All Unitarian Universalists (UUs), lay people and clergy alike, offer ministry to one another and the world. The work of our communities belongs to all of us. We promote justice and compassion, sponsor refugees, and grow spiritually in sharing stories of sorrow and joy. Professional ministers guide, support, and focus the community.
Ministry is a life-changing and fulfilling profession. Whether they serve in a congregation, a hospital, or the larger community, ministers are spiritual leaders who help us grow healthy and harmonious connections with our inner selves, with one another, and with the planet. Canadian Unitarian Universalist ministers envision a world in which our interdependence calls us to love and justice.
Unitarian Universalist ministers celebrate, advocate for, and teach a UU way of being in the world. The Inuit word isumataq can be translated as “the person who creates the atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself.” Our ministers don’t have all the answers, or even all the questions, but they work to create an atmosphere in which each of us can grow in spirit.
Ministers in congregational settings lead worship services and ceremonies, help build healthy systems, provide spiritual leadership, teach our history and theology, encourage people to live our seven Principles, and advocate for social justice. Some ministers wear robes and stoles, others just stoles, and others dress less formally. Even though they may not always wear it, the stole is the symbol of the ordained UU minister.
Community ministers might work with people who are homeless or in need, serve in a prison or hospital, run an environmental organization, or work in the arts. Wherever they are and whatever they do, they strive to bring our dream of a connected, inclusive world into being.
Unitarian Universalist ministers are credentialed for service by the Ministerial Fellowship Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), located in Boston, Massachusetts, which oversees the process of training and credentialing for Unitarian Universalist ministry.
Professional Ministry in Canada
Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (UUMOC) is the Canadian professional association of UU ministers. UUMOC is a chapter within the larger Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA).
Our purpose: We covenant together to promote excellence in ministry. Through personal learning and growth and mutual support, we equip ourselves to be visionary leaders within the Unitarian Universalist movement in Canada and internationally. Together, we advocate for and uphold the profession of our liberal ministry within the guidelines of the UUMA code of professional practice.
Executive committee (please contact firstname.lastname@example.org):
- President – Samaya Oakley
- Vice-President – Fiona Heath
- Treasurer – Nicoline Guerrier
- Secretary – Brian Kiely
- MOB – Debra Thorne
UUMOC Call to Action on Racial Justice
The Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (UUMOC) have issued a call to action on racial justice. At their annual meeting last year, UUMOC members held a conversation about the recent white supremacy teach-ins that had originated in the United States, and the idea of a call to action arose. A task force was created and spent much of the past year gathering resources, deciding what points to emphasize, and seeking input from UUMOC as a whole. The resulting document calls on “all Canadian Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist congregations to pledge as member societies to initiate intentional actions of conscience around racial justice issues”. Congregations are encouraged to discern their own unique action and endorse or affirm it at their next business meeting.
As an accompanying resource, the task force has assembled a list of 10 actions for racial justice to take on both an individual level and as Canadian UU congregations. Congregants are invited to choose from the list or to pursue their own activity or initiative and to share news of their actions with the task force which is creating a resource list to share with congregations.
Read the complete document: UUMOC Racial Justice Call to Action, April 2018 (pdf)