Universalist mascot?

As I’ve said before, UCA can mean Universalist Church of America. That said, I think I’ve found the Universalists (generally) a much-needed mascot.

My friend here is a male example of Uca pugnax, the mud fiddler, which, as it happens, is also native to the salt marshes of this region. Fiddler crabs are in the genus Uca, and so any would be appropriate, but pugnacious fiddler crab seems particularly apt. Mud fiddler (crab)

I got this image from a U.S. government website, so I trust it isn’t under copyright, but fair-is-fair, and so I’ve made a link to the site so you can learn more about this lovely beastie.

Link: NOAA Coastal Services Center page on fiddler crabs

First Universalist, Providence

I know you look to Universalistchurch.net just for your favorite blog (he says without a hint of humility — or reality) but it also hosts a number of useful features, and couple of church websites.

The newest of this later category is First Universalist Church, Providence, Rhode Island which has just been approved for public release. [2009. Site has long moved. URL is currently correct.]

Visit the site, and visit the church if you’re nearby.

Washington Avowal I

Watch and Pray (Derek Parker) has begun to muse on the Washington Avowal.

The Washington Avowal which like the 1899 “Five Principles is technically an interpretation or elaboration on the Winchester itself. I used to like it, it has a certain poetry and an activist sensibility, but now I read it as a slippery slope away from historic Christianity, towards (at best) cultural Christianity, to thenceforth into something completely other. Plus the “progressively establish the kingdom of God” just rings as naive.

The irony is that the Washington parish (Universalist National Memorial Church) doesn’t use the Washington Avowal, even though it was adopted by the Universalist General Convention in this city; indeed, at the Mayflower Hotel, a rather swank and un-Social-Gospel place to get a martini.

Plus, each document (1803, 1899, and 1935) was trying to accomplish something different, making comparisons at best difficult, and probably inappropriate. Until we get at the grammar of theological expression, neither the direct heirs of the Winchester Profession, or its collateral heirs (the UUA) is going to make much headway in crafting coherant theological statements.

Winchester at 200

The day has arrived! Happy Winchester Profession bicentennial day!

The Profession:

Article the First
We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest and final destination of mankind.

Article the Second.
We believe that there is one God, whose nature is Love, revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of Grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.

Article the Third
We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected, and that believers ought to be careful to maintain order and practice good works; for these things are good and profitable unto men.

More: Winchester Profession.org

Churches marking the Winchester Profession

Ever ready to comb the Internet for what people are saying about all matters Universalist, I’ve noted the following churches will be having Winchester Profession themed services this year.

September 14

All Souls Church, Unitarian Universalist, West Brattleboro, Vermont . The Rev. Barbro Hansson, minister.

September 21

Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford, Massachusetts. The Rev. Hank Peirce, minister. (Hank is also a friend, and he and his wife Rebecca attended my wedding. I feel cooler just knowing them.)

September 28

Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, Gray, Tennessee. The Rev. Barry Whittmore, minister. (And Barry’s a friend, too. A theme emerging.)

November 26

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, Tennessee. The Rev. Mary Katherine Morn, minister. (We used to be in the same district.)

More to be added as I find them.

Universalist quotation XXIX

“We are children born of God. There are differences of degree — but all are of the same spirit, birthright sons of God. From this affirmation we are to look upon men; according to it we are to direct our conduct.” (Lee S. McCollester)

In “The Practice of Universalism,” the occasional sermon for the Universalist General Convention, October 27, 1907, at the Church of the Restoration, Philadelphia. Forty-second Annual Report of the Board of Trustees [of the Universalist General Convention] (1907), page 120.

Universalist quotation XXVIII

“To me it appears reasonable that we shall be together in the after life as we are here — still pupils in one great school; that the wise will continue to instruct the ignorant, the strong to help the weak, the good to reclaim the erring. But however that may be, none of us can be where God is not.” (J. Frank Thompson)

In “The Universal Fatherhood of God”: the first pamphlet in “The Five Points of Universalism” series, presumably between 1899 and 1935.

Universalist quotation XXVII

Following up on my earlier posting:

“God is not to be propitiated, but served and loved and enjoyed. Religion is not a scheme of rescue, but daily manna from heaven.” (Isaac M. Atwood)

“Spiritual Side of Universalism” in Centennial of the Universalist Profession of Faith (1903), p. 154

The sources of this faith . . .

On the old “boy in the bands” I used to have in the margin something called, “The sources of this faith” which gave some context for the “1903 Universalist Creed” I profess. That’s what’s in the right hand margin of the current blog.

The two sources are:

1. The Winchester Profession, adopted in 1803

Article the First
We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest and final destination of mankind.

Article the Second
We believe that there is one God, whose nature is Love, revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of Grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.

Article the Third
We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected, and that believers ought to be careful to maintain order and practice good works; for these things are good and profitable unto men.

WinchesterProfession.org, [defunct] another of my sites

and

2. The Apostles’ Creed, here the ELLC version

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell (or, the dead)
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

English Language Liturgical Consulation

DeBenneville's Life and Trance

The Life and Trance of George deBenneville can be now found at www.universalistchurch.net/faith/lifeandtrance.html, which is another of my web persuits. Enjoy it with your July 26 G. deB. observances. I’ll work up a suitable list of “propers” (worship elements appropriate and particular to an occasion) to be posted here.

And I cannot help but notice in reading the other Unitarian Universalist weblogs that, as far as a “vocabulary of reverence” goes, God isn’t doing too badly on the World Wide Web.