What is Thematic Ministry?

Thematic Ministry is an approach to congregational life which devotes worship and reflection to one topic, or theme, each month. This year, our monthly themes have been drawn from UUCE’s Covenant of Right Relations:

  • September: Covenant
  • October: Trust
  • November: Respect
  • December: Gratitude
  • January: Honor
  • February: Suffering
  • March-August: TBD

Each Sunday, members and guests are invited to engage with these themes in one of three ways: 

  1. Through Worship Service in the Sanctuary
  2. Through Meditation in the Front Entry Hall
  3. Through SpiritJam, starting with ingathering in the Chapel and then breaking off into various jam sessions based on the theme.

How do themes impact RE on Sunday morning?

At the UU Church in Eugene, we have been practicing Thematic Ministry for the past 4 years. During that time, your DRE has been curating and writing lesson plans to reflect these themes in the various RE classrooms. Too often, it takes huge amounts of time to invent theme-related, age- and ability-level differentiated lesson plans, write them up and share them with volunteers. 

With the SpiritJam Model, our faculty develops thematic Jams during weekly brainstorming sessions. In addition, we offer SpiritJam “Co-Creator Labs” once a month. Interested congregants, our minister, church musicians and anyone else who wants to participate are welcome to join us. Together, we collaboratively create ideas for Jams for the upcoming month. By shifting to the SpiritJam Model, the possibilities for learning and reflection through mind, body and spirit are expanded for the entire congregation.