Affiliated Community Minister: Rev. Cary Eustis
I am proud to be part of extending Unity Church Unitarian’s values of integrity, service and joy into the world beyond the walls of our congregation as an Affiliated Community Minister. Thank you for your ongoing nurture and support of my ministry.
I continue to serve at the University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview. I am serving as a chaplain and clinical pastoral educator. I am the chaplain for Adult and Geriatric Behavioral Health units. There I conduct weekly spiritual health groups and respond to patient referrals for chaplain support. In addition, I take on call rotation for the wider hospital medicine units. I also visit Unity Church congregation members hospitalized here. In 2010, I conducted a blessing service in the hospital chapel for a bone marrow transplant service with Unity's co-ministers, Rob and Janne, in attendance.
As a pastoral educator I am in a certification process to become a clinical pastoral education (CPE) supervisor. This is an Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) certification program. This certification process normally takes between 4-7 years. The process includes my immediate practice in the supervision of students during their CPE intern units. The students I work with are mostly seminarians from diverse backgrounds taking CPE as a requirement for their Master of Divinity degrees or their denominational requirements. I work with students to expand their knowledge and understanding of cultures, faiths and people different from themselves. I supervised 6 students this past summer and I am finishing the supervision of 6 students in the winter/spring CPE intern unit.
Another aspect of my certification process includes writing theology, education and human/personality development theory papers to be reviewed by a national panel. When they are accepted (hear the hope) I will supervise at least one more unit of students before submitting my Associate CPE supervisory materials for the Associate Supervisor certification committee.
You can be confident that I am upholding Unitarian Universalist principles and purposes as a witness and voice for justice for marginalized and voiceless persons as I work directly with patients providing pastoral care as a chaplain. One way I do this is by facilitating rituals for people from marginalized communities. A few weeks ago I was honored to advocate for and facilitate a set of rituals for a patient on a locked unit. This patient, who had been quiet and reserved, shed tears in the private ritual space we created as she received and used her own, ritual “instruments.” This experience left me with no doubt that Holy work was taking place in that sacred space. In this instance one who had been marginalized and accustomed to having little voice in systems of power was treated with dignity and respect as her spiritual needs were being met.
Special thanks to congregation members serving on my Committee on Ministry: Maren Aspaas and Don Brunquell. They are wise guides in my lengthy certification process and their time and thoughtful involvement helps inspire my faith and ministry.
Cary Eustiis can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unity Church-Unitarian has had connections with community ministers serving beyond the walls of this congregation for a number of years. Community Ministry is a specialization within the Unitarian Universalist Ministerial Fellowship. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has been moving toward more effective and formalized relationships between community ministers and the congregations with whom they are affiliated. The goal is for a mutually supportive and beneficial relationship between the community minister and the congregation. This relationship is formalized through a vote of the board and an affiliation agreement mutually crafted between the called ministers and the community minister.
You can learn more about Community Ministry in the Unitarian Universalist Association at http://www.uua.org/leaders/leadership/communityministry/index.shtml
The UUSCM is the The Unitarian Universalist Society of Community Ministers which is a movement that supports those serving community ministries within the UUA. You can learn more about UUSCM at http://www.uuscm.org/Default.aspx
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