New UU Class — Week 2: Where Do We Come From? Unitarian Universalist Roots

A few new folks joined our group from last week as we met for the second session of our New UU Class, led by Rev. David Carl Olson and Director of Lifespan Religious Education, Becky Brooks. We began by meeting in pairs to discuss the following question: “If your own spiritual/religious history was a tree, what would be its roots and what would its branches be reaching toward?” We did some thinking about our own religious histories and moments that changed us or made an impact in our lives and shared in small groups.

Rev. David shared a bit from the New UU Curriculum, Themes in North American Unitarian Universalist History. Curriculum author, Jonalu Johnstone posits four primary themes in our history:

• Freedom of Thought and Noncreedalism
• On-going Revelation
• The Power of Nature
• Building the Beloved Community

We closed with a historical tour of our church buildings. If you couldn’t be with us tonight, remember there are church tours on the first and third Sundays of the month after worship.

The following are some books and other resources under this session’s topic that you might be interested in. All books can be ordered at unless otherwise noted.

A list of UUA pamphlets is available online here:  Follow the links to read selected pamphlets. Of interest this week may be:

“The Flaming Chalice,” â€Unitarian Universalist Origins,” and â€We Are Unitarian Universalists“

Unitarian Universalism: A Narrative Historyby David Bumbaugh

A Stream of Light: A Short History of American Unitarianismby Conrad Wright

The Epic of Unitarianism: Original Writings from the History of Liberal Religion, by David B. Parke

For Faith and Freedom: A Short History of Unitarianism in Europeby Charles A. Howe

Norbert Fabian Capek: A Spiritual Journeyby Richard Henry

The Spirit Leads: Margaret Fuller In Her Own Words, by Barry Andrews

Three Prophets of Religious Liberalism: Channing, Emerson and Parker, by Conrad Wright

American Universalism: Fourth Edition, by George Huntston Williams

Black Pioneers in a White Denomination: Third EditionMark D. Morrison-Reed

Darkening the Doorways: Black Trailblazers and Missed Opportunities in Unitarian Universalism, by Mark D. Morrison-Reed

Sacred Service in Civic Space: Three Hundred Years of Community Ministry in Unitarian Universalism, by Kathleen Parker

Standing Before Us: Unitarian Universalism Women and Social Reform, 1776-1936by Dorothy May Emerson

(Our class is adapted from a new curriculum in theTapestry of Faith series from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). A copy of the original New UU curriculum is available online, as are other titles in the series.)

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