UUA News – November 1, 2023

Dear Friends,

Long before UU World magazine arrived digitally in our email inboxes, and in our Facebook newsfeeds, it had been in print in different forms connecting Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists to their wider faith community for more than two centuries. Its predecessors, the Universalist Magazine was founded in 1819 and the Unitarian Christian Register in 1821. This month’s Fall/Winter 2023 edition of UU World, now available in print and on UUWorld.org, is focused on a theme of sharing faithful stories of Unitarian Universalists today. As UUA President the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt notes in her column in this issue, “I truly believe that risking our stories teaches us something we could not have learned in any other way.”

This email newsletter offers highlights from the Fall/Winter issue, as well as some special digital-only features. Thanks to congregations’ contributions to the UUA Annual Program Fund, UU World is available for free to all membersof UU congregations.

With you on the journey,

Rachel

P.S. We continue to follow the conflict in Gaza and Israel with great care and concern. The UUA recently issued this statement and prior to that, Rev. Dr. Betancourt shared this pastoral message. We hold all those impacted by these tragic events in our hearts, and we continue to pray for peace.

 

Rachel Walden supports UUA Communications as senior manager for digital & marketing strategy. When she’s not brainstorming content with her colleagues, you’ll likely find her outside.
Image of Rachel Walden
 


 

 

Nancy Pierce: A Career In Focus

Nancy Pierce, a professional photographer and member of the UU Church of Charlotte, NC, has been employed by UU World to photograph every in-person General Assembly (GA) since 1993. Pierce retired in July and after her final GA 2023 photography assignment, she shared some reflections on her work and some memorable GA moments.
Watch the Video
On UUWorld.org, you’ll find a few sets of questions for reflection and guided discussion to consider as you explore the stories in this issue of spiritual journeys and practices, pathways for connecting with others, and actions for creating justice in the world.
Explore Reflection Questions
The Rev. Chris Long, minister of congregational life at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, LA shares a reflection on their faith journey, as part of a collection of such reflections in this issue’s lead story. Long writes, “For me, the power of my UU faith rests not only in what it teaches me about working to build more of the Beloved Community within and well beyond my life’s calling—it also asks that I work and live in the spirit of transformative love.”
Read “Finding Faith”
The Rev. Dr. Sheri Prud’homme, assistant professor of religion and education at Starr King School for the Ministry in Oakland, CA, offers a perspective on why UU congregations attract congregants during a period when other denominations are reporting membership declines: “I’ve heard other people say, ‘I love the ritual or the tradition of the faith I’ve been brought up in, but I don’t actually agree with the theology anymore.’ That’s a trade-off they have to make. Our theology is aligned with our values. People don’t have to trade one for the other.”
Read the Q & A
In “The World is a Better Place When Trans Lives are Uplifted,” Angelle Eve Castro shares her journey to full expression of her authentic self as a transgender woman. You can also find a story from Angelle’s mother as a companion piece on UUWorld.org. Both elements are excerpts from Authentic Selves: Celebrating Trans and Nonbinary People and Their Families (Skinner House, 2023).
Read “The World is a Better Place”
Earlier this year, UUA publishing imprint Skinner House Books celebrated the publication of Authentic Selves: Celebrating Trans and Nonbinary People and Their Families. This groundbreaking and visually stunning book shares the stories of trans and nonbinary people and their families in their own words. It includes stories from Unitarian Universalists and members of other faith communities, artists, activists, a Delaware State Senator, and many others.
Get Your Copy of Authentic Selves
In addition to individual journeys, the Fall/Winter issue also explores the journeys and the magic of co-creating worship in different UU congregations. In one reflection on this form of shared ministry, the Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry of Boulder Valley UU Fellowship in Lafayette, CO affirms, “I believe in creating a community that comes together to create and share meaning. Some of those conversations are the most beautiful conversations I have every month.”
Read “Liturgy of the People”
In “Liturgy of the People,” the Rev. Erika Hewitt, UUA Minister of Worship Arts, observes that one way worship planning models differ among UU congregations is related to “how fully lay people view themselves as empowered to shape the congregation’s worship life.” Rev. Hewitt has developed a new resource called, “Worship for Transformation,” a video series available through the UU Institute, for UU worship teams to watch together as they create services.
Explore “Worship for Transformation”
There is much to enjoy in this issue of UU World. We hope you will read and share the stories within and make use of the special features, as they were created with you in mind. In doing so, we hope you find a deeper connection to our UU community and perhaps find some inspiration for sharing the story of your own faith journey.
Access the Full Fall/Winter Issue