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PowerPoint Slideshow about 'CUC LAY CHAPLAINCY PROGRAM' - laksha

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Presentation Transcript
mission statement
Mission Statement
  • The Canadian Unitarian Council Lay Chaplaincy Program helps clients, couples and families in need of meaningful rite of passage ceremonies, at places chosen by them, by recognizing their personal beliefs and wishes, while being sensitive to the needs of others who attend the ceremony, and reflecting Unitarian and Universalist values.
  • Started in 1971
  • Few ministers in Canada
  • Requests from other fellowshipsrequiring significant travel time
registration for performing marriages
Registration for Performing Marriages
  • CUC applies to provincial authorities
  • Executive Director signs as “Ecclesiastical Authority”
  • In Nova Scotia, PEI and Quebec, congregations may apply directly
lay chaplain
Lay Chaplain
  • The term ‘chaplain’ was selected in1970
  • In 2001, the term was changed toLAY CHAPLAIN to differentiate from hospital, prison chaplains whose role is very different
  • The terms ‘celebrant’ and ‘officiant’ were considered
lay chaplain6
Lay Chaplain
  • All lay chaplains must be approved and do training, even if they do not require registration for performing marriages
  • As soon as the congregation and CUC approves, the individual is a lay chaplain, although they cannot perform weddings until approval from provincial authority
  • Provide quality rites of passage:
    • Promote or showcaseUnitarian and Universalistvalues
    • Assist non-Unitarians to connect with our Unitarian and Universalist congregations
    • Enhance spiritual growth and development of members who serve as Lay Chaplains
the program is not about
The Program is Not About…
  • A free-lance business
  • Augmenting the operating budget
  • Providing counselling
  • Providing “ministerial” leadership in a congregation
cuc task force on lay chaplaincy
CUC Task Force on (Lay) Chaplaincy
  • 1998: CUC Board decided toreview the chaplaincy program
  • 1999: Task Force struck
  • 2000-01: Published report andrecommendations
  • May 2001 Annual Meeting inMontreal adopted theserecommendations as resolutions
  • Lay Chaplains prepare and lead “rites ofpassage” (e.g., weddings, funerals and memorial services, child dedication services, etc.)
  • For the general public and, in congregations without ministers, for members of the congregation
  • Following CUC guidelines and policies and congregational policy and guidelines
relationship to their congregation
Relationship to Their Congregation
  • Accountable to congregation through the Board
  • Supervised by congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy Committee (or Board, in a small congregation)
  • Consult with minister(s) andstaff to ensure coordinationof activities and events
  • Lay Chaplains must:
  • Be members (some congregations have minimum length of time ranging from 1 to 5 years)
  • Have access to a car and hold a driver’slicence (or other reliable transportation)
  • Be able to work evenings and weekends
  • Have considerable time available – sometimes on short notice
  • Adhere to the code of practice
lay chaplains must be
Lay Chaplains Must Be:
  • Committed to and able to articulate our faith
  • Mature and able to cope in challenging situations
  • Able to communicate easily with empathy, helpfulness and concern
  • Effective public speakers
  • Able to favourably represent the congregation and our religion through appearance and conduct
cuc training
CUC Training
  • Lay Chaplains are expected to successfully complete “basic training” – Designing & Leading Rites of Passage
  • Regular enrichment training sessions when time and cost are reasonable (Memorials, Voice Work, Retreat)
  • Experienced Lay Chaplains are expected to contribute to the training program
specific responsibilities
Specific Responsibilities
  • Provide information on rites of passage in the Unitarian and/or UU tradition
  • Arrange for and conduct rehearsals of wedding services
  • Assist in the musical arrangements for services if required
  • Ensure arrangements are well coordinated
specific responsibilities16
Specific Responsibilities
  • Officiate at rites of passage (weddings, funerals and memorial services, child dedication services)
  • Ensure the integrity and security of the congregation’s premises
registrations and reporting
Registrations and Reporting
  • Ensure the legal requirements for registration of marriage
  • Provide the necessarydata to meet thereporting requirementsof the congregation’sBoard of Trustees, the Treasurer and the Lay Chaplaincy Committee
  • Maintain the civil register and a record of services, fees and expenses
application selection appointment and licensing
Application, Selection, Appointment and Licensing
  • The CUC’s Manual provides suggestions to help congregations recruit and select their Lay Chaplains, an application form and a memo that explains the procedures
  • The application form is also at
term of appointment
Term of Appointment
  • Lay Chaplains serve a maximum6-year term, affirmed annually bythe congregation
  • If, following a vigorous search, the congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy committee is unable to find a suitable candidate, a term may be extended annually with the approval of the CUC Lay Chaplaincy Committee
why maximum terms
Why Maximum Terms?
  • Many members will get opportunity to serve the congregation and have personal growth
  • Ensure the Lay Chaplaincy position remains primarily as volunteer not a job
  • Clarify that the designation does not belong to an individual and that the appointment is temporary
counselling and consulting
Counselling and Consulting
  • Support and encouragement are integralto consulting
  • The contract should state that lay chaplains do not engage in counselling beyond consulting on rites of passage, even if qualified
  • The training program covers the distinction between counselling and consulting
consulting is necessary
Consulting is Necessary
  • Restrict to the subject matter of making arrangements for a dignified ceremonyand allowing for the informed understanding and participation of those involved
to give support during grief need not involve counselling
To Give Support During Grief Need Not Involve Counselling
  • Be a good listener and deal with matters that involve only preparing for the service
  • Dealing with grief isaddressed in LayChaplaincy training
  • Most funeral homeshave informationabout grief counselling
model lay chaplaincy contract
Model Lay Chaplaincy Contract
  • A Model Contract may be printed from
  • Revise to suit the needs of your congregation
  • Forward a copy of the contract to the CUC
  • A copy of the Model Lay Chaplaincy Contract is in the CUC Congregational Lay Chaplaincy manual
congregational polity
Congregational Polity
  • Each congregation is independent and responsible for managing its own affairs
  • The CUC is an association of congregations; its purpose is to support those congregations
  • CUC must ensure its members are acting consistently within their obligations, legal and otherwise
  • It must ensure that congregations are responsibly working with governmental authorities
congregational lay chaplaincy committee
Congregational Lay Chaplaincy Committee
  • Appoints, renews, reviews and removes (if necessary) its lay chaplains (only congregations can recommend lay chaplains to the CUC)
  • Ensures lay chaplains reflect Unitarian principles in their contacts with the public
  • Communicates with the CUC’s Lay Chaplaincy Committee
  • Note: In a small congregation, the Board may take on this role.
congregational lay chaplaincy committee27
Congregational Lay Chaplaincy Committee
  • Should include:
  • People with knowledge of theprogram
  • Leaders in the congregation
  • Former lay chaplains, board members,retired ministers
  • The professional minister
congregational lay chaplaincy committee28
Congregational Lay Chaplaincy Committee
  • Provides support, consultation and a forum for working through performance issues
  • Ensures training opportunities are available
  • Speaks for lay chaplaincy program to board or congregation
  • Recruits, selects, ensures quality services, training, evaluation and outreach
cuc lay chaplaincy committee support
CUC Lay Chaplaincy Committee Support
  • The CUC Lay Chaplaincy Committee responds to questions and offers support
  • Each CUC LCC member has regular contact with 4 to 6 congregations
role of the minister
Role of the Minister
  • The minister is the person best equipped to evaluate the quality of rites of passage
  • Assures the highest quality of rites of passage
  • Usually the primary resource and consultantto the Lay Chaplains
  • Provides training, support, and mentorship
  • The congregational committee shares this role
role of the minister31
Role of the Minister
  • The minister should be
  • Consulted at evaluation time
  • Available to answer questions and consult with Lay Chaplains concerning difficult situations
lay chaplains support to the minister
Lay Chaplains’ Support to the Minister
  • Lay Chaplains may, if asked by the minister, perform rites that the minister is unable to do
  • They may, on request, provide congregational rites of passage
  • They may share their experience as Lay Chaplains with the congregation in various ways
community lay chaplaincy support
Community Lay Chaplaincy Support
  • Education given by funeral homes for conducting memorial services
  • Courses on the meaning of ritual given by universities and colleges
  • CUC offers about 8 workshops per year
training programs
Training Programs
  • Fees submitted by congregations cover cost of travel expenses and honoraria to presenters
cuc lay chaplaincy committee
CUC Lay Chaplaincy Committee
  • Implements the LayChaplaincy program and related policies
  • Is accountable to the Executive Director
  • Ensures communication among various parties
  • Approve or decline applicationsfor registration
  • Administer training
  • Provide support for strategic planning
  • Administer the fees collected by CUC from rites of passage
  • Purpose:
  • Maintain the quality of service
  • Resolve any problems quickly
  • Highlight strengths and identifygrowth points
  • Provide support and recognition
  • The Congregational LCCommittee may:
  • Determine that no further action is needed
  • Try to resolve the complaint informally
  • Refer the complaint to their Board
  • With the knowledge of the congregation’s Board, refer the complaint to the CUC’s Lay Chaplaincy Committee for further investigation and recommendation
recommendations may include
Recommendations May Include:
  • Dismissal of the complaint
  • A written caution or reprimand
  • A suspension of Lay Chaplaincy privileges
  • A revocation of Lay Chaplaincy privileges
  • A continuation of privileges on condition
  • Direction for further training
  • Any combination of the above or
  • Such other action as appropriate and necessary
communication outreach promotion
Communication, Outreach & Promotion
  • CUC provides a training module on outreach
  • Brochures available from CUC for adaptation
  • Materials now beingshared through emailgroups and “wiki”
marriage act
Marriage Act
  • Each jurisdiction has a separateMarriage Act
  • Lay Chaplains and Congregational Lay Chaplaincy Committees need to be familiar with the content of the Act
  • Monitor for changes with regard to officiant qualifications, eligibility for marriage, record keeping, etc. and publicize to other congregations and colleagues in your jurisdiction
officiating at funerals memorial services and child dedications
Officiating at Funerals, Memorial Services, and Child Dedications
  • Legally, anyone reaching the age of majority may officiate
  • Whenever someone isofficiating as a UnitarianLay Chaplain, they mustbe registered with theCUC and subject to allother guidelines
congregational administrative support
Congregational Administrative Support
  • Lay Chaplains are often providedwith daytime and after-hour accessto the congregation’s office andmeeting spaces, computers,telephone, photocopier and faxmachines, postage and stationerysupplies
fees for service
Fees for Service
  • Congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy committee should establish and annually review the fees
  • Consider past congregational practice and contributions to the congregation’s overhead, the CUC’s Lay Chaplaincy training fund, travel allowances, etc., in addition to the Lay Chaplain’s honoraria.
requests for service
Requests for Service
  • Each congregation should establish how requests are received and recorded
  • Include how the caller learned about the program
  • Also record information-only inquiries and cancellations
  • The statistics will be useful in evaluating many elements of the program, including workload and promotion
  • Note: Some congregations now have an online form
reporting and record keeping
Reporting and Record Keeping
  • Annual or other reports required by the congregation and the CUC
  • Marriage Act requires Lay Chaplains to maintain register(s) of all marriages performed
  • These registers are legal documents, and failure to maintain them can result in serious consequences
emergency backup
Emergency Backup
  • Illness or extreme emergency
  • Good practice, public relations,corporate and individual liability
  • CUC has always recommended at least TWO Lay Chaplains, even if the number of services is small
confirmed ceremonies
Confirmed Ceremonies
  • Lay Chaplains should provide a current listing of their confirmed ceremonies, including:
    • Type, date, place and time of the ceremony
    • Names, addresses and contact numbers of key persons involved
    • Name, address, contact person and telephone number of the venue
  • Maintain a list of the names and contact numbers of other area Lay Chaplains and professional ministers
  • Available in the CUC Directory – just ask
recommendation 3 7
Recommendation 3.7
  • 3.7 That [professional] ministers serve on the congregation’s [lay] chaplaincy committee and provide quality assurance, training and advice to chaplains within their own congregations and, where feasible, assist in these roles with chaplains in neighbouring congregations with no minister.
recommendations 3 9 a b
Recommendations 3.9(a) & (b)
  • 3.9(a) That congregations develop complaint and dispute resolution procedures.
  • 3.9(b) That the CUC Board adopt the complaint resolution process in Appendix 6 of this report.


  • Lay Chaplain/Celebrant:

That the name ‘Chaplain’ bereplaced with ‘Lay Chaplain’ inEnglish and ‘Célébrant/ Célébrante’ in French.

  • Lay chaplains only perform ceremonies which would be considered suitable and permitted on the congregation’s own premises.


  • CUC develop guidelines which include the number of rites of passage requested, the extent of the territory served, the variety of religions and languages normally dealt with, and the availability of suitable candidates for training as factors to be considered in determining the number of [lay] chaplains needed by a particular congregation.
  • That ministerial students not beappointed as lay chaplains.
  • [Student and intern ministers may be approved for registration to perform marriages through the CUC Executive Director on request of congregation board and parish minister.]
  • Congregations have clearly defined policies on allocation of rites between [professional] minister and lay chaplains and among lay chaplains [and contracts with ministerial students or interns clarifying rotations and supervision].
  • Evaluation be performed annually by the Congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy Committee.
  • [Sample evaluation process available from and on website]


  • CUC develop training and ensure training is offered when and where required.
  • Update:
    • Weekend sessions
    • CUC Annual Conference & Meeting
    • Full day sessions and modules
    • On request
    • Interested in hosting? Contact
    • 3 months minimum notice needed


  • Each congregation contribute a fixed amount [$10] to the CUC Lay Chaplaincy Training Fund from each fee-generating rite of passage
  • Used to create a training program and subsidize ongoing training
  • Congregations are encouraged to include funds in their budget designated to send current and potential [lay] chaplains to formal training workshops and to pay for resource materials
appointment procedure
Appointment Procedure
  • Lay Chaplains, appointed or elected, are responsible to the Board of Trustees and the Lay Chaplaincy Committee in their congregation, and are registered with their congregation’s provincial government by the Canadian Unitarian Council (may be by the congregation in PEI, Quebec and Nova Scotia)
a lay chaplain is expected to
A Lay Chaplain Is Expected To:
  • Attend and successfully complete a CUC “Basics” workshop (Designing and Leading Rites of Passage) before being approved
  • As a Lay Chaplain-in-training, be mentored by experienced Lay Chaplains and, if available, a professional minister
  • Attend regular enrichment training sessions
a lay chaplain is expected to62
A Lay Chaplain Is Expected To:
  • Attend and participate in congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy Committee meetings and activities
  • Have an evaluation on a yearly basis by the congregation’s Lay Chaplaincy Committee/ Board of Trustees
  • CUC recommends a “lay chaplain in training” program
cuc lay chaplaincy committee63
CUC Lay Chaplaincy Committee

See Who’s Who for current Committee members

  • Meredith Simon
  • Melynda Okulitch
  • Joy Silver
  • Trish McGowan
cuc lay chaplaincy committee64
CUC Lay Chaplaincy Committee

See Who’s Who for current Committee members

  • Margo Rivera
  • Susan Stephen
  • Carole Martignacco
  • Andrew Dennis
  • Barb Jepson
  • Margaret Rao
email groups
Email Groups
  • cuc-lay-chaplaincy-news
    • 1 or 2 messages per month abouttraining, policies and other events
  • regional discussion email groups, or
  • A do-it-yourself website
    • For lay chaplains and LCC members to share resources.
  • Password rite
basic training
Basic Training
  • “Designing & Leading Rites of Passage”
  • CUC usually offers two per year
  • Friday night, all daySaturday, Sundayafternoon
enrichment training
Enrichment Training
  • Weekend sessions on:
    • The Challenging Memorial
    • Right Relations
  • Full day or modules on a variety of topics
  • Friday before CUC Annual Conference and Meeting BC has a day before the Regional Fall Gathering
  • At least one enrichment training session in each of the four regions per year
  • 1 - 888 - 568 - 5723
  • or
  • 416 - 489 - 4121