Unfolding both claims and is claimed by Unitarian Universalism by fully embracing the unique hymnody within our worship services. For many of us who grew up outside of the UU faith, singing hymns together was a central part of our family's musical landscape and heritage. We can still remember some of the hymns from our youth though the words may no longer ring true for us. The music we sing every Sunday within our UU worship services must have an important place in our lives outside of worship. With Unfolding, we hope to make it easier for people to carry our musical tradition with them wherever they go and to share our message of hope and love with people outside of the UU faith.
Support for Unfolding...
Print music—whether it's the hand-scratched manuscripts of Beethoven or the well-edited hard-bound hymnal—has always been at best an imperfect communication of the spirit behind the notes. As our UU movement continues to work purposefully and passionately at tearing down the walls between "the way it's always been" and "the way it could be," it becomes ever more crucial that we breathe new and diverse spirits into the texts and tunes that our communities call sacred. UNFOLDING is, of course, only one attempt to do just that—but it is an important one. Whether used as centering for personal devotion, as inspiration for corporate body prayer, or simply as inspiration for revisiting and revitalizing the music we've sung over and over again together, I hope UU's everywhere will recognize this project as one well worth supporting—and imitating—across our association and beyond. - David M. Glasgow, Director of Music, Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley
This project is fabulous! What Sarah and Laura have brought is a true gift of music and ministry. Through beautiful vocals and instrumentals - with the voices of children and adults - this collection of hymns and songs is a must have for individuals wanting to bring some of “church” home, music directors looking for a fresh approach to familiar hymns, congregations who may not have music directors or song leaders, and members of the UU world who want to bring some of our values to friends and loved ones. - Mimi Bornstein, Director of Music Ministries, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
You've never heard hymns done like these - beautifully crafted in new ways with rich spirituality and exquisite musical quality to uplift hymns to a stirring new level. - Mark Zimmerman, Director of Music, Mount Vernon Unitarian Church
These two incredibly talented people have created a beautiful instrument for Unitarian Universalists to use in their homes, in their congregations and with their families. This music is a part of our spiritual practice and can support living the values and principles so badly needed in today’s world. - Rev. David Miller, Senior Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax
For anyone seeking an inspiring and fresh treatment of some of our faith tradition’s most beloved songs of celebration, lament and praise, Sarah Jebian and Laura Weiss offer us a beautiful and creative collection of music that will enliven our spirits and our hearts. - Deborah Weiner, Moderator, Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network
The familiar Christian hymns of my childhood even today bring me a sense of comfort, though in many cases, the lyrics no longer speak to my beliefs. Sarah and Laura's new album gives me a way to increase my children's connection to the hymns of their childhood, which I hope will speak to who they are now and who they will be as they grow: human beings who know themselves, celebrate the world we live in, and work together for a better world. Sarah and Laura's music inspires gratitude, inner strength, and joy. - Torie Gorges, Member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax
This is such a great idea! We start our learning time on "school" days with a UU hymn--my kids would much rather listen to Sarah and Laura sing than me. : ) I've tooled around with looking for UU hymns on Spotify and it's hard to find good stuff that doesn't sound like the UU Tabernacle Choir. You both are a beautiful change of pace from that! - Kathy Smerke, Member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax
There is something in Sarah’s voice and Laura’s rhythm that creates a welcome comingling of heart and spirit. The more you listen, the more it becomes apparent that the presence of a gentle and wondrous universe emanates from their bones. They share an ineffable empath-speak that is conveyed in each hymn without restraint. - Carol Campbell, Member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax
First of all, as a human being, a therapist and a person who loves good music—all these hymns touched my heart and soul. As someone who cares about alleviating human suffering and have built my life around doing so, this music resonates with the core of where I believe the pain is. I often use the phrase, “we love in the same place we are wounded.” This music brings love and joy and serves as a balm to that place of pain in the heart. As a healing professional of 35 years, I am aware that it is our thoughts (left brain) that causes us the most difficulty. People need a way to “cut through the chatter” of doubt, guilt and fear, and proceed directly to the ‘truth’ of existence, which I believe to be love. This ‘knowing’ resides in the right brain. Having read a great deal about how music affects the brain, this particular music does just that. It does not stop at “go” and gets to the ‘heart’ of the matter. - Marilyn Williams, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW