Susan Frederick-Gray: Selected Sermons and Writings

Susan Frederick-Gray: Selected Sermons and Writings

A curated sample of pastoral and prophetic writings of a prolific president.

Staff Writer
A white woman against a white background wearing glasses, smiling.

President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray.



As UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray’s term winds down, UU World is sharing stories to honor her legacy and contributions to our faith movement. We put together this collection of selected sermons and writings as a reflection of the landscape of her presidency.

"Embracing an Ethic of Love" (UU World, Spring 2022)

"Living into practices of the Beloved Community, living the transformative culture changes we seek, is not just an intellectual exercise," President Susan Frederick-Gray reminds us in this Spring 2022 essay. "It’s not about checking boxes, getting everything 'right' and taking pride in our achievements," she says. "Fundamentally, it is deeply spiritual work."

"When the Pastoral becomes Prophetic" (UU World, Summer 2020)

For many, Frederick-Gray's brief but searing essay reflecting on the fragility of life amid the tragic losses in the COVID-19 pandemic solidified the seriousness of her leadership. "Naming and addressing [racial and social] injustices has always been characterized as prophetic," she reminds us, "but when we call for relief and resources to be distributed to alleviate this disparity, then this is also deeply pastoral—for it is about the care and well-being of the people and the community."

"For God’s Sake, Strike for the Climate" (Sojourners Magazine, September 18, 2019)

Co-written with Rev. Fletcher Harper, this op-ed reminds us of the ravaging effects of climate change and compels us to, in their words, "join the global climate strike" alongside the strike's youth organizers. This carefully researched piece reflects Frederick-Gray's focus on climate justice, particularly as it relates to social, economic, and racial injustice.

"I Got Arrested by Praying the US Finally Confronts Poverty" (Vice, May 14, 2018)

In Frederick-Gray's 2018 op-ed piece in the youth digital platform, Vice, she argues that America needs to reconnect "to the human dignity that is robbed from each of us when every aspect of our life is commodified and measured by market values."

"No Time for a Casual Faith” (, June 24, 2018)

Watch Frederick-Gray's sermon from the General Assembly 2018 Sunday Morning Worship service describing the importance of showing up as UUA President to counterprotest white supremacists at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"Progressive People of Faith Can be a Powerful Political Force" (CommonWealth, August 5, 2022)

"The growth of the movement of progressive people of faith as a potent societal force has been a long time coming," writes Frederick-Gray, with Rev. Jo Murphy. A call to action, it urges "influencers in the media and elsewhere to recognize that voices of faith don’t only come from the right but also from the middle—and the left."

"Our Theology Calls Us to Antiracist Work" (UU World, Fall 2021)

"If the Beloved Community is so foundational," asks Frederick-Gray, "why do we struggle to live into its liberating and inclusive practices within our own communities?" One obstacle, she acknowledges, is our faith's theological tension between individualism and interdependence, and our work for justice and equity is the faithful response to our theology of interdependence.

"Love the Hell out of This World" (UU World, Winter 2018)

"Our Universalist ancestors didn’t believe in hell," Frederick-Gray writes in this end-of-year article, "except for the ones we create here in this life." She points out how love requires "leaving the confines of privilege" to show up in solidarity, "engaging and being in the struggle" with those most directly impacted by injustice

A white woman against a black background wearing glasses, smiling.

The Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick Gray.


Vote Love, Defeat Hate” (YouTube, October 11, 2020)

In her homily from UU the Vote’s “Vote Love, Defeat Hate” collective virtual service, Frederick-Gray says that with the future of democracy on the line, UUs are building powerful partnerships to mobilize our communities to defeat hate in the 2020 elections

A Message from the UUA President: Don’t Turn Away from the Challenge and Truth of the Uprisings” (, June 4, 2020)

"It matters that we support the uprisings whose goal is the liberation of Black people and communities who for too long have been crushed by white supremacy, militarism, and capitalism," urges Frederick-Gray in this letter to UU leaders.

"The Church Needs to Recapture its Prophetic Zeal" (Sojourner’s Magazine, April 18, 2019)

Evoking Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s memory, Frederick-Gray argues that what is at stake in the conversation regarding the decline in religious life is "not just the future of our faith institutions but the future of humanity."

The Cup is What Holds the Light” (UU World, Fall 2019) 

In her UU World president's column, Frederick-Gray writes that "it is easy to hold up a light and declare that everyone is welcome. It's harder to build a place where everyone is truly at home. "

Updated Recommendations for Your Congregation’s Response to COVID-19” (, March 12, 2020)

This message, offered at the onset of the pandemic, urges congregations to exercise safety and outlines the Association’s precautions.

Practicing Community Care in Our Congregations” (, March 26, 2020)

In this pastoral message to congregational leaders adapting to the pandemic, Frederick-Gray stressed the importance of living the practices of interdependence and community care.

"The Future: No Going Back to Normal" (UU World, Fall 2020)

In this article written at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, shortly after the completion of the Unitarian Universalist Association's first all-virtual General Assembly, Frederick-Gray reminds us that, despite pain and sorrow, there is always hope in the moment.

From the UUA President: We Continue to Nurture the Bonds of Care and Love” (, March 10, 2021)

On the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, Frederick-Gray offered these words on the importance of persistence.

From the UUA President: Take a Break and Find Some Joy!”  (, June 17, 2021)

"Those of us who are committed to ministry and service can sometimes forget that an important part of our job is to also take care of ourselves," Frederick-Gray writes in this pre-General Assembly letter to leaders.