Wanted: a comprehensive list of Universalist, Unitarian and Unitarian churches

No April Fools, but an honest request. One of those resources that other communions have that we do not have is a comprehensive list of every Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist church that has been: the living and the dead. At the very least it would help establish a frame for a missiological history and might surface some “hidden histories” that challenge received narratives, say, around the success or failure of the midcentury Fellowship movement. (Which the Universalists also had, with a non-competative arrangement  with the Unitarians, details to come. Or that gold mines, oil wells or a-bomb plants attract Unitarians.)

We can start with something easier? Say, all churches in existance in 1959 (to account for those that rejected consolidation and didn’t join the new UUA; another one of those histories) and onwards?

 

By Scott Wells

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

2 comments

  1. What is wanted is adequate pay and support for someone to do the work. This is the slowest, least exciting kind of research: collecting, collating, indexing, and labeling. When people talk about the NSA collecting “everything,” they mean, “and not doing the hard work of interpretation.” When people talk about the need for a centralized denominational database, they mean, “without having to pay individuals to do a regular update and provide a pastoral response.”

    I know you know this, Scott, but when you talk about “a comprehensive list of all congregations,” you’re talking about a full time job for about three or four researchers, each for about three or four years, with support from editors, software technicians (to set up the Excel database), and a library science person to set up links to the resources.

    I have fantasized about this many times, and regularly do similar types of work, for myself or other “amateur” — meaning “unpaid in money” — UU historians. Hopefully, the court ruling for the Northeastern basketball team will lead a lot of us to wonder about our “amateur” ministries and stewardships.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

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