Congregational comings and goings since GA 2006

After the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in 2006, I asked if any new congregations were admitted. This I researched and also noted which congregations were no longer a member.

I’ve just now reviewed the minutes of the UUA Board of Trustees and the observer notes of the District Presidents Association since then and here are the additions and deletions to the congregational roster. Numbers in square brackets are most recently reported membership figures.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Comments… Is Church of the Open Door truly disbanding? Or going over to the UCC? One of their founding pastors (Kaen Hutt) was UCC. If it is disbanding, that is a terrible shame. I visited it once, and found it to be a lively mostly African-American GLBT church with an incredible worship style. I hope they are simply going UCC, because their closure would be a shame for Chicago’s GLBT community.

    I find the federation of the Ethical Society of DC to be VERY interesting. Has this ever happened before? A UUA/Ethical Culture congregation? I know that the DC Ethical Society had a conflict with the AEU, and wonder if this federation has anything to do with that.

  2. What kind of conflict?

    And I find it an interesting polity situation: for one, what is the role of covenant in an Ethical Culture society? Also, there’s not one mention of the UUA on their site, but perhaps these things take time.

  3. – I don’t know the underlying cause of the conflict, but for a time the DC Ethical Society was not paying its dues to the national AEU (in violation of good standing rules of the AEU). I also know that there was some kind of negotiated compromise that the national body and DC body agreed to, regarding these witheld dues. This was all before the settlement of their current Interim Leader, but was reported on in an old issue of the AEU’s national newsletter.

  4. Scott @ 2 — Re: Washington Ethical Society, dual affiliation, and polity: But no odder than the federated church in Sycamore, Ill. — federated Universalist and Presbyterian, as I recall — who’s the authority there, congregation or presbytery?

    Don’t know the lowdown on Church of the Open Door, and I only attended worship there once — but I kind of had the feeling that Karen Hutt and Alma Crawford, the founding pastors, were the church. That’s just one person’s uninformed opinion, would love to know more. I really enjoyed worshipping there the one time I was able to make it out there.

    And good to hear that Prairie Circle UU Church is affiliating! I had the privilege of preaching there once not long after they had formed — what a nice bunch of people. Of interest to UU church planters — they had administrative and moral support from North Shore Unitarian (I believe), and their first paid staff person was a part-time DRE — they were also quite intentional about locating in a fast-growth area not currently served by a UU congregation.

  5. @Dan. The WES situation is much different than Sycamore (which I think is Unitarian and Congregational/UCC). WES isn’t a merger or consolidation of two or more institutions, one of which is Unitarian or Universalist. And it isn’t coming in as an independent congregation whole-cloth (as one congregation in Minnesota did, or what-might-have-been if you think of the Fountain Street Church) but comes in “half cloth” with no apparent identity change.

    I think it bears examination: not of WES so much as our own sense of identity.

  6. Scott will find it intersting that one of the members of the Rocky Mount NC UU Fellowship was a former member of the Rocky Mount Universalist Church – which disbanded shortly after the time of the merger.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.