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Worship Associates and Summer Worship Leaderss

To fill out the application form for the 2019 - 2020 Worship Associate, click here.

To fill out the application form for the Summer 2019 Worship Leader, click here.

To learn more about both programs, read below. 

The Worship Associates Program

The Worship Associate program at First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia (a Unitarian Universalist congregation) is a reflection of our congregation’s commitment to shared ministry and is part of the Worship Arts Ministry Team.  The Worship Associates program is a long-standing tradition at First Unitarian and provides an opportunity for lay people to take a leadership role in our Sunday morning Worship Services. 

Participants enjoy the deep satisfaction of contributing to community worship and creating opportunities for the growth of others. It is a unique and sacred privilege to reflect upon, plan and co-lead a worship service.  Participation in the Worship Associate Program is by application only. You may fill out the application form here

Being a Worship Associate requires commitment to the worship experience in the context of liberal religion. Worship Associates serve as the “lay leader” or liturgist most Sundays and work with the Minister to conduct (and sometimes plan) worship services. The objective of this partnership is to bring focus to the service and to create a quality worship experience each week. 

We intend our Worship Associates to reflect the diversity of our congregation and our community. Active congregants who are committed to excellence in Unitarian Universalist worship experiences are invited to apply. 

Here is what is required:

  • Dedication to excellence in Unitarian Universalist worship experiences and spiritual growth
  • Flexibility and a commitment to working in a collaborative relationship with the Minister, Worship Arts Ministry Team and lay service leaders
  • Ability to speak before and to groups in both formal and informal settings (and/or comfort with developing those skills)
  • Desire to help plan and participate in leading a quality worship experience in our diverse liberal religious tradition
  • Willingness to grow in worship leadership “presence”
  • All Worship Associates are active and committed participants in Unitarian Universalist congregational life here at First Unitarian

 Responsibilities of Worship Associates:

  • Serve as Worship Associate 6 (six) to 8 (eight) Sundays throughout the year
  • Attend an orientation workshop, even you have done this before or have been a Worship Associate in the past, or other “refresher” or check-in meetings that may be scheduled
  • Be an active participant in the Worship Arts Ministry Team
  • Communicate with the Minister or other presenter prior to a particular service on a timely basis
  • Attend Sunday worship services regularly throughout the year

To be part of the Worship Associates Program, please submit the Worship Associates Application Form . It is formatted in Word and can be submitted electronically as an e-mail attachment, or printed and mailed to Rev. Abbey at the church office.

Additional materials:

1st UU Worship Associates Program charter2015

 1st UU Worship Associates Roles and Responsibilities 2015

Summer Worship Leader Program

From the last Sunday in June through the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, worship services at First Unitarian Church are prepared and led by congregants and guests, with the support of the Worship Associates Team and the Music Director. Are you interested in preaching and/or leading a worship service sometime this summer? Please apply!

This year, because we anticipate more applicants to lead summer services than there are spaces available, please think through the service you would like to lead in advance, and fill out this application. No worship leadership experience is necessary, though some experience in public speaking and/or creative writing is helpful. We will strive to create a slate of summer services that address a number of ideas and spiritual issues, with leaders from a variety of backgrounds, identities, and interests. Teams of two or more also welcome to apply. Applications are due April 14.

Once selected, summer worship leaders will all attend a workshop in May (specific date and time TBD) to receive training and support for their service. Questions? Contact


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