I just published the 1925 “A Joint Statement on Interchurch Relations from the Commissions of the Congregational and Universalist Churches” but didn’t want to clutter that document with thoughts. Indeed, I’ll want to review some of the standard denomination histories to see why the Universalists aren’t a part of the United Church of Christ today.… Continue reading Notes on the 1925 Congregationalist-Universalist unity statement
There is a practical take-away from this historical episode; keep reading. Abigail and John Adams, the departing ambassador to Great Britain, and John Murray, the Universalist minister, sailed together back to America on the same vessel, the Lucretia, in the spring of 1788. Unitarian Universalists today recall Abigail Adams’s recollection of Murray’s preaching, as recorded… Continue reading The sermon fit for reading
I’m going to meditate on the tradition of “lyric theism.” But first, some documents to give some context. From Modern Words of Religion, edited by Carlyle Summerbell (1915) THE POETIC EXPRESSION OF UNITARIANISM The representative expressions of the Unitarian habit of mind are not to be sought in the fields of theological scholarship or Biblical… Continue reading “The Poetic Expression of Unitarianism”
A few weeks ago, I mentioned a set of nicely-formatted orders of service/bulletins from First Church (Unitarian), Boston, that I found in the archives at the Andover-Harvard library. They were preserved in a file about coordinated opposition to the consolidation of the Unitarians and the Universalists because the minister’s message in them. But I recognized… Continue reading So, here’s that clever order of service I described
This small 1865 American Unitarian Association assortment of rousing songs and Bible readings (arranged for unison or responsive reading, and with headings like “Those who turn from Holiness are condemned”) isn’t explicitly for Union soldiers, but songs like “Arise, New-England’s Sons!” and “The Massachusetts Line” weren’t likely to appeal to Johnny Reb. The Soldier’s Companion:… Continue reading Unitarian worship resource for Union soldiers
I ran across an American Unitarian Association booklet “Church finance and accounting” — undated, but having internal examples suggesting 1914 — that makes for fun reading. On the one hand, some things were very different then. It includes a review of the proprietor (pew owner) and pew rental system, and deprecates both to the free-pew… Continue reading Historical Unitarian church accounting!
For your reference, with links to online sources. Corrections appreciated. 1785. 1811. 1828. 1831. 1841. 1850. 1865 printing. 1900 printing. 1918. 1925. Not online. 1986. Current prayer book. Not online and no longer available for sale.
One of the highlights of my childhood was the discovery of fossil known as Lucy. An example of Australopithecus afarensis, Lucy pushed forward our understanding of human origins by pushing back the clock. And from that day to now (when I think about the new version of Cosmos) I’ve come to expect the figure of… Continue reading Studying Unitarian and Universalist liturgy: fixing a point of departure
It’s 1920, and you’re in a large market town east of the Alleghenies. You’re looking for a church and your options include an Episcopal church and a Unitarian church. (Make it a small city or larger, and you might add the Universalists to this formula.) Ask the rector of St. Alban’s or the minister at… Continue reading The worship at the church down the street…
Following up on the “Fifty Shades of Unitarian” post, here are the “The Unitarian faith set forth in fifty Unitarian hymns” affirmations or platforms: the faith each hymn supposedly upholds. And matching biblical passage, Conveniently, it plots out almost a year’s worth of sermons, too. (Or at least I can be forgiven what some preachers… Continue reading OK, Unitarian preachers: a year of sermon themes (for the retro set)