Braver/Wiser Archive
Braver/Wiser Archive
Worship
  • The Body of Love

    It was disruptive and strange to know that someone had died to bring this hope, and to wonder how the donor’s family mourned at the same time we rejoiced.
    By Elizabeth Bukey | 12/11/2019
  • Leveling Up

    With a single generous gesture from my older child, her sister's belief in Santa stayed intact that year.
    By Karen G. Johnston | 12/4/2019
  • Crisis and Opportunity

    The crisis was an opportunity to learn to be fully me and love it, inner turmoil and all. I learned that strength comes from authenticity, never from perfection.
    By Tomo Hillbo | 11/27/2019
  • The Fierce Fist Pump

    I was made this way, in this body and this skin. Like all beings, I have an inherent good that cannot be eclipsed.
    By Katie Romano Griffin | 11/20/2019
  • Impact > Intention

    Can we strive to have the grace to back away when our presence doesn’t feel like safety?
    By Misha Sanders | 11/13/2019
  • Love What You Love

    We can be cheerleaders for simple joys (even when we don't share them) and compassionate about the fact that we’re all just trying to survive.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 11/6/2019
  • The Guest of Grief

    Sometimes grief sends notice ahead of time; sometimes, it shows up as an unwelcome, uninvited guest.
    By Monica Dobbins | 10/30/2019
  • The Growing Season

    There is relief and remorse equally in my heart as the growing season comes to a close.
    By Teresa Honey Youngblood | 10/23/2019
  • Stewards of Hope

    This is the beauty and sparkle of spiritual communities: needs arise and beloveds appear to ask, “How can I help?” There’s no fixed timeline, just the spiritual practices of generosity and stewardship.
    By Rebekah Savage | 10/16/2019
  • Joyfully Surprised

    Coming out to my family was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I realized that my choice was one of life and death, and I needed to let my secret out in order to continue living, and to do so authentically.
    By Adrian L. H. Graham | 10/9/2019
  • The Only Answer I Know

    What I do know for sure is that hope matters. One of the best things we can do is to hold hope for someone when that person cannot hold it for themselves.
    By Elea Kemler | 10/2/2019
  • Life Pushing Through

    If there’s anything sitting in silence has taught me, it’s that silence doesn’t actually exist. Every moment is full to the point of bursting with Reality, whether or not we notice it.
    By David Kohlmeier | 9/25/2019
  • Know When to Tango

    May I always remember that Tango, like life, is a dance of the people. It’s meant to be shared, not practiced in isolation.
    By Katie Romano Griffin | 9/18/2019
  • To Be Resilient

    There are so many spiritual lessons from the natural world and—in a season filled with Ingatherings and Water Communions—this is one for me: oxbow lakes as a beautiful combination of resiliency, strength, and flexibility.
    By Tim Atkins | 9/11/2019
  • Thriving Among the Thorns

    It was my inadvertent letting go that made this wild, interdependent beauty possible. And at that very moment, I knew I didn’t need that sort of control anymore.
    By Tomo Hillbo | 9/4/2019
  • Making Room at the Table

    When it comes to living our expansive, inclusive, anti-oppression faith, we fall short.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 6/19/2019
  • Even When...

    As a hospital chaplain, I often listen to painful stories. We call it compassionate presence, but I may be crying inside. When words fail, I pray and sing.
    By Yuri Yamamoto | 6/12/2019
  • Honk If You Love

    If justice is to be realized, our voices must speak loudly—even boisterously—of love.
    By Lindasusan Ulrich | 6/5/2019
  • Everyone for Everyone

    People of color—and other marginalized people—can’t just want things to be different. It has to be everyone wanting things to be different for everyone.
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 5/29/2019
  • Feeding Ourselves and Each Other

    The stone soup story isn’t about selfish people. It’s about people who thought they were powerless.
    By Liz James | 5/22/2019
  • Where the Real Growth Happens

    When we can gently hold things steady, change comes from within; that’s where the real growth happens.
    By Alix Klingenberg | 5/15/2019
  • Becoming Ourselves

    Who are you going to be, today? And tomorrow? Who are we all becoming, together?
    By Amanda Poppei | 5/8/2019
  • Indiscriminate Tastes

    It's hard to feel gratitude for something when you're focusing on what’s wrong with it.
    By Kat Liu | 5/1/2019
  • Inviting Our True Attention

    I call the tall bush on my back patio “Burning Bush” because in autumn its leaves are a fiery red. All winter long I overlooked three uninhabited nests inside of it. For months and months I could have perceived—but didn’t—what was in plain sight. ...
    By Karen G. Johnston | 4/24/2019
  • Brilliant Collisions

    We can’t always predict which choices will wind up having a huge impact on us, whether it's bringing home a stuffed animal or taking a particular train to Oxford Circus.
    By Lindasusan Ulrich | 4/17/2019
  • A Different Kind of Peace

    Sometimes people show up fully and be with me. And sometimes they cannot, even if they really care about me and want to help.
    By Misha Sanders | 4/10/2019
  • Try Again Tomorrow

    When I internalize cultural messages about the definitions of success or failure—or anything, really—I undermine my own sense of self-worth.
    By Helen Rose | 4/3/2019
  • Downrange of Mystery

    A haircut, a cup of coffee, or just an honest “How are you?” can be transformed into a powerful moment between two people living in a hard world.
    By Rebekah Savage | 3/27/2019
  • God Manifest

    I saw a woman surrounded by the pressures to conform to adulthood, being the adult she always wanted to be when she was a child. She was as God made her, not who everyone else wanted her to be.
    By Nathan Ryan | 3/20/2019
  • Another Human Miracle

    What could you accomplish this week if you knew you had a ground team wishing you well? Who are the other explorers around you, needing a word of encouragement that would mean so much coming from you?
    By Monica Dobbins | 3/13/2019
  • This Is What We Do Here

    Despite being warmly welcomed over and over by the greeters, by the family sitting behind me, and by the lead pastor, I couldn’t shake that “guest” feeling.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 3/6/2019
  • Trying Something Different

    Over the years, I’ve built up an impressive array of tools for meetings: I-statements, being assertive, and all of that stuff. What I could improve on, though, is knowing when to switch tools.
    By Liz James | 2/27/2019
  • Your Soul's Address

    It is deeply spiritual work to learn to treat ourselves with compassion; to learn to see ourselves, if only in moments, the same way we look at something or someone we find beautiful: a newborn baby, the ocean, a sunset.
    By Elea Kemler | 2/13/2019
  • Here. Now. You.

    Outside of the meditation hall, we plan for the future and think of the past. But so often we replay past regrets and worry about future events to the point where we’re no longer present in the present.
    By Kat Liu | 2/6/2019
  • Where the Action Is

    Love without justice is not love. Compassion without deeds is not compassion. Faith without action is not faith. And religion without politics is not religion. In my view, people of faith are not entitled to avoid politics for the sake of a short-lived spiritual high.
    By James Gertmenian | 1/30/2019
  • Finding Our Way Out

    Surrender is the last thing, often the only thing, available. And so we give ourselves to it. We fear it is our end. Sometimes—with grace or luck—we find it is our liberation.
    By Karen G. Johnston | 1/23/2019
  • Big Shoes to Fill

    Traditions and habits can be changed or broken and that’s not always bad. It doesn’t mean we didn’t learn or like what we did in the past, it just means that we moved on to something else and that’s okay too.
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 1/16/2019
  • Love's Hiding Place

    My soul nudged me from a hiding place to confess and to seek forgiveness, and only through the grace of the Great Mystery of Life unfolding around us did I receive the blessing of journeying with a beloved, grieving friend.
    By Rebekah Savage | 1/9/2019
  • Quitting

    Once I quit drinking, my inner voice and I began the harder work: that of creating a life from which I do not need or want to escape.
    By Alix Klingenberg | 1/2/2019
  • Too Much of Everything

    In real life, sometimes grief looms largest in December. Sometimes there's one too many dress-ups and the gold tulle makes your legs itch. “I just needed it to stop for a minute. Next time I will take calm breaths.”
    By Misha Sanders | 12/19/2018
  • Hope Is Currency

    There's nothing simple about the holidays. Joy can feel empty when it is compulsory. The promise of liberation is hard fought and well earned.
    By Alex Haider-Winnett | 12/12/2018
  • Radical Expectations

    Advent is about expectation—radical expectations that undo the status quo—and anticipation: a skillful search for the places where liberation rises from the ashes.
    By Robin Tanner | 12/5/2018
  • To Break Our Hearts Open

    What, exactly, are we doing when we invite love into our lives? Surely we know that it's much tidier without it, when things stay at a distance.
    By Amanda Poppei | 11/28/2018
  • A Cause for Thanksgiving?

    Something new could come out of this moment of discomfort; something like healing. This is our opportunity to reimagine what Thanksgiving could be — and who we could be.
    By Daniel Gregoire | 11/21/2018
  • The Kindness of Others

    A white woman pulled over and ran over to me with a shopping bag. She noticed that I never have on a coat and I often stand in the rain. She didn’t know if the things would fit, but the receipt was in the bag. She smiled and drove away. As I looked down at the bag, I had very...
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 11/14/2018
  • Love Does Not Disappear

    In the eighteen years I’ve served as minister of my small-town congregation, I have led 96 memorial services, most for people I have loved. The longer I stay, the deeper I love and the more I grieve.
    By Elea Kemler | 10/31/2018
  • Out of the Spiritual Fog

    God is not a distant force, far away. God is in the beating of our hearts and the backbeat of a funky baseline. God is in a four-on-the-floor drum fill, and in the achy joints and sore muscles the day after.
    By Alex Haider-Winnett | 10/24/2018
  • Worthy of Love

    What had to die was my shame: my belief that I was not worthy of such love. I discovered a greater love within myself as a creation of God, worthy of these gifts.
    By Rebekah Savage | 10/17/2018
  • Blessed Are the Magic-Makers

    We could see the main path to the swimming hole ahead, but we had to pick our way through sand spurs to get there. Behind us were rattlesnakes. What did the youth do? They started playing.
    By Teresa Honey Youngblood | 10/10/2018
  • The Storm

    Emotional tempests aren’t always easy to weather — pain, grief, disappointment, even love — but the flatness of life without such currents is the slow silence of drowning.
    By Lindasusan Ulrich | 10/3/2018

Pages

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