The Task of the Minister - some Universalist advice from Robert Cummins in 1947

Robert Cummins
As I mentioned in a post last week my ministerial review is due next month and this has been a helpful time for me to reflect on both my own ministry and, of course, the kind of ministry experienced by this particular liberal church.

Well, as part of that reflection I pulled off my shelf a photocopy of a book that my ministry tutor at Harris Manchester College, the Revd Peter Hewis, lent me whilst I was training for the ministry entitled, Parish Practice in Universalist Chuches. This was written by Robert Cummins (1897-1982) who has been described as “the modern architect of organized Universalism”. On the fly-leaf Cummin has written an inscription dated May 2, 1947 to the British Universalist and Unitarian minister Arthur W. Peacock which says it was given to a "fellow minister, co-worker, valued friend".

Peter Hewis lent me this book because it seemed to him to mirror many of my own reasons for going into ministry, not least of in the short chapter entitled "The Minister - His Task." As I re-read it this evening it struck me as not only still relevant but still quite beautifully written and I make available here a pdf scan of it - just click on the link below. You'll have to do your own gender inclusive reading  (remember this is 1947) but his words are clearly applicable to men and woman alike.

The Minister - His Task by Robert Cummins