UUA Publications Update for June 2018
Mark D. Morrison-Reed, the preeminent scholar of black Unitarian Universalist history, presents this long-awaited chronicle and analysis of the events of the Empowerment Controversy, which rocked Unitarian Universalism in the late sixties and continues to reverberate. It was a time of revolution, of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Like the country, the young Unitarian Universalist Association was forced to reckon with demands for change and found itself fractured by conflict about the implications of a commitment to racial justice. Morrison-Reed synthesizes decades of research and extensive interviews to present a nuanced and suspense-filled drama about Unitarian Universalism’s great crisis of faith. As he writes, “Perhaps wisdom can be gleaned from the pain and upheaval of those years, a wisdom that will be of use today in a new era.” Revisiting the Empowerment Controversy is the last book in a historical arc Morrison-Reed has traced since the publication of Black Pioneers in a White Denomination.
Mark D. Morrison Reed is the author and editor of several other books, including Black Pioneers in a White Denomination, Darkening the Doorways: Black Trailblazers and Missed Opportunities in Unitarian Universalism, and The Selma Awakening: How the Civil Rights Movement Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism, all from Skinner House Books. He has served as co-minister of Unitarian Universalist congregations in Toronto and Rochester, New York, and as an affiliated faculty member at Meadville Lombard Theological School and the coordinator of the Sankofa Archive there.
In Love Like Thunder, the 2018 volume of the inSpirit series, a vibrant new poetic voice invites us into an intimate relationship with nature, God, and love itself. Jess Reynolds weeps in the desert at night, meditates on heart emojis, lets a river of love run wildly in their body, and together with their partner God goes to couples counseling to find their way. Jess Reynolds' lyric poetry flows like water between genders, between body and spirit, and between earth and sky.
Jess Reynolds is a Sacramento-based writer who has been involved in their local congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento, since they moved to the West Coast in 2015. Outside of writing, they enjoy choral singing, rock climbing, and swing dancing.
Other recent titles in the inSpirit Series:
To Wake, To Rise: Meditations on Justice and Resilience, edited by William G. Sinkford—An anthology of poems, prayers, and reflections about resisting oppression and keeping the faith in social action work.
Love Beyond God: Meditations by Adam Lawrence Dyer—This timely collection of poems explores faith, race, love, identity, and more, and invites us to think deeply about our place and role in contemporary society.
A Long Time Blooming: Meditations by Marta I. Valentín—The author reflects on the spiritual dimensions of her intersecting identities as a Latina, lesbian, feminist, God-praising Unitarian Universalist minister.
Visiting a congregation for the first time, or even the first few times, can be intimidating. Whether you are a Unitarian Universalist new to a particular congregation or a seeker curious about Unitarian Universalism, it can be hard to even know what your questions are about this religious community. What are the beliefs and customs here? Am I welcome? Will my family feel comfortable here? Is it alright to talk about my uncertainty here?
That's why many UU congregations have a pamphlet rack right in the front lobby, with short, accessible, and clear introductions to Unitarian Universalist beliefs and theology; statements of affirmation for people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and identities; and explanations of what you can expect to find in most UU communities. Check out these five new or newly revised pamphlets, all in our new design!
Belief and Belonging—A perfect introduction to our open, inclusive, and creedless community.
Death and Grieving—A thoughtful resource that addresses Unitarian Universalist beliefs about death and offers support to those looking for a faith community in their time of need.
The Faith of Unitarian Universalist Humanists—A collection of reflections from Unitarian Universalist Humanists on their beliefs, how Humanism calls them to be their best selves, and their unique position within UU communities.
To the Point—Quick! What's Unitarian Universalism? Here is a diverse collection of responses to that question.
UU Views of Evil—Unitarian Universalists reflect on evil, where it stems from in society and in the individual, and how to challenge its hold.
Announcements and Resources
Skinner House Events at GA 2018
Check out these great workshops and events related to titles from Skinner House Books at GA 2018 in Kansas City!
- Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry—Centering, Theology: Conversation about Faith, Race and Liberation, Thursday, June 21st at 3:00
- Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment—Called to the Intersections of Justice, Friday, June 22nd at 11:15
- Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry—”Centering” Learnings from Our Common Read, Saturday, June 23rd at 1:30
- Testimony: The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism—Testimony: Unitarian Universalism Transforms Lives!, Saturday, June 23rd at 1:30
June's Justice and Spirit Goodreads Book Club Pick!
June's Justice and Spirit Goodreads Book Club pick is Coming Out in Faith: Voices of LGBTQ Unitarian Universalists, edited by Keith Kron and Susan Gore. This collection of poignant testimonials illuminates the lived experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Unitarian Universalists. Coming Out in Faith also helps to raise awareness of Unitarian Universalism's active role in promoting a vision of humanity that not only embraces LGBTQ people but actively seeks to learn from the unique strengths they bring to questions of personal faith and organizational vitality.