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Worship Lab
Worship Lab
Worship Tips

Welcome to the WorshipLab

This space is where 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 bigger picture, as well as the practicalities of making worship come alive for as many people as possible.

  • 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

About the Author

  • Erika Hewitt is the UUA's Minister of Worship Arts and Editor of Braver/Wiser, a weekly spirituality series. In addition to serving the UUA half-time, Erika also serves as a Unitarian Universalist parish minister and wedding officiant in Maine.

For more information contact worshiplab@uua.org.

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