Ministry

 

Ordained in 2011 as an interfaith minister, I use my ministry in many ways including being a celebrant, performing funeral and memorial services, offering bereavement support, pastoral counseling and occasionally leading services at UU churches. I also teach at the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine when needed. Classes include Listening, Art & Spirituality, and Ritual.

 

Sermons include topics such as:

Justice and Liberation

Compassion

Journey of Faith Through Loss

Comfortable with Uncertainty

Truth and Reconciliation

Let Your Life Speak

The Wisdom of Listening from the Heart

Active Hope

 

Weddings

As an interfaith minister, I respond to all couples seeking to be married whether they have grown up in a particular faith tradition or have none, per sé. The idea behind Interfaith is that it is a spiritual philosophy that honors the wisdom inherent in all faith traditions including none.

 

Some couples come from different faith backgrounds and are looking to integrate two traditions into one ceremony or want a ceremony that is sacred, but not religious.

 

Initially, I meet with couples to see if it is a good fit both ways, then move toward tailoring the ceremony to what the couple wants, offering books and ideas, rituals and readings that might help them cultivate a unique ceremony that reflects their values. I like to meet with couples a few times in person, so I can listen to stories and gain a feel for how to craft the invocation. I see my role as minister as providing comfort and ease in both planning and participating in the ceremony. I always create a handmade book that contains the wedding ceremony.

 

Bereavement Support

A hospice volunteer since 2006, I have co-facilitated bereavement support groups through Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice and now work independently to support families and individuals during times of grief.

 

Memorials

As with weddings, I seek to listen and create a memorial service tailored to the individual needs of the families. A handmade book is created in memory of the deceased.

Photos courtesy of Angie Devenney Photography, Tim Greenway Photography
and Kim Chapman.

SARAH SHEPLEY