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Recent Stories

E.E. Cummings’s ‘firstness’
Cummings proclaimed the primacy of individual experience.
By Kris Willcox 4.6.15 IDEAS

In Selma, 'we are your partners forever'
More than 500 Unitarian Universalists join 50th anniversary march in Selma.
By Christopher L. Walton and Elaine McArdle 3.6.15 IDEAS

Why Black History Month matters
As a Unitarian Universalist, I draw courage and inspiration from Black History Month.
By Kenny Wiley 2.16.15 IDEAS

Selma at the cinema
An important film introduces Unitarian Universalists Reeb and Liuzzo, but doesn't mention their faith.
By John Buehrens 1.19.15 IDEAS

A life lesson from Hollywood
In 'Selma,' James Reeb offers a compelling lesson in being a racial justice ally.
By Aisha Hauser 1.19.15 IDEAS

The radical Martin Luther King we don't know
Does America have the capacity to heed the radical Martin Luther King Jr., or must America sanitize King in order to evade and avoid his challenge?
By Cornel West 1.19.15 IDEAS

Selma's challenge
In the past, our religious forebears had stood on the brink of making a difference in racial justice, and had wavered. Not this time.
By Mark Morrison-Reed 1.5.15 IDEAS

James Lord Pierpont and the mystery of 'Jingle Bells'
The debate over where the Unitarian wrote the holiday favorite rages on.
By Kris Willcox 12.15.14 IDEAS

A tree remembers
A children's book tells Anne Frank's story from the perspective of the tree outside her hiding place.
By Sonja L. Cohen 11.1.14 IDEAS

Josiah Wedgwood: Beyond the table
The 'father of English potters' was also a Unitarian and an anti-slavery advocate.
By Sonja L. Cohen 10.27.14 IDEAS

Challenging the surveillance state
First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles is suing the National Security Agency.
By Joshua Eaton 9.29.14 IDEAS

Our visit to Chernobyl
Sabbatical travel allowed us to see history with our own eyes.
By Larry Stritof 6.9.14 IDEAS

Go on a Unitarian Universalist pilgrimage
We may not have shrines, but Unitarian Universalists visit the scenes of our tradition's great stories.
By Christopher L. Walton 5.5.14 IDEAS

Beyond comprehension
Visiting Auschwitz, the imagination can only handle so much.
By Sonja L. Cohen 3.31.14 IDEAS

Spiritual landmarks: Exploring Boston's churches
Three historic churches are home to Unitarian Universalist congregations in downtown Boston.
By Christopher L. Walton 3.31.14 IDEAS

Sankofa Ghana: A spiritual journey home
What did I need to retrieve from a visit to the slave ships' point of departure?
By James Gray and Jeff Riedler 3.10.14 IDEAS

UUA holds farewell ceremony for 25 Beacon St.
Beacon Benediction guests look through contents of 1926 time capsule.
By Christopher L. Walton 3.3.14 IDEAS

UUA sells Beacon Hill buildings to residential developer
Sea-Dar Construction will convert 25 Beacon St., Pickett & Eliot Houses into residences.
By Donald E. Skinner 2.18.14 IDEAS

Unitarian Charles Follen and the Christmas tree
A champion of religious freedom and the abolition of slavery is best known for Christmas trees.
By Kris Willcox 12.23.13 IDEAS

Time capsule unearthed from 25 Beacon St. cornerstone
Engraved copper box will be unsealed at farewell celebration in February.
By Michelle Bates Deakin 12.16.13 IDEAS

Who gets to tell Jesus's story?
A single story may win, but the alternate stories do not fully disappear.
By Parisa Parsa 12.9.13 IDEAS

Light a candle or two this Thanksgivukkah
Where are you in the stories of the two holidays that just happen to coincide this year?
By Lynn Ungar 11.18.13 IDEAS

Frank Lloyd Wright's 'Beautiful' book
The famous architect designed a rare book by the Unitarian minister William Channing Gannett.
By Sonja L. Cohen 10.21.13 IDEAS

Book to note: 'Muhammad: The Story of a Prophet and Reformer'
New book for children shares stories from the life of Islam's founder.
By Michelle Richards 9.16.13 IDEAS

Olympia Brown: pioneering minister, women's suffragist
Ordained in 1863, Brown was the first woman ordained with full denominational authority in America.
By Laurie Carter Noble 6.17.13 IDEAS

Laura Matilda Towne: A quiet revolutionary
Laura Matilda Towne devoted her life to a school for former slaves.
By Annette S. Marquis and Nan White 5.13.13 IDEAS

Farewell, 25 Beacon Street?
As the UUA looks for a more modern headquarters, Unitarian Universalists reflect on the symbolic meaning of its perch on Boston’s Beacon Hill.
By Richard Higgins 3.11.13 IDEAS

UU-UNO marks fifty years at the United Nations
Unitarian Universalist voice for human rights at the UN since 1962.
By Allison Bennett 11.5.12 IDEAS

The Unitarian ministry
In 1944, the author protested Unitarian discrimination against women in the ministry.
By Jack Mendelsohn 10.22.12 IDEAS

Barack Obama's Unitarian Universalist connection
Where to learn more about President Obama's family history with Unitarian Universalism.
By Christopher L. Walton 10.8.12 IDEAS

Beloved quotes produced by the UU rumor mill
Francis Dávid didn't say, 'We need not think alike to love alike.'
By Peter Hughes 9.17.12 IDEAS

Book to note: 'An Introduction to the Unitarian and Universalist Traditions'
From Servetus to Second Life.
By Sonja L. Cohen 8.15.12 IDEAS

May Sarton, 'our poet,' at 100
May Sarton felt a strong affinity for Unitarians, who continue to revere her work.
By Sonja L. Cohen 5.21.12 IDEAS

Common elements in Unitarian Universalist congregational names
The ten most common elements of a Unitarian Universalist congregation's name.
By Christopher L. Walton 5.15.12 IDEAS

Historical inspirations
UU World asked: What historical Unitarian, Universalist, or UU most speaks to you?
By Sonja L. Cohen 5.15.12 IDEAS

How old are Unitarian Universalist congregations?
Some date back to the 1600s, but 59 percent were founded in the last sixty years.
By Christopher L. Walton 4.30.12 IDEAS

Academia, ministry intersect in UU history post
Meadville Lombard appoints the Rev. Dr. Nicole Kirk to endowed chair of UU history.
By Elaine McArdle 4.23.12 IDEAS

Cynthia Grant Tucker rescues women's voices from archives
'I wanted to give a voice to all of this experience that has generally been disregarded.'
By Kimberly French 4.16.12 IDEAS

The empowerment tragedy
Unitarian Universalists remain unreconciled over the 'black empowerment' controversy.
By Mark Morrison-Reed 1.16.12 IDEAS

Forty years of UU sexuality education
Our congregations are recognized leaders in comprehensive sex ed, grounded in UU values.
By Sarah Gibb Millspaugh 1.2.12 IDEAS

The spiritual heritage of the Occupy movement
The Occupy protests have much in common with political movements of the 1840s, 1890s, and 1930s—including a spiritual dimension.
By Daniel McKanan 11.14.11 IDEAS

Robert Gould Shaw and his regiment of 'hope and glory'
25-year-old Unitarian led the first regiment of free blacks in the Union Army.
By Polly Peterson 11.7.11 IDEAS

Henry Bergh: 'The great meddler'
The Unitarian who founded societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals and children.
By John Gibb Millspaugh 8.1.11 IDEAS

The life of the spirit
We are discovering Universalism's theological bounty.
By Denise T. Davidoff 6.6.11 IDEAS

The unfulfilled dream
We neglected the Universalist challenge of restating our core convictions in contemporary terms.
By David E. Bumbaugh 6.6.11 IDEAS

UUA membership growth, 2001 to 2011
Over the past decade, Unitarian Universalism has grown in 33 states and D.C.
By Christopher L. Walton 5.23.11 IDEAS

Unitarians and Universalists together: A good and positive venture
Despite difficulties, Unitarians and Universalists have forged a new identity together.
By O. Eugene Pickett 5.16.11 IDEAS

Key moments in UUA history
Prophetic witness, institutional challenges, and cultural change.
By Christopher L. Walton 5.16.11 IDEAS

The UUA at 50: Rooted and growing
The Unitarian Universalist Association celebrates its golden anniversary.
By Christopher L. Walton 5.16.11 IDEAS

Doors opened to women in UU ministry
As women entered the ministry, language and habits changed.
By Carolyn S. Owen-Towle 5.16.11 IDEAS

Spiritual landmark, Summer 2011
The focal point of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse, N.Y., is a window depicting the world's religions.
By Michelle Bates Deakin 5.15.11 IDEAS

Everything changes, and we must, too
Central to our faith tradition is our willingness to leave behind what no longer serves us.
By Peter Morales 5.2.11 IDEAS

A faith for the few?
Unitarian Universalists are torn between pride in our elite history and aspirations to be a religion for all.
By Mark Harris 4.4.11 IDEAS

Nordic strands of our living tradition
The story of Icelandic, Norwegian, and Finnish Unitarians in North America.
By Stefan M. Jonasson 2.21.11 IDEAS

Heritage and history groups sponsor conference together
'History and Heritage Convocation' unites four independent organizations.
By Christopher L. Walton 2.15.11 IDEAS

Gordon Martin, civil rights lawyer
UUA parliamentarian's book chronicles African Americans' efforts to vote in 1960s Mississippi.
By Christopher L. Walton 2.15.11 IDEAS

The story of Ephraim Nute
New book chronicles life of frontier Unitarian minister.
By Sonja L. Cohen 2.15.11 IDEAS

Remember the pro-censorship Unitarians?
Boston's elite saw censorship as part of their larger social reform agenda.
By Christopher L. Walton 1.17.11 IDEAS

Unitarian values underscore Elizabeth Gaskell's novels
Victorian novelist wrote about social issues, role of women.
By Kimberly French 12.6.10 IDEAS

Heroes and mentors: Reclaiming Krypton
Why a generation that grew up with Buffy and the Power Rangers will demand a different Unitarian Universalism.
By Doug Muder 11.15.10 IDEAS

Book review of 'The Antiracism Trainings'
A former editor of this magazine satirizes the Unitarian Universalist Association.
By Christopher L. Walton 11.1.10 IDEAS

Meet the founders of the UU Service Committee
A new book shares the stories of the founders of the UUSC.
By Kenneth Sutton 10.4.10 IDEAS

Theodore Parker, radical theologian
2010 is the bicentennial of the most influential Unitarian minister who ever lived.
By Dean Grodzins 8.30.10 IDEAS

James Freeman Clarke transformed congregational life
The bicentennial legacy of James Freeman Clarke.
By Sonja L. Cohen 7.5.10 IDEAS

Margaret Fuller's bicentennial legacy
Margaret Fuller, the forgotten heart of the Transcendentalist movement and the first American theorist of women's equality.
By Kimberly French 5.17.10 IDEAS

Unitarian inspired popular nursery rhyme
In her childhood, Mary Elizabeth Sawyer Tyler had a little lamb.
By Sonja L. Cohen 5.10.10 IDEAS

Events to mark Margaret Fuller’s bicentennial
Dozens of events scheduled nationwide to celebrate the legacy of noted feminist, journalist, and Transcendentalist.
By Kimberly French 3.15.10 IDEAS

Unitarians worked to 'save' Ute Indians
In the 1870s, the American Unitarian Association oversaw a Ute reservation in Colorado.
By Sonja L. Cohen 2.1.10 IDEAS

The religious left
An old tradition for a new day.
By Daniel McKanan 1.18.10 IDEAS

Seeing Joseph Priestley whole
He's more than just the discoverer of oxygen and soda water.
By Scott Gerard Prinster 10.12.09 IDEAS

Fifty years after the vote to form the UUA
The Unitarian and Universalist consolidation process continues to this day.
By Kimberly French 9.28.09 IDEAS

John Murray's conversion to Universalism
How an 18th-century Calvinist was converted to Universalism.
By Kimberly French 6.29.09 IDEAS

Peace Network rallied UUs against nukes
We didn't have to declare ourselves a traditional peace church to be strong advocates for peace and nuclear disarmament.
By Stephen M. Shick 5.11.09 IDEAS

Natural faith
How Darwinian evolution has transformed liberal religion.
By William R. Murry 2.12.09 IDEAS

Watching the evidence change
A meditation on the inauguration of President Barack Obama, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
By Rosemary Bray McNatt 1.19.09 IDEAS

Adlai Stevenson, the original egghead
The last Unitarian nominated for president of the United States.
By Kimberly French 11.3.08 IDEAS

Ethical Culture's humanist legacy
An Ethical Culture Society joins the Unitarian Universalist Association.
By Kimberly French 8.18.08 IDEAS

A bench by the road
The author of 'Beloved' wrote her novel because there was 'no suitable memorial' to slaves.
By Toni Morrison 8.11.08 IDEAS

Early Christians emphasized paradise, not crucifixion
How we can reclaim a theology of earthly paradise.
By Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker 7.14.08 IDEAS

Transcendentalism divided
Some Transcendentalists emphasized self-reliance, but others stressed social reform.
By Jeff Wilson 6.23.08 IDEAS

Our congregationalist heritage
Unitarian Universalists have held fast to one aspect of their Puritan roots: congregational polity.
By Alice Blair Wesley 5.12.08 IDEAS

The fellowship movement
A look back at the lay-led congregations that transformed Unitarianism.
By Holley Ulbrich 4.21.08 IDEAS

Unfinished with Christianity
Most Unitarian Universalists live in tension with Christianity. I wish we talked about this more.
By Doug Muder 3.24.08 IDEAS

Adapting to children's needs for 200 years
How Unitarian and Universalist religious education evolved over two centuries.
By Kimberly French 3.10.08 IDEAS

Was your town a sundown town?
How to find out if your community intentionally excluded African Americans.
By James Loewen 2.18.08 IDEAS

Book to note, Spring 2008
Gary Kowalski's new book.
By Christopher L. Walton 2.15.08 IDEAS

Forgotten story of America's whites-only towns
James Loewen documents the rise of 'sundown towns' and their enduring legacy.
By Dan Carter 1.21.08 IDEAS

'Twilight Zone' writer challenged prejudice
Rod Serling, a Unitarian, confronted prejudice with innovative television scripts.
By Kimberly French 11.12.07 IDEAS

America's original battle over church and state
Competing visions of divine order and sacred liberty.
By Forrest Church 11.5.07 IDEAS

Quillen Shinn, Universalist circuit rider
Our Universalist forebears ranged far and wide.
By Kimberly French 10.15.07 IDEAS

Liberal theology, vibrant but hidden
Unitarian Universalism was liberal theology's first home, but we have neglected it lately.
By Christopher L. Walton 9.24.07 IDEAS

Louisa May Alcott's Unitarian legacy
Did 'Little Women' plant the seeds of my own Unitarian Universalism?
By Rosemary Bray McNatt 8.6.07 IDEAS

Thirty years of feminist transformation
The 1977 Women and Religion resolution transformed the Unitarian Universalist Association.
By Kimberly French 6.25.07 IDEAS

America's first cemetery, Unitarian-style
Boston's 175-year-old Mount Auburn Cemetery reflects Unitarian views of death.
By Kimberly French 5.28.07 IDEAS

What is Unitarian Universalist Buddhism?
The history of UU engagement with Buddhism and its growing significance.
By James Ishmael Ford 5.21.07 IDEAS

Golden age of Unitarian growth
One person inspired eight new churches in a dozen years.
By Warren R. Ross 1.8.07 IDEAS

Pilgrims' 400-year legacy
Unitarian Universalists celebrate the Pilgrims' historic covenant.
By Kimberly French 11.20.06 IDEAS

Lewis Latimer, African American inventor and Unitarian
Son of slaves invented key elements of lightbulb.
By Kimberly French 10.30.06 IDEAS

Why the Pentagon Papers still matter
Why Beacon Press's Pentagon Papers still matter.
By Allison Trzop 10.23.06 IDEAS

Unitarian statue loses spot in U.S. Capitol
Thomas Starr King statue to be replaced by one of Ronald Reagan.
By Donald E. Skinner 9.15.06 IDEAS

Old Ship Church celebrates 325 years
Hingham, Mass., church dates to Puritan era.
By Jane Greer 8.15.06 IDEAS

St. Louis, first Unitarian outpost in the West
First Unitarian church west of the Mississippi River formed in 1835.
By Suzanne Meyer 6.19.06 IDEAS

Heroes' dilemma: How much would you sacrifice?
The complex moral legacy of Martha and Waitstill Sharp.
By Michelle Bates Deakin 6.5.06 IDEAS

The quest for the historical Mary Magdalene
The church fathers and 'The Da Vinci Code' both get Mary Magdalene wrong.
By Elizabeth Lerner Maclay 5.15.06 IDEAS

Marriage in the nineteenth century
The complexities of women's lives in Unitarian Boston.
By John Buehrens 5.8.06 IDEAS

How the UU Principles and Purposes were adopted
A history of Unitarian Universalism's Principles.
By Warren R. Ross 5.1.06 IDEAS

Counterculture and liberal religion
20th-century transformations of liberal religion.
By Christopher L. Walton 4.3.06 IDEAS

UU Service Committee led on Central American human rights
Fifteen years of advocacy in El Salvador.
By Richard Scobie 3.20.06 IDEAS

Reviving a 227-year-old church
How the oldest Universalist church in America came back to life.
By Jane Greer 2.27.06 IDEAS

Church celebrates members' World War II heroism
At celebration of Unitarians who saved refugees from Nazism, a challenge: Who will help the victims of genocide in Darfur?
By Michelle Bates Deakin 12.19.05 IDEAS

Ebenezer Scrooge's conversion
Charles Dickens's Unitarian 'Christmas Carol.'
By Michael Timko 12.19.05 IDEAS

Unitarian couple honored for World War II heroism
Israel honors cofounders of UU Service Committee.
By Michelle Bates Deakin 12.12.05 IDEAS

Boston honors Selma's civil rights activists
Unitarian Universalists cosponsor march, remember civil rights martyrs.
By Christopher L. Walton 11.7.05 IDEAS

Tombaugh discovered Pluto, co-founded church
At 24, Clyde Tombaugh discovered the elusive ninth planet.
By Kimberly French 10.3.05 IDEAS

Congregational anniversaries, 2004-2005
UU churches celebrate their beginnings.
By Amelia Koford 7.28.05 IDEAS

Hosea Ballou's Universalist manifesto
The pioneering theologian Hosea Ballou challenged the doctrine of damnation.
By Charles Howe 7.4.05 IDEAS

South Carolina kids honor MLK
Greenville, S.C., UU Fellowship cooperates with Presbyterian church.
By Staff Writer 5.1.05 IDEAS

William Ellery Channing's public faith
'I thank God that my own lot is bound up with that of the human race.'
By Jack Mendelsohn 3.1.05 IDEAS

Ephraim Nute, free-state minister
New England Unitarians and other abolitionists helped found Lawrence, Kansas.
By Michael O'Brien 9.1.04 IDEAS

The wellspring of American nature writing
'Walden' remains uncannily 'addressed to our condition exactly,' 150 years after its publication.
By Richard Higgins 7.1.04 IDEAS

Gay rights timeline
Major social, political, and religious milestones on the road to equality.
By Christopher L. Walton 5.1.04 IDEAS

Clarence Bertrand Thompson: Famous consultant, forgotten minister
A Unitarian minister who became a management expert and a biochemist.
By John Buehrens 1.1.04 IDEAS

Liberal Religious Youth merged fifty years ago
Universalist and Unitarian youth organizations merged eight years before their denominations did.
By Deborah J. Pope-Lance 11.1.03 IDEAS

Adin Ballou's influential utopianism
The Universalist-Unitarian who influenced Tolstoy, Gandhi, and King.
By Christopher L. Walton 7.1.03 IDEAS

Theodore Parker, heretical prophet
Theodore Parker did more to establish our justice-seeking heritage than anyone else.
By Rosemary Bray McNatt 5.1.03 IDEAS

Ralph Waldo Emerson's Unitarian legacy
What do we see in Ralph Waldo Emerson on his 200th birthday?
By Richard Higgins 5.1.03 IDEAS

Sophia Lyon Fahs, revolutionary educator
Starting in 1937, Fahs helped lead a Unitarian religious education revival.
By Christopher L. Walton 3.1.03 IDEAS

It came upon a Unitarian midnight clear
Edmund Hamilton Sears's beloved carol longs for peace.
By Ken Sawyer 12.23.02 IDEAS

Childhood memories of a Unitarian fellowship
The cartwheels, the parade, the presents for poor people.
By Jane Rzepka 11.1.02 IDEAS

The bold experiment of the fellowship movement
The do-it-yourself fellowship movement spread Unitarian congregations far and wide.
By Warren R. Ross 11.1.02 IDEAS

A. Powell Davies, preacher to the nation
Unitarian minister was 'in the forefront of every assault upon intolerance and racial discrimination and injustice.'
By Warren R. Ross 7.1.02 IDEAS

Bob West led the UUA through a stormy period
Bob West is regarded by many as the 'unsung hero of the UUA.'
By Warren R. Ross 7.1.02 IDEAS

A step toward racial reconciliation
A Cincinnati church reaches out to the family of a black Unitarian minister it rejected many years ago.
By David Whitford 5.1.02 IDEAS

'His rightful place'
The Rev. W.H.G. Carter's great-granddaughter shares a family's living tradition.
By Starita Smith 5.1.02 IDEAS

An urgent encounter with Islam
A reading list in the aftermath of 9/11.
By Rosemary Bray McNatt 1.1.02 IDEAS

Unitarian and Universalist roots of the American Red Cross
Two volunteer organizations led by Unitarians and Universalists set a foundation for the American Red Cross.
By Christopher L. Walton 1.1.02 IDEAS

Pacifists and pragmatists
We are not a peace church. We are not a war church.
By John Buehrens 1.1.02 IDEAS

UUA supported publication of Pentagon Papers
Beacon Press and the Pentagon Papers.
By Warren R. Ross 9.3.01 IDEAS

Wartime origins of the flaming chalice
The flaming chalice was first used by the Unitarian Service Committee.
By Dan Hotchkiss 5.1.01 IDEAS

Unfinished journey: Selma 1965
Unitarian Universalists responded to Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to Selma. Two gave their lives.
By Christopher L. Walton 5.1.01 IDEAS

Memoir of King's eulogy for James Reeb
A witness's diary captures the torment and magic of James Reeb’s eulogy.
By Richard D. Leonard 5.1.01 IDEAS

Timeline of the Selma civil rights campaign
From Selma to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
By Christopher L. Walton 5.1.01 IDEAS

Witness to Reeb's death looks back
A witness to Selma's tragedies revisits the path of tears and learns to dry his own.
By Clark Olsen 5.1.01 IDEAS

Unitarian Universalists and Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhists
Greeley and Niwano's great friendship transcended national identity, culture, religion.
By Kimberly French 1.1.01 IDEAS

UU publishing roots grow deep
UU World magazine descends from periodicals going back to 1819.
By John Hurley 9.1.00 IDEAS

The UUA meets black power
BAC vs. BAWA, 1967-1971.
By Warren R. Ross 3.1.00 IDEAS

Stories from Universalist history
Stories of Universalists.
By David Reich 7.1.93 IDEAS

Universalism: 200 years and growing
The spirit of Universalism and the future of Unitarian Universalism.
By John Lovell 7.1.93 IDEAS

Inside the UUA time capsule
Mementos from two earlier headquarters buildings.
By Christopher L. Walton IDEAS

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