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Saturday, September 29, 2007

UU Council of Christian Churches meets October 21.

Boston-area readers — attention, seminarians! — will be interested in the 26th convocation of the Council of Christian Churches in the UUA on Saturday, October 21. The theme is "Faith and Justice: Walking the Talk" — and the Council has assembled a very interesting group of presenters.

Two ministers noted for their scholarship — theologian Joseph Bassett and activist-historian Victor Carpenter — will be discussing two provocative statements on human rights, "What Torture Has Taught Me" by former Amnesty International head William F. Schulz and "Ethics and the Search for Christian Unity: Statement on Human Rights" (second item) by the Roman Catholic/Presbyterian Reformed Consultation. Bassett, the author of Theology for Pew and Pulpit: The Everlasting Song [libraries] and many essays in the Unitarian Universalist Christian, was minister of the First Church in Chestnut Hill from 1969 to 2007. Carpenter, author of The Long Challenge: The Empowerment Controversy (1967-1977) [libraries], has served UU congregations for nearly 50 years, including the Unitarian church in South Africa during Apartheid.

Also on the program: Tricia Brennan on ministry and motherhood and law professor Rusty Park on his work arbitrating the Holocaust-related Swiss bank and insurance cases. Dianne Arakawa will preach at the communion service.

The event will be held at King's Chapel Parish House in Boston from 1:00 to 5:00. Call 617-227-2155 to register.

There's not a lot online about the Council of Christian Churches in the UUA (sometimes called CXCUUA), although blogger Adam Tierney-Eliot can tell you more.

Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 29 September 2007 at 8:44 AM

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Jeff W.:

September 29, 2007 10:06 AM | Permalink for this comment

Thanks for posting this, Chris. Somehow I hadn't even heard of this organization--some scholar of UUism I am. I guess it just got overshadowed by the UU Christian Fellowship. I'll be interested to learn more, hope everyone has a good time.


September 29, 2007 06:25 PM | Permalink for this comment

Others know more than I do about the constellation of UU Christian organizations. Ron Robinson will probably chime in soon to explain their relationship further -- and might have other organizations to tell us about.

The UU Christian Fellowship is a membership organization for individuals; it also publishes Good News and the Unitarian Universalist Christian journal. The Council of Christian Churches is just that: an organization of churches. (Although, in practice, it seems to be an organization of the ministers of the member churches.) The Magi Network is a church-planting organization dedicated to starting and supporting new UU Christian churches.

The UUCF also represents the Unitarian and Universalist traditions in a handful of ecumenical endeavors, including the Consultation on Common Texts, the group responsible for the Revised Common Lectionary, which is used in a growing number of Christian traditions. The UUA itself maintains no ecumenical partnerships. I wonder if anyone has discussed this particular issue with the UUA Board as it redefines "independent affiliates."

Ron Robinson:

October 3, 2007 11:53 AM | Permalink for this comment

Chiming In. Thanks. The CXCUUA was begun in 1984, intentionally at the time not seeking to affiliate with the UUA as an independent affiliate since the UUCF, begun in 1945, already was. Future I suspect is open since changes have been made. Actually, the UUCF does have organizational and church membership, and we get support that is very much needed each year from churches and various organizations, primarily in New England. But the bulk of our membership of course is in individuals, much like, we say, the AUA was. About the makeup of the CXCUUA, it has been primarily clergy-run but then at least in the Mass. area there is or has been a separate regular meeting of UU Christian clergy too, and at different times in my experience there have been more lay persons and delegates present, or at least a balance; I look forward to bringing some soon from here in okla. and not just me attending.

Re: ecumenical relationships; our website has more on these annual gatherings and reports. The UUCF has been the connection with the CCT, as Philocrites reports, but the CXCUUA through the Rev. Scott Axford is part of the Faith and Order conversation and issues reports at the annual convocation of the CXCUUA; the latest report is up on our website. The CXCUUA usually also has a special relationship of shared observers with the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, those Congregationalists who didn't join in the UCC merger back when.

The Magi Network is I believe in the process of reforming. As the newest UU Christian church in the works here in OKla, I hope it is and look forward to more from it soon.

I personally suspect it is time for all three connections to figure out how to present a more unified front and face and networking. This was one of the top priorities that came out of a retreat we all shared, and i think this fall with the start of our long-awaited new webministry that we might be able to do so at least through it and make it easier once again for folks to be aware of the good ministry being done via all three groups, as well (I think) as by the non-UUA connected Christian Universalist groups.

thanks for the plug, and since I am plugging, let people know the deadlines for discounts and hotel blocks are rapidly among us all for the UUCF Revival with John Dominic Crossan in November. Go to for more. Never too late to come.

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