This year, I’ve sought out and geocoded all the member churches of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, in Great Britain. I have some observations and a map like I made for the UUA, but there are some lingering choices for how to render the map. So instead, I’ll tell where the centerpoint — er, centrepoint — for UK Unitarians, based on the reported quota numbers. (With the understanding that this probably isn’t an adequate way to measure membership, much less participation.)
And I discovered is how difficult it would be for a newcomer to find many Unitarian churches, based on their web sites. There’s often plenty of information about teas and their seventeenth-century history, too many lack basic directions, maps, visitor expectations, parking or transit information. So I hope my map in addition to being a visual tool for understanding prospect for new church development — see my earlier concern about a lack of a church in Milton Keynes — can also be useful in helping newcomers find a church that already exist. A good website isn’t everything, but why make it harder for vistors than it needs to be?
And because as was suggested in UUWorld article I believe what’s happening with the British Unitarians is a bellwether of what’s to come in the United States. We’re larger, but by no means large and the same thing can happen to us.
The map is quite a labor but I hope to have it up later this week.
Autumn Thanksgiving Day, keyed to Michaelmas, is one of the four times a year the Hungarian Unitarian have communion, and that’s today. Let us remember them in prayer, and see this video (from the same festival five years ago) which demostrates how it is distributed. The use of two cups in tandem and the refilling flagon is very smart. Note the bread and cup are given hand to hand.
Not fond of the progressivist title or the Starr King School for the Ministry implied development (fundraising) angle, but small quibbles for a film that’s a valuable document. Features a set of Transylvanian Unitarian ministers today, and in English no less. Deserves a wider audience.
Stanton Coit (1857-1944) has always been one of “those names” — a Humanist source for pleasingly churchly worship material, a quoted authority, largely an enigma. Partly to since he was a Humanist, I wasn’t likely to come across him. But I saw some of his work in the 1937 Services of Religion (prepended to Hymns of the Spirit) and looked up his Wikipedia article, which provided much of the following reading list. See the links to read the PDFs. (Will fill in the gaps if the works appear online.) And thanks to Humanist Heritage for this delightful photo of Coit in beach togs.
Happy days. I’ve been waiting for years to see a well-reviewed Canadian sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie (aka Little Mosque) and it’s now available on Hulu. It’s about a small Muslim community in the fictional town of Mercy, Sasketchewan. Cute, quirky, a bit broad and gently preachy in a distinctly Canadian way.
And then there’s this screenshot. Hmm. An announcements-in-worship themed plot device!
American Unitarians and Universalists have, for about a century, kept and extended fellowship through a series of institutions, the largest and most notable today is the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
The British (and independently the Scottish) Unitarians and Free Christians have a similar fellowship. And the Quakers have one globally.
But when I discovered the Coptic-jurisdiction British Orthodox Church had one, I knew I had to investigate. And thus the background for the next couple of posts.