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The New UU An introduction to Unitarianism and Universalism and the Unitarian Church of Edmonton.

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Presentation on theme: "The New UU An introduction to Unitarianism and Universalism and the Unitarian Church of Edmonton."— Presentation transcript:

1 The New UU An introduction to Unitarianism and Universalism and the Unitarian Church of Edmonton

2 The New UU- Overview Session 1: Session 1: Sessions will end by 2 p.m. or sooner Sessions will end by 2 p.m. or sooner The Personal: sharing names and stories of why we came to this church The Personal: sharing names and stories of why we came to this church The Past: A quick and entertaining tour through five centuries of Unitarian and Universalist history The Past: A quick and entertaining tour through five centuries of Unitarian and Universalist history

3 The New UU- Overview Session 2- Next week: Session 2- Next week: The Principles: A look at the Principles and Sources of Unitarianism The Principles: A look at the Principles and Sources of Unitarianism The Present: A look at this congregation, how it works and who the leaders are. The Present: A look at this congregation, how it works and who the leaders are.

4 The Personal Please tell us your name, Please tell us your name, A little about your religious/spiritual background, and A little about your religious/spiritual background, and Why you are continuing to visit this congregation. Why you are continuing to visit this congregation.

5 The Past Core ideas of Unitarianism and Universalism date to earliest days of Christianity Core ideas of Unitarianism and Universalism date to earliest days of Christianity Unitarian: belief in the oneness of God instead of a trinity. Jesus may be special, but is not God – Arianus Unitarian: belief in the oneness of God instead of a trinity. Jesus may be special, but is not God – Arianus Universalist: belief that all will be saved; that a loving God cannot damn his creation to eternal punishment- Origen Universalist: belief that all will be saved; that a loving God cannot damn his creation to eternal punishment- Origen

6 Early Christian Belief Early Christians pretty loose with beliefs Early Christians pretty loose with beliefs Church Fathers ranged all over the map Church Fathers ranged all over the map Constantine calls Council of Nicea in 325 CE to settle fixed doctrine Constantine calls Council of Nicea in 325 CE to settle fixed doctrine

7 Council of Nicea 325 CE 325 CE Adopted Creed by narrow margin Adopted Creed by narrow margin Belief in divine Jesus Belief in divine Jesus Belief in resurrection Belief in resurrection Belief in divine judgement Belief in divine judgement Belief in Holy Spirit (Trinity) Belief in Holy Spirit (Trinity)

8 The Reformation 1519 Luther nails 95 Theses to church door 1519 Luther nails 95 Theses to church door Religious revolution as church corruption spread through Europe Religious revolution as church corruption spread through Europe But how much change is okay? But how much change is okay?

9 Radical Reformation Luther wanted to end corruption and limit power of priests: “Priesthood of all believers” Luther wanted to end corruption and limit power of priests: “Priesthood of all believers” All authority came only from reading the Bible ‘Sola Scriptura’. Thanks to Guttenberg printed Bibles were increasingly available. All authority came only from reading the Bible ‘Sola Scriptura’. Thanks to Guttenberg printed Bibles were increasingly available. Calvin wanted to reform church structures Calvin wanted to reform church structures More radical reformers wanted FREEDOM for open discussions of basic doctrine More radical reformers wanted FREEDOM for open discussions of basic doctrine

10 Michael Servetus Spanish lawyer, physician, theologian Spanish lawyer, physician, theologian Applied REASON to theology Applied REASON to theology Wrote “On the Errors of the Trinity” (1519): The Trinity is not Biblical Wrote “On the Errors of the Trinity” (1519): The Trinity is not Biblical Arrested by French Inquisition, sentenced to death- escapes Arrested by French Inquisition, sentenced to death- escapes

11 Michael Servetus Flees to Geneva thinking John Calvin will see the light. Flees to Geneva thinking John Calvin will see the light. Immediately arrested by Calvin who guides his prosecution Immediately arrested by Calvin who guides his prosecution Burned at the stake, 1553 Burned at the stake, 1553 Sets off Toleration Debate Sets off Toleration Debate John Calvin

12 Unitarianism Spreads Italy gets too warm for Giorgio Biandrata who travels to Poland in Italy gets too warm for Giorgio Biandrata who travels to Poland in Meets other Unitarian thinkers and becomes first leader of Minor Reform Church Meets other Unitarian thinkers and becomes first leader of Minor Reform Church Leaves for Transylvania in 1563 Leaves for Transylvania in 1563

13 Poland Faustus Socinus follows Biandrata. Movement often called Socinianism or Polish Bretheren Faustus Socinus follows Biandrata. Movement often called Socinianism or Polish Bretheren Rakow community builds, first Unitarian printing press and catechism Rakow community builds, first Unitarian printing press and catechism Counter reformation kills Polish church by 1660 Counter reformation kills Polish church by 1660

14 Transylvania Biandrata at Transylvanian court by Biandrata at Transylvanian court by Influences queen mother and priest named Francis David. David became court preacher to young King John Sigismund. Influences queen mother and priest named Francis David. David became court preacher to young King John Sigismund. King supports idea of religious toleration- land caught between Islam and Christianity! King supports idea of religious toleration- land caught between Islam and Christianity! Summons Diet of Torda – a great debate Summons Diet of Torda – a great debate

15 Diet of Torda

16 Edict of Toleration “in every place the preachers shall preach and explain the Gospel each according to his understanding of it, and if the congregation like, well; if not, no one shall compel them, but they shall keep the preachers whose doctrine they approve… faith is the gift of God, this comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” “in every place the preachers shall preach and explain the Gospel each according to his understanding of it, and if the congregation like, well; if not, no one shall compel them, but they shall keep the preachers whose doctrine they approve… faith is the gift of God, this comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

17 Freedom, Reason, Tolerance Reformation opened doors for quest for religious FREEDOM Reformation opened doors for quest for religious FREEDOM Debate began with execution of Servetus in 1553 for his use of REASON Debate began with execution of Servetus in 1553 for his use of REASON Transylvanian Edict of Toleration Transylvanian Edict of Toleration Battle for TOLERANCE in Europe would last well into 18 th century. Battle for TOLERANCE in Europe would last well into 18 th century. Freedom, reason and tolerance were and are keys to Unitarianism and Universalism Freedom, reason and tolerance were and are keys to Unitarianism and Universalism

18 Spread of ideas Unitarianism did not grow as ‘church’ but as ideas or as an approach to religion, doctrine and Scripture. Unitarianism did not grow as ‘church’ but as ideas or as an approach to religion, doctrine and Scripture. Freedom, reason and tolerance were the common links. Freedom, reason and tolerance were the common links. Next appearance was in England via teachings of Dutchman James Arminuis (Refugee Poles had carried ideas to Sweden and Holland) Next appearance was in England via teachings of Dutchman James Arminuis (Refugee Poles had carried ideas to Sweden and Holland)

19 Theophilus Lindsey Anglican priest Anglican priest Could not sign the required 39 articles Could not sign the required 39 articles Set up Unitarian Chapel in London---over Feathers Tavern in 1764! Set up Unitarian Chapel in London---over Feathers Tavern in 1764! Great friend of Charles Dickens Great friend of Charles Dickens Influenced Joseph Priestly Influenced Joseph Priestly

20 Joseph Priestly Joseph Priestly, minister and scientist Joseph Priestly, minister and scientist Discovered Oxygen Discovered Oxygen Chased from Birmingham Church by angry mob Chased from Birmingham Church by angry mob Moved to Philadelphia in 1794 Moved to Philadelphia in 1794 Founded first US church Founded first US church

21 What’s Universalism? Belief that God will save all from Hell Idea dates to Origen in 3 rd century Resurfaced again in England in 1780’s with James Relly

22 John Murray Follower of Relly in England Failed at getting movement started Debtor’s Prison, wife and daughter die Gives up religion and England, sails for America Miracle at Thomas Potter’s farm!

23 John and Judith Sargent Murray John starts church in Gloucester MA in 1771 Marries Judith Sargent who becomes a prominent writer John preaches Universalism all over eastern seaboard

24 Hosea Ballou Vermont born son and brother of Baptist preachers, self-taught Ballou preaches Universalism in 1791 Becomes key leader of church Universalism spreads like wildfire

25 Universalism Belief that all will be saved a nice antidote to contemporary ‘Hell and Damnation’ preaching Appealed mostly to rural folk, members of small churches over 200,000 by 1830 Weak central organization Established St. Lawrence University seminary in upstate New York Leaders in anti-slavery and women’s movements Established many churches in Canada: 3 remain

26 Olympia Brown After much struggle, Olympia gains admittance to St. Lawrence First women ordained to Universalist ministry 1863 Suffragette leader who died just before U.S. women won the vote

27 Clara Barton Universalist activist Founded forerunner of of Red Cross during Civil War

28 Julia Ward Howe Universalist abolitionist Penned ‘Battle Hymn of Republic’ Credited with founding Mother’s Day as day for mothers to march for peace

29 Unitarianism in America Though Priestly began Unitarianism in Philadelphia in 1795, Boston would soon be its center and still is today. Though Priestly began Unitarianism in Philadelphia in 1795, Boston would soon be its center and still is today.

30 William Ellery Channing 1825 respected Congregationalist minister preaches ‘Unitarian Christianity’ 1825 respected Congregationalist minister preaches ‘Unitarian Christianity’ Calls for use of reason with Bible Calls for use of reason with Bible Discounts miracles Discounts miracles Trusts human character Trusts human character Starts American Unitarian Association Starts American Unitarian Association

31 Boston Unitarianism Religion appeals to elite and Harvard educated Religion appeals to elite and Harvard educated Though rational approach to Christianity is foremost, most early Unitarians also accept universal salvation Though rational approach to Christianity is foremost, most early Unitarians also accept universal salvation Leaders in public education, abolition, suffrage and temperance movements Leaders in public education, abolition, suffrage and temperance movements

32 Ralph Waldo Emerson Great philosopher began his career as Unitarian minister Great philosopher began his career as Unitarian minister Promoted transcendentalism: belief in oversoul and direct spiritual link to God Promoted transcendentalism: belief in oversoul and direct spiritual link to God Great friend of Henry David Thoreau Great friend of Henry David Thoreau

33 Theodore Parker Radical preacher even by Unitarian standards Radical preacher even by Unitarian standards Abolitionist leader jailed for harbouring fugitive slaves Abolitionist leader jailed for harbouring fugitive slaves Preached to 3,000 at a time in a Boston theatre Preached to 3,000 at a time in a Boston theatre

34

35 Margaret Fuller Leading literary figure in Emerson and Parker’s Boston Leading literary figure in Emerson and Parker’s Boston Edited noted literary journal ‘Dial’ Edited noted literary journal ‘Dial’ Married an Italian count. Family was lost at sea while returning to US Married an Italian count. Family was lost at sea while returning to US

36 Unitarianism in 19 th century US Seen to be faith of reasoned intellectuals Seen to be faith of reasoned intellectuals Thomas Jefferson “content to be a Unitarian on my own” thought it would become national religion of Enlightenment America Thomas Jefferson “content to be a Unitarian on my own” thought it would become national religion of Enlightenment America Leaders in many social justice causes Leaders in many social justice causes Believed they could perfect the world Believed they could perfect the world Strong in New England, Illinois and California, but weak elsewhere Strong in New England, Illinois and California, but weak elsewhere

37 Unitarianism in the 20th Century World War I was a blow to the dream of a perfected world. ‘God is dead’ movement drains faith. Religion loses members. World War I was a blow to the dream of a perfected world. ‘God is dead’ movement drains faith. Religion loses members. 1930’s rationalists compose Humanist Manifesto pushing Unitarianism further away from Christian roots. Services become very austere 1930’s rationalists compose Humanist Manifesto pushing Unitarianism further away from Christian roots. Services become very austere Strong central organization at ’25’ keeps church alive. Strong central organization at ’25’ keeps church alive.

38 Universalism in the 20 th Century WWI hurts Universalism, more than Unitarianism. Strong faith in the Golden City shattered by war and depression. Weak central church unable to give financial help. Churches close by the score and denominational finances erode.

39 Universalism in Canada Several Universalist congregations were founded in Canada in 19 th century, mostly by Americans near the border Today only three remain: Halifax, Olinda, ON and North Hatley, PQ

40 Merging Denominations Unitarianism and Universalism had long recognized similar approaches to faith, reason and scripture. Merger negotiations begin. Unitarianism and Universalism had long recognized similar approaches to faith, reason and scripture. Merger negotiations begin American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America decide to merge into Unitarian Universalist Association 1960 American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America decide to merge into Unitarian Universalist Association

41 Unitarian Universalist Association Unitarianism brought rational humanism Unitarianism brought rational humanism Universalism brought heart and a sense of spirituality. Universalism brought heart and a sense of spirituality. Merged denomination now has 260,000 members in over 1000 congregations Merged denomination now has 260,000 members in over 1000 congregations

42 Unitarianism comes to Canada  1832 British and US Unitarians finally establish Montreal congregation.  John Molson was a key founder…yes, that John Molson  British didn’t want an American minister. Yanks didn’t want a Brit. Called John Cordner – from Belfast.

43 Unitarianism in Canada  Toronto Church founded in 1843 by Workman brothers from Montreal.  Founding member was Emily Jennings Stowe who would become first woman physician in Canada

44 Joseph Workman  One of the founders of the Toronto Church  Father of modern psychiatry in Canada  Pioneered humane treatment of inmates at Queen Street Asylum

45 Spreading Unitarianism  Montreal, 1832  Toronto, 1845  Ottawa, 1898  Hamilton, 1899  Vancouver, 1909  Edmonton,  Calgary,  1950’s start of Fellowship movement: Victoria,  Waterloo, Saskatoon, Regina, Toronto, Pointe Claire, etc  1980’s more spin off starts: Westwood, Coquitlam, West Vancouver etc.

46 Unitarian Service Committee  Founded by Romanian refugee Lotta Hitschmanova during WWII  Relief agency in Europe, later in Third World  Made ‘56 Sparks Street’ one of the most famous addresses in Canada  Our best ambassador in 50’s and 60’s  Ties still close with USC Canada

47 Unitarianism in Edmonton  Congregation founded in 1911 by liberal Edmontonians  Charles Francis Potter was the first minister  Anti-war views got him into trouble with W.H. Alexander

48 Unitarianism in Edmonton  Alexander fights Potter over prayers for soldiers, Potter resigns  Alexander takes on major load of leadership duties including Sunday worship and preaching at Garneau Community Hall  Alexander retires to U.S. Following a brief ministry (Carl Storm, ) congregation disbands

49 Unitarianism in Edmonton  IN 1950 Dick Morton tries to restart congregation  BY 1954 AUA helps bring Edmonton born Charles Eddis back to become first minister.  First years again in basement of Garneau United Community Hall  Members financed own building in 1964 Charles Eddis in 2001

50 Unitarianism in Edmonton 110 Avenue Church

51 Starting Westwood  During tensions with Rev. Rob Brownlie in late 1970’s, a small group spun off a small congregation that did not survive.  In 1981 UCE and Rev. Brownlie planned a new positive start. Westwood Congregation was begun by UCE members.

52 Westwood th Avenue

53 Westwood

54 UCE and Westwood  Very close relationship between congregations  Worked together to support 5 Intern Ministers since  During Internship program Westwood has grown from 30 to over 100 members.  Now seeking permanent part-time minister

55 Unitarianism in Canada Founded in 1960 as UUA formed Concern that Canadians needed their own voice in social justice matters and in issues of concern to Canadians

56 CUC Existed as a volunteer run operation Board of Trustees elected annually at Annual Meeting in May First Executive Director, Kathleen Hunter hired in 1984 after 23 years. Mary Bennett is current ED Congregations – not individuals- are members. Operations financed by per member dues ($87 per year) and endowment.

57 CUC 1998 Canadians began to perceive need for autonomy from UUA. Dissatisfaction with service delivery levels 2001 CUC votes on autonomy proposal. 85% in favour.

58 CUC CUC Transition team plans for new, autonomous CUC,

59 Regions and RiNGS Service delivery plan divides Canada into Atlantic, Central, Western and BC Regions Two full time Directors of Regional Services manage teams of volunteer consultants and networkers One full time Director of Lifespan Learning provides educational services Five years later, plan has exceeded expectations.

60 CUC Adopting the Plan, Kelowna, 2002

61 CUC Singing ‘One More Step’

62 CUC founders Charles Eddis and Phillip Hewett light the Kelowna Chalice


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