The Worship Arts Team is the coordinating body for guest and lay led worship.
The Worship Arts Team is responsible for ensuring that quality worship services are offered on the Sundays that the Minister is not in the pulpit. The UU Church of Kent has a long history of offering worship services led by members of the congregation or guests in order to enhance the opportunity to hear a variety of voices from the pulpit. Committee members fulfill this responsibility in multiple ways: by accepting proposals from interested worship leaders, initiating invitations to particular speakers, and inviting congregation members to submit ideas for topics they would like to have someone develop for worship.
Support from the Committee:
We encourage anyone with an idea for a worship service to contact us, even if you’ve never led a worship service and feel some discomfort about the possibility. We can match your idea with others who might want to develop it into a worship service. Or, if you think you might want to be involved in the worship service itself, the committee can provide various forms of assistance. Several members are available to help you develop your idea into a sermon. In addition, an individual can provide you with assistance or even take full responsibility for parts of the service, depending upon the extent of your desire for involvement. For example, as the lay leader, you could handle the announcements, embracing meditation and prayer, offering, and make suggestions about the music or these details can be left to the Worship Associate. Lay Leader Instructions (pdf) have been prepared to identify the parts of the worship service that are mandatory and provide sample wording. Support is available to make this a gratifying experience and an opportunity for personal growth. We encourage you to discuss your ideas and questions with a member of the committee.
To Submit an Idea for a Service:
Email your suggestion for a topic to the Worship Arts Team at [email protected]. Committee members will try to find an individual who is knowledgeable and interested in developing the topic for a worship service. It’s possible that the topic may also be shared with the Adult Religious Education Committee or other relevant committees.
To Submit a Proposal for Leading a Service or Giving a Sermon:
Complete a downloadable proposal submission form (pdf) or obtain a copy from the table outside the sanctuary entrance doors. Email the completed form to [email protected] or place a copy in the Worship Arts Team mail slot at the Eldridge Annex. Proposals are accepted year-round and are reviewed at the committee meetings.
Factors to Consider When Submitting a Proposal:
The UU Church of Kent prides itself in offering a variety of thematic topics, regardless of whether the Minister or a lay leader is leading the worship. Topics typically fall under one or more of the following thematic categories: UU History, social justice, pastoral, theological, spiritual, and celebration of a holiday or event. Examples are given on the Proposal Submission form. Committee members review the upcoming themes of the Minister’s services and take this into account when lay proposals are considered to ensure a balanced distribution.
In addition, Worship Arts Team members will consider the following in evaluating proposals:
- dates of availability,
- frequency of submitter leading UU Church of Kent services in the past (in order to broaden the opportunity),
- coherence of the proposal in terms of a well-formulated and well-articulated idea,
- relevance to UU values and principles.
The need for proposals varies during the year, depending upon the Minister’s schedule and occurrence of holiday and seasonal worship services. There may be a delay in accepting a proposal based on the availability of time slots and the desire to evenly balance the types of topics by theme. Proposals not immediately accepted will be held for future consideration.
The Worship Arts Team members, in striving to uphold the quality and diversity of lay led worship services, always welcome comments from the congregation. If you have questions, please contact Heidi Emhoff-Wood.