First Unitarian Society in Newton

Ministries / Services / Lay-led Services / Application to Organize a Lay-Led Service

Organize a Lay-Led Service

The First Unitarian Society of Newton has a long tradition of active participation from the congregation in worship services. Each year, members of the congregation design and deliver between four and six services. The Worship Committee (currently co-chaired by Holly Haynes and Charlie Watts) was created to help facilitate these services in two key ways:

  • By soliciting proposals from the congregation and selecting those that have the greatest potential as meaningful worship experiences.
  • By supporting the members who deliver these services as they work through the design, preparation, rehearsal, and (when appropriate) delivery of their service.

The Worship Committee also seeks to foster good coordination and communication between the members of the congregation and the professional staff about worship concerns generally.


Proposal Instructions

The application below is intended to provide the Worship Committee with a basic overview of the service you would like to propose. It is not necessary that all elements be fully developed; most important is simply to provide a clear sense of the theme you would like to explore and the reason why you feel this would make a good lay-led worship service.

On behalf of the Worship Committee, we want to thank you in advance for your willingness to contribute your ideas and energy to this process. The Worship Council will evaluate all the submissions and determine which services may be possible to pursue. (Remember, there are only about four-five services of this type per year, so it may not be possible to accommodate all of the proposals we receive.)

Karen Edwards, Holly Haynes (co-chair), Marylou McArdle, Nancy Stanton, Charlie Watts (co-chair)



Please complete the following sections with sufficient detail to allow the Worship Committee to understand your ideas. (You can copy and paste the text below into a text document and then complete it or print out a PDF of the form - see attachment at the bottom of this page). Again, we thank you for your contribution!




Contact Information

Your Name

Phone Number(s)

E-mail address(es)

Best times to contact

Have you done a lay-led service in the past? If so, when?


Service Content

What is the general theme you would like to explore?





Why do you think this service would be of interest (and to whom)?


Are there any recent services that this would build from?


What type of things would you like to include in your service?




Do you have any ideas yet about music?



Who else would you involve in preparing/delivering the service?





Other Important Information

Are there ways in which you may need support to deliver this service?



Do you have any specific desires/concerns about when this service is held?



Have you been involved in lay-lead services in the past (and if so, can you tell us, very briefly, about their theme and when they were held)?



Please keep in mind…

  • Services should be no more than 60 minutes in length.
  • You must hold a rehearsal with ALL service participants at least a week in advance.
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