UU Principles and Disability: A Responsive Reading

As Unitarian Universalists, we believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. C: “Worth” takes endless forms. As we find more expressions of our worth, we grow richer as a church community. We believe in justice, equity and compassion in human relations. C: If we let rationalizations...

M Michael Daeschlein

We Are a Bridge

We celebrate our desires to stretch our wings towards where we wish to fly and soar free. And thus, we make a bridge. We affirm our commitment to remain connected to those who are still earth-bound and captive, remembering that a bridge may be a footpath or an umbrella. And thus, we offer a bridge.

L Leslie Takahashi

For Nothing Is Fixed

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever; the earth is always shifting

J James Baldwin

Our Journey Is to Transform

As Unitarian Universalists, our journey is to transform the big and the small, to transform ourselves, and to transform the world.

E Elizabeth Nguyen


When we feel overwhelmed, we gather to find a path, to find new ways forward.

D David Breeden

In Troubled Times

This resource can be read by a single reader, or responsively between a leader and the congregation. From the loneliness of troubled times, we come To discover that we are not alone. Into the dwelling place of togetherness, we come To collect remnants of hope....

S Stephen M Shick


One: We would go deeper. Many: We would become the selves we cannot even imagine today. One: We would become courageous. Many: We would grow to delight in congregations filled with different perspectives. One: We would know unutterable joy. Many: We would be filled with gratitude. One: May we go...

A Amanda Udis-Kessler

Hope Rises

Hope rises. It rises from the heart of life, here and now, beating with joy and sorrow. Hope longs. It longs for good to be affirmed, for justice and love to prevail, for suffering to be alleviated, and for life to flourish in peace. Hope remembers. It remembers the dreams of those who have gone...

J John A. Buehrens and Rebecca Parker

Words of Installation

First Reader: We come to you with our hopes and our fears. Will you lead us in building a welcoming religious community, tolerant and appreciative of our differences, loving and compassionate of heart, courageous and independent in spirit? Ministers: We will....

P Phyllis L. Hubbell


One: It may be the hardest thing we will ever do, Many: Caught up in our self-righteousness, honing our pain. One: The one who offended may not deserve forgiveness Many: And we are not obliged to offer it. One: Why, then, should we forgive? Many: Because we have all caused pain....

A Amanda Udis-Kessler

Do Not Be Afraid

When the angel Gabriel brought to Mary the news that she would give birth to a son, Luke records that “she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.” The angel said to Mary, [response:] Do not be afraid. When an angel appeared before the shepherds living...

A Andrew Millard

Try to Love the Questions Themselves

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them....

R Rainer Maria Rilke

Daring for Peace

As we are confronted by chaos, May we have the wisdom to believe in peace. Surrounded by voices of disagreement, May we have the audacity to speak for peace. Lured by the seduction of despair, May we have the courage to maintain a vision of possibility and peace.

M Maureen Killoran

The Hero Path

We have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god......

J Joseph Campbell

Listening Is an Act of the Heart

One: Listening is not an act of the ear, listening is an act of the heart. Many: In these times when so much speaks: outrage, anger, disillusionment. One: Rage is a constant cry. Derision has found his voice. The despair of the fair and faithful speaks fast and often. The whisper of despair grows...

L Leslie Takahashi

We Do Not Forget Our Innocence

As we move through life finding ourselves, always newly wise and newly foolish, we ask that our mistakes be small and not hurtful. We ask that as we gain experience we do not forget our innocence, for they are both part of the whole.

O Orlanda R Brugnola

We Need to Be Resurrected

One: Despair is sapping our spirits, damaging our souls, hurting our hearts. Many: We need to be resurrected into hope, faith, and trust. Today, may we be resurrected. One: Violence is shortening our lives and robbing us of our joy. Many: We need to be resurrected into peace and its many blessings.

A Amanda Udis-Kessler

Forms of Abundance

Leader: What is abundance? What do we call riches and bounty? Congregation: Abundance is all around us. L: That we are alive is priceless; that we are loved is beyond worth. C: That we love others in turn fills our souls. L: The gifts of food that Mother Earth provides from Her body, endlessly...

L Lorelei Greenwood-Jones

The Promise and the Practice: Lamentation for Two Voices

This Lamentation is for two voices: one white, and one person of color/indigenous (POCI). Both voices invite people to repeat a refrain several times: white voices say, “So much has been lost,” and voices of color say, “Beloved, you must not be defensive when you hear our hurt.” The latter,...

E Erika A. Hewitt and Rebekah Savage

All of Nature Is Sacred

Leader: For the love of all began with the world. Congregation: All of Nature is sacred. L: Every creature is a thinking, feeling being. C: We are blessed with wondrous variety. L: We are part of nature and of every being on the planet. What we do to one affects the many. C: In this web of...

L Lorelei Greenwood-Jones

Honoring Our Elders

We give thanks for your presence among us. You are living examples of courage and perseverance. We give thanks for the stories you have collected through the years. By sharing your stories, you help shape ours. We give thanks for the many tasks you have undertaken for the betterment of others. We...

E Elizabeth Stevens

Spring in all her green glory

Leader: Quick! Look about you! The snows of Winter are gone and the Earth has awoken once more! Congregation: Hail the Spring in all her green glory! L: The brave small flowers push up from the warming soil; birds return from their southerly homes; the first buds appear on the trees....

L Lorelei Greenwood-Jones

Animal Companionship Responsive Blessing

Leader: Ours is a world alive and aloud with the presence of creatures and critters. Animals abound, interwoven in our human lives and wholly independent. This is the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part....

K Karen G. Johnston

Reflection on Our Seven Principles

We, the member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: The inherent worth and dignity of every person. We promote the first and most honored principle of our Association by opening our pulpit to all....

M Michael E. Sallwasser

Together in a Sacred Space

Leader: In this sacred place, we need not be alone. We seek a listening ear, a warm heart, open arms. Congregation: In this sacred place, we join together against the waves of negativity and oppression in our world. L: We are a community of individual beings, living our own lives, yet coming...

L Lorelei Greenwood-Jones

We Labor in Love

One: On Labor Day we honor our work, physical and mental, paid and unpaid, joyous and heartbreaking. Many: We give thanks for work’s gifts, suffer its difficulties, and strive to make labor just and joyous for all. One: Our work can build our society, provide for our material needs, and give our...

A Amanda Udis-Kessler

We Bless These Animals We Love

Minister: Surrounded by the animals we love, we remember with gratitude the pets, protectors, and animal companions who have blessed our lives. People: We give thanks for our childhood pets, who taught us to love and to cry. We give thanks for our children's pets, who help us to teach them...

C Christine C. Robinson

#FOMO and #YOLO: A Responsive Reading for the 21st Century Church

Note: #FOMO means "Fear of Missing Out" and #YOLO means "You Only Live Once." These are accompanied by hashtags because their acronyms originated out of the Twitter-style writing (limited to 140 characters, with hashtags that connect you with other posts about the issue). Each #FOMO or #YOLO is...

S Scott McNeill

We Bear Witness

We people, gathered here today on the quest for truth and meaning, bear witness. We bear witness. To the record of human lives extinguished, simply because these people dared to live authentically, we bear witness. To the lives and reported deaths of (number) transgender people, globally, so far...

A Amy Brooks

At the start of the Religious Education year

ALL: We come together as a living church. WORSHIP LEADER: We come together from different places as unique individuals. Our paths and the ways of our going are diverse, yet we share our journey....

R Ruth E Gibson

This Sacred Thread

They once dwelled among us, the people of memory. They who knew us, they who taught us, They who hurt us, they who loved us. They touch our lives time and again, through their presence and their absence. Through familiar scents and favorite songs, Through old stories and renewed sorrow....

H Heather K Janules

Our Common Life Is Enriched

We are grateful for the gift of our lives and the gift of other people in our lives. Each of us is created with dignity and worth. We are called to love one another and to do nothing to others that we would find hateful to ourselves. We honor the many ways that people live and love....

We Answer the Call of Love

In the face of hate, We answer the call of love. In the face of exclusion, We answer the call of inclusion. In the face of homophobia, We answer the call of LGBTQ rights. In the face of racism, We answer of justice for all races. In the face of xenophobia, We answer the call of pluralism. In the...

J Julia Corbett-Hemeyer

Love Is Hard

Love is hard. Love for people, especially those who are different from you. Love that says “I see you as a person.” Love that says “let your unique light shine in the world” because each of our souls touches the divine mystery. Love that says “we’re on a journey together, and my fate is...

C Carey McDonald and Terasa Cooley

Cherish Your Doubts

Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the attendant of truth. Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery. A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error, for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief....

R Robert T Weston

Each Candle a Miracle

We light the Hanukkah candles in wonder, joy, and gratitude, each candle a miracle. When the Holy Temple was rededicated at the time of the Maccabean liberation battle, only one day’s worth of oil remained, yet it burned for eight days so we light candles in remembrance....

A Amanda Udis-Kessler

The Growing Darkness

As we move deeper into the season, There are some things we know. Fall brings a growing darkness That we cannot escape. The nights become cooler And take on winter’s chill. The leaves on the trees and blades of grass Try on new suits of yellow, orange, red and brown....

V Viola Abbitt

We Need a Religion

In a world with so much hatred and violence, We need a religion that proclaims the inherent worth and dignity of every person. In a world with so much brutality and fear, We need a religion that seeks justice, equity, and compassion in human relations . In a world with so many persons abused and...

S Scott Alexander

We Don't Know What Happened

Leader: We're not sure what happened. But, we know what it's like when someone appears whose message we feel offers hope, who inspires us with new ways of living....

D Daniel Budd

We Are Called to Pay Attention

Many: This morning* and all mornings, we are called to pay attention. One. We are called to pay attention to our individual lives, to our delights and pains. We are called to understand and cherish ourselves, to take good care of ourselves, to know ourselves as loving and worthy of love....

A Amanda Udis-Kessler

We Are Waiting (a reading for Advent)

When used as a responsive reading, "We are waiting" is the congregational response. This is the season of anticipation, Of expecting, of hoping, of wanting. This is the time of expecting the arrival of something--or someone. We are waiting. This is the time of living in darkness, in the hues of...

L Leslie Takahashi


One: Today, Pride Day, we affirm with joy that we are proud. Many: We are proud to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and questioning. One: We are proud to have survived and thrived despite challenges to our dignity, well-being, and sometimes even our lives. Many: We are proud to be...

A Amanda Udis-Kessler

May We Seek to Serve Life

Reader 1: We come today to gather together as Unitarian Universalists. Reader 2: We come today to join in the spirit of love and the service of life. Reader 3: We come today to be part of the stream of this living tradition. All: In our gathering, may we be blessed. Reader 1: Our shared faith is...

M Monica Jacobson-Tennessen