Beacon Press books are ideal tools for life-long learning in UU congregations, and have often led the UU community to identify areas of concern. With this program, we aspire to strengthen the social justice and spiritual work of the denomination.
This program aims to:
deepen awareness in the UU community of issues of social justice;
provide the finest and most enlightened thinking about these issues as tools to enrich discussions within UU communities; and
create a new understanding of the work of Beacon Press in UU congregation and communities.
The Beacon Press Discussion Guides provide a flexible structure for a short-term, small-group discussion program using Beacon books. The guides offer support materials for group leaders with all levels of experience, laying out information in such a way that preparation time is minimal.
Guides are now available for fifteen Beacon titles; click on the titles below to view them. Guides are arranged by book title below.
edited by Marilyn Sewell.
This program brings women together to discuss aging as the development
of character, a breaking free of old restraints, and an opportunity
to deepen their spiritual lives (five sessions).
Free For All,
by Wendy Kaminer.
What are the most important elements of liberty in America today? What
is liberty in America today? As a nation, we preach "liberty and
justice for all", and prize freedom - but what exactly is that
freedom, and at what cost is it bestowed? The questions raised in the
program will be, and should be, difficult to answer (three sessions).
by Octavia Butler.
This program provides a framework for Unitarian Universalist discussion
groups to engage in reflective dialogue about the legacy of slavery,
the connections between historical burdens and present realities, and
our vision for shaping our future (three sessions).
by Forrest Church.
Popular writer and minister Forrest Church explores the lifelines that
can sustain us in times of trouble.
Proverbs of Ashes,
by Rita Nakashima Brock & Rebecca Ann Parker.
Models a process by which individuals and religious communities can
reflect on their personal and shared histories in order to challenge
limiting theologies and reshape our common truths.
in the Hands of a Tender God, by Craig Rennebohm with David
Suggestions for organizing a reading circle, a discussion guide for
Souls in the Hands of a Tender God, and a listing of other books
and resources that are readily available to help educate faith communities.
The Students Are Watching:
Schools and the Moral Contract, by Theodore R. Sizer and
Nancy Faust Sizer.
This program encourages reflections and contributions of young adults
as well as parents, educators and other adults who finished their years
of formal schooling, acknowledging that we all have a stake in the nature
of moral education (three sessions)
Taking Retirement: A
Beginner's Diary, by Carl H. Klaus.
This program has relevance for all adults of all ages, creates a space
for authentic sharing between UU elders and encourages intergenerational
dialogue about aging and life transitions (two sessions).
Understanding the Bible,
by John A. Buehrens.
Skeptics, seekers, and religious liberals often need a “way in” to understanding
the complex territory that is the Bible. John Buehrens's Understanding
the Bible offers just such an entry point. Through the activities
suggested in this discussion guide, readers of Buehrens's book will
be able to “claim [their] own power to understand the Bible.”
Waist High in the World:
A Life Among the Nondisabled, by Nancy Mairs.
In her book, Mairs shares her own insights on the nature and meaning
of disability in her life. This program encourages the reflections and
contributions of all people, whatever their experience with disability
The UUA bookstore offers a 10% discount with orders of 5-9 copies of a single title, and 20% off 10 or more copies. Contact the UUA Bookstore, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108, tel: 1-800-215-9076, fax: 1-617-723-4805, or www.uua.org/bookstore.
Please let us know how you like the guides and how they work for you. Your feedback about their content and suggestions for future titles will aid us in our commitment to meet the program needs of UU congregations.
This program was developed in collaboration with the UUA Religious Education Department and Congregational, District and Extension Services and was funded through a grant by the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock.