Holy Conversations: Soul of a Citizen & Lay Ministers
I hope you will join me at our May 9 worship service to hear guest speaker Paul Rogat Loeb, author of a classic handbook for budding social activists, veteran organizers, and anyone who wants to work for the betterment of the communities in which they live. The book is called Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in Challenging Times. It’s fantastic—I can’t recommend it highly enough. You’ll find more information on this special service on the back page of the May newsletter. Invite friends to come with you!
During this service, we’ll also be celebrating a special group of citizens who live with conviction among us: UUCA’s Lay Ministers. Since 1994, our Lay Ministry Program has served to extend the reach of the professional ministry here at UUCA in the areas of pastoral care, spiritual development, and worship. Over the years, it has achieved any number of distinctions, including the emergence of at least six ordained ministers from out of its ranks. Lay ministers have also moved on to become congregational and denominational leaders in numerous areas. It’s become a pace-setter leadership development program in our denomination.
There’s just so much to celebrate in our Lay Ministry program. These good citizens add a tremendous amount to our community. Our Lay Ministers provide front-line pastoral care support in our very large congregation, coordinate our covenant group system, organize our Care-Ring program, lead our Wednesday evening Spirit of Life worship services, participate as liturgists in our Sunday services, and facilitate any number of specialized ministries including elder-care groups, grief support groups, and unemployment support groups. Lay ministers also work in the area of adult spiritual development and have led our monthly “Walden Conversations” as well as the “Building Your Own Theology” class. Last but not least, Lay Ministers conduct worship services in Atlanta-area retirement communities. There are simply not enough fingers and toes to count all that they do!
As for what it is like to be a Lay Minister: just listen to what Mary Ann Oakley and Linda Serra say about their experience. Mary Ann:
Lay Ministry has truly deepened my sense of community with others in a way I never anticipated. I came into the program wanting to contribute to the faith community which has long meant so much to me, but I never dreamed that I would receive as much as, if not more than, I have given.
Participating in the lay ministry program at UUCA has added value to my life and deepened my commitment to our congregation and the community. As a lay minister, the spirituality and light of each person with whom I’ve had contact has lifted my own spirit in ways I’d not anticipated. I feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity to grow as an individual and become a more involved in the UUCA community.
I hope you’ll join me in celebrating these fantastic citizens among us on May 9. Rev. Keller and I are so grateful to them. Together, we are strong in service to our mission of changing lives.
Rev. Anthony David, Senior Minister