Kristin Maier, author of A Good Telling: Bringing Worship to Life with Story (Skinner House Books, 2013) shares the first in a series of tips for good storytelling. Purchase A Good Telling at the UUA Bookstore.

Good stories are central to good worship. As a Time for All Ages, as part of a sermon, or as part of a multigenerational service, stories engage our hearts and minds and help us grow.

Stories from Other Unitarian Universalist (UU) Sources

Storytelling in Worship

✳ Pssst! Have you visited our Storytelling page? It's filled with tips, how-to's, and lots of resources!

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Displaying 21 - 40 of 156

  • The tree stood in the middle of the village. Its trunk was so large that it took six people holding hands to reach around it. The roots were strong and wide, and its branches spread out over the village square, offering shelter from the rain, or shade from the summer sun....
    Story | By Lynn Gardner | March 4, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Abundance, Canvass/Pledge, Caring, Commitment, Earth-Centered, Generosity, Humanism, Interdependence, Nature, Stewardship
  • an original retelling Daedalus was a brilliant inventor, and he had made a career, even a legend of himself for being able to create the seemingly impossible. So when he decided to escape from his tower prison by flying over the ocean like a bird, his son, Icarus, had no doubt he would do it. It...
    Story | By Erica Shadowsong | March 4, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Children, Conscience, Courage, Creativity, Freedom, Humility, Individualism, Parents, Searching
  • This story is great to be acted out by four women (of applicable ages for each direction) around a large bowl/vessel....
    Story | By Katie Sivani Gelfand | January 7, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Direct Experience, Earth-Centered, Generations, Imagination, Listening, Nature, Sacred, Spirituality, Unitarian Universalism, Water Communion, Women
  • This pageant was written by Rev. Tim Kutzmark and shaped over eighteen years by DREs, staff, and congregants at The Unitarian Universalist Church of Glen Allen, VA; The Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, MA; and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, CA....
    Script | By Tim Kutzmark | November 23, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Christmas Eve / Christmas
  • The dictionary defines soil as: “the upper layer of earth in which plants grow, or a black or dark brown material typically consisting of a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles.” But I like to think of soil as a community. There are three main mineral components of soil: clay,...
    Time for All Ages | By Ariel Aaronson-Eves | November 13, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Earth, Earth Day, Earth-Centered, Interdependence, Stewardship, Climate Justice
  • Rain falls upon the surface of the earth, and pulled by gravity each drop begins to flow downhill. Drop merges with drop, flowing together, into a trickle, a streamlet, a creek, a mighty river, flowing onward. Some of the water seeps down into the earth itself, as groundwater, or deep aquifers,...
    Time for All Ages | By Molly Housh Gordon, Jamila Batchelder | September 4, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Awe, Body, Direct Experience, Earth, Earth-Centered, Imagination, Nature, Playfulness, Science, Secular, Water Communion, Climate Justice
  • Think of where you feel safe and at peace. What’s the signal that tells you it’s okay to be at peace? (Ask for answers.) For people in the United States military, there’s a special signal that says “you’re okay, and you’re at peace.” It's a melody called "Taps," and it's only 24 notes...
    Time for All Ages | By Erika Hewitt, Paul S Sawyer | May 21, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: America, Death, History, Memorial Day, Military, Secular
  • Today I’m going to tell a story about a girl who was searching for a porpoise. Now, as you probably know, a porpoise is a sea mammal in the dolphin family. Porpoises are smaller and shyer than dolphins. They are more difficult to find, but porpoises are very important. Minister (or other Worship...
    Time for All Ages | By Chrissy Bushyager | May 6, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Beginnings, Caring, Commitment, Discernment, Environment, Identity, Living Our Faith, Meaning, Purpose, Responsibility
  • This Message for All Ages requires its leader to feel comfortable soliciting answers from the congregation—both children and adults—and then reframe or summarize each response for all to hear. Will you play a game of “Let’s Pretend” with me? It goes like this: You’re on a television game...
    Time for All Ages | By Erika Hewitt | May 2, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Abundance, Challenge, Choice, Ethics, Integrity
  • This is the story of a young girl named Amelia. Amelia was fascinated by tales of people with super powers, like Wonder Woman, or magic like Harry Potter. She yearned to have powers like that so she could help people. Like the boy she often saw sitting all alone at lunch, looking very sad....
    Story | By Gail Sphar | April 28, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Caring, Change, Community, Compassion, Courage, Environment, Inclusion, Kindness, Leadership, Strength
  • I want to tell you about my bicycle. The frame is a sparkly kind of blue and it has pink handlebar tape. And guess what color the wheels are? Lime green! I love my bicycle. Now suppose this was your bicycle. And suppose one day you biked to school and totally forgot to lock your bike when you got...
    Story | By Isabel Call | November 9, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), America, Anti-Oppression, Direct Experience, History, Indigenous American, Race/Ethnicity, Thanksgiving
  • Note: The Minister or Director of Education narrates this pageant with help from two youth leaders and three “guest stars.” The entire congregation participates as prompted. Congregants remain in their seats but there are three opportunities for children to join the leaders on the chancel. No...
    Script | By Norman Allen | October 6, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Christianity, Christmas Eve / Christmas, Tradition, Unitarian Universalism
  • Did you notice that in the story of Christmas there are lots of journeys? Mary and Joseph have to go on a journey. The shepherds have to go on a journey. And those angels must have gone on a journey to find the shepherds....
    Script | By Kathy Schmitz | October 5, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Children, Christmas Eve / Christmas, Direct Experience, Generations, Imagination, Journey, Relationships
  • All the great religions have their stories, and usually a special day that celebrates that story. Today is Easter. Easter and Christmas are the most special days for Christians: on Christmas we tell the story of Jesus being born in the manager; on Easter we tell a story about the end of Jesus’...
    Time for All Ages | By Sue Andrews | March 29, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Christianity, Easter
  • The Celebration begins with making “Brigid Butter,” which will be used on the bread that will be offered during Cakes and Ale. Ritual: Making "Brigid Butter" materials: Small, clean baby food jars Heavy whipping cream Cheesecloth Salt (various flavors) Small knives • Fill jars with heavy cream...
    Complete Service | By Martha Kirby Capo | March 15, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Earth, Earth-Centered, Imbolc / Brighid's Day / Candlemas, Nature, Winter
  • Once upon a time, a baby was born. Even before that baby was born, there were people waiting and wishing and hoping for that baby. The people who were waiting and wishing and hoping for that baby didn’t know exactly what that baby would be like. And so, they wondered: Would the baby have a smile...
    Time for All Ages | By Gwen Matthews | January 23, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Advent, Awe, Child Dedication, Children, Christmas Eve / Christmas, Family, Fathers, Generations, Humanism, Mothers, Parents, Secular, Tradition
  • This service was written by Rev. Clyde Grubbs and Mary Jane Holden, and adapted by Erika Hewitt. It uses readers—as many as ten, plus the Worship Leader—to tell the story of the Civil Rights movement as it unfolded over the course of a decade. This story was designed to be read while photos were...
    Script | By Clyde Grubbs, Mary Jane Holden, Erika Hewitt | January 4, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Activism, Anti-Oppression, Direct Experience, History, Humanism, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Multiculturalism, Race/Ethnicity, Secular, Solidarity
  • This message for all ages involves two people, one of whom will need to bring forward a broken mug, plate, or bowl. These two leaders might hold a private rehearsal so that, in worship, this feels natural and playful — and yet meaningful....
    Time for All Ages | By Jaelynn Pema-la Scott, Erika Hewitt | December 16, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 6th Principle (World Community), Beginnings, Brokenness, Community, Direct Experience, Healing, Humanism, Integrity, International, Living Our Faith, Love, Relationships, Responsibility, Secular, Trust
  • The Golden Chain: an Ife Creation Story Notes: There are many versions of this creation myth, most with the same elements. These adaptations by Erica Shadowsong include most of these common elements, additional ones found in the version cited in the story below. This story also uses a neo-pagan...
    Time for All Ages | By Erica Shadowsong | October 24, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Anti-Oppression, International, Multiculturalism, Race/Ethnicity
  • At sundown on Saturday, the Sabbath finally over, Mary Magdalene and the other women who loved Jesus began to prepare spices to pour over his body to honor him and say a final farewell. They were up all night, cooking and talking, and remembering his life....
    Story | By Mandie McGlynn | October 23, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Christianity, Communion (Christian), Easter, Tradition, Transformation