I am an ordained minister in fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association, with a Masters of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School. My life experience, everything I have learned and done has prepared me for Unitarian Universalist ministry.
My career in nursing taught me the value and power of empathy and making human connections, about prioritizing and about healing, and about how things sometimes don’t heal, and then to move forward. I learned how, in spite of loss, people may find a new way of being and living in the world. I have come to understand how being in community with ourselves and others despite one's brokenness, and even maybe because of it, allows us to simply "be" in a different way.
Raised by a UU minister, I witnessed and learned throughout my life different ways of doing church; the challenges, the blessings the complicated systems so dependent upon one another, so rich in giving and also needing, needing to know love and support. I’ve seen what it takes to bring health and hope into community and individual lives. All of this has been integrated into my ministry and leadership with many congregations and faith communities around the world.
I have lived in 5 different countries, studied four languages and spent the past ten years steeped in international Unitarian Universalists leadership, revelling in the glorious and complicated tapestry of our faith tradition.
What I have learned above all is that everyone and every living thing is worthy of love.
I am called to be an advocate and give voice to those who are voiceless, to care for those in need, offer safety for those who are afraid, comfort to the afflicted, sometimes challenge those who could use a little less comfort. This is ministry. I believe the future lies in saying yes to opportunities. Yes to leading the way and making space for others to move into their potential, empowering leaders to rise to meet their own challenges and bringing more compassion and justice to our world.
Having returned recently to Canada, I continue to serve the Church of Larger Fellowship as the Affiliate Minister for International Outreach, while serving as a chaplain at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, and also working with several UU congregations around the country. I have led services and workshop and consulted with our congregations in Regina, Montreal, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. Since Covid-19 pandemic began, my work has been online, doing ministry via video and zoom platforms.
With my skills and interests, I feel especially called to transitional ministry, accompanying congregations as they move through change and challenges. As a Unitarian Universalist minister I have the opportunity to use all of my gifts and to continue learning and growing alongside of the congregations I serve. I am excited to see where the path will lead me, and where it may lead you as well.
© Lara Cowtan 2023