Pastoral Care

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shawl ministry


The giving of comfort items is a centuries-old tradition in communities of worship. Our Shawl Ministry program started in 2008, with a goal of providing our members with hand-made shawls, lap robes, and quilts during times of challenging life experiences such as illness, hospitalization, and loss. This “Hand to Hand, Heart to Heart” ministry nurtures the social and spiritual bonds within our ever-growing congregation. Comfort items are often given by the clergy and Lay Ministers as they provide pastoral care to people during times of need. In 2009, we began to offer a blanket or quilt for each child who was dedicated at First Unitarian Society.

Whether on their own or in small groups, members of the Shawl Ministry lovingly create these representations of our love and care. What distinguishes Shawl Ministry is the spirit of intentionality that goes into each item that is created. We may or may not know who will receive the shawl or blanket that we are making, but people are encouraged to “weave” in thoughts of comfort or connection. In this way, every item symbolizes the caring not just of the person who created it, but of the whole congregation.

We welcome new members. To find out more about the Shawl Ministry, or to get a copy of our guidelines, patterns, or schedule of drop-ins, contact Lorna Aaronson or Dorit Bergen. You can also find group info on our Group Finder page.

Joshua Ness

lay ministry


Challenges come our way in life. Some are pretty manageable. Others leave us feeling very alone and overwhelmed, or demand great contemplation. Lay Ministers are available to offer personal support to those enduring difficult life situations.

Lay Ministry at First Unitarian Society is a program to provide a confidential, caring presence to congregants undergoing stressful life challenges or joyous occasions. Our Lay ministers promote the spirit of community through direct service in visiting the ill and healing, facilitating support groups, and more.

Types of Care Lay ministers respond to:

  • Serious Illness/Injury
  • Isolation
  • Caregiver Support
  • New Baby/Child in the Family
  • Depression
  • Grieving
  • Employment or financial issues
  • Losses accompanying aging

Contact Lay Ministers here or by calling 608-233-9774, ext.126.