Worship Lab
Worship Lab
Worship Tips

Welcome to the WorshipLab

In this space, we roll up our sleeves and get down to the business of crafting worship—which is about more than just choosing words. These posts are about the larger scope of worship, the practicalities of making worship come alive for as many people as possible, and other ways for worship leaders to get inspired.

  • Worship Resources for the Covid-19 Pandemic

    Sometimes circumstances call for special material—and the current pandemic is one such circumstance. We're grateful to the people here who have written and shared worship resources for worship in the time of Covid-19. ...
    3/26/2020
  • Videos for Online Worship

    In early April 2020, this page will include various videos that you can weave into your online and livestreamed worship services! Please visit this page again after April 6th.
    3/21/2020
  • Enriching Online Worship

    Our "Enriching Online Worship" will focus on ways to imbue our online gatherings with more authenticity, intimacy, and beauty for the anxious soul.
    3/18/2020
  • Quotations from the Wayside

    In 1919, Henry Hallam Saunderson, minister of the First Parish Church (Unitarian) of Brighton (MA), decided to create “wayside sermons,” liberal messages that would make people stop, read, and search their conscience.
    3/3/2020
  • Water Communion: Departing from Travelogues

    How might Unitarian Universalists acknowledge the sacred sources of people's water, in the annual Water Ceremony, without creating a parade of privilege and/or centering the ritual around an open mic?
    3/3/2020
  • A Tool Kit for Worship Leaders

    Vibrant, thriving congregations arise from a meaningful worship life—which is based on the presence & energy that its leaders bring to worship. In this post, we’ll explore practices and skills that empower worship leaders to strengthen and deepen worship. ...
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 2/26/2020
  • Hospitality for Guest Worship Leaders

    Worship planning is an act of hospitality. ...
    2/26/2020
  • Storytelling in Worship

    Stories are a powerful tool in worship, especially multigenerational worship.
    2/26/2020
  • Sermon Sparks

    Sermon sparks are brief teasers of sermons that have been written and delivered by Unitarian Universalist clergy. Their purpose is to inspire other ministers, or to prompt reflection for other religious leaders.
    2/26/2020
  • Making Room for Spirit in Worship

    One way to create room for Spirit as well as model shared ministry involves inviting voices from the congregation to read, spontaneously, segments from a reading such as opening words.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 8/1/2019
  • What Story Are You Telling?

    A worship leader who speaks only to the children during story time speaks only to the adults the rest of the time. If an element I've planned for worship deliberately excludes a portion of my congregation, that itself tells a story.
    By Becky Brooks | 2/15/2018
  • Give the DJ a Break, or: What Worship Leaders Wish You Knew

    In our congregations, how often do we assume that preachers, music directors, and other worship leaders are there to fulfill our personal preferences?
    By Erika A. Hewitt, Erica Baron | 1/10/2018
  • What You're Saying When You Say "I Don't Need a Mic"

    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 Erika A. Hewitt | 8/31/2017
  • 10 Things My Gym Taught Me about How to Be Welcoming in Worship

    Going to my gym for weight-training and Spinning classes taught how leaders can create a climate of acceptance, encouragement, and empowerment for newcomers.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 8/8/2017
  • What's the Big Deal about Embodied Imagery in Worship?

    In Unitarian Universalist worship, we march for justice and stand for causes all the time; we also see clearly, raise our voices, and hear the truth. We bless the hands that reach out, and the feet that follow the ways of righteousness. If we like something, chances are good...
    By Suzanne Fast | 5/29/2017
  • A Commitment to Multicultural Worship

    In every worship service at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, you’ll hear diverse voices, sources, and viewpoints. The congregation is committed to being a multicultural community, and honors that commitment in every service in a measurable, noticeable way: at least...
    By Christian Schmidt, Kristin Grassel Schmidt | 3/7/2017
  • Silence, Please (Or, How Worship Leaders Are Losing a Golden Opportunity)

    Experienced worship leaders will tell you that on some Sundays, our people arrive to worship in such extravert mode that their lively chatter fills the room, while on other mornings our people arrive subdued and reflective, and the worship space feels heavy with anticipation. We...
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 2/9/2017

For more information contact worshiplab@uua.org.

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