The mission of the worship team is to co-create inspiring and authentic worship experiences that serve the mission of Fourth Universalist. While the team provides feedback through weekly debriefs and is consulted during regular meetings, the main owner of worship is the Senior Minister.



  • Make lay leaders more visible
  • Continue to be a learning community, enhancing services by providing a strong pulpit presence while dismantling white supremacy culture by not falling into the trap of perfectionism
  • Provide guest speakers with extra support when the Senior Minister is not on the pulpit
  • Provide Worship Associates with greater opportunities to shape and frame the arc of the liturgy
  • Integrating and engaging those tuning in virtually, paying attention to a multiplatform congregation



  • Recruit Worship Associates through a set of criteria:
    • Ability to hold sacred space for the congregation
    • Be able to maintain a pulpit presence throughout the service
    • Have strong situational awareness, be able to “read the room”
    • Connect with the audience, both live and on zoom
    • Strong public speaking skills/willingness to continue to learn
    • Commitment to the preparation required for each worship service
  • Provide annual trainings
  • Plan seasonal services (e.g., solstices/equinoxes) and Day of Remembrance (for those who want to participate)
  • Serve as a Worship Associate (for those who want to) 







  • Convene at least quarterly meetings with the team and senior minister
  • With the help of Seasonal Services Planner, ensure the team provides four seasonal services during the year, plus the Remembrance Sunday service in October
  • Oversee the team’s budget and make a budget request each year
  • Write a report on team’s activities each year for the congregational annual meeting
  • Welcomes and orients new and prospective team members
  • Organizes and oversees training of new Worship Associates
  • Ensures that all team-led services and team activities support the mission of Fourth Universalist
  • Make first contact with the guest Worship Leader and set up introductions with the Worship Associate and the rest of the staff working on that Sunday’s service




Worship Associates are the right hand of the Worship Leader and take an active role in the worship service in the pulpit. They support the Worship Leader before, during, and after the service. The Worship Associate sets the tone for the service and holds the congregation in sacred space. We expect Worship Associates to serve at least six times a year. 

Becoming a Worship Associate: 

Prospective Worship Associates will be asked to fill out a simple application. After submitting their application, they will participate in an exploration with members of the Worship Team to determine giftedness as a Worship Associate. The exploration will consist of coming in with a prepared reading and delivering it in the pulpit. The prospective Worship Associate should demonstrate strong public speaking skills and pulpit presence. Worship Associates set the tone of the service and hold the congregation in sacred space.

Regular Sunday Responsibilities:

Before the day of the service:

  • Read through the worship script (provided at least two weeks before) and tweak as necessary. 
  • Practice your speaking parts out loud. 
  • Check for pronunciation of any names or words that are not familiar (ask Worship Leader if unsure). 
  • Be prepared and rehearsed, so that you can share the message in a meaningful way. 
  • Communicate with the Worship Leader if there are any questions. 
  • Ask the Worship Leader what kind of support is needed after the service.

On the day of the service

  • Arrive by 10:15 a.m.
  • Go over the set-up checklist and make sure everything is in place and ready, including the script and all worship materials including candles, singing bowl, etc.
  • Participate in sound check at 10:35 a.m.
  • Meet in minister’s study right after the sound check with rest of the Worship Team for a time of centering and setting intentions
  • Dress befitting a worship service. Clothing and hygiene should suggest that you believe Sunday morning is an important and sacred time. 
  • Check your email in the morning in case of last minute changes
  • Have your cell phone handy! We need to be able to communicate with each other. Please expect messages/calls and be prepared to respond promptly. 
  • Plan to be in-person on Sunday earlier than you need to be. With all the sound and camera checks and complexities around live-streaming, it is better to expect delays and be early, than plan on being on time, and be delayed. We rely on each other’s promptness to ensure we can prepare and touch base ahead of time.
  • Dress befitting a worship service. Clothing and hygiene should suggest that you believe Sunday morning is an important and sacred time. 

During the service:

  • Create a welcoming tone.
  • Lead sections of the service as assigned (the welcome, reading, offering, etc.)
  • If you have instructions to give, make sure they include people both in-person and online!
  • When you speak from the pulpit, do your best to look at the camera to your left occasionally (that’s where the online people are seeing you from!). 
  • Pause 2-3 seconds between speaker transitions. It can take a few seconds for the video/sound to transfer. This is especially important for the reflections, which will be recorded. 
  • Maintain a pulpit presence throughout the service.
  • Support the Worship Leader by being a right hand.

After the service: 

  • Support the Worship Leader as discussed.
  • Type in any comments/suggestions at the end of the Worship Script.


  • Attend Worship Associates Training sessions and/or meetings offered.
  • Recommit and re-covenant.

Serving with a Guest Worship Leader Responsibilities:

The Worship Associate performs all the usual WA duties. They are also responsible for setting a welcoming tone with the guest and setting the tone in the pulpit.

Before the day of the service:

  • Make sure they filled out the Guest Sunday Speaker form and these have been incorporated into the Worship Script.
  • Send them a welcoming email offering to answer their questions, give them any info they may need. They may be unfamiliar with Fourth Universalist, and with Unitarian Universalism.
  • Have a conversation with them to go over the script, make sure role assignments are clear, and answer any questions.
  • Check to make sure they are in contact with the Director of Religious Education and Music Director so that they may collaborate on aspects of the service.

On the day of the service:

  • Meet them early on the day of the service (at an agreed time).
  • Show them around the space, including where they may robe as well as the bathroom.
  • Make sure they do a mic check at 10:35 a.m. and know where the Zoom cameras are located.
  • Introduce them to the rest of the Sunday services team and staff. 
  • Meet with the members of the team beforehand.
  • Ask them what they will need after the service.

After the service:

  • Offer them coffee, water, a snack, etc.
  • Support them in greeting the congregation and introduce them to members you may know.





  • Maintain an updated list of current members trained to serve as Worship Associates
  • Share access to the list with the Minister, Executive Director and Director of Administration and Chair of Worship Team on the Worship Calendar Google sheet. 
  • Schedule Worship Associates on a quarterly basis.
  • Serve as a Worship Associate at least six times a year.
  • Update Worship Calendar on an ongoing basis.
  • Recruit new Worship Associates regularly.
  • Participate in the annual training.
  • Communicate with the Minister, Executive Director, Director of Administration and the Chair of Worship Team regarding any changes in the number of Worship Associates available to serve.





  • Check in periodically with the Chair of Worship Team and attend meetings/trainings when available.
  • Schedule Worship Leaders when Minister is away, including the summer
  • Make sure the the Guest Worship Leaders fill out the Guest Sunday Speaker form
  • Coordinate with all worship leaders and participants well in advance of the service and ensure everyone knows their role.
  • Send Worship Script template (created in the “Upcoming Services” folder of Google Drive) at least two weeks in advance, copying staff, (Guest Worship Leader), Worship Associate, making sure everything in document is filled in, including:
  • Theme, title, and speaker of the service
  • Relevant Announcements
  • Opening words
  • Greeting Question
  • Reading 
  • Reflection 
  • Updated Offering Words going to share the plate recipient for the month
  • Assigning roles
  • Edit the order of service to be finalized the Thursday before at noon. Need help accessing that? Email and
  • Go over the comments in the “Notes” section of the Worship Script and move the document to the “Previous Services” folder within the congregational Shared Folder in the Google Drive.



  • Convene a planning meeting for the service with the Worship Team and Minister.
  • Update the Worship Script for the service.
  • Work with the Minister and Worship Team to assign roles for the service.
  • Write a description of the service for the newsletter, social media and email announcements.
  • Communicate with the church administration regarding set-up of the sanctuary.
  • Communicate with the church administration regarding the printed worship script.
  • Lead the team before and during the service.
  • Convene a follow-up meeting after the service, to discuss how it went. Take notes on the discussion and add them to the service Worship Script.