As Unitarian Universalists, the sources of our living tradition include Humanist teachings, which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit. Have you preached or heard a good sermon reflecting Humanist teachings lately? 

Submit it for the Dale Arnink Sermon Award. This award is granted in recognition of a sermon that best explores the place or use of critical reason in examining religious experience within the Unitarian Universalist tradition. The Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, New Mexico, where Reverend Arnink served for 24 years and is currently Minister Emeritus, sponsors the $300 award. A representative committee using a blind process with standardized criteria makes the selection.  

Eligibility (2019)

The sermon must have been delivered before a Unitarian Universalist congregation between January 2019 and December 2019. The sermon should explore and promote understanding and application of Humanist teachings in Unitarian Universalism. All Unitarian Universalist professional religious leaders, as well as those studying for professional leadership, are eligible to be considered for this award. Sermons are judged through a blind process by a panel of UU religious and lay leaders. The recipient will receive a $300 cash award and free registration to the Mountain Desert District (MDD) Assembly in Albuquerque, NM May 1 and 2, 2020, if the recipient is able to attend. The award will be presented at the MDD Annual Business meeting on May 2, 2020, if the recipient is present, and will be posted on the Mountain Desert District website. 

Submission Format

Entries must be submitted as a MS Word Document to no later than 5 p.m. Friday, February 28, 2020 in order to be considered.  The Award recipient will be notified no later than March 27, 2020. Sermons must be submitted as a Word Document in the following format:

  • Font: Times New Roman font, size 12
  • Spacing/formatting: single-spaced, with one line separating each paragraph, and align all text to the left.
  • Cover Page: A separate cover page must include the sermon title, author’s name, congregational affiliation, mailing address, telephone number, email address and where and when the sermon was delivered. Please omit page headers and footers.
  • Sermon Pages: Only the sermon title should be included at the top of the first page of the sermon. 
  • Identifying information must be modified or removed. Substitute congregation names with “this congregation”, for example, and do the same for geographical names and landmarks.  Substitute people’s names with their roles in the congregation or community.  

Submission Terms and Conditions

By submitting your sermon for consideration, you are (a) agreeing to grant to the Mountain Desert District (MDD) a non-exclusive, one year, royalty-free license to publish your sermon on the MDD website; and (b) representing and warranting to the MDD that your submission is an original work of yours and does not copy or otherwise infringe anyone else’s work. Attribution will be made each time your work is published. As the copyright owner, you have the right to use the sermon as you see fit at any time.

For more information, contact Felicia Orth at

This Award is made possible by the generosity of individual donors in the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos congregation in honor of Reverend Arnink’s distinguished service.