UUA Publications Update for April 2018
Edited by Erik Walker Wikstrom
An eclectic mix of contributors share their reflections about spiritual practices in their everyday lives. Each of them describes their practice and the ways it opens them up to their hearts and souls. From chopping vegetables to creatively arranging action figures, from taking long walks to playing roller derby, these practices demonstrate the wide range of ways that we can be spiritual, and provide models for those seeking a practice of their own.
Erik Walker Wikstrom is the Lead Minister at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of several books and curricula, including Serving With Grace: Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice and Simply Pray: A Modern Spiritual Practice to Deepen Your Life.
Edited by Sarah Lammert
Enhancing the quality of congregational life doesn’t always require huge outlays of time and treasure. There are many ways we can “upcycle” the things we already do in our churches, with resources we already have. These nine engaging essays from Unitarian Universalist leaders in the field show creative ways to transform the main ingredients of our congregations into something relevant, innovative, and new.
“These authors are people like you—real-life congregational and religious leaders who have found a way to make new wine from old wineskins, attracting new growth and vitality where things had gotten a little dim and dusty. In one case, it was as simple as flipping worship and coffee hour—inviting people to attend coffee hour as the main event on Sunday. In another example, new vitality came when the leaders became laser-focused on a mission and started telling a new story about themselves that made them the heroes of their own story rather than bystanders helpless to effect change.
You don’t have to start from scratch to bring vitality to your congregation. You don’t have to take it all on at once. There are simple yet profound ways you can use the riches you already have around you to create fun, relevance, vitality, and beauty in your religious community.”
—from the Introduction by Sarah Lammert
Sarah Lammert has served congregations in California, Utah, and New Jersey and currently serves at the Unitarian Universalist Association as the Co-Director of Ministries and Faith Development along with her colleague Jessica York.
Bruce T. Marshall
A Unitarian Universalist minister and chaplain at a large senior residence community leads us on a journey through the stories and experiences of elders. Drawing on scores of personal interviews, this straightforward yet introspective volume provides a felt sense, grounded in real-life accounts, of the challenges and blessings of aging. Unlike many books on the topic, In Later Years: focuses particularly on older seniors—those in their late seventies, eighties, and nineties. Interviewees thoughtfully share about their joys, regrets, accomplishments, and things left unfinished, while also considering the ways they cope with diminishing physical and mental abilities. The book also serves as an invaluable resource for family members and caregivers, suggesting ways to help, ways to connect, and ways to understand the issues that attend growing old. Detailed appendices provide tips and a simple curriculum for gathering and facilitating group discussions.
Bruce T. Marshall is a writer and minister who has served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Maryland. He is now a chaplain at Riderwood Village, a retirement community in Maryland. His previous books include A Holy Curiosity: Stories of a Liberal Religious Faith and Taking Pictures of God.
Edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom
**The Goodreads Justice and Spirit UU Book Club Pick for April!**
This highly anticipated anthology presents a powerful and penetrating look at environmental justice from some of the key thinkers and activists in Unitarian Universalism today. Fourteen activist ministers and lay leaders apply a keen intersectional analysis to the environmental crisis, revealing ways that capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and other systems of oppression intersect with and contribute to ecological devastation. They also explore how spiritual practices, congregational organizing, and progressive theology can inform faith-based justice work in the twenty-first century. These prophetic voices, from a wide range of perspectives, reveal new approaches and opportunities for more holistic, accountable, and connected justice efforts. Each essay is accompanied by suggested ways to take the next steps for further learning and action.
Manish Mishra-Marzetti serves as senior minister of The First Parish in Lincoln, Massachusetts, a dual Unitarian Universalist Association and United Church of Christ member congregation. He has served extensively in UU leadership, including in his current role as a member of the UUA Board of Trustees.
Jennifer Nordstrom is the senior minister of the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee. The founder of the Unitarian Universalist Young Adults for Climate Justice, she is deeply committed to co-creating faith-based movements for climate and environmental justice.
Announcements and Resources
Let's Talk Books!
Life never stops sending new spiritual challenges our way. How do we, as individuals and communities, search for truth and meaning, strive for justice and action, navigate our spiritual journeys, and live out our values? Justice and Spirit: The Unitarian Universalist Book Club on Goodreads is a place where all who are interested in spirituality, religion, and social justice, can discuss books that relate to these crucial questions. The book club will host a discussion about a new book every month with thoughtful questions and additional resources. Sponsored by Skinner House Books and Beacon Press. Join the conversation on Goodreads.
Call for Submissions: 2019 inSpirit Title
Skinner House Books invites members of UU communities to submit proposals for the 2019 inSpirit title. The inSpirit Series was previously known as the Meditation Manual Series. Meditations can be prose or poetry, humorous and personal or formal and liturgical. The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2018. (Extended from April 1, 2018!) More details are available here.
Recommended Aging Resources
A Faith Home for Elders and Caregivers—A warm welcome from Unitarian Universalist congregations to elders and caregivers. (pamphlet)
In Later Years: Finding Meaning and Spirit in Aging—A Unitarian Universalist minister and chaplain explores questions of meaning and spirituality in aging through the stories and experiences of elders.
Landscapes of Aging and Spirituality—In 19 lovely essays, elders reflect on the experience of aging and how it intersects with their spiritual lives. These heartfelt ruminations are alternately tender and frank, funny and wistful.
The Seasoned Soul: Reflections on Growing Older—These elegant essays reflect on aging, using wise and inspiring quotations from many cultures and religious traditions
Where Two Worlds Touch: A Spiritual Journey Through Alzheimer’s Disease—A spiritual memoir and a pastoral guide for those who love someone with Alzheimer's.