On Repentance and Repair UU Common Read Discussion Guides and Resources

A book cover for "On Repentance and Repair" on the left side and a photo of author Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, a white woman with straight brown hair and bangs, wearing glasses, on the right side.

The UU Common Read of On Repentance and Repair explores the writings of the 12th century Jewish physician and scholar, Maimonides. Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg offers a contemporary, lively interpretation of the ancient text, inviting people of any and all faiths toward accountability practices that can transform our relationships and help to make us whole.

Purchase the book from inSpirit, the UU Book and Gift Shop. The audiobook, narrated by Shelly Sheckell, is available from Libro.FM and other sources.

Discussion Materials: Three Workshops

The discussion materials for this UU Common Read invite participants to apply the book to their own experiences. The workshops explore repentance and repair in (1) interpersonal relationships, (2) communal spaces, such as our congregations, and (3) wider communities, such as nations, and systems we are part of. Using a small group ministry format, participants gather online or in person for one, two, or three workshops facilitated by religious professionals or lay leaders.

Please read the Introduction to Discussion Materials. It contains important guidance for planning, promoting, and facilitating these workshops.

Workshop 1 can be offered as two 75-minute gatherings—Part I and Part II—or by combining Parts I and II for a half-day Common Read.

UU groups are encouraged to do Workshop 1 first, then move on to Workshops 2 and 3 which will be available later in 2023.

Workshop 2 will have special appeal to congregational committees, boards or action groups already concerned with Right Relations or Social Justice in their faith communities.

Workshop 3 offers a deep dive into accountability and repair for Unitarian Universalists committed to justice work in a local, national, systemic, or global context.

Explore and Share Video Resources

Please preview the video resources for On Repentance and Repair as they become available. While promoting your Common Read group, invite participants to watch one or more before gathering. You can also schedule an additional Common Read meeting as a watch party.

Available Now

  • Homily: On Repentance and Repair (vimeo, 14:15) . The Rev. Alison Miller, Senior Minister at First Unitarian, Portland, OR, connects On Repentance and Repair with a Unitarian Universalist yearning for the social and personal transformations that can make ourselves more whole and the world better and more fair. This homily was offered to the UUs for Jewish Awareness (UUJA) Shabbat worship service at the 2023 General Assembly; the entire service can be viewed as a Facebook post (52:37).
  • Video. Pastor Libby Howe of the Wisconsin Council of Churches interviews the author, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, on Ash Wednesday, 2023. The two discuss connections between Christian belief and practice and Maimonides' framework for accountability (Facebook, 31 min.).
    Download and read a transcript of their conversation (Word), 9 pages).