My concern for planting new Universalist Christian churches and my love of Universalist history meet in the subject of Universalist polity. It seems to me that if someone wants to try something innovative, there will be the problem convincing the powers-that-be that the project is “really UU,” as if the Unitarian Universalist Association was itself the keeper of a double-vowelled transcendent reality.
Of course, something innovative (i.e. not a quick start “programmed” church) plus Universalist Christian is bound to set off two red flags. What then, is a planter to do?
Claim the history, of course, and know what methods and values Universalists used, and understand that these were (are?) not always the same as what Unitarians valued.
That brings me back to the polity. Last night, was I search my computer’s hard drive for anything I might have saved about Universalist polity. Lo and behold! I found a mostly completed typing project that I had long forgotten, but a tiny part of which is General Plan of Organization [of the Universalist General Convention] (1891). I was working on typing in the whole booklet, Manual of the Universalist General Convention. It is about 80% done, and given that tomorrow is my day off, I’ll try to get as much of the other 20% done and put what I’ve got up tomorrow.
It is a fascinating look into what was, and what might yet be.