Beginning in September and continuing through August 2013, small congregations in the UUA Pacific Northwest will receive via email a monthly electronic Journal and Worship Resource Guide, Touchstones.

Developed by First Universalist Church of Denver (CO) for the small congregations of the UUA Mountain Desert District, the resource has now been extended to the Pacific Western Region.

The eight-page monthly Journal follows First Universalist’s theme-based ministry, exploring each theme in depth. The Journal will arrive via email in a “PDF” format that makes it easy to share with the worship team/committee, leadership, RE teams and families, or the entire congregation if desired.

Congregations will find essays, sermons, readings, meditations, art, poetry and even a sample Order of Service in the accompanying Worship Resource Guide, which will be emailed as a “Word” document to allow easy revision for use in Sunday services.

Some congregations that have used Touchstones have chosen to mirror the themes in their own worship services, often delaying the programs by a month in order to absorb and adapt the content. Others choose not to follow the themes monthly, but take advantage of the resources in a variety of ways throughout the year. Page 8 of each issue can be used to support small group discussions about the theme of the month.

Each issue also includes LifePractice, a suggested structure for contemplative engagement of a brief reading as a way to explore life in a deeper way. First Universalist invites interested congregation members to sign up for a free email subscription for LifePractice readings, which are sent on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

Funding for this year of Touchstones is provided by a grant from the Mountain Desert District on behalf of the Pacific Western Region. Subscriptions may be required in future years. PNWD will send Touchstones to all member congregations with fewer than 100 members, or served by a minister less than half-time. (Recipients can opt out if they do not wish to receive the materials.)

Click here to see a flyer with more information on Touchstones.

2011-12  Touchstone Themes by Month

September         Beauty

October              Hospitality

November           Faith

December           Hope

January               Justice

February             Love

March                  Humility

April                    Transformation

May                    Transcendence

June                   Wisdom

July                     Liberation

August                Beloved Community