Lay Leading 

Our lay leaders are the volunteers who lead our worship services. A training session for new lay leaders is held at least once a year. If you are a member of the fellowship interested in becoming a lay leader, please contact us. This page includes online resources useful to lay leaders and worship planners. Our latest program calendar lists upcoming service topics along with speakers, lay leaders, musicians and storytellers who are scheduled for each Sunday.

Worship That Works

UUA’s WorshipWeb also includes material on UU worship theory, designing worship that works, and leading congregations. They also keep a list of the top ten things you can do to improve worship in your congregation.  

UUFF Lay Leader Guide

The lay leading guide includes general tips for lay leaders on what to do before and after the service. Print it and practice (or at least review) before the service. Add in your own notes and transitions. There should be a copy on the podium. This is a guide not a script. Feel free to edit or improvise and make it your own. Download as PDFWord

UU Best Practices for Sunday Services

UU Best Practices – A collection of “best practices” for common elements of Sunday UU services based on the thoughtful observations of Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd. Connie Barlow and her husband, Rev. Michael Dowd, have been travelling the U.S. and Canada since April 2002, presenting guest sermons and talks celebrating a sacred understanding of evolution (through mainstream science) in Unitarian Universalist and other churches. They’ve put this list of exemplary practices together based on their travels to over 150 UU congregations.

Chalice Lightings, Opening and Closing Words, Readings

UUA’s WorshipWeb includes a searchable collection of prayers, meditations, readings, and words to open or close your service. Entire services are also available.  See  Opening Words Meditations | Chalice Lightings | Closings | Readings

Global Chalice Lightings – Worship resources from the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU). Includes a monthly series of globabl chalice lightings (in many languages) as well as sermons and other program materials.

Just Google on “UU Meditations” – Try including your theme in the search term. Remember to credit whoever’s words you use, no matter where you find them!

Books of meditations by UU ministers are available from Beacon Press and Skinner House Books. We have a small library you can check out, or buy some new ones and donate them to the library if you wish.

UU Blogs

UUpdates.net – UUpdates.net is an RSS feed aggregator for all things UU on the Web including the personal and professional blogs of UU ministers and seminarians. (There’s also News for UUs and other Online Resources.) It’s easy to use even if you have never heard of an RSS whatyamacallit before. There’s a good filter to narrow down your search for inspiration. If you find sites you especially like, you can create a custom “My Sites” feed that shows you only headlines from those sites you’re interested in following. We use UUpdate.net to generate the UU News and UU Reflections headlines that appear in the sidebar on uuff.org.

Intergenerational Services

Intergenerational Worship Services – Creating effective intergenerational services can be tough. This site exists to provide information and resources to help you do it well, including scripts and other materials to download, organized by theme.

Church of the Larger Fellowship

Month of Sundays – Find “Sundays Online” from the Church-on-Loan program of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF). These are intended for small groups meeting where there are no UU services available. Each selection contains four, easy-to-use worship services. Services usually include a sermon by a leading Unitarian Universalist minister, opening words, a children’s story, meditation or prayer, closing words, and suggested discussion questions. In addition to the sample services available online, there are over 50 Month of Sundays notebooks available for borrowing by mail.

Quest Archives – The online edition of the monthly CLF magazine includes sermons and readings by different ministers on a seasonal or other themes. The archives go back to 1996.

Resources for Social Justice Programs

UUA Social Justice Statements – A complete listing of all social witness positions taken by the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly and UUA Board of Trustees since 1961. Browse actions by year or topic. For Study/Action Issues and Statements of Conscience that are currently in process, go to the Commission on Social Witness.

UUSC Materials – Download Guest and Your Table and UUSC Celebration Sunday materials. Find out about Action Alerts, read about UUSC programs and workcamps.

UUA Pamphlets

UUA Pamphlets – Great background reading and source of quotes and ideas. These are the UUA pamphlets you see when you come in the meeting hall. You can order them or read them in their entirety on the web. General topics include basic introductions to Unitarian Universalism, Children & Youth, Diversity, Faith of a… (Humanist, Theist, UU Buddhist), History Perspectives, UU Views of… (Evil, the Bible, the Church, God, Prayer). to read pamphlets online, look for the “To read this pamphlet click here” link on the UUA Bookstore order page for the pamphlet.

UU Faith Works

UU Faith Works. This Lifespan Learning clearinghouse publishes new online issues twice a year that include materials on Church Administration, Community Building, Curriculum and Learning Resources, Leadership Development, Social Justice, and Worship. Their mission is to share resources that inspire faith development, educate for religious identity, connect ethical and spiritual practices, and empower religious educators, ministers, and lay congregational leaders. The site includes old REACH packet archives.

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