Best-selling books at General Assembly

The following books were top sellers at General Assembly 2014 held in June in Providence, R.I. All are available at the Unitarian Universalist Association Bookstore.


Small group ministry resources from the UUA Bookstore

Five resources are available from the UUA Bookstore for small group ministry programs and other spiritual sharing groups:

  • Soul to Soul, a 174-page book published in 2011, is the second collection of small group offerings by Christine Robinson and Alicia Hawkins. From the bookstore website: “Covering wide-ranging topics such as addiction, grieving, and personal resilience, Soul to Soul offers new opportunities to explore life issues with others.” $14.
  • The Pen and the Bell, published in 2012, is available as an eBook and includes both meditative and writing exercises. “The Pen and the Bell is about how to achieve mindfulness and creative fulfillment in spite of long to-do lists. It’s about gaining access to our deeper selves in the workaday world, and bringing forth this authentic self in our writing.” $15.
  • The Sustainable Soul by Rebecca James Hecking, was published in 2011. It is a “guide for a journey toward ecological spirituality and sustainable culture,” according to the website description. It includes guided meditations, art projects, and ideas for actions. $14.

A comprehensive list of small group ministry resources, including information on how to form such programs within congregations, can be found at the website of The UU Small Group Ministry Network.

New fundraising, governance books available

The UUA Bookstore has two new books on fundraising and two on governing board practices.

  • Asking, by Jerold Panas, is billed as “a 59-minute guide to everything board members, volunteers, and staff must know to secure the gift.” Chapter headings include “Donors Give to the Magic of an Idea” and “It’s Amazing What You Don’t Raise When You Don’t Ask.”

All four books are $24.95 each.

Making room for introverts

A good leader makes room for introverts to be heard, the Rev. Renee Ruchotzke reminds. In a recent post on the UUA blog Growing Vital Leaders, in an essay titled “Making Space for the Quiet Voices,” she argues for making sure that everyone in a meeting is invited to speak.

She writes, “I’ve learned from experience that some of the best ideas and reflections come from the introverts or the people who might be at the margins of the conversation because of age or culture.”

The blog entry also includes a brief video from the Rev. Erik Walker Wikstrom, author of the book Serving With Grace: Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice. In the video, Wikstrom advises leaders to speak last:

If you are usually one of the first ones to speak make it a discipline to hold your tongue for a while. Hold back. Let others talk first. Nine times out of ten you’ll find your really good ideas coming out of other people’s mouths. Since this really isn’t about showing how smart you are, is it, but about furthering the work of the church in a way that also deepens your spiritual life, you can rejoice that the important ideas got out there and you got to practice humility. And of course if anything has been unsaid, you can say it at the end.


Discussion guide for New Jim Crow ready

A discussion guide for The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, selected as the 2012–2013 Unitarian Universalist Association Common Read, is now available. Created by UUA staff, the guide is intended to help groups reflect on the book and consider how to respond to author Michelle Alexander’s call for awareness and action. The discussion guide is adaptable for congregational, cluster, or district programming for adults of all ages. Two formats are offered: A single 90-minute session and three 90-minute sessions. Download a free copy.

The UUA Bookstore is supporting this Common Read with a 10 percent discount on orders of 5–9 books and 20 percent off of orders of 10 or more books. The New Jim Crow is also available online as an e-book and in public libraries.

New Skinner House publications useful in congregations

Here are some new Skinner House publications that might be useful in your congregation:

Reaching for the Sun: Meditations by the Rev. Angela Herrera. This is the UUA’s most recent meditation manual. It is $8, with discounts for volume purchases.

• The Welcome Wallet Card Variety Pack features five inspirational and informational quotes about Unitarian Universalism. Packs of 100 cards are $6. Read the text of the quotes here.

Las Voces del Camino, the UUA’s Spanish-language hymnal has been published in a large print edition for use by pianists and individuals who have difficulty with standard print. Cost is $25.

• Available in mid-June will be Sources of Our Faith: Inspirational Readings, edited by the Rev. Kathleen Rolenz. Readings are taken from sources including the Qur’an, Margaret Fuller, Rumi, and Rebecca Parker.

New UU Pocket Guide published

A new edition of the Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide is available from the UUA Bookstore. This fifth edition was edited by the Rev. Peter Morales and has a forward by Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC host, presenter of the Ware Lecture at General Assembly in 2009, and a lifelong UU.

The guide is a complete introduction to Unitarian Universalism, covering ministry, worship, religious education, social justice, and history. It includes essays by the Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, UUA Executive Vice President Kathleen Montgomery, Rev. John T. Crestwell Jr., Rev. Gail R. Geisenhainer, Rev. Jane Ranney Rzepka, Rev. Mark Belletini, Judith A. Frediani, Rev. Rebecca Ann Parker, and Dan McKanan.

The previous edition of the Pocket Guide was published in 2004. The guide is $7 from the Bookstore. Orders of ten or more are 20 percent off. The guide is also available as an e-book.

Top-selling books at General Assembly 2011

Top-selling books at General Assembly 2011, by the UUA Bookstore. Many of these are being promoted by Skinner House as a useful part of congregational programming:

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, by Karen Armstrong (Ware lecturer at GA 2011)

Universalists and Unitarians in America: A People’s History, by the Rev. John Buehrens. This book, in honor of the 50th anniversary of consolidation of the Unitarians and Universalists, will be useful to book groups, in lifespan education classes, and as a historical reference.

The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands, by Margaret Regan. As we look toward General Assembly 2012 in Phoenix, this is one of the books that helps explain immigration issues. In 2011 it was recommended to congregations as a “common read.”

Darkening the Doorways: Black Trailblazers and Missed Opportunities in Unitarian Universalism, by the Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed. The story of black UUs in a predominately white faith. Useful for book groups and lifespan classes and in sermon preparation.

What’s Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West, by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Broken Buddha, book of essays by the Rev. Meg Barnhouse.

Elite: Uncovering Classism in Unitarian Universalist History, the Rev. Mark Harris. Tells the story of the privileged founders of Unitarianism and Universalism and describes how we can grow into a more inclusive faith. Discussion guide available online.

Coming Out in Faith: LGBTQ Voices in Unitarian Universalism, by the Rev. Keith Kron and Susan Gore. Testimonials about the lived experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer UUs. Useful for Welcoming Congregation sessions and raising awareness of LGBTQ issues.

From Zip Lines to Hosaphones, Dispatches from the Search for Truth and Meaning, essays by the Rev. Jane Rzepka. Includes introductory material on Unitarian Universalism in an entertaining manner. Ideal for new member classes, gifts for Coming of Age youth or bridging young adults, and small group ministry gatherings.

House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-First Century, by the Rev. John Buehrens and the Rev. Rebecca Ann Parker.

Skinner House resource, including discussion guides, for some of these books can be found at

New from the UUA Bookstore

A Cup of Light: All About the Flaming Chalice, by Pamela Baxter. A description of where the symbol of Unitarian Universalism originated, why it was adopted, and what it means. (Skinner House, $5)

A Queer History of the United States, by Michael Bronski. Takes the reader from Columbus’s arrival through the American Revolution and the transformative social justice movements of the twentieth century. Available May 10. (Beacon Press, $27.95)

Coming Out in Faith: LGBTQ Voices in Unitarian Universalism, by Keith Kron and Susan Gore. A collection of testimonials illuminating the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender UUs. Raises awareness of Unitarian Universalism’s active role in supporting LGBTQ people and learning from them. Available June 15. (Skinner House, $14)

Promise and Peril: Understanding and Managing Change and Conflict in Congregations, by David Brubaker. The author has more than 20 years of working with congregations in conflict. Promise and Peril is designed to help congregations avoid conflict, instead developing healthy relationships among church staff and members. (Alban Institute, $18)

Now available: Skinner House eBooks

Big news! The UUA Bookstore and Skinner House Books have announced the launch of Skinner House eBooks. Sixteen titles are now available through Google eBooks, with more to come shortly. For a complete list of Skinner House eBooks and purchasing links, visit the UUA Bookstore website and click on the big red eBooks logo on the right side of the page.

Customers who buy Skinner House titles from Google will be able to read them on any eBook reader except the Kindle. The same titles will be available soon through the Amazon Kindle store as well.