II. Sample Order of Service
We recognize that each congregation has its own routine for Sunday morning gatherings, and we encourage you to use and modify the resources in this packet to fit your own congregation’s needs. For further inspiration leading up to UN Sunday keep an eye on the UN Sunday portion of our website: www.uua.org/unsunday. Note: It is important, especially in worship services, to hear the words of people who are most impacted by the topics at hand. All readings in this sample order of service were written by those who are youth, Indigenous, Black, or people of color.
Prelude: “Resilient” by Rising Appalachia
Welcome, Introductions, Announcements: Use this time to introduce UN Sunday and the UU@UN. Possibly have an Envoy introduce the service.
Call to Worship: “Earthquake” by Marta Valentin, or “When we pause to remember…” by Alicia Forde (from To Wake, To Rise), or this quote by Autumn Peltier: “One day I will be an ancestor, and I want my descendants to know I used my voice so they can have a future.”
Time for All Ages: Choose a book from the list in the UN Sunday RE section, or choose one of the suggested Time for All Ages Activities described below.
Joys and Concerns: (if your congregation normally has them)
Meditation/Prayer: Choose either “A Prayer of Sorrow” or “A Prayer of Healing” from the “Only One Earth,” a United Nations Environment Programme publication, or “History’s Road” by Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley and Clyde Grubbs
Meditative Hymn: “Meditation on Breathing” by Sarah Dan Jones
Sermon/Homily: This is where to go into further detail about climate justice. Some congregations choose to invite a guest speaker from a local organization related to the theme or local United Nations Association (UNA) Chapter, invite UU@UN staff to speak or have an Envoy or the Minister deliver a sermon about the UN Sunday theme.
Offering: The UU@UN is supported financially by individual, family, and congregational contributions. We suggest holding the offering after the sermon so people will be excited about supporting the UU@UN. (see below for sample language)
Offering Music: “Broken” by Xiuhtezcatl (share lyrics in the chat – found in YouTube video description)
Closing Hymn: “Somebody’s Hurting My Brother” from Poor People’s Campaign, or “The Tide is Rising” by Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman & Yotam Schachter (share lyrics in the chat – found in YouTube video description)
Chalice Extinguishing: “The Force of Truth” by Tet Gallardo
Postlude: “We March” by Oscar Stembridge (share lyrics in the chat – found in YouTube video description)
Suggested Time for All Ages activities
Use one of these stories as inspiration for the time for all ages. Draw issues of climate justice into the conversation and encourage all ages to think about their positive and negative impact on the planet, both personally and as part of larger systems.
Repairing Our Mistakes with Love by Jaelynn Pema-la Scott and Erika Hewitt
- Ask these questions also:
- How could we work to repair the harm we have caused the planet and those most affected by climate change?
- How do we show love when we work to repair a mistake?
Microbes and Planets by Carolyn Fisher
Collection to support the UU@UN
The UU@UN is supported financially by individual, family, and congregational contributions. Some congregations choose to dedicate their offering on UN Sunday to support our vital mission, while others choose to contribute in their annual budget. We invite you to decide the best way for you congregation to support the UU@UN. See below for sample language to introduce a collection during virtual worship. There is also an option for people to text “UNSunday” to 51555 to donate via mobile phone or give directly online at giving.uua.org/UUatUN.
Sample Language for a Collection to Support the UU@UN:
“Today’s collection is for the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations. The UU@UN has held a prominent place at the UN since 1962, advocating for UU values on the global stage. Within our lifelong quest for a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, the UU Office at the United Nations is one way that we are getting closer to that goal. By engaging every day with Member States and agencies and speaking out in defense of human rights for those who are oppressed, the UU Office at the United Nations’s advocacy made sexual orientation & gender identity human rights a priority throughout the United Nations system. Recently, the UU@UN has been instrumental in building coalitions with other faith-based and civil society organizations at the UN. At a time when nationalism is so dominant around the world, having our UU voice represented at the UN is more critical than ever, and the UU@UN relies on congregational and individual donations to continue its work.
We are hoping to become [or “to retain our status as”] one of a few Blue Ribbon Congregations that help to sustain this crucial work into the future. There is information in the chat box [or “displayed on screen”] with details on Supporter levels. To qualify as a Blue Ribbon Congregation, we need at least 15 individuals to become Supporters through a gift of $60 or more. Please consider a Supporter-level gift so that we can qualify [again] this year. You can also text UNSunday to 51555 to donate via mobile phone. I ask that you please be generous and consider the global impact your support of the UU@UN can have. Thank you so much.”
While reading the above aloud, paste the following in the chat or have it displayed on a screenshare:
Text UNSunday to 51555 to donate via mobile phone or give directly online at giving.uua.org/UUatUN.
Become a UU@UN Supporter at the following annual levels:
- $250.00 - Global Equality Supporter
- $150.00 - Family/Household Supporter
- $60.00 - Individual Supporter
- $30.00 - Retired/Student Supporter
To qualify for Blue Ribbon status, a congregation must have at least 5% of their members become Supporters (or 15 members for large congregations). Global Equality and Family/Household Supporters can qualify as two (2) people for Blue Ribbon purposes.