We offer these suggested readings based upon the Unitarian Universalist Association’s annual Common Read program. A Common Read can build community in our congregation by giving diverse people a shared focus for reflection and action. A Common Read can take us on a powerful faith journey as we explore what it means to be human and accountable in a pain-filled world.

2022-23 UUA Common Read

This year’s Common Read selection is Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism by Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin. (Skinner House Books, 2019).

Book cover for Mistakes and Miracles

Authors Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin—a white minister and a lay person of color—explored five UU congregations’ journeys toward Beloved Community. In Mistakes and Miracles, they shared the joy, disappointment, and growth these congregations found.

The world has seen much turmoil, pain, and yes, glimmers of hope, in the three years since Mistakes and Miracles‘ publication. As we enter a Common Read of this book, we find ourselves receiving its report with a changed spirit, an urgent need, and perhaps new hope for multiculturalism and antiracism work in our congregations and our movement.

Today, UU faith communities are grappling with a charge to dismantle white supremacy in ourselves, our communities and our world. What lessons and inspiration can we find in Mistakes and Miracles to guide our striving for Beloved Community, today?

Previous Common Reads

2021-22: Defund Fear: Safety Without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment by Zach Norris.

2020-21: Breathe – A Letter to My Sons by Imani Perry.

2019-20: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Also, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese.

2018-19: Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom.

2017-18: Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema. Also Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen.

2016-17: The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear by The Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.

2015-16: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

2014-15: Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square  by Paul Rasor.

2013-14: Behind the Kitchen Door by Saru Jayarama.

2012-13: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

2011-12: Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel.

2010-11: The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from Arizona’s Borderlands by Margaret Regan.

More In Our Church Library

Check out our church library for these and other justice-focused books and DVDs. View our library catalog.