Who Are the Current Worship Associates?
Aarav has been a part of UUCPA since 2015. Aarav has been a worship associate for the past two years and has co-led a number of services. He is recognized as a thoughtful youth leader and his reflections on justice and well being have been well received. He has been invited to teach the Coming of Age program which is offered to middle school age children. As part of his own religious education, he completed Eco Justice, Coming of Age and Our whole lives (OWL) programs. He is currently part of the Senior High Youth Group participating in a number of volunteer activities. Outside of UUCPA, his interests and accomplishments are in the area of Speech and Debate, QuizBowl and Wrestling. In high school QuizBowl, he received third position at US national level under the freshman rising star category.
Who Can Be A Worship Associate?
Formerly, people became Worship Associates at the invitation of the Parish Minister. Our new process invites all to apply who:
are members (including youth members) of UUCPA
want to engage in reflection and dialogue about the purposes of worship and the congregation
wish to serve UUCPA and our tradition
relish opportunities for creativity and exploration of spiritual questions
represent the diversity of the community
enjoy working as a team and getting to know members and ministers of UUCPA better
view worship as part of their spiritual practice.
In other words: you!
You do not have to feel 100% ready to step into the pulpit! On the contrary, a desire to learn and grow is a terrific asset to bring to the leading of worship.
Worship Associate Responsibilities
Help lead the service about once every three months.
Two or three weeks before the service, meet with the worship leader to brainstorm ideas together for hymns and other service elements.
Write a 1- to 2-page reflection on the service’s theme.
Commit to attending the three training & support sessions scheduled for the year.
For experienced WAs: When the speaker is a guest, be the host and “emcee,” and coordinate with the office staff for the printed order of service.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do Worship Associates serve? We ask for a commitment of two years. At the end of your term, you can re-up for another one or two years. We are flexible; for example, teens who expect to go to college before their term expires are still welcome.
When does the next term begin? In mid-August, 2021, when our church year begins with the Water Communion.
Can I teach Sunday School / go to Forum / sing in the choir, and still be a WA? Many Worship Associates have held these dual roles, since they are the WA only once about every three months.
Do I have to write and speak my own words? Usually, yes. Some services, you might not write a reflection, if you prefer not to. However, attendees consistently say that the Worship Associate’s reflection is a highlight of the service, and WAs themselves report that delivering them is one of the most rewarding experiences, not only of being a WA, but of their time at UUCPA.
Are we leading services both online and in person? And how does that work? When UUCPA resumes in-person services, sometime in 2021, services will be livestreamed on the internet and also conducted for those who gather in person. We don’t ask people to do anything that is unsafe for them, so if health concerns mean that it is best for you to lead remotely, from your home, you will be able to do that for in-person services just as the Worship Associates have done for our online services.
I was a Worship Associate once before and would like to do it again. Should I fill out an application? No—sit down for a conversation with Amy instead.
Who’s in charge? Our Parish Minister, Amy Zucker Morgenstern, is responsible for the quality of our worship services, so Worship Associates are accountable directly to her. Both Amy and the Worship Associates are ultimately accountable to the congregation.
Training & Support Schedule
In order to be a Worship Associate for the coming year, you must be able to attend the three training/support sessions. Dates TBA.
Additionally, during our Water Communion service in mid-August, you will all be introduced and celebrated in a brief ceremony during the service.
How to apply
If you’re intrigued, but think that being a Worship Associate is not the role for you right now, there are many other ways to create inspiring worship. UUCPA members and friends have sung in the choir, created altars and other visual displays, preached sermons, danced, told stories, run the sound system, taught the children songs and conducted them, provided the morning’s special music–these, and whatever your imagination suggests, are all ways for you to contribute your creativity and care. Contact Amy at email@example.com for more information.