Congregational Companions Workshop

November 10, 2018 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm


Erica DeNeve and Brian Kiely will co-lead a one-day Saturday workshop on becoming a Congregational Companion on Saturday, November 10 at the church from 10am -4pm.

There is no cost to register and no obligation to participate in the program.

Register by email at or sign up at church.

What are Congregational Companions?

Unitarians reject dogma and rituals that are restrictive and limiting. But some of the more traditional religious practices have their use. Take prayer, as an example. What if we could take the idea of prayer and remove all of the “problem stuff”? No beseeching or bargaining, no begging for grace or apologizing for sin. What might we be left with? Is there any part worth trying to save? Could the
practice have meaning for us, especially those suffering emotional and spiritual pain? I believe it can.
And that the effort will be rewarding and enriching for those who choose to participate.

We don’t really have a role for a kind of ‘chaplain’ who could help with that in our church. Which makes sense, given that many of our congregants reject the traditional ideas of God and the practices that go along with those ideas. But I wondered, how could we modify this practice and the role to make it meaningful and relevant to our congregants today?

Our starting point on this journey is a name change. Both terms, prayer and chaplain, carry baggage. We need better terms that suit us. We have come up with Congregational Companions.

A Congregational Companion will serve as a support person for their fellow congregants. To actively, deeply listen to them, hold space for them, be empathetic to their issues and concerns. They will not
be therapists. They will not be ministers. They will be companions, sharing their fellow congregants’journey…

Please speak with Erica De Neve ( or Brian ( for more details.