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Skinner House Books

Spiritual, Practical, Engaged

Skinner House Books is an imprint of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) of Congregations, publishing books to aid individuals and congregations in their search for truth and meaning. Learn more about Skinner House.

The UUA Bookstore Catalog features our latest books. Many titles are now available as eBooks. You may also browse our complete list of titles or view our books by category:

Skinner House regularly accepts proposals for new projects. Review our proposal requests.

What's New from Skinner House Books?

Bless the Imperfect
Meditations for Congregational Leaders

Edited by Kathleen Montgomery
From some of the most prominent voices in Unitarian Universalism today come these 50 poems, prayers, and prose reflections to support and celebrate congregational leaders. These meditations—alternately serious and funny, tender and frank—portray an understanding of congregational leadership as an avenue for spiritual growth rather than an administrative chore. They inspire and affirm the work of all kinds of leaders—professional and volunteer, lay and ordained. Suitable for both private reflection and public worship, this collection holds up the role of leader as vital to healthy congregational life and honors those who serve in this capacity.

Buddhist Voices in Unitarian Universalism
Edited by Wayne Arnason and Sam Trumbore
Both the seven principles and the six sources of Unitarian Universalism affirm and encourage Unitarian Universalists in exploring world faith traditions while maintaining their UU identity. This book brings together for the first time the voices of UUs who have become Buddhists while not sacrificing that identity, and Buddhists who have found in Unitarian Universalism a spiritual home where they can sustain a practice and join in an activist religious community that accepts and encourages who they are. Also included is an exploration of how American Buddhism has been influenced by Unitarian Universalism and how UU congregations are being changed by Buddhist practice.

Children of the Same God
The Historical Relationship Between Unitarianism, Judaism, and Islam
Susan J. Ritchie
In Children of the Same God, Susan J. Ritchie makes the groundbreaking historical argument that, long before Unitarianism and Universalism merged in the United States, Unitarianism itself was inherently multireligious. She demonstrates how Unitarians in Eastern Europe claimed a strong affinity with Jews and Muslims from the very beginning and how mutual theological underpinnings and active cooperation underpin Unitarian history but have largely disappeared from the written accounts. With clear implications for the religious identity of Christians, Jews, and Muslims as well as Unitarian Universalists, and especially for interfaith work, Children of the Same God illuminates the intertwining histories and destinies of these traditions. Available June 6, 2014.

Falling into the Sky
Edited by Abhi Janamanchi and Abhimanyu Janamanchi
Falling into the Sky, the 2013 UUA Meditation Manual, is full of open spaces and possibility. Edited by Abhi Janamanchi and his son Abhimanyu Jamananchi, it compiles forty remarkable writings from Unitarian Universalist ministers, leaders, and lay people. These meditations are full of vivid vistas of imagination and reflection.

The Garden of Time
Jill Hammer with illustrations by Zoe Cohen
In this story based on ancient Jewish legend, Adam and Eve walk through the Garden of Eden, noticing what is happening around them and deciding what holidays they will celebrate based on what they see, smell, hear, and taste. Gorgeous text and art illuminate Judaism, the calendar, and the environment for both children and adults. Available March 31, 2014. 

The Generosity Path
Finding Richness in Giving

Mark Ewert
Financial giving can be a spiritual path. We have a deep potential for meaning-making and life satisfaction when we transform ourselves from occasional, haphazard donors to deliberate, ambitious philanthropists. With easy-to-read guidance, The Generosity Path sheds new light on our finances—connecting money to our values, beliefs, and loves and promoting skills and strategies in charitable giving. Starting from a very personal place, Ewert helps readers to find clarity in their own experience and then focus on their areas of passion to build a plan of action. Inspiring personal stories help demonstrate the development of financial generosity, the challenges involved, and the deeper benefits we all might expect from being more intentional with our giving. Creative tools for reflection and practice guide readers' progress. This practical yet wise volume also features information about collective giving in a community setting, family, or giving circle. Ideal for religious and civic organizations, The Generosity Path includes a discussion guide for group use. 

A Good Telling
Bringing Worship to Life with Story

Kristin Maier
The art of storytelling can enrich any worship service. Whether you are reading stories from a picture book or preaching them from memory in the pulpit, A Good Telling can help you choose meaningful stories and learn how to tell them in powerful ways. It explains foundational techniques and provides practice exercises. It also offers strategies for successfully incorporating audience participation with children and adults. Supplemental material at the back includes a workshop series, complete with five ready-to-go skill-building sessions and a model for peer-to-peer sharing of stories. In addition, a comprehensive list of resources shows where to find scores of appropriate stories to tell. Whether you are a novice or a storytelling veteran, A Good Telling is an important new addition to any worship leader's library. 

In the Interim
Strategies for Interim Ministers and Congregations
Edited by Barbara Child and Keith Kron
A period of interim ministry poses unique challenges and opportunities for both congregations and ministers. Much more than a &quotcaretaker&quot ministry, an interim ministry can help a congregation navigate and get the most out of a time of transition. In this practical and insightful volume, interim ministers and other congregational leaders provide a road map for a transformative and fulfilling interim period.

Jewish Voices in Unitarian Universalism
Edited by Leah Hart-Landsberg and Marti Keller
In a fresh collection of thoughtful essays, 20 writers explore the blessings and challenges of Jewish Unitarian Universalist identity and community. While there has been a long and consistent presence of Jewish culture and people in Unitarian Universalism, this poignant anthology is the first to give voice to this community's struggles, wisdom, and contributions. Essayists include born Jews who came to Unitarian Universalism, Unitarian Universalists who adopted Judaism as a spiritual path, and Unitarian Universalists who have encountered Judaism in diverse ways. 

A Long Time Blooming
Marta I. Valentín
In the 2014 UUA meditation manual, Marta I. Valentín reflects on the spiritual dimensions of her intersecting identities as a Latina, lesbian, feminist, God-worshipping Unitarian Universalist minister. With candor and insight, she probes what is universal in her own very particular history and what it means to strive for beloved community in the face of marginalization and cultural misunderstanding. Available May 14, 2014.

Mira and the Big Story
Laura Alary, illustrated by Sue Todd
Mira is a girl with big questions. She knows two different stories about the way the world came to be. Which story is right? Can they both be right? Is there room for more than one way to think about the world and our place in it? Follow her on an inspiring journey as she discovers a story big enough to include everyone. Along the way, Mira learns to respect and revere the traditions of others. Beautifully illustrated, this compelling tale will keep young ones enthralled.

Morning Watch
Barbara Pescan
Thirty-four poems and prayers on love, spirit, and the extraordinary significance of daily life. In her signature elegant verse, Barbara Pescan helps us step out of our routine existence and reflect on that which matters most. Whether musing about February weather, Memorial Day, or the meaning of a blessing, she distills her many years of ministry into a timeless, lyrical wisdom. Back by popular demand, this classic UUA Meditation Manual from 1999 returns to print. Ideal for both personal reflection and public worship.

Muhammad
The Story of a Prophet and Reformer

Sarah Conover
In the pages of Muhammad: The Story of a Prophet and Reformer, young readers will encounter a man very different from the figure often presented in Western popular culture. Drawing from biographies, the Quran, and hadith, Sarah Conover, co-author of Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs: A Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents, relates the story of a radical prophet who challenged the rich and powerful, guided his community of followers through a dangerous time of persecution and exile, formed alliances with people of different beliefs, and preached "love for humanity what you love for yourself."

Not for Ourselves Alone
Theological Essays on Relationship

Laurel Hallman and Burton D.Carley
These twelve essays from Unitarian Universalist leaders emerge as part of a movement in the faith from focusing on individual identity to relational connectedness. Through personal stories and thoughtful reflections, the contributors describe how we might grow our souls through our connections with one another and with the Holy. They invite us to move beyond the age-old theological question "Who am I?" and ask instead, "Whose are we?" This new emphasis suggests that we are all part of something larger, something that both includes us and transcends us. Group exercises and journaling prompts accompany the essays, making this an ideal resource for use in congregational settings or small gatherings. Helping us to be more vulnerable with one another and to express things not easily defined in precise ways, Not for Ourselves Alone offers fertile new ways for Unitarian Universalists to grow in the life of the spirit. Available May 28, 2014.

The Pen and the Bell
Mindful Writing in a Busy World

Brenda Miller and Holly Hughes
It can be difficult to create space for our spiritual lives in a world crowded with distractions. The Pen and the Bell is about how to achieve mindfulness and creative fulfillment in spite of long to-do lists. It's about gaining access to our deeper selves in the workaday world, and bringing forth this authentic self in our writing. With both meditative and writing exercises in each chapter, it will help you awaken your creative soul and find a more rewarding life.

Reclaiming Prophetic Witness
Liberal Religion in the Public Square
Paul Rasor
In this clarion call to action, leading Unitarian Universalist theologian Paul Rasor dispels the myth that conservative Christianity is the only valid religious voice in the national debates on social policy. Showing that religious liberals are more numerous than many realize, he calls on them to embrace their prophetic heritage and bring their religious convictions to bear on the issues of our time. Reclaiming Prophetic Witness will lift your spirit, while inspiring you to lift your voice and reclaim a place in the public square.

Resistance
A Memoir of Civil Disobedience in Maricopa County
Annette S. Marquis
In July 2010, Unitarian Universalist Annette Marquis made the hard decision to participate in the National Day of Non-compliance in Phoenix, Arizona. She went there to protest the passage of SB 1070, planning to be arrested, and spent a long night in the notorious jail run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Marquis reflects on what compelled her to action and what she learned about the struggles of migrants and people of color in Maricopa County and about being an ally in the fight for justice.

The Selma Awakening
How the Civil Rights Movement Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism

Mark D. Morrison-Reed
The foremost scholar of African-American Unitarian Universalist history presents this long-awaited analysis of the denomination's civil rights activism in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. Selma represented a turning point for Unitarian Universalists. In answering Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to action, they shifted from passing earnest resolutions about racial justice to putting their lives on the line for the cause. Morrison-Reed traces the long history of race relations among the Unitarians and the Universalists leading up to 1965, exploring events and practices of the late nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth century. He reveals the disparity between their espoused values on race and their values in practice. And yet, in 1965 their activism in Selma—involving hundreds of ministers and the violent deaths of Rev. James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo—at last put them in authentic relationship with their proclaimed beliefs. With rigorous scholarship and unflinching frankness, The Selma Awakening provides a new way of understanding Unitarian Universalist engagement with race and offers an indispensable new resource for anyone interested in UU history. Available April 16, 2014.

The Shared Pulpit
A Sermon Seminar for Lay People

Erika Hewitt
Here is a complete workshop to help lay people gain experience writing and preaching a full-length sermon for their congregation. This easy-to-use guide for both facilitators and participants provides a step-by-step lesson plan for eight sessions. Workshop members learn about the theory and theology of preaching, then practice writing and speaking with authenticity, gradually building toward composing quality 20-minute sermons. Workshop leaders learn to foster a supportive environment in which participants offer one another helpful feedback. The Shared Pulpit includes a separate leader's guide, readings for homework, sample sermons, and exercises to help first-time preachers polish their preaching craft.

Soul to Soul
Fourteen Gatherings for Reflection and Sharing

Christine Robinson & Alicia Hawkins
From the writers of Heart to Heart: Fourteen Gatherings for Reflection and Sharing comes this collection of fourteen additional gatherings for your small group ministry or other spiritual sharing group.

Sources of Our Faith
Inspirational Readings

Kathleen Rolenz, Editor
The living tradition we share draws from many sources. This collection of inspirational readings from many cultures and times provides a felt sense of the six Sources of Unitarian Universalism. Organized by Source, and introduced with thoughtful essays from the editor, these readings are ideal for use in worship or for personal reflection. From the Qur'an to Margaret Fuller, from Rumi to Rebecca Parker, this broad range of poetry and prose will help deepen our understanding and connection to our faith.

The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide, 5th Edition
Peter Morales, Editor
Revised and updated, the Pocket Guide is one of the most complete introductions to Unitarian Universalism available, covering ministry, worship, religious education, social justice, and history. The 2012 edition is the most extensive revision in over a decade. Contributors include Kay Montgomery, John Crestwell, Gail Geisenhainer, Rosemary Bray McNatt, Jane Ranney Rzepka, Mark Belletini, Judith Frediani, Rebecca Parker, and Dan McKanan. Foreword by MSNBC commentator and lifelong Unitarian Universalist Melissa Harris-Perry. Also available in a Spanish edition.

Voices from the Margins
An Anthology if Meditations

Jacqui James and Mark D. Morrison-Reed, Editors
In Voices from the Margins, Jacqui James and Mark Morrison-Reed have compiled a remarkable collection of reflections and meditations from voices often left unheard in Unitarian Universalism. These writings remind us of both what we miss when we don't listen to marginalized voices and the amazing insights we stand to gain when we do.

War Zone Faith
An Army Chaplain's Reflections from Afghanistan

George Tyger
As an Army chaplain deployed to Afghanistan, George Tyger has seen and experienced things that many of us cannot fathom: naked children throwing rocks at him in the street, a playground in the middle of a Taliban graveyard, and incredible violence, anger, loneliness, and fear. Determined to find meaning in the midst of it all, Tyger reflects on his faith, his prejudices, and his privilege, and shares the unique perspective he has gained while serving and ministering in a war zone.

What Torture Taught Me
And Other Reflections on Justice and Theology

William F. Schulz
Collected here in print for the first time are four powerful essays from the head of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the former head of Amnesty International USA, based on his public addresses. William F. Schulz, the foremost Unitarian Universalist authority on human rights, reflects on the weighty issues of social justice, theology, the legitimate use of force, and the effectiveness of social reform movements. Both a call to action and a challenge to religious liberals to examine the basis for their activism, these compelling essays are sure to inspire.

Where Two Worlds Touch
A Spiritual Journey Through Alzheimer's Disease

Jade C. Angelica
In 2001, Jade Angelica's mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, and thus began a surprising and transformative journey for both mother and daughter. From the early stages of the disease until her mother died, Angelica was dedicated to her mother's care, and in that time she learned a lot about grief, relationship, the nature of selfhood, and the unexpected gifts of Alzheimer's Disease. She also found a purpose and embarked on her life's work—to teach that people with Alzheimer's can have relationships, meaningful lives, joy, and growth. Where Two Worlds Touch is both a spiritual memoir and a pastoral guide for those who love someone with Alzheimer's. It offers heartfelt wisdom on preserving connection, self-care, and staying open to the possibility of grace. 

While Still There Is Light
Writings from a Minister Facing Death
Nancy Shaffer, edited by Mary McKinnon Ganz
In 2011, Nancy Shaffer's life suddenly changed when she was diagnosed with what would be a fatal brain tumor. Here is her heartrending and heartwarming account of her final year as she came to terms with impending death. Part journal, part meditative reflection, and fully honest, Shaffer's account of her journey through denial to peaceful acceptance will lend inspiration and courage to those in need, and insight to those who give pastoral care.

For more information contact skinnerhouse @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

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