Opening for UU Military Ministry Lay Leader
I am Roger Baron, the Board President of the Unitarian Universalist Military Ministry Great Lakes (a 501c3 non-profit company separate from the UUA). Ministerial support is provided by Rev. Bret Lortie at the Unitarian Church of Evanston.
I’m writing to let you know of an immediate opening (January, 2018) for a lay leader to provide UU services for recruits at the Navy’s Great Lakes Recruit Training Command (boot camp). Two additional openings will occur in May and June, 2018.
This is a rare opportunity to introduce young adults to Unitarian Universalism, allow them to explore questions they have about their religious beliefs and life, and provide a place to recover their humanity while immersed in the physically and emotionally challenging training the Navy is putting them through. Joys & Concerns, where they are encouraged to give their first name, is a highlight of each service.
The recruits we see have chosen us from among the many religious services that go on simultaneously in the chapel on Sunday morning. Although some come from a UU tradition, for many this is their first exposure to Unitarian Universalism or to religious liberalism in general. They come from all over the U.S. and are surely the youngest and most diverse group of UUs worshiping on Sunday morning anywhere in the nation. We typically see ten to twenty recruits each week, though there can be as many as fifty in the summer.
The Navy allows five lay leaders from each of the 13 smaller faith groups that do not have a commissioned officer chaplain (Buddist, Muslim, LDS, Christian Science, UU, etc.). Each lay leader gives about one service a month from 9:30 – 10:30 Sunday morning in one of the smaller rooms of the base chapel. We conduct a traditional Unitarian Universalist service, but each lay leader adapts the service to his or her own style. Since there is a new class every few weeks, once a service has been developed it can be repeated indefinitely.
A new lay leader will be accredited by the UUA, get Navy security clearance, have a one hour session with the Chaplain about the do’s and don’ts of working with the recruits, and be given a base pass for their car. The new lay leader will receive as much personal support as needed to get started, though after one or two times there will be a feeling of, “Thanks, I get it.”
Lay leadership extends Unitarian Universalism, provides spiritual support for a fine group of young adults who have chosen to serve our country, and offers a unique, personally rewarding experience. It is open to men and women (about a quarter of the recruits are women), regardless of age, race or sexual orientation.
If this sounds interesting and you would like to know more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call my home: 847-291-1082, cell: 312-560-8382. Since the Navy takes a month or so for their paperwork, we hope to have someone in place soon to be ready for a January or February, 2018 start.
I look forward to hearing from you.
UU Military Ministry Great Lakes
UUMMGL worship leaders: Roger Baron, Lt. Allen Rotert, Gary Zacny, Gemma Guenther, Kevin DeBeck, Rev. Rudra Dundzila