While some think that the ministry of a congregation is solely the responsibility of the minister, it really is shared by those who come together in covenant and community.  The ministry of OUUC is supported by me, and each of you and the amazing staff team.  As we are in the process of adopting a revised vision, mission and Ends, it is clear that our ministry—who and how we want to be in the world– is decided collectively with input from many and articulated in one voice.   

There are many examples of OUUC’s shared ministry.  Books, Brownies and Beans is one.  Many hands came together to bring our caring hearts into the world and offer help to those who are houseless.   

Another example is the Pastoral Care Team (PCT).  Over the past year, you may have received a call or email from a PCT member who was checking in to see how you were doing. Last Spring as we went into stay-at-home orders and so many were isolated, the amazing volunteers of the PCT split up the entire OUUC directory to check on people.  Over this past year, these dedicated and committed volunteers have kept tabs on our community members, checking in regularly to listen and offer support. 

These are the dedicated PCT members: Barb Carey, Beth Johnson, Dan Donahue, Gail Gosney, Josie Solseng, Pam Turner, Polly Taylor.  Chris Parke will join the PCT in May when her term on the OUUC Board ends.  

The PCT members offer a ministry of support for those in our community who are experiencing major life changes, such as birth of a child, adoption, loss of job, divorce, or retirement, death of a family member or friend, health problems, illness, hospitalization, isolation due to age, mobility, disability, or other factors.  Or even a pandemic. 

Also, over this past year, the PCT has been working hard with me to clarify their role and make communication as easy as possible between our community, the PCT and me.  I’m so pleased to share that the PCT now has a phone line and email that anyone can use to let us know that you have a need.  You can reach the PCT in two ways: 

We call it a “warm line” because it is not a crisis or emergency line and will be checked every few days.   

You might reach out to the PCT through the email or Warm Line if you could use a listening ear, if you have a medical diagnosis or event that you’d like us to know about and want support for, or if there is another life transition that you’d like support navigating.  Every contact is confidential, and information will only be shared with me as the minister.  The PCT does not share information without permission.  

I count on the PCT to help hold the needs of this community and I am most grateful for their dedication and service.  Of course, you can still reach out to me and I am available for spiritual guidance and counseling.  Together we offer this shared ministry.   

Blessings on your week.  

Rev. Mary