Omnibus collection of services, readings, songs, and programs for all aspects of church life, related to five evocative themes: Humility, Journey, Chaos, Power, and God.

Product Code: 7736
ISBN: 9781558968370
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: UUA Skinner House Books
Published Date: 07/25/2019
Pages: 456
Size: 8.5 x 5.5
Availability:In stock
N/A
Price: $20.00

As theme-based ministry continues to increase in popularity in Unitarian Universalist congregations across the continent, the need for programmatic resources has grown as well. Now Sparks of Wonder presents this omnibus collection of services, readings, songs, and programs for all aspects of church life, related to five evocative themes: Humility, Journey, Chaos, Power, and God. Within each theme are ready-to-use resources for eleven key aspects of congregational life, including theological reflection, a worship service, spiritual practice, social ethics, readings, reflection questions, ideas for engaging with the theme at home, and more. Helpful guides at the back of the book offer creative suggestions for using these resources in small groups, worship services, social justice activities, youth groups, and religious education programs. Complete with handouts for photocopying, Sparks of Wonder provides everything you need to explore rich themes in all facets of your congregation, helping you dive deeply as a community into both spiritual reflection and social action.


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Introduction

HUMILITY
Theological Reflection
Parable—The Citicorp (Re)Building
Time for All Ages—Virtue of the Month Club
Readings and Quotations
Worship—The Queen's Loaves (Multigenerational)
Spiritual Practice—Prayers of Confession
Religious Literacy—Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Sikhism)
Reflection Questions
Guide for Home Study
Recommended Movie—How to Train Your Dragon
Social Ethic
Handouts

JOURNEY
Theological Reflection
Parable—Inanna's Descent into the Underworld
Time for All Ages—The Shepherd
Readings and Quotations
Worship—I Will Be with You
Spiritual Practice—A Sacred Circle
Religious Literacy—Analects of Confucius
 (Ruism/Confucianism)
Reflection Questions
Guide for Home Study
Recommended Movie—The Wiz Live!
Social Ethic
Handouts

CHAOS
Theological Reflection
Parable—Giftschrank
Time for All Ages—Leaky Boat
Readings and Quotations
Worship—Sources of Our Faith (Multigenerational)
Spiritual Practice—Allowing Meditation to Be Messy
Religious Literacy—Greek Testament (Christianity)
Reflection Questions
Guide for Home Study
Recommended Movie—Spirited Away
Social Ethic
Handouts

POWER
Theological Reflection
Parable—Juan Diego Meets the Queen of Heaven
Time for All Ages—The Lion and the Councils
Readings and Quotations
Worship—Pay Attention (Multigenerational)
Spiritual Practice—Food Power
Religious Literacy—The Meaning of ?s?e? (Yoruba)
Reflection Questions
Guide for Home Study
Recommended Movie—The Iron Giant
Social Ethic
Handouts

GOD
Theological Reflection
Parable—Golden Thread
Time for All Ages—Tiny the God
Readings and Quotations
Worship—Four Paths through Mystery
Spiritual Practice—Doorways to Devotion
Religious Literacy—Rig Veda (Hinduism)
Reflection Questions
Guide for Home Study
Recommended Movie—The Prince of Egypt
Social Ethic
Handouts

LEADERS' GUIDES
Small Group Leaders
Worship Leaders
Social Justice Leaders
Religious Educators (Children's Programs)
Youth Group Leaders
Religious Educators (Adult Programs)

"Theme-based ministry is a tool for bringing together diverse strands of community into a common adventure. By focusing our religious lives on a single meaningful topic for a time, we create a common, accessible space in which to bring our various perspectives and experiences across the borders that may divide a congregation. The current popularity of theme-based ministry in Unitarian Universalism-like that of the small group ministry movement-arises from a deep craving for connection. That's because connection is our primary matrix for meaning making. Indeed, they're one and the same-we create meaning from the world, our experiences, and our relationships by discovering and forming connections. People don't come to our congregations in order to learn something new but rather to make sense of what they already know and use it to build meaningful relationships."

"Within each theme, then, you will find a cookbook of sorts, filled with the ingredients for meaning making, whether you are reading the book for yourself or in order to lead programming that helps families, congregations, and communities explore. We've pulled inspiration from a wide variety of sources and places: the oldest human story on record, ancient stories from around the world, tales from modern life, poetry, neuroscience, architecture, and more. Our lives are rich with diverse demands and complexities, and the larger and more detailed our map, the better we can make sense of the world. By including a wide range of elements, we're offering readers many portals through which to engage with the themes and connect them to their lives."

"The authors of Sparks of Wonder: Theme-Based Ministry for the Whole Congregation have created a rich compendium of resources and engagements with some of the deepest questions we can encounter. Questions that are meant to challenge-not necessarily comfort. Most importantly, the authors have articulated for the reader the theology of religiously educating to each theme, providing language as to the 'why' of the engagement. Theologically grounding each theme, providing spiritual practices, and religious literacy background draws a bigger and deeper circle for all to move into, providing connection between congregation and home, parent and child, learner and teacher. The possibilities of learning and re-learning abound. They have done what I have only dreamt of doing."
-Gabrielle Farrell, Lifespan Religious Educator, River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation

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