The role of a Community Minister

Ministers to the community offer a wide range of ministerial support to those whom they encounter. Sometimes this takes the form of providing spiritual care to individuals and families in which a Community Minister will...

  • Offer spiritual care to families during significant life transitions
  • Create personalized and meaningful memorials
  • Provide creative tools for dealing with death and grief
  • Officiate at weddings and other ceremonies

For an example of this form of community ministry, see Rev. Rebecca Senoglu's story below. 

Another form of community ministry is to provide spiritual support for a community of people on an ongoing basis. This form of community ministry centers around creating and sustaining a "congregation".

Many people have a rich spiritual life yet struggle to find spiritual community in which they can worship, pray, and be nourished. They feel uncomfortable with the traditional churches and worship centers that are already in the community.  Such a yearning cuts across all socio-economic levels. Those who do not find a place in typical centers of worship may be homeless or have a very low income. Others may live more comfortably and have more education but traditional religion does not meet their spiritual longings. 

What is needed is a place where all worship traditions are honored, where everyone is included in the process of growing spiritually and acting socially.  The core value of such a place would be agape love (unconditional love) as experienced through a deep connection with God that overflows into social action expressed as nonviolent engagement. 

For an example of this type of community ministry, see Rev. Felicia Parazaider's story below. 

Of course, these two forms of community ministry are not mutually exclusive. Those focusing on forming a community will also provide spiritual care to those who don't become part of the community. Those providing spiritual care to a wide rage of individuals and families will often care for them over a long period of time and see them participate in ongoing groups and classes. These two examples, however, provide different emphases in how community ministry can be practiced with vitality and creativity. 

 

Meet Rev. Rebecca Senoglu, Community Minister


Rebecca_Senoglu_web.jpgRev. Rebecca Senoglu was ordained by The Chaplaincy Institute in May 2002. "The range of ways to serve interfaith ministry is very broad. Fortunately, in my time at ChI I developed a framework for my ministry that I am still using 10 years later to keep my vision clear. In the work I did for my ordination presentation, I defined my ministry as a flower with five petals—Healing Through Arts; Death and Dying; Rituals and Celebrations; Nurturing the Growth of Interfaith Ministry; and Personal Creativity. ChI gave me solid foundations in each of these areas, and my ministry has bloomed.”
 
Rev. Senoglu has also completed a certificate program in Children’s Spirituality at First Steps in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Rebecca works as the Cancer Support Program Coordinator at Enloe Cancer Center in Chico, California, where in addition to traditional support groups she has developed award-winning healing art projects like the Enloe Cranes Project and Banners of Hope. She did an extended unit of CPE at UC Davis Medical Center and has served as a volunteer chaplain at Enloe Hospice. For seven years she was Treasurer of the Chico Area Interfaith Council. She performs meaningful memorials and weddings for those who do not have a pastor, and she is employed by Chico funeral homes as an officiant.
 
In 2011, Rev. Senoglu attended the 22nd annual conference of the Society for Arts in Healthcare. The theme of the conference was “Advancing Patient Centered Arts.” While in attendance, she represented ChI by spreading the word about our interfaith programs and services. "It has been a great joy to me that ChI has continued to develop.... What started as the dream of a visionary has taken form and solidified into an institute where adult learners can come and focus their own callings and gather very practical tools to develop their own ministries."
 
If you would like to learn more about Rev. Senoglu’s work as a community minister, please visit her website: AllKindsOfBlessings.com.
 
 

 

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