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 music suggestions. A gifted singer, she also performs preludes and musical interludes with your accompanist or choir.

A lifelong UU, Melanie has a deep understanding of and commitment to our religious movement, plus 18 years of pulpit experience as a lay preacher. She is the UUA’s Our Whole Lives Program Manager, and is on the Board of the UU Trauma Response Ministry. She is a partner in the New Jersey Sexual Wellness Center. She trains human services professional and consults with organizations.

Melanie holds a BA in Mass Communications and an MEd and PhD in Human Sexuality Education. She is a Certified Sexuality Counselor and Educator, and Educator through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. 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 led to 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?
  • It Never Belonged to You Anyway—Attachment to things, people, beliefs, and the status quo is natural, even though it can interfere with our own peace and work toward a just society. How might we practice detachment for greater good?
  • Two Skunks Walked into a Barn...—What's the bets way to respond when faced with a worrisome situation, a challenge, or a hard decision? Might watchful waiting be the key?
  • Coddliwomple! - The Old English word coddiwomple means “to travel purposefully toward an as-yet unknown direction,” much like this service on themes of spiritual exploration and the call of the road.
  • Driving Toward the Tornado - The choice between the known and unknown, stability and chaos, isn't always clear. What's the secret to finding safety on the other side? This service shares learnings about bravery, fear, grief, resilience, joy, and renewal from my solo road trip around the US.

  • 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 near a point of emotional and/or spiritual exhaustion, white people may yearn for a brak from conversations about racism, but silence isn't an option for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. This powerful service explores white privilege through white and Black voices.
  • A UU Take on Faith & Miracles - Language triggers emotional responses related to a listener’s spiritual journey. Faith and miracles are two hot-button words for religious liberals, and htis service interweaves anecdotes and science to 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. Pre-recorded
  • Sexuality Through a UU Lens - Explore the UUA’s commitment to sexual justice and the Our Whole Lives program values of Self-Worth, Responsibility, Sexual Health, Justice and Inclusivity. This service is FREE to UU congregations. Pre-recorded.
  • 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 campaigns, each shift required reflection, and a willingness to take a leap.
  • The Abstract Art of Parenting—​Our Second Principle 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 Our 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.
  • 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. Santa-believer friendly.
  • Also available - online worship, including emergency pulpit supply, custom worship services, consulting for worship lay leaders, soloist for worship and celebrations, secular officiant and Prepare/Enrich counselor, workshops and online programming.

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

Contact: Email Melanie Davis at

Download her pdf flyer

About the Author

Melanie Davis

Melanie Davis PhD, CSC, CSE is the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Our Whole Lives Program Manager and is an all-levels Our Whole Lives trainer.

For more information contact .