22 January 2005

Online Unitarian Universalist Worship Planning Resources (based on an article written for my congregation's newsletter)

You've just found out that you're responsible for planning all or part of an upcoming worship service. You don't need to panic. Help may be just a mouse-click away.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has online worship planning resources for nearly every type of worship experience we have at All Souls ... intergenerational, children, youth, young adults, and general worship planning. Here's a listing of what you can find online to help you:

UUA WorshipWeb -- An online resource for ordained and lay worship leaders.

WORSHIP-L Email Discussion List -- Discussion on presenting good worship services -- This email list is ideal for Worship Committee Chairs and members, Directors of Religious Education, musicians, ministers and others with an interest in worship.

Worship Resources from "InterConnections" -- "InterConnections" is the magazine for UU lay leaders.

SW District Speakers Database -- A listing of speakers available to speak at UU churches in the Southwest District (a resource for planning when our minister is out of the pulpit).

"Faith Works" Archives (formerly know as the "REACH" Religious Educator archives) Go to "Faith Works" and search for "worship" (without quotes) to see what is available. Or you can browse the back issues of "Faith Works" and "REACH" for ideas for worship and other church activities.

"Blessings to All Beings: A Youth Spiritual Anthology" -- A resource for creating youth worship. This resource includes homilies, sermons, poems, and readings about and by youth. This can be valuable for planning youth-led Sunday Services as well. The link provided requires Adobe Acrobat to use it.

A Guide to Planning a Youth Sunday -- The following is presented as a guideline to putting together Youth Sunday services. While it addresses Youth Sunday services, the guidelines and checklist on this resource can also be used by adults and would be comforting to Myers-Brigs "J" personalities. The downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF version can be found here.

"Deep Fun: A Compendium of YRUU Games" -- An exciting combination of new and old games, divided into sections based on the "Five Steps of Building Community" used in UU youth ministry. Everything from the silly to the profound -- some of the activities here can be used in worship, adult RE, and other settings. The link provided above is an HTML resource. The downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF version can be found online here.

Young Adult Worship Archives -- Resources from congregations and UU young adult groups across the US and Canada.

Unitarian Universalist Contemporary Worship -- This site is designed as a resource for congregations seeking to design more contemporary worship services to attract young adults and others who are largely absent from our communities of faith.

Please keep in mind that age-specific resources provided for children, youth, young adults, and adults may be adaptable for other age ranges. It may be helpful to think outside the age-range "boxes" when planning a worship service.

These worship planning resources are provided to our congregation through the generous financial contributions that our congregation and other UU congregations make to the UUA each year.

These worship resources reflect the cooperative and interdependent spirit of Unitarian Universalism. They are freely available to all who need them.

[Note: this resource has been updated on 22 July 2005 to fix two broken links and to add a link for contemporary worship planning.]

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