In co-ministry, a clergy couple shares a single ministry position. Some of the advantages of co-ministry include a diversity of styles, sermon topics, strengths, and interests; two choices for counseling and pastoral care; enhanced consensus-building atmosphere; modeling of healthy conflict management and sharing of ideas; and more variety, freshness, and depth in Sunday services because each minister has more time between Sundays “on” to prepare.
Clergy couples work together as equal colleagues, but it’s important to have certain areas of clear, primary responsibility. Clear and specific communication channels and areas of accountability are important to prevent triangulation and confusion. The minister named as the point of contact for a specific ministry is accountable for that ministry. It is understood, however, that the co-ministry team works together whenever necessary for the health of the congregation.
Revs. Anya and Scott have created a sample guide outlining the areas of congregational life they each might focus on, as well as the areas they will share to a greater extent. (This is posted on their website as the “Co-Ministry POC” on this page.)
Final decisions about who does what will be made in consultation with the congregational leadership and will be revisited from time to time as the congregation’s needs change and skills and interests develop. An approved version of the final document will be readily available to congregants in the UUCM office, website, and in other places for easy access.
Co-ministers share everything, including confidences. Generally, most co-ministry couples meet together with the Worship Committee, the Board of Trustees, the Committee on Ministry, and the Pastoral Care team.
Source: Adapted in part from the “Co-Ministry and Your Congregation” booklet, which is also posted on Revs. Scott and Anya’s website as “Co-Ministry,” here.
- Website for Revs. Anya & Scott Sammler-Michaels
- Introductory Video from Revs. Anya & Scott (3 minutes)
- Biography on UUCM Website