Guest In Your Pulpit - Melanie Davis
Melanie Davis, PhD, CSC, CSE, CSES. Melanie’s worship services take listeners on journeys in words and music. She encourages self- examination and acceptance as well as spiritual growth. She provides opening and closing words, readings, sermons and hymns. A gifted singer, she leads hymns and performs preludes and musical interludes. Melanie is a lifelong UU and is a member of the UU Congregation of Somerset Hills. She is the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Our Whole Lives Program Associate, and she is in the UU Trauma Response Ministry. Melanie delivers professional development training and sexuality education consulting for teens and adults. Melanie is the author of Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Older Adults and Sexuality and Our Faith: A Companion to Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education Grades 7-9. She holds an MEd and PhD in Human Sexuality Education, and through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, she is a Certified Sexuality Counselor, Educator, and Educator Supervisor. She is co-president of the Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University. Learn more at Melanie Davis PhD.
Titles of programs/sermons and a brief statement of content on each:
- Coddliwomple! - The Old English word coddiwomple means “to travel purposefully toward an as-yet unknown direction,” much like this service. Sermon segments are threaded among up- tempo musical selections on themes of spiritual exploration and the call of the road.
- Searching for a Catalyst—What do you long for, and what inhibits you from accessing it? Learn how a search for truth and meaning can take you from a state of longing to a new state of being.
- Reconnecting with the Spirit of Life—When we reach a point of emotional and/or spiritual exhaustion, we cannot contribute meaningfully to efforts to end racism. This powerful service explores white privilege through white and African-American voices..
- Engaging Intimately with Death—A friend’s or loved one’s terminal illness can lead us to feel fear, discomfort, and anxiety. Learn how to move past personal concerns in order to engage with others from a place of vulnerability, humility, humor, and service.
- A UU Take on Faith & Miracles - Language can trigger emotional responses related to a listener’s spiritual journey. Faith and miracles are two hot- button words relevant to the lives and beliefs of religious liberals. Anecdotes and scientific facts build appreciation of these constructs from a non-theist perspective.
- Jaguars, Sugar Daddies and Lonely Hearts: Shattering Myths about Sexuality and Aging—Older age can be a rich and enjoyable life stage, yet stereotypes and misunderstandings may decrease older adults’ rights to sexual identity and sexual expression. This service promotes change through education and advocacy.
- Stop Fixing; Start Listening—When crisis strikes, our most important ministry is to help those in distress find inner reserves of strength. Learn about the UU Trauma Response Ministry and gain compassionate response techniques you can use with others in your life.
- Jumping Into Change—Are you listening to what calls you? Be inspired by the voices of people who changed course in mid-life. From new careers to trapeze lessons, each shift required reflection, courage, and a willingness to take a leap.
- The Abstract Art of Parenting—Our Second Principal can be expressed in the parenting of and caring for children, oneself, siblings, aging parents, the Earth and her creatures. This service illustrates ways we can parent with compassion, creativity, and commitment.
- Honoring Your Inherent Worth & Dignity—Unitarian Universalists covenant to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people but may neglect to affirm our own. Learn five ways to build self-esteem through affirming and realistic self-talk.
- Need a custom worship service or a soloist for a service, ceremony, or other special occasion? Inquiries welcome.
Availability: Within 100 miles of Somerville, NJ.
Contact: Email Melanie Davis at answers [at] melaniedavisphd [dot] com