I’m always happy when I get an envelope of newsletters from the Saviour of All Fellowship. Even though you can read them online now — not always the case — there’s something about getting the letter. I need to put a check in the mail to them.
Each month is one side of a leaf (I wonder if some people get the newsletters monthly rather than bundled) with a bit of biblical instruction, an encouraging word and some news (like a conference or a death notice). It is written like a letter and always stays on topic: praising God and instructing the people on our final and complete salvation. Most Unitarian Universalists will find their theology odd, but I suspect those who find their way here will find something endearing.
The model, from a church communications point of view, is worth considering. I can imagine many small churches could dispense with the mini-magazine format and put out a well-made, timely and tightly constructed letter instead.
I found a new independent-Universalist blog recently, The Simple Light Cafe. My one regret is that the blogger writes infrequently, but writes in a meaningfully dense way that I suspect each post is worth three or four careful reviews.
The writer has a theology that James Relly would have recognized: quite a good think in my book. Be sure to read the entry, “Born Again (Not What You’ve Heard)” which is as good a takedown of the Evangelical process of being “born again” as I’ve seen. And quite correct.
Brian Smith (The Beautiful Heresy) has started a universal salvation message board at http://euniversalism.forum5.com/index.php. Do take a look.
You won’t find a reference to the Rev. William Balkan in the records of the Unitarian Universalist Association, even though he spent his last years of pastoral ministry serving Canon (Georgia) Universalist Church — holding on longer than he wanted so that I might finish seminary and succeed him — and wrote for the the Universalist Herald then and after.
Bill died a few weeks ago so I’ve heard, but he won’t be remember at the Service of the Living Tradition at General Assembly this year or any other. He was a minister — formerly Lutheran — who believed in universal salvation and served a little Universalist church but never held fellowship. He never needed fellowship to serve and there are lots of ministers — most unknown to the wider world — who have lived, served and died the same way.
Pause, please, to remember him.