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II. Sample Order of Service

Part of UN Sunday

We recognize that each congregation has its own routine for Sunday morning gatherings - and that worship services tend to be shorter in a virtual setting. We encourage you to draw from these resources to fit your own congregation’s needs. Note: It is important, especially in worship services, to hear the words of people who are most impacted by the topics at hand. All readings in this sample order of service were written by those who are youth, Indigenous, Black, or people of color.

(The materials shared may be used in live-streamed worship but not necessarily recorded for later use. Please see notes under each for further details.)

Prelude:

Welcome, Introductions, Announcements:Use this time to introduce UN Sunday and the UU@UN. Possibly have an Envoy introduce the service.

Call to Worship:

Opening Words/Chalice Lighting:

  • Monthly Global Chalice Lighting from ICUU
    • May be used in live-streamed worship and recorded for later viewing.
  • In Faith by Sunshine Jeremiah Wolfe
    • May be used in live-streamed worship and recorded for later viewing.

Opening Hymn:

  • For the Earth Forever Turning by Kim Oler
    • Video by Eric Lane Barnes, Director of Music at East Shore Unitarian Church
    • May be used in live-streamed worship and recorded for later viewing with the following stipulation: Please keep the video intact; it begins with a title screen naming the hymn and composer.
  • “More Waters Rising” by Saro Lynch-Thomason (share lyrics in the chat – found in YouTube video description)
    • Please contact Saro Lynch-Thomason directly at blairpathways@gmail.com for permission to use the recording of More Waters Rising or to perform the song in your congregation. Ms. Lynch-Thomason requests a small donation in exchange for use of the song.

Time for All Ages:

  • Choose a book from the list in the UN Sunday RE section
  • Choose one of the suggested Time for All Ages Activities described below.

Joys and Concerns: (if your congregation normally has them)

Meditation/Prayer:

Meditative Hymn:

Reading:

  • “Rise: From One Island to Another” by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna
    • Source: 350.org. May be used in live-streamed worship and recorded for later viewing with recognition given:
      • Written and performed by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna
      • Film by Dan Lin, Nick Stone, Rob Lau, and Oz Go
  • “Otilomar” by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner
    • May be used in live-streamed worship and recorded for later viewing.

Sermon/Homily: This is where to go into further detail about climate justice. Some congregations choose to invite a guest speaker from a local organization related to the theme or local United Nations Association (UNA) Chapter, invite UU@UN staff to speak or have an Envoy or the Minister deliver a sermon about the UN Sunday theme.

Offering: The UU@UN is supported financially by individual, family, and congregational contributions. We suggest holding the offering after the sermon so people will be excited about supporting the UU@UN. (see below for sample language or just use this Offering Invitation Video created by the UU@UN)

Offering Music:

  • “Broken” by Xiuhtezcatl (share lyrics in the chat – found in YouTube video description)

Closing Hymn:

Chalice Extinguishing:

Closing Words:

Postlude:

  • “We March” by Oscar Stembridge either Official Audio or Official Music Video (share lyrics in the chat – found in YouTube video description)
    • May be used in live-streamed worship and recorded for later viewing.

Suggested Time for All Ages activities

Use one of these stories as inspiration for the time for all ages. Draw issues of climate justice into the conversation and encourage all ages to think about their positive and negative impact on the planet, both personally and as part of larger systems.

Repairing Our Mistakes with Love by Jaelynn Pema-la Scott and Erika Hewitt

  • Ask these questions also:
    • How could we work to repair the harm we have caused the planet and those most affected by climate change?
    • How do we show love when we work to repair a mistake?

Microbes and Planets by Carolyn Fisher

Collection to support the UU@UN

The UU@UN is supported financially by individual, family, and congregational contributions. Some congregations choose to dedicate their offering on UN Sunday to support our vital mission, while others choose to contribute in their annual budget. We invite you to decide the best way for you congregation to support the UU@UN. See below for sample language to introduce a collection during virtual worship, or you're welcome to use the Offering Invitation video we created and have shared below. There is also an option for people to text “UNSunday” to 51555 to donate via mobile phone or give directly online at giving.uua.org/UUatUN.

UN Sunday Offering Invitation

This video invites viewers to donate generously to support the work of the Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the United Nations. It was created to be shown during a UU congregation's Offering or Special Collection during their United Nations Sunday worship service.

View on YouTube

Sample Language for a Collection to Support the UU@UN:

“Today’s collection is for the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations. The UU@UN has held a prominent place at the UN since 1962, advocating for UU values on the global stage. Within our lifelong quest for a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, the UU Office at the United Nations is one way that we are getting closer to that goal. By engaging every day with Member States and agencies and speaking out in defense of human rights for those who are oppressed, the UU Office at the United Nations’s advocacy made sexual orientation & gender identity human rights a priority throughout the United Nations system. The UU@UN uses its affiliation with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to bring representatives of Unitarian Universalism to speak for our values at UN climate conferences. This year, the office is focused on bringing the global community together to share solutions for demilitarizing local police forces and to amplify just and inclusive ways to keep communities safe.At a time when nationalism is so dominant around the world, having our UU voice represented at the UN is more critical than ever, and the UU@UN relies on congregational and individual donations to continue its work.

We are hoping to become [or “to retain our status as”] one of a few Sixth Principle Congregations (formerly Blue Ribbon Congregations) that help to sustain this crucial work into the future. There is information in the chat box [or “displayed on screen”] with details on Supporter levels. To qualify as a Sixth Principle Congregation, we need at least 15 individuals to become Supporters through a gift of $60 or more. Please consider a Supporter-level gift so that we can qualify ["again"] this year. You can also text UNSunday to 51555 to donate via mobile phone. I ask that you please be generous and consider the global impact your support of the UU@UN can have. Thank you so much.”

While reading the above aloud, paste the following in the chat or have it displayed on a screenshare:

Text UNSunday to 51555 to donate via mobile phone or give directly online at giving.uua.org/UUatUN.

Become a UU@UN Supporter at the following annual levels:

  • $250.00 - Global Equality Supporter
  • $150.00 - Family/Household Supporter
  • $60.00 - Individual Supporter
  • $30.00 - Retired/Student Supporter

To qualify for the Sixth Principle Award's supporter category, a congregation must have at least 5% of their members become Supporters (or 15 members for large congregations). Global Equality and Family/Household Supporters can qualify as two (2) people for award purposes.