own spiritual growth. The life and sustenance of our church is enriched by the support of our members and friends through gifts of our skills, talents, labor, as well as through our financial contributions.
For it is by living our beliefs that we grow in understanding of ourselves, and of what is truly important to us. This idea of religion as a way of living and not just a way of believing, is at the heart of Unitarian Universalism. We have often been called “a religion of deeds, not creeds.”
There are some things that are the special responsibilities of the minister. The minister has primary responsibility for leading worship, for conducting rites of passage (weddings, memorial services, child dedications and the like), for pastoral care (including crisis intervention and visiting the homebound, sick, dying, and bereaved). The Minister is a voice and a face for Unitarian Universalism and for the Unitarian Coastal Fellowship in the local community and the larger world. The minister collaborates and consults with committees, councils, and the Board.
The Pastoral Care Team works closely with the Minister allowing expanded pastoral services to our Fellowship. This team’s work is founded on the first Unitarian Universalist principle to “affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” The goal is to complement the work of the UCF care circles and the work of the minister by providing longer-term pastoral support for individuals and families, or by referring them to community resources appropriate to their needs. The Pastoral Care Team:
- provides a caring but quiet ministry to individuals and families who request it.
- maintains absolute confidentiality in all activities
- is available when needed in times of a life crisis, death or bereavement, serious or terminal illness, or other times when people may need information, someone to listen, or a caring companionship
UCF also has a Committee on Ministry that provides direction and quality to the ministry of the fellowship. Among other functions, the Committee on Ministry monitors congregational life and assesses a sense of the congregation regarding issues underlying or related to ministry.
If you are interested in shared ministry at UCF, here are some links: