UUA Publications Update for June 2019
Change is a fact of congregational life. Ministers and lay leaders are called not only to inspire congregants in times of change but also to be successful change agents themselves. Congregations need to be able to respond to and be intentional about times of momentous change in order to thrive. In The Spirit That Moves, editor Barbara Child has collected a wealth of worship materials, ranging from prayers, responsive readings, and chalice lightings to personal reflections, rituals, and more, to help you and your congregation turn transition into transformation. The collected resources—all from contributors with extensive experience navigating and leading significant change in their own congregations—address change in general, change as a result of circumstances out of a congregation's control, ministerial and other leadership transitions, intentional change such as congregational growth and moving to a new church building, and culture change.
Barbara Child is an accredited interim minister, retired from full-time ministry in 2010. She continues to serve congregations as short-term consultant and continues to serve ministers as mentor. She serves on the Board of the UU Retired Ministers and Partners Association. With Keith Kron, she edited In the Interim: Strategies for Interim Ministers and Congregations. She lives in a log cabin in the woods in Brown County, Indiana. Her memoir, Memories of a Vietnam Veteran: What I Have Remembered and What He Could Not Forget was published in 2019.
At once deeply compassionate and spiritually empowering, this collection of inspirational poetry provides pastoral care and an encouragement for authentic living. In this 2019 volume of the inSpirit Series, one of the most creative voices in Unitarian Universalism today tends to our souls and emboldens us to become our truest selves. Rev. Soto’s poems of hope and resilience validate our identities and our humanity—especially for those of us marginalized by mainstream culture.
Rev. Theresa I. Soto is a Unitarian Universalist minister and activist. They have enjoyed interim ministry and chaplaincy with veterans. Soto lives in Ashland, Oregon, with their partner, Rev. Sean Parker Dennison.
Other recent titles in the inSpirit Series:
Love Like Thunder: Meditations by Jess Reynolds─A vibrant new poetic voice invites us into an intimate relationship with nature, God, and love itself. Reynolds’ lyric poetry flows like water between genders, between body and spirit, and between earth and sky.
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.
Help children cultivate a practice of gratitude and a sense of wonder for the world around them with Goodness Gracious: A Gratitude Book for Children. Meaningful, sweet, and sometimes downright silly, Kathleen A. Green’s thankful thoughts, her kid-friendly term for expressions of gratitude, help children say thank you for all aspects of their lives, from the earth and their families to their pets, teachers, and even mac and cheese! Ages 3–8.
Kathleen A. Green is a Unitarian Universalist minister and doctoral candidate at New York Theological Seminary. She has served congregations in Illinois, Wisconsin, California, and New Jersey. She currently sits on the board of the Yale Humanist Community.
Lori McElrath Eslick has received the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s Best Illustration Magazine Merit Award twice. Her art for Da Wei’s Treasure won the Parent’s Choice Award, and Read for Me, Mama, which she illustrated, has been named the “Best Read Aloud Story” by the International Reading Association. She has illustrated more than twenty-two books. More of her art can be seen at EslickART.com.
As theme-based ministry continues to increase in popularity in Unitarian Universalist congregations across the continent, the need for programmatic resources has grown as well. Now Sparks of Wonder presents this omnibus collection of services, readings, songs, and programs for all aspects of church life, related to five evocative themes: Humility, Journey, Chaos, Power, and God. Within each theme are ready-to-use resources for eleven key aspects of congregational life, including theological reflection, a worship service, spiritual practice, social ethics, readings, reflection questions, ideas for engaging with the theme at home, and more.
Helpful guides at the back of the book offer creative suggestions for using these resources in small groups, worship services, social justice activities, youth groups, and religious education programs. Sparks of Wonder provides everything you need to explore rich themes in all facets of your congregation, helping you dive deeply as a community into both spiritual reflection and social action.
Becky Brooks is a former director of religious education with more than fifteen years’ experience in faith development work. She has served on the leadership teams of local and continental religious educators’ organizations, including a three-year term on the Liberal Religious Educators Association Board.
Erika Hewitt is the UUA’s minister of worship arts and editor of Braver/Wiser, a weekly spirituality series. She also serves as a parish minister in Damariscotta, Maine. She is the author of The Shared Pulpit: A Sermon Seminar for Lay People and Story, Song and Spirit: Fun and Creative Worship Services for All Ages.
Announcements and Resources
Skinner House Events at General Assembly 2019
Check out these great workshops and events related to titles from Skinner House Books at GA 2019 in Spokane!
- After the Good News: Progressive Faith Beyond Optimism by Nancy McDonald Ladd—Liberal Religion Beyond Optimism, Thursday, June 20th at 1:30
- The Interfaith Family Journal by Susan Katz Miller—Story Slam! Our Complex Identities, Thursday, June 20th at 3:00
- Encounters: Poems about Race, Ethnicity, and Identity, edited by Paula Cole Jones —Sophia Fahs Lecture: Building a Community of Communities, Thursday, June 20th at 4:30
- Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism by Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin—The Power of Our Stories: Creating Multicultural Congregations, Thursday, June 20th at 4:30
- Spilling the Light: Meditations on Hope and Resilience by Theresa I. Soto—Ability, Gender, and Race and Class: We Rise, Thursday, June 20th at 4:30
- Upcycle Your Congregation: Creative Ideas for Transforming Faith Communities, edited by Sarah Lammert—Upcycle Your Congregation, Saturday, June 22nd at 1:30
June's Justice and Spirit Goodreads Book Club Pick!
June's Justice and Spirit Goodreads Book Club pick is A Queer History of the United States For Young People by Michael Bronski and adapted by Richie Chevat (Beacon Press). It is crucial for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth to know their history. But this history is not easy to find since it’s rarely taught in schools or commemorated in other ways. A Queer History of the United States for Young People corrects this and demonstrates that LGBTQ people have long been vital to shaping our understanding of what America is today. Through engrossing narratives, letters, drawings, poems, and more, the book encourages young readers of all identities to feel pride at the accomplishments of the LGBTQ people who came before them and to use history as a guide to the future.