General Assembly 2000 Event 355
Presenters: Rev. Nurya Love Parish, Rev. Scott Wells
The Magi Network, a new, affiliated organization of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), hosted a meeting to get people thinking about forming new Unitarian Universalist (UU) Christian churches, and to encourage interested people to seek out help for funding and advice.
The meeting began with a prayer for the hope that Unitarian Universalist Christians will find a place, either in an existing congregation, or will help found a new one. Rev. Nurya Love Parish described the activities at her church in Fenton, MI, the first intentionally Unitarian Universalist Christian church gathered in many years. Rev. Scott Wells is currently serving a small Universalist-heritage Christian church in Canon, GA. "I think of it as the kind of Protestant church many people wish they had grown up in," he said, explaining that the worship and church life is traditional, but that the congregation is tolerant, and that its ongoing message is that God is love, and that all are children of God. "This message, so well loved and understood by many, is still not the norm in many places of the country and world."
Revs. Parish, twenty-nine, and Wells, thirty, described their own faith journeys as young adults. Each had become a Unitarian Universalist before becoming a Christian. "It would have been impossible for me to be a Christian without having been a Unitarian Universalist (UU) first. Worshipping God in one person, and knowing that this God will bring all beings into harmony and wholeness with each other and with the Eternal itself gives me an honest faith and one with which I can live," said Wells. Parish said there was a focused Unitarian Universalist church in her area in each stage of her faith journey—from atheist, to theist, and now Christian. "We want to make it clear that Christians have a place and a contribution today."
The presenters announced the Julia Outlaw grants program. Named for a North Carolina Universalist lay religious educator and church organizer, the Julia Outlaw grants help "supply the funds so that people may dream out loud." The funds would be for buying supplies and paying for publicity.
Members of the audience asked a number of questions, including what a Unitarian Universalist Christian is, and how such church would cooperate with other Unitarian Universalist churches.
Rev. Nurya Love Parish is the president of the Magi Network, and is the new congregation minister of Epiphany Community Church, Unitarian Universalist, Fenton, MI. Rev. Scott Wells is the vice-president of the Magi Network and is minister-elect of Universalist National Memorial Church, Washington, DC.
Reported by the Rev. Scott Wells.