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Braver/Wiser: Courage and Compassion for Life as It Is
Braver/Wiser
Braver/Wiser
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Life is full of hard edges and complicated choices. Braver/Wiser gives you weekly message of courage and compassion for life as it is. Every Wednesday we deliver an original written reflection by a contemporary religious leader, and brief prayer, grounded in Unitarian Universalism. Join the Braver/Wiser community and sign up today!

 

  • Both the Burning and the Light

    About six months ago, I got a new tattoo. It’s a lit match on my right wrist, added to an arm full of paintbrushes, pens and other art supplies. As a minister, my tattoos are sometimes controversial, and I was a little nervous about what people would think about this addition....
    By Sean Parker Dennison | 2/1/2017
  • Love Is the Last Thing to Ration

    When I picked up her call, Kira’s voice was thick with tears. Kira, one of my best friends, is the mother of 4-year old twins, working full-time, and grieving a recent divorce—which means she’s also learning how to be a single parent. "I lost it tonight,” she confessed in a rush...
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 1/25/2017
  • Tiny Deaths

    We sat on the back steps watching transfixed as hundreds of rust-red spiders, big as thumbs, dropped on strands of silk out of the pecan tree in the backyard. It was exquisite, a great exodus of faith and instinct, leaping from one life and floating down to the next. But then,...
    By Teresa Honey Youngblood | 1/18/2017
  • Sticking It Out in the Storm

    .I want liberty and justice for all in my country. That will ask of me—and of many of you—the discipline of discomfort.
    By Jake Morrill | 1/11/2017
  • What Will You Do With This?

    This was not my plan for January 1st, 2017: disheveled, wearing a pair of pajamas, and with unbrushed teeth at the pediatric urgent care in New Jersey. Picture it: twin toddlers with a terrible cough and first-time moms. I spent the night wavering between panic and fatigue while...
    By Robin Tanner | 1/4/2017
  • All Our Relations

    I am ever grateful for the friends who are my family; who have pieced me together each time I’ve fallen apart; who laugh, cry, dream, and age happily by my side.
    By Marisol Caballero | 12/28/2016
  • The Craft of Winter Solstice

    Here we are on the cusp of the Winter Solstice, when the light comes back! To celebrate, I went to the discount store in search of inexpensive picture frames. I felt the urge to use what I have in the way of old photographs and glitter glue for some higher and greater purpose....
    By Daniel Gregoire | 12/21/2016
  • The Celebration in Front of Us

    Have you felt it? The hush that falls over a crowd after a wonderful performance, just before the applause bursts forth? The feeling of transcendence as thousands of voices rise together, filling a stadium with a favorite song? A rhythm that seems to sink bone-deep into people’s...
    By Sean Parker Dennison | 12/14/2016
  • When Merry Meets Mess

    I know a little about "merry" meeting "mess" at the holidays — and by a little I mean How much time have you got? Four Christmases ago, a painful break-up sent me spinning into a long tango with depression. Two Christmases ago, I came down with the stomach flu. Last year, as...
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 12/7/2016
  • Somebody Like That

    “Did that man just strap a gun to his belt?” My 10-year-old squinted, looking across the parking lot of the grocery co-op. I had seen it, too: a middle-aged white man had stepped out of his pick-up truck, taken out a black holster, and strapped it on, pulling his shirt down over...
    By Teresa Honey Youngblood | 11/30/2016
  • The Stubborn Gifts of Breath and Life

    May we give thanks always, believing that, even in the world’s bleakest moments, the dance of life is always underway.
    By Maureen Killoran | 11/23/2016
  • Hold On

    Holding on does not come easy to me. As a teenager who left home and bounced around, I am talented at escaping. I can evade like the best of them. I can avoid people who speak truth that’s packaged in less-than-pretty paper. I can leave when the words are ones I do not like. I...
    By Robin Tanner | 11/16/2016
  • What on Earth Is Worth Saving

    Those of us with some privilege in this empire may be tempted to seek refuge in it, as if privilege was ever going to save us. But who’s to say whether you’ve come to this place and position for a time such as this?
    By Jake Morrill | 11/9/2016
  • Help Us Never to Forget

    Help us to live in peace together and serve one another and to see the holy light in everyone, even when those holy lights are especially hard to see.
    By Daniel Gregoire | 11/2/2016
  • Universal Shorthand

    I have begun to pray recently. This may sound odd coming from a minister, but as much as I adore leading prayer in front of a congregation, on the state capitol steps, or at a patient’s bedside, I’ve always held a certain amount of shame that prayer isn't central to my spiritual...
    By Marisol Caballero | 10/26/2016
  • The Importance of Being Awkward

    Last Saturday, I strolled past a yard sale. Browsing a table piled high with Halloween costumes—feather boas, silly hats, and the like—I spotted a Rastafarian hat with black dreadlocks attached. When you’re white, as I am, you don’t always notice systemic racism. When you do, it...
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 10/19/2016
  • An Unlikely Teacher of Love

    He was, I am told, just a dog. But who was it that, fresh from the litter, climbed onto my chest, licked my face, and rubbed his pink baby nose against my cheek? Who chewed the edges of my only antique desk? Who hiked to the top of Multnomah Falls, snug and safe in my backpack?...
    By Maureen Killoran | 10/12/2016
  • Hope for the Heartbroken

    I'm sitting here broken-hearted. I could try to convince you that it’s about the state of the world with its tragedies, suffering, and seeming lack of compassion, but it’s not. I’m broken-hearted because a relationship that had swept me off my feet is over. I’m sad because...
    By Sean Parker Dennison | 10/5/2016
  • The Three Maries

    It took me 37 years to recognize that I had been cloistered off from the beauty, the richness, and the heartbreaking complexity of other people’s experiences.
    By Teresa Honey Youngblood | 9/28/2016
  • Our Whole Life Is a Series of Signs

    Our whole life is a series of signs. Any slight action: a dim semaphore. Our redemption, if it happens, will mean somebody tried.
    By Jake Morrill | 9/21/2016

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