James Lord Pierpont and the mystery of 'Jingle Bells'
The debate over where the Unitarian wrote the holiday favorite rages on.
When it comes to science and religion, render unto Caesar
Students occasionally offered erroneous answers with absolute confidence, but this fellow had thrown down a gauntlet.
A moral divide
Can we reconcile moral certainties with Unitarian Universalist Principles?
A tree remembers
A children's book tells Anne Frank's story from the perspective of the tree outside her hiding place.
Charles Dickens and the notion of evil
Although his true villains are never redeemed, Dickens' novels demonstrate that good wins in the end.
Community news can nurture civic health
News organizations need to bridge the divide between journalism and the public.
Books to buy for Unitarian Universalists 2014
Gift ideas for Unitarian Universalists.
#YesAllWomen and the continuum of aggression
The brilliance of #YesAllWomen is that it sidesteps the objection 'Not all men are like that.'
Hearing others' stories reveals their humanity
We affirm women's dignity, yet UUs still wrestle with the systemic undercurrents of misogyny.
Meadville Lombard has transformed its approach to theological education.
Results of UU World's 2013 readership survey
UU World's readership survey also offers an updated profile of the UUA's membership.
Helping to tip the scales
UU Fellowship of Topeka’s decades of involvement on LGBT issues
We've bottled everything from water to religion.
Opportunities are always there
Thriving congregations have leaders who seize the opportunities before them.
Spiritual innovators: Into the beyond
Changing how we do church is scary, but not changing means decline and a lost opportunity.
The soundtrack of childhood cancer
Alastair Moock's songs for his 5-year-old with leukemia now help many other families, too.
What Haiti taught me
A week with the UU College of Social Justice and the Mouvman Peyizan Papay.
War zone sabbatical
I went to Afghanistan and Iraq to learn something about hope.
Sankofa Ghana: A spiritual journey home
What did I need to retrieve from a visit to the slave ships' point of departure?
Following my moral compass
We all navigate through circumstances at the limits of human experience.
St. Vincent, UU hipster?
St. Vincent performs in the Unitarian Universalist church she attended as a teen.
Steampunk's creative reinvention
In the place of the historical, Steampunk imagines an adventurous, equitable, even multicultural alternative.
Unitarian Universalist authors capture young adult imaginations
'I'm not trying to be dark. I'm trying to tell the stories that need to be told.'
Unitarian Charles Follen and the Christmas tree
A champion of religious freedom and the abolition of slavery is best known for Christmas trees.
Live better, help often, wonder more
The Sunday Assembly movement shares Unitarian Universalism's values, but has a lot more fun expressing them.
The only time I was called by my first name
When I was in the Army, the Sunday service was the only hour of my week when I could be my true and whole self.
A lie, or just editing?
How much can you alter a story before it’s not itself any more?
Demonizing your political opponents doesn't change anyone's mind, but empathy can.
Greta Gerwig, Unitarian Universalist film star
Greta Gerwig stars in the new black and white film 'Frances Ha,' which features the UU congregation she grew up in.
Is religion broken?
There’s a movement that attracts millions of people and encourages them to become their best selves—but it’s not a church.
Book to note: 'Muhammad: The Story of a Prophet and Reformer'
New book for children shares stories from the life of Islam's founder.
Resources for exploring your animal contradictions
An annotated guide to books and other resources.
Our animal contradictions
How Unitarian Universalism can help us sort out our place in the animal world.
Living your faith online
How do you use social media as part of your religious life?
Playing with fire on social media
Am I using social media in ways that affirm people's inherent worth and strengthen the interdependent web?
I'll stand her ground
What I'm telling my daughter, an African-American teenager, about Trayvon Martin's death.
The boys next door
To stop rape culture we need to start by talking to our boys.
My bloody closet
I found five tags that say "Made in Bangladesh," but I don't know what to do next.
Book to note: 'Mira and the Big Story'
A young girl learns to respect diverse traditions.
The moral arc reconsidered
Empirical evidence that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice.
The surprising success of lifeboat faith
Unitarian Universalism cannot thrive if we don’t at least understand the appeal of religions that give people identity and direction.
The spirituality of the body
People watch the Super Bowl for reasons not usually recognized as spiritual, though they are.
Speaking with many voices
True multiculturalism means being humble and brave enough to explore differences.
Seeing ourselves in 'The Hunger Games'
Dystopian novels have inspired UUs of all ages to think deeply about our society's values.
Engaging the 'nones'
The fastest growing religious group in America claims no religious connection.
UUA membership declines for fourth year
Over the past decade, 22 percent of congregations have shrunk by 20 percent or more.
Obama's religious roots
Despite his childhood exposure to Unitarian Universalism, Barack Obama found his religious home elsewhere.
We should be more countercultural
UUs should experience tension between our religious values and those of the secular world.
It is time for us to rethink our attitudes about weight and health.
Forrest Church's spiritual odyssey
Biography reveals moving model for spiritual growth.
If we don't invest in our youth, others will
Totalitarians put their resources into building youth programs. Pluralists don't.
What size are Unitarian Universalist congregations?
Most congregations have fewer than 100 members, but most UUs belong to larger churches.
Our shadow side
Unitarian Universalism is a religious movement that no longer takes religion seriously.
The threat of fundamentalism
Unitarian Universalists must boldly participate in the religious marketplace of ideas.
Faith in our future: The 2011 Minns Lectures
How can liberal religion speak and act transformatively in a rapidly changing society?
Faith takes practice
Our religious ancestors recognized each day as a chance to form their spiritual character.
Unitarian Universalists must learn to cross borders
Our challenge is to learn to reach beyond the confines of our personal social and cultural experience.
'Willing to be changed by what we've started'
Universalism resonates with people of all races, but our churches do not. Yet.
A spirit of fierce unrest
It is time for each congregation to find its greatness.
To avoid decline, Unitarian Universalism must risk offering heart, spirituality, and blessing.
Rob Bell's case for Universalism
Popular evangelical Rob Bell makes the case for universal salvation.
Marilyn Sewell's next calling
Retired minister speaks about the documentary film made about her.
'Unitarian Universalist' characters on the screen
What character in a film or TV show best demonstrates UU values, and why?
Unitarian Universalist congregations by state
Map showing number of UUA congregations by state and the relative number of congregations to each state's population.
After 9/11, can Unitarian Universalists talk about evil?
Despite religious liberals' uneasiness with the word, we have something important to say about evil.
The end of religion?
Is religion being 'driven toward extinction'?
Music to note, Fall 2011
Music with an environmental and UU sensibility.
Finca Esperanza Verde: 'What ecotourism should be'
An organic coffee farm and ecotourism lodge founded by a Unitarian Universalist couple is a model for just and sustainable tourism.
A nation of religious changelings
A fickle religious marketplace offers promise and peril for Unitarian Universalists.
Social media, 'the heretic's tool'
'If we do not embrace social media we're essentially putting a nail in our own coffin.'
What book should Unitarian Universalists take to the beach this summer?
Poem Attitude adjustment
Multiculturalism? Well and good. But don't stop there!
A faith for the few?
Unitarian Universalists are torn between pride in our elite history and aspirations to be a religion for all.
Great trees of life
We need old people to be our trees.
Nordic strands of our living tradition
The story of Icelandic, Norwegian, and Finnish Unitarians in North America.
My home, your home, our home
What can we do to help others feel at home?
Mi casa, tu casa, nuestra casa
¿Estamos dispuestos a incluir personas de diferentes culturas en nuestras congregaciones?
Heroes and mentors: Reclaiming Krypton
Why a generation that grew up with Buffy and the Power Rangers will demand a different Unitarian Universalism.
'Fist Stick Knife Gun' as a graphic novel
Geoffrey Canada's memoir adapted by artist Jamar Nicholas.
The gift of playing God
What if 'playing God' called to mind our liberal theological ideas rather than an all-powerful deity?
The partner church movement today
Almost 200 North American UU congregations have partner churches in other parts of the world.
Twenty years of the partner church movement
How partnerships between American and Transylvanian Unitarian Universalists transformed both.
Unitarian Universalist culture needs to embrace spiritual complexity
Our minds are open; our hearts and hands are not.
Unitarian Universalists need a change of vision, not of culture
There are people like us in every community.
I'm proud of Unitarian Universalist culture
That's my culture you have identified as the number-one barrier to diversity.
Let's take off the hair shirt
We underestimate the very real obstacles we are up against.
Unitarian Universalism's rarefied culture
I feel comfortable in a Unitarian church only because I am not ethnocentric.
What can we reasonably believe about an afterlife?
Where should we assign the burden of proof for ideas about the afterlife?
Unitarian Universalism's junior high factor
We were the kids who didn’t quite fit in.
What is Unitarian Universalist culture?
Is Unitarian Universalist congregational culture a barrier to a more diverse faith?
Unitarian Universalism's narrow niche
Six characteristics of Unitarian Universalist culture.
Buddhist fiction bibliography
A guide to contemporary and classic Buddhist fiction.
Sitting, with a good Buddhist novel
Telling stories could be one of the most 'present' things we could do.
A world that is all about you
The problem with ‘corporate personhood’ is what it’s doing to human personhood.
Unitarian Universalism must change
We must admit that Unitarian Universalism has a specific, sometimes alienating culture, and we must change it.
Can Unitarian Universalism change?
Our tradition has always been responsive to the needs of its time, but are we ready to adapt to our increasingly multicultural society?
Racial and ethnic diversity of Unitarian Universalists
The United States is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse faster than the UUA.
Waiting for a great novel about UU ministry
Contemporary authors have yet to plumb the true depths of Unitarian Universalist ministers' lives.
Photographic tour of Wright's Unity Temple
New book celebrates Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece for an Illinois Unitarian Universalist congregation.
Religion and science can be partners
An atheist sees a shared commitment to human advancement in science and in religion.
Merry Christmas, Garrison Keillor!
Just as Unitarian Universalists don't all pray from the same prayer book, we don't all sing from the same hymnal.
Forrest Church's Universalism
For Church, 'E pluribus unum' was a civic ideal and a religious insight.
Reach out to become a public church
A Unitarian Universalist church should see the greater good as its primary purpose.
Message or culture?
Is Unitarian Universalism about sharing a message or preserving a culture?
Unitarian Universalism in Africa
Unitarian Universalism is growing rapidly in Africa, uniting people from many tribes to serve the poor.
The promised land is under your feet
Communities owe their health to those with the fortitude to stay put.
Prayer for the people of Iran
An Iranian-American holds her breath as hundreds of thousands march for democracy in Iran.
Holding the center against sectarianism and secularity
Religious liberals reject the idea that a religion is a collection of beliefs that are either true or false.
Our inner ape
How deeply rooted is our Unitarian Universalist belief in peace and justice for all?
Working together to create common security
Sharing each other's burdens in a time of economic crisis.
A little of that human touch
Relationship insights from the Boss.
Reason for alarm
Books about reason in religion, environmentalism, and U.S. culture.
A broken hallelujah
Praise in the midst of a broken world and a broken heart?
The ghosts of Unitarian Christmas
'A Christmas Carol,' updated.
Can spirituality help at work?
Spirituality is packaged as if it's a pep pill for overworked managers.
A bench by the road
The author of 'Beloved' wrote her novel because there was 'no suitable memorial' to slaves.
Some Transcendentalists emphasized self-reliance, but others stressed social reform.
Three in a thousand identify as Unitarians
A new survey estimates that 0.3 percent of American adults identify as Unitarians.
The story of the 'Sources' cantata
Music celebrating the Six Sources of Unitarian Universalism.
Why I'm sticking with classics
My reasons for reading Hawthorne, Melville, and Dante are hardly noble.
Was your town a sundown town?
How to find out if your community intentionally excluded African Americans.
Forgotten story of America's whites-only towns
James Loewen documents the rise of 'sundown towns' and their enduring legacy.
Liberal religion and the working class
Unitarian Universalism has a class problem.
Drops of water turn a mill
Does the Internet Age augur a revival of liberal religion?
Louisa May Alcott's Unitarian legacy
Did 'Little Women' plant the seeds of my own Unitarian Universalism?
Help for anxious parents
The world is a dangerous place, but many parents are at risk of overprotecting their children.
Books address adoption's complications
Clear and honest writing about adopting a child.
Straight to Jesus
Inside the Evangelical gay-conversion movement.
We are what we eat
Michael Pollan's 'Omnivore's Dilemma' challenges our eating habits.
Five years of 9-11 articles
Selections from UU World's archives, 2001-2006.
American myths reconsidered
Five years after 9/11.
Sam Harris challenges liberal religious tolerance
Sam Harris has good news and bad news for Unitarian Universalists.
Secularism and tolerance after 9-11
Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Reza Aslan.
Unitarian minister's TV special celebrates 'American Creed'
The Rev. Forrest Church writes Hallmark Channel documentary.
Newbery winner reflects author's liberal faith
Thoughtful teen novel weaves in themes from various world religions.
UUA marks Welcoming program milestone
500th UU church completes Welcoming Congregation program.
The quest for the historical Mary Magdalene
The church fathers and 'The Da Vinci Code' both get Mary Magdalene wrong.
Church offers classes on science of evolution
Kansas UU church offers refresher biology course to public.
Counterculture and liberal religion
20th-century transformations of liberal religion.
The difference between peaceful and violent religions
What does it mean to talk about 'peaceful' or 'violent' religions?
Myths of terror in this year's Oscar nominees
In this year's best picture nominees.
Free speech doesn't justify incendiary speech
When religion is involved, hate speech kills.
Halloween's ritual roots
Even in its secular and commercial form, Halloween ritualizes our inescapable destination.
Competing worldviews of fundamentalists and religious liberals
Why fundamentalists fear liberal family values.
Two new books about the urge to mend
What can we do to help?
Students surveyed on spirituality
Study: Unitarian Universalist college students stand out for spiritual curiosity, volunteerism, social justice work, compassion, and respect for religious diversity.
Don't just say no
Abstinence-only programs hurt kids and society.
Making sense of the conservative worldview
Two recent books can help liberals understand the Christian right.
The spiritual in science fiction
A Unitarian Universalist take on science fiction and fantasy.
Podcasting helps spread UU message
Ministers use new technology to reach the masses.
The fear patrol
Unitarian Universalists offer insights into the cultural and personal sources of fear
The pages of sin
Greed, envy, gluttony, and lust reconsidered.
The wellspring of American nature writing
'Walden' remains uncannily 'addressed to our condition exactly,' 150 years after its publication.
Orthodox Jewish wisdom for religious liberals
Engaging my ancestral Judaism enriches my Unitarian Universalism.
Human origins and human futures
Looking back at Darwin and ahead at genetic engineering.
Visit to the Kasambala Medical Clinic
An American minister visits the African clinic his church supports.
The fundamentalist agenda
Fundamentalism may be absolutely natural, ancient, and powerful—but the liberal impulse makes us humane.
Science and its metaphors
How far does the authority of science go?
Religious dialogue in a divided world
The urgent need for Muslim dialogue and a Jew's quest to pray with Christians and Muslims.
How to be a cultural broker
Things you can to help refugees in your town.
The middle of everywhere
How Lincoln, Nebraska, came to be the picture of America's multicultural future.
Special issue: Life with terrorism
A guide to stories from UU World's special issue responding to the attacks of 9/11.
An urgent encounter with Islam
A reading list in the aftermath of 9/11.
What endures in a time of terror: A sermon from the week of 9/11.
A brief introduction to India's caste system
India's constitution outlawed castes in 1950, but millions are still treated as outcastes.
E.J. Graff asks what marriage is for
The author of a history of marriage says the time has come for same-sex marriage.
Book to note: 'Linus the Vegetarian T-Rex'
A girl who love dinosaurs meets a Tyrannosaurus Rex who defies expectations.
Book to note: 'Gobble, gobble'
Award-winning illustrator, a UU, depicts lives of wild turkeys.