Sunday worship is the heart of how we come together as a faith community. Worship at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica is led by a diverse team of clergy, professionals, and volunteers. If you have imagined yourself in the pulpit as a Worship Associate, now is the time to apply.
The purpose of worship is to connect with a sense of transcendence and transformation. The root of the word “worship” is to give worth, and worship gives worth to our spirit, and offers an opportunity reflect on our purpose and the meaning of our lives. By coming together, we build community, center ourselves, and nourish our spirits.
Worship Associates work as a group and individually to help plan and present Sunday worship each week. Each Worship Associate signs on for a one- to three-year term during which we learn the elements of worship and add our voice to our congregational service each Sunday. The committee meets each month with Rev. Jeremiah and plans services well in advance using monthly liturgical themes. We emphasize the Seven Principles based on the Six Sources, incorporating a variety of traditions, cultures, and voices into our Unitarian Universalist worship experience.
New Worship Associates are mentored, trained, and supported, so no previous experience is necessary but there are qualifications and skills that are strongly desired. Worship Associates should be able to write engaging, time- and word-limited copy for presentation, and speak engagingly to a live audience and in front of a camera. It is important that you are able meet deadlines, and that you are available to be in the pulpit at least once each quarter (four times per year).
Worship Associates must speak as allies and advocates, or members, of historically oppressed and underrepresented communities. You should have a heart for social justice and be able to experience empathy with people of differing views. Unitarian Universalism as a faith is committed to challenging traditional assumptions about who has power and who has a voice. The Worship Associates ministry is part of how our congregation can center voices that are often overlooked and unheard in legacy institutions.
All Worship Associates understand that this is a ministry of service. This is not the place to push a personal agenda or a particular point of view. Worship Associates must be comfortable speaking to and for the diversity of our congregation – theists and humanists, liberals and moderates, and using sacred texts from the many faith traditions and spiritualities of the world.
We will be adding three to five new Worship Associates this summer and fall as others cycle off the team. Those who are interested should contact Worship Associate Chairperson the Rev. Dr. Kikanza Nuri-Robins for an application and to discuss any questions you may have. You may also contact the Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae at firstname.lastname@example.org.