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Beacon Press

Braver/Wiser: A Weekly Message of Courage and Compassion

  • By Rebekah Savage
    A haircut, a cup of coffee, or just an honest “How are you?” can be transformed into a powerful moment between two people living in a hard world.
  • By Nathan Ryan
    I saw a woman surrounded by the pressures to conform to adulthood, being the adult she always wanted to be when she was a child. She was as God made her, not who everyone else wanted her to be.
  • By Elea Kemler
    It is deeply spiritual work to learn to treat ourselves with compassion; to learn to see ourselves, if only in moments, the same way we look at something or someone we find beautiful: a newborn baby, the ocean, a sunset.
  • By Kat Liu
    Outside of the meditation hall, we plan for the future and think of the past. But so often we replay past regrets and worry about future events to the point where we’re no longer present in the present.
  • By Rayla D. Mattson
    Traditions and habits can be changed or broken and that’s not always bad. It doesn’t mean we didn’t learn or like what we did in the past, it just means that we moved on to something else and that’s okay too.
  • By Alix Klingenberg
    Once I quit drinking, my inner voice and I began the harder work: that of creating a life from which I do not need or want to escape.
  • By Alex Haider-Winnett
    God is not a distant force, far away. God is in the beating of our hearts and the backbeat of a funky baseline. God is in a four-on-the-floor drum fill, and in the achy joints and sore muscles the day after.
  • By Misha Sanders
    I trusted the woman at the pharmacy to be capable of hearing hard truth. Bless her wounded heart with its internalized misogyny. She just wants women to love and support each other. Thank you. Me too.
  • By Alex Haider-Winnett
    May we find unexpected ways to remember where we came from and imagine where we may go next. May we find touchstones of our pasts, and may they become a foundation for the future.
  • By Connie Simon
    Music is my solace and my comfort, the one thing that’s always with me. I feel its vibration deep in my soul; it’s my spiritual practice. Music tells the story of my life.
  • By Rayla D. Mattson
    My heart broke the day my son stood in the bathroom crying. He handed me a pair of scissors and told me to just cut it . I told him how beautiful his hair was and how sad I would be to see him cut it.
  • By Mandie McGlynn
    I’m not the same person who stood in that tattoo parlor eleven years ago. Still, I don’t for a minute regret being permanently marked with this snapshot in time, of my wounds and my hope.
  • By DeReau K. Farrar
    I wanted so badly to break free and let loose—but I just couldn't. I was stuck in my own false ideas of the congregation's expectations of me. Luckily, there’s still time.
  • By Lindasusan Ulrich
    Spirit of Compassion, help us draw strength from all that we are. Give us new language with which to claim our wholeness, a new litany of joy built out of words that wounded.
  • By Aisha Ansano
    Our souls and minds need sustenance as much as our physical bodies. May we delight in the ways we find to provide this nourishment to our whole selves.
  • By Erika A. Hewitt
    There we were, two strangers idling at the red light―but I felt seen, and blessed, by a stranger.

UU World

  • By Takiyah Nur Amin
    We need to stop banishing embodiment from our worship.
    Image credit: Painting: "Storming" by Ikahl Beckford, oil on canvas. A group of figures crowded and dancing or swaying
  • By Jess Reynolds
    The tides slowly wear away at the ragged and scraped edges where we tore ourselves out, and what is left behind is as smooth as breath.
    Image credit: illustration of shells, overlapping each other in an arc.
  • By Theresa I. Soto
    no one can rename you Other, it can’t stick, as you offer the gift of being and saying who you are.
    Image credit: Two transmasculine people sitting together and having a serious conversation
  • By Alison Oatman
    ‘Touch binds us together in a way that is warm and builds community.’
    Image credit: Rafael Cantón (right) leads a group hug with fellow congregants at the UU Church of Ventura, California.
  • By Kris Willcox
    Talking about how we hope to die can help avoid needless suffering for our loved ones as well as for ourselves.
  • By Lindasusan Ulrich
    Out of the blue, the 5-year-old turned to me and said matter-of-factly, ‘You’re fat.’
    Image credit: UUA Braver Wiser logo
  • By Mykal Slack
    In finding my true voice, I also found my true gender.
    Image credit: © Nancy Pierce

Worship Lab: Posts on Crafting Worship

  • By Erika A. Hewitt
    Failing to use a microphone is a form of exclusion. “When I’m excluded, I feel invisible. It’s as though I’m on the other side of a window from the room where almost everyone else is, and they don’t even notice that I’m stuck outside of their conversation.”
  • By Suzanne Fast
    In Unitarian Universalist worship, we march for justice and stand for causes all the time; we also see clearly, raise our voices, and hear...

WorshipWeb: Searchable Worship Collection

  • By Becky Laurent
    As flame is to spirit, so spirit is to breath, and breath to song.
  • By Cooper Garrett
    May we love our trues selves with the kindling of this flame.
  • By Dan Lambert
    Leader: Because the daily pressure of life weighs heavy on our minds, on our bodies, and on our spirits. ...
  • By Israel Buffardi
    Take a deep breath and try to find the restorative power of air and water in the breath.
  • By Sheri Prud'homme
    This ritual connects us to our history; to the earth and the cycle of life. The times we are living in call for new ways to lean into the depths of ancient ritual.
  • By Lisa Bovee-Kemper
    You are loved beyond measure. You are good, right, and beautiful. Your lives are more than the sum of the moment or moments that changed you.
  • By Mel Hoover, Rose Edington
    Water unites us. All water is one water, shape-shifting as it goes on and on in its unending cycle. The stream we gather by unites us with all the waters of the world, for all of life depends on water. ...
  • By Frederick Buechner
    Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you...
  • By William E. Swing
    “There’s a hunger beyond food that’s expressed in food, and that’s why feeding is always a kind of miracle. It speaks to a bigger desire.”...
  • By Karen G. Johnston
    Remembering to breathe and to breathe deeply and then once more, to take the breath in and let the breath out, we pause, poised as we are,...
  • By Elaine Kiziah
    May my wisest self guide me through this day. May she remind me to look through eyes of wonder and see the abundant beauty of Here and Now...
  • By Molly Brewer
    Spirit of Life and of Love, Holy One that reaches wide to encompass all beings, Hold us to Yourself in this moment. We come to this place...
  • By Barbara Rohde
    The Congregational minister stopped me in the aisle of the supermarket a few months after I had unexpectedly recovered from a serious...
  • By Kristen L. Harper
    I do not wish to breathe another breath if it is not shared with others. The breath of life is not mine alone. I brought myself to be with...
  • By Kris Cervantes
    Rest now, Rest in the peace of this moment. Be at ease. Look up at the stars, and down at the grass: Imagine the stars looking back at you...
  • By Erik Walker Wikstrom
    Here, today, in this place and with these people, May we listen so that we can hear; May we hear so that we can feel; May we feel so that...
  • By Lisa Bovee-Kemper
    May you be blessed with wisdom, knowledge and understanding. May you be guided by compassion, truth, justice and love. May you find rest on the journey, always remembering where you came from...
  • By Mary Howard
    When my 85-year-old parents moved into their retirement home five years ago, my Dad found a comfortable role schlepping mats, blocks, and...
  • By Kristin Kany
    Kristin Kany wrote this multi-voice poem in 2016 to be read by a group of "diverse moms." I am mother Mother 1: I am Mother Mother 2: I am...
  • By Misha Sanders
    In a sacred place of honor in the temple that is my home stands a gleaming, powerful image of The Venus of Willendorf, proud and naked, her...
  • By Rebecca Parker
    You have to know your body as the home of God And this is the purpose of Christmas. The rose blossoming in the wilderness is the unfolding...
  • By Anne Mason
    Spirit of Life, your very presence among us is what gives us connection. Help us to sense that beneath our feet is the strength we need to...
  • By Erica Baron
    May you know the spiritual thirst that keeps the soul searching, and gives the sweetness of new discovery to faithful followers of spiritual paths of all kinds.

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