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Worship Resources for Tough Economic Times

These are difficult and unsettling economic times for many Unitarian Universalists (UUs), our communities, our nation, and our world. Yet money is still one of the great taboos, generally unaddressed in our sanctuaries except during the annual canvas and then only reluctantly. So how do we speak to the experience of these times? Can we find words that will help us to speak with and to one another as economic beings, inextricably bound with one another in this global economy? Can we talk about money without asking for it or decrying the unjust distribution of it, but as a fundamental and inescapable reality of our lives?

The call has gone out for resources—words that would be appropriate in our communal worship, our covenant groups, around our dining room tables, even in our private devotions. We will continue to add resources as they become available.

To Submit Materials: Email your submissions to the Worship and Music Resources Director at worshipweb @ uua.org. Make sure to include appropriate attribution and permission. Materials may be edited.

Service Elements (Opening Words, Chalice Lightings, etc.)

When all is quiet and we are small and the night is dark by Jane Ranney Rzepka, 1997 Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) Worship Materials Collection

Some of us are struggling with sorrow or grief by Jay Atkinson, 1997 UUMA Worship Materials Collection

With faith to face our fears by Gary Kowalski, 1997 UUMA Worship Materials Collection

Meditations and Prayers

On Being Scared by Jane Ranney Rzepka from Listening for Our Song: Collected Meditations, Volume Four. Margaret L. Beard, Editor (Skinner House, 2002)]

Thou who are the heart of of being by John H. Robinson, Jr., 1997 UUMA Worship Materials Collection; adapted CLW

Spirit of Kindness and Compassion by Nancee Campbell, 1997 UUMA Worship Materials Collection

A Prayer for Desert Times by Margaret A. Keip, 1997 UUMA Worship Materials Collection; altered

Sermons

Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? by Gary Kowalski, 2000 Stewardship Sermon Award Winner; originally delivered at The First UU Society of Burlington

Saving Souls by Joanne Giannino, 2006 Skinner Sermon Award Winner

A Not-So-Quiet Week in Lake Wobegon by Randolph Becker, 2005 Richard Borden and Paul Holton Awards for Sermonic Excellence Second-Place Winner

Keeping the Faith While Losing the Farm by Justin Osterman

If You Plant Ice, You're Gonna Harvest Wind by Peter Friedrichs; originally delivered at the UU Church of Delaware County on November 2, 2008

When Our Systems Fail by Kathleen McTigue, originally delivered at the Unitarian Society of New Haven on October 12, 2008

What To Do When Nothing Can Be Done? by Barbara J. Pescan, originally delivered at the Unitarian Church of Evanston on October 26, 2008

Be Not Afraid by Susan Maginn, originally delivered at Wy'east UU Congregation on January 4, 2009

Getting Through the Night by Rev. Mary Wellemeyer originally delivered at UU Church of Manchester on April 19, 2009

Op-Ed Pieces

[Please note that these resources have not been integrated into the WorshipWeb and, so, are not searchable here.]

What we need most is one another by Cynthia Caine

How do I protect myself in a failing economy? by Carol Cole-Lewis

Spend and Hold! by Sam Trumbore

Economic Breakdown by Charles J. Stephens

Resources for Families

[Please note that these resources have not been integrated into the WorshipWeb and, so, are not searchable here.]

Taking It Home (PDF): Families and Faith—Let's Talk About Time/Money Balance by Jacqueline Clement

Children, Democracy and Unitarian Universalist Faith by Tracey Hurd: a wonderful exploration of how to engage with children about the political—including economic—realities in which they, too, live

Note: The authors have given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

For more information contact worshipweb @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Monday, April 11, 2011.

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