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Ask Minister Poppei 3 – Open Reflections and Thoughts Through “Opening Word”


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Canadian Atheist

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/03/20

Minister Amanda Poppei is a Senior Leader & Unitarian Universalist Minister at the Washington Ethical Society (Ethical Culture and Unitarian Universalist). Here we talk about some of the Opening Word and Opening Song

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How is the Opening Word important for setting a tone of the service? What have been some recent contents of opening words for the Washington Ethical Society?

Minister Amanda Poppei:
I try to choose words that will not only introduce the theme or core message of the platform service, but will also set the tone. If we are having a platform that is about grief, the opening words will be more comforting or thoughtful. If a platform about justice, then I’ll choose words that exhort or inspire. Most of my opening words are poems, some are quotes or readings. I write them myself sometimes, but mostly share words from someone else. 

Jacobsen: Why have those topics been focused on, in the recent opening words? How do these provide a context to transition into an Opening Song, which, as you noted, is a sing-along format?

Poppei: Sometimes I get lucky and find a poem or reading that really leads into the opening song perfectly, but most of the time it’s about having a similar tone. 

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Minister Poppei.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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