For several months now, I have wondered if this newsletter was of value to you, the readers. About three weeks ago, I found several emails you sent to me, but I did not get them. I’ve fixed the email forwarding, and hope to write in response to ideas in those emails in coming months. Thank you, too, for all the kind thoughts and suggestions.
Email, as a popular medium of communication, only goes back to the 1990s. (I remember having to have connections to get an account on a University of Georgia server in the pre-America Online era.) Same with the web. But the mass-communicated word is much older and long-recognized for its role in binding together religiously isolated persons. Nineteenth and twentieth century Universalists would often refer to the power of the black missionary: printer’s ink and the printed word. Even at its height, the Universalist church didn’t have enough ministers to serve all the faithful. They had to be creative in mission and ministry, supporting far-off Universalists through newspapers, books and tracts to serve the faithful and spread the word. And creating more isolated Universalists. Last time I gave some examples of how Universalists found the faith through the printed word. If a traveling minister might visit, so much the better. If there were a few people who could organize a society, better still. Special efforts, usually restricted by funds, including a statewide churches for the isolated and what become the Universalist half of today’s Church of the Larger Fellowship. Even though times change, creativity and self-reliance have never stopped being important for Universalist Christians, particularly as we keep in touch.
I hope those who attended the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Kansas City have made it safely home, or to vacation.
Keep an eye out for a new independent Universalist Christian church to be formed in metro Cincinnati: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianUniversalistCincy/
Audio recordings from the A Door Standing Open conference held at First Universalist Church, Providence in April are now online for a small fee at the conference site: https://www.doorstandingopen.com/downloads
Please tell your friends and associates about the Universalist Christian Initiative. They can sign up for these updates at universalistchristian.org/join/.
(The Rev.) Scott Wells