Guest In Your Pulpit - Melanie Davis

Guest in Your Pulpit

Melanie Davis, PhD, CSC, CSE, CSES. Dr. Melanie Davis provides turnkey worship services that take listeners on spiritual journeys in words and music. She inspires self-reflection, self-acceptance, and spiritual growth. Melanie eases your worship planning by providing opening and closing words, readings, sermons and hymns. A gifted singer, she also performs preludes and musical interludes with your in-house accompanist or choir.

A lifelong UU, Melanie brings to your pulpit a deep understanding of and commitment to our religious movement, plus 15 years of lay speaker experience. She is the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) Our Whole Lives Program Manager, and author of Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Older Adults and the UU Views on Sex pamphlet. She is in the UU Trauma Response Ministry. She trains human services professionals through her firm Honest Exchange and is a partner in the New Jersey Sexual Wellness Center. She is co-president of the Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University.

Melanie holds a BA in Mass Communications and minor in Women’s Studies as well as an MEd and PhD in Human Sexuality Education. She is a Certified Sexuality Counselor, Sexuality Educator, and Educator Supervisor through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. She is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Society for Community Ministries. Learn more at Melanie Davis PhD.

Titles of programs/sermons and a brief statement of content on each:

  • Life Lessons in a Toolbox - Buying an older home has meant many repairs and opportunities to revive skills my father taught me long ago. Who taught you valuable lessons, and what were they? Which long-dormant wisdom or skills might be useful in a changing world?
  • Coddliwomple! - The Old English word coddiwomple means “to travel purposefully toward an as-yet unknown direction,” much like this service, which threads sermon segments through up-tempo music on themes of spiritual exploration and the call of the road.
  • Driving Toward the Tornado - We may be fearful when facing a choice between the known and unknown, or stability and possible chaos. What's the secret to finding safety on the other side? Using a road trip across the US as a framework, Dr. Davis will share her learnings about bravery, fear, grief, resilience, joy, and renewal.

  • 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.
  • Sexuality Through a UU Lens - This service addresses the UUA’s commitment to sexual justice and inclusivity and the Our Whole Lives sexuality education program’s values of Self-Worth, Responsibility, Sexual Health, Justice and Inclusivity. OWL is co-published by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. This service is FREE to UU congregations.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. This service is FREE to UU congregations.
  • 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 and a political campaign, 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.
  • 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.
  • Special Occasion Programs:
    • Ingathering - This service combines the traditional joining of waters from summer explorations with a look forward: What is each member’s commitment to your congregation’s mission in the coming year?
    • The Masks We Wear - This fall-themed service explores the masks we hide behind and the risks and benefits of being transparent with others. Adaptable for use year-round.
    • Little Gifts, Big Expectations - Often, the best gifts are not what we ask for. This lighthearted Christmas-themed service looks at gifts that didn’t match expectations but were perfect after all. Child friendly.
  • Need a custom worship service or a soloist for a service, ceremony, or other special occasion? Inquiries welcome. Also available, turnkey worship services for delivery by your minister or lay speakers.

Availability: Online and within 100 miles of Boonton Township, NJ.

Contact: Email Melanie Davis at answers@melaniedavisphd.com

Download her pdf flyer

About the Author

Melanie Davis

Melanie Davis is the UUA's OWL Program Manager and is an all-levels Our Whole Lives trainer. She is the author of Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Older Adults and Sexuality and Our Faith: Companion to Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Grades 7-9, 2nd ed. She was the developmental...

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