Becoming an Affiliated Community Minister
If you are looking into pursuing recognition as an Affiliated Community Minister, congratulations!
In addition to making a difference in the world, you are likely to find new meaning and depth in your Unitarian Universalist faith and practices. Affiliated Community Ministers may be Spiritual Directors, Clinical Chaplains, Educators, Activists, Group Facilitators, Recovery Professionals, Librarians, Paramedics, Benefit Corp Entrepreneurs, Doctors, Lawyers, Blue Collar, Clinicians, and White Collar.
The title “Affiliated Community Minister” refers to those who have collaborated with and developed a mutually benefiting relationship with a specific congregation or UU organization to serve the community as a Unitarian Universalist. Lay, Commissioned, or Ordained.
This relationship is based on the call, mission, vision, and credentials needed by the potential Affiliate, and Congregation. A MFC Fellowshipped Clergy Chaplain will probably have a different level of credential than a Spiritual Director or Horticultural Therapist. Your affiliated relationship should be based on the requirements needed to perform the ministry of the affiliation.
The Community Minister, Senior Minister, and the Affiliating Congregation work together to craft a covenant, a document of agreements that affirms the ministry of all parties. Within this covenant comes accountability, support, and collegiality among other attributes.
A Affliated Community Minister can be laity, commissioned, endorsed, ordained, or fellowshipped through the Ministerial Fellowship Committee; all must be a member in good standing with the Unitarian Universalist Society of Community Ministries (UUSCM).
On this website page, materials to help you get started as well as the history of the Commissioning/Affiliation process can be found. If you would like to talk with members who have experience in the affiliation process, contact the UUSCM administrator at email@example.com.
The following outline offers suggestions to consider while pursuing affiliation. These suggestions can be customized to reflect your unique ministry, your relationship with the senior minister, and the congregation:
Detailed information on Affiliation can be found here (https://uuscm.org/GuideToAffiliationForCongregations/)
Congregations or Communities are free to Comission Unitarian Universalists by right of congregational polity.
They can "commission" Unitarian Universalists as "Deacons" or Commissioned Lay Ministers of Service. This Commissioning is in relationship between a Credentialed Lay Minister and a Congregation. It gives the Lay Minister spiritual and religious authority to perform a ministry of service.
This UU authority is based on service to the congregation or to the wider public community and bestowed by a UU community. It is distinct in that it does not ordain the lay minister but bestows limited authority to complete a ministry goal of service. It should match the credentials of the Affiliated Community Minister. A Deacon or Comissioned Lay Minister is not a Reverend or Pastor. They perform a Ministry of the Lay People not the Ministry of the Ordained Clergy.
there is a program offered by the central East Regional Group of the
Unitarian Universalist Association that offers a formal educational and
ministerial formation program where mentors work with lay ministers in
process. You can learn more about their program by going to http://www.uua.org/central-east/programs/cll .
This program is a gold standard for credentialing lay leadership, and
at this time they can only accept applications from people within the
Central East Region.