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Lifting Our Voices

Lifting Our Voices

Readings in the Living Tradition

More than 250 readings are newly collected here to reinvigorate and update Unitarian Universalist worship.

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"As the generations rise and fall, the wars of the past are surpassed by the wars of the present age, prosperity and poverty diverge in new ways, and new technology remakes the world in ways Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ken Patton, Olympia Brown, or Francis Watkins Harper could hardly have comprehended. New words of love and truth, new memorable phrases, new encouragements are in order. Assumptions, sometimes unconsciously made in previous eras, have been challenged and rethought. Contemporary voices in this new century still revere both love and truth and find ways in worship of moving out of the familiar and into new territory. Styles of imagery and poetry that might have startled our ancestors encourage us to live out lives of depth."
—Mark Belletini, from the Preface

More than 250 readings are newly collected here to reinvigorate and update Unitarian Universalist worship. Just as Singing the Journey supplemented the hymns in Singing the Living Tradition with more diversity in perspectives and styles, Lifting Our Voices supplements the SLT readings with modern voices from an array of cultures and theological perspectives. Chosen with care by Revs. Mark Belletini, Kendyl Gibbons, Angela Herrera, Abhi Janamanchi, and Hope Johnson, these new readings, from Unitarian Universalists and acclaimed authors and poets are sure to become instant classics.

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Contents

Preface
How to Use This Book
A Note on Multicultural Readings


Awe, Mystery and Spirit
Beloved Community
Courage and Call to Action
Grace
Hope
Honoring Ourselves and Others
Interconnectedness
Justice
Living Tradition
Love
Peace
Wisdom

Acknowledgments
Topical Index
Index of Authors and Translators
Index of First Lines and Titles

Every day is a god,

each day is a god,

and holiness holds forth in time.

I worship each god,

I praise each day splintered down,
and wrapped in time like a husk,

a husk of many colors spreading,
at dawn fast over the mountains split.


—Annie Dillard, adapted


The stuff I need for singing by whatever means
is garnered from every thought, every heart that ever pounded the earth. . . .
The shapes of mountains, cities, a whistle leaf of grass, or a human bent with loss
will revise the pattern of the story, the song.
I take it from there, . . . play through the heartbreak of the tenderness of being
until I am the sky, the earth, the song and the singer.

—Joy Harjo


For nothing is fixed,

forever, forever, forever,

it is not fixed;

the earth is always shifting,

the light is always changing,

the sea does not cease to grind down rock.

Generations do not cease to be born,
and we are responsible to them
because we are the only witnesses they have.

The sea rises, the light fails,
lovers cling to each other,
and children cling to us.


The moment we cease to hold each other,

the moment we break faith with one another,

the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

—James Baldwin, adapted


Let the love of this hour go on; let all the oaths and
  children and people of this love be clean as a
  washed stone under a waterfall in the sun.

—Carl Sandburg


In the end, of course, a true war story is never about war.

It's about sunlight.

It's about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river
when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains
and do things you are afraid to do.

It's about love and memory.
It's about sorrow.
It's about people who never listen.


—Tim O'Brien, adapted


Soy un amasamiento,

I am an act of kneading, of uniting and joining,

that not only has produced both a creature of darkness and a creature of light,

but also a creature that questions the definitions of light and dark

and gives them new meanings.

—Gloria Anzald?a, adapted

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