The UU Common Read

A graphic illustration shows the head and shoulders of nine different adults in individual squares, as in an online meeting.

Even when we cannot gather in person, a Common Read can still bring us together.

The UU Common Read builds community in our congregations and our movement by giving diverse people a shared focus for reflection and action. A Common Read can take us on a powerful faith journey into what it means to be human and accountable in a pain-filled world.

Cover of Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism

Mistakes and Miracles

What lessons and inspiration can we find in Mistakes and Miracles to guide our striving for Beloved Community, today?

Common Read 2022-23: Mistakes and Miracles by Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin

Co-authors Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin—a white minister and a lay person of color—explored five UU congregations' journeys toward Beloved Community. In Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism (Skinner House Books, 2019), they shared the joy, disappointment, and growth these congregations found.

Today, UU congregations are grappling with a charge to dismantle white supremacy in ourselves, our communities, and our world. As we enter a Common Read of this book, many will welcome its report with a ready spirit to meet the urgent need for multiculturalism and antiracism work in our congregations and our movement.

Resources for Mistakes and Miracles

The UU Common Read discussion guide for Mistakes and Miracles offers a series of four 90-minute, online gatherings. Participants are guided to engage deeply with the stories of others in UU congregations who have chosen a faithful path toward Beloved Community and struggled along the way. The final session guides strategic planning to move forward toward antiracist, antioppressive, multicultural community, from wherever you are.

If you plan to facilitate this Common Read and/or promote the discussion series in your congregation, please start by reading the section, "Using This Guide."

Congregations may wish to prepare for this Common Read by watching a Zoom workshop, We Can Do This: Faith, Conflict, and Antiracism (Vimeo, 56:00), from the UUA General Assembly 2020 on-demand video library. The Mistakes and Miracles co-authors moderate a discussion based on the book with Unitarian Universalists Aisha Hauser, Jimmy Leung, Rev. Bill Sinkford, and Rev. Marta Valentín.

Read or Listen to Mistakes and Miracles

Mistakes and Miracles can be purchased from inSpirit: The UUA Book and Gift Shop. Discounts are available on orders of 10 or more books.

Skinner House is working on an audiobook edition of Mistakes and Miracles and will share it on this page when it is ready in mid-December. If you would like to be notified when the audiobook edition is available, or if you need the book in another format, please email UUA Publications Director Mary Benard at mbenard@uua.org.

Previous UU Common Read Selections

2021-22 Defund Fear by Zach Norris; UU Common Read resources

2020-21 Breathe by Imani Perry; UU Common Read resources

2019-20 An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Beacon Press, 2015) and An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese (Beacon Press, 2019); UU Common Read discussion guide (PDF, 37 pages)

2018-19 Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom; UU Common Read discussion guide (PDF, 34 pages)

2017-18 Centering (UU Common Read discussion guide (PDF, 28 pages)) and Daring Democracy (UU Common Read discussion guide (PDF, 31 pages))

2016-17 The Third Reconstruction by The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (UU Common Read discussion guide (PDF, 27 pages))

2015-16 Just Mercy

2014-15 Reclaiming Prophetic Witness

2013-14 Behind the Kitchen Door

2012-13 The New Jim Crow

2011-12 Acts of Faith

2010-11 The Death of Josseline