Unitarian Universalist Christian church: 15 years past

Ah kids, gather ’round and I’ll tell you about the world pre-Web. We had mailing lists, telephone trees, gopher (I transcribed the first Unitarian document for gopher, and later Project Gutenberg: Channing’s Baltimore Sermon) and before its current use as a vehicle for file downloads — Usenet newsgroups.

These were chat rooms, divided by subject and there were at least two for Unitarian Universalists: soc.religion.unitarian-univ (not enough room for Universalist; just barely extant) and bit.listserv.uus-l.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of the capacity preconditions for a renewal for Christianity among Unitarian Universalists.

I mention the Usenet newsgroups now because I remembered there was quite an interesting little thread on bit.listserv.uus-l about forming a new Unitarian Universalist Christian church — it never happened — in North Carolina, that gives a taste of Unitarian Universalist polity, class and race politics of the time.

By Scott Wells

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


  1. I’ve pretty much given up the idea of creating new Christian churches in the UUA. I think the dynamics that existed 15 years ago, are still with us today, and that they pressure most UU churches to be “mainstream UU churches”. This pressure to go “mainstream” is true if the congregation is Christian, strongly Humanist, or rooted in historic Universalism. Non-creedalism is often the justification for taking up the subtle creed of UUism as a fusion of all world religions (without delving into any one in any depth).

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