I was searching online, clicking links and reading tonight when I found this charming, touching and pleasingly funny film short. It’s about a Jewish congregation in the East End of London trying to keep a minyan on Yom Kippur. Spend ten minutes and — if your congregation is in peril — hope.
“The Tenth Man”
And the punchline, for this blog? The Sandys Row Synagogue, where it was filmed, is a real place. And this is the actual building, in another age then known as the Parliament Court Chapel, where a spiritually-conflicted John Murray and his first wife, Eliza, heard the Universal Gospel from James Relly. In other words, this is where the “father of American Universalism” became a Universalist. It makes me think, and tremble a little.
Today was the first day for the Annual Meeting of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. Blessings to all y’all in Staffordshire!
And they have — presumably for presenters — a customized Powerpoint template. (Link to PPT file.) Must help keep a consistent theme with a minimum of effort. And one can open and edit it with the free (in cost and in freedom) LibreOffice Impress presentation editor.
I’m a member of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship and also the Unitarian Christian Association, its British counterpart. Membership is available to persons worldwide; outside Europe the annual dues are £ 20, or about US $32. And they take PayPal. A worthy group, if you have it to spare.
British Unitarian blogger and minister Andrew Brown blogged about Univeralist leader Robert Cummins´s counsel to ministers in his own time, excerpted from one of the last Universalist polity manuals, pre-consolidation.
The Unitarian Christian Association is an affiliated society of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, a.k.a. the British Unitarians. I’ve wanted to join for some time; I like their publications — I almost wrote publicans — and tone. But without access to a pounds sterling account, it has been impractical to try. (Might cost more to send the money than the Â£20 dues.)
But now they have a PayPal account. And so I’ve signed up. Since I have a PayPal account it took only a couple of minutes.
Dear friend, colleague and Unitarian Universalist minister Victoria Weinstein is on her way to that “sceptred isle” to lead worships, workshops and other meetings. I hope she’s able to work in some milky tea, mash and pie. Most of her time will be in and around London, but there are other events, and if you’re Over There and have meaning to meet her — and catch a glimpse of her alter-ego PeaceBang — please review these details at her blogs.
Excuse the pun and, urm, backseat driving. This is a pointed question to the British Unitarians out there.
Why are there no Unitarian churches in Milton Keynes, a postwar “new town” with more than 200,000 residents? Not even one. And, given the usual caveats about growth, it’s set to double in population in the next twenty years, in part by growing the direction of the legally distinct but adjacent town of Newport Pagnell.
Now, except to change trains, I’ve never been in Milton Keynes, and all I know of Newport Pagnell is that (1) it’s next to the M1, (2) it has an offramp service center/road services/rest stop and (3) it’s mentioned in a Smiths song. But it’s 13 miles from the church in Northampton, and that’s the nearest one.
Is it really so strange for such a large residential area be targeted for a new church?
Well, if you’re going to think aloud, think big, I suppose.
I just ran across a late-2010 thread at the site of the Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church about the prospect of a Unitarian Universalist seminary in Australia. Since the number of Unitarians and Universalist in Australia and New Zealand seem to be in the hundreds, I would counsel something a bit more modest at first — a organized lay peaching course or an intensive history or theological seminar within one of the theological faculties — but the post and comments, while few, should encourage those interested in ministerial formation.
“Joseph,” a British Unitarian blogging at A Dissenting Voice wrote a few days ago about a humble Georgian-era philanthropist (with a Unitarian connection) — John Pounds — who deserves to be better known.