Ministry is no longer provided only by those who are ordained or called to serve. Ministry happens wherever individuals embrace the belief that their good works, their volunteerism, their acts, can help serve the mission and vision of their congregation. In Unitarian Universalism, we call this idea shared ministry.

Consistent with the concept of shared ministry, UU San Mateo nurtures a team of Worship Associates – individuals within our congregation who feel called to provide direct assistance to the process of planning and producing Sunday-morning worship services. The group meets monthly with the congregation’s ministerial staff to review past worship services, acknowledging what has worked and how to make improvements; and to plan the staffing for future worship services.

Tasks handled by Worship Associates vary based on the people involved. Some Worship Associates take a direct role in working with the Minister or other worship leader in developing themes, delivering reflections, and selecting readings and hymns; others wish to limit their participation to worship logistics, such as assuring candles are lit and water glasses are in place for speakers. A subset of the Worship Associates group is studying the Shared Pulpit curriculum, which prepares lay leaders to produce complete worship services, including writing and presenting sermons.

For more information about this program, contact Worship Associates Coordinator Caryl Hughan.