What is ministry?

So, I am ordained as a minister in the UCC. I used to think that being a minister meant that I worked in a church and led the people who came to church in reflecting on their lives and on how God was at work in their lives. Ministry can be that. And, I'm finding my way to a more expansive understanding of ministry, one that feels like it fits me better today and also which I think has some more movement in the world today, in the midst of such foundational shifting. 

This is my emerging understanding of ministry: 

That which opens hearts and minds to live compassionately toward self and other, helps us to engage in self-examination as part of the work of being responsible for our shared life and moves us toward acts which connect, heal, and release.

It's a wide definition, which I think is useful as our religious, civic and political lives are being reconfigured today. We need room within traditions to rearrange things. 

 

 

Lindsey Peterson