Leaders of Dutch Remonstrant Church visit UUA
Leaders of Dutch Remonstrant Church visit UUA
The General Secretary of the Remonstrant Church, Reverend Tom Mikkers, and the minister of the Remonstrant congregation in Utrecht, Holland, Rev. Tina Geels, are visiting the UUA and Boston-area congregations this week.

The visit by these leaders serves as an opportunity for two long-time institutional interfaith partners to become re-acquainted after changes in administration leadership. Rev. Mikkers began his service as General Secretary in 2008, and both he and Rev. Geels agree that he represents a "changing of the guard" within the Remonstrant church.

The American Unitarian Association, and later the UUA, has had interfaith relations with the Remonstrants since the early years of the 20th Century, as the Remonstrant Church participated in the founding of the International Association of Religious Freedom along with the AUA in 1900.

The Remonstrant church traces its foundation to the 1620s when the theological followers of Arminius dissented from and were forced to leave the folds of Dutch Calvinist Orthodoxy. Arminian theology, and the foundation of the Remonstrant Church, are products of the Radical Reformation, and demonstrate close relationships with Socianian and Anti-Trinitarian/Unitarian proponents of the era. Early Unitarians in the United States and England were strongly influenced by Arminian theological ideas as well.

At the moment the Remonstrant Church is developing a congregational "rejuvenation" program, and our guests have enjoyed meeting with UU congregational leaders in Concord, MA, Jamaica Plain, MA, Lexington, MA, and will visit congregations in Wakefield, RI and Weston, MA before their visit is over. They have also discussed "Churchworks" matters with leaders of UUA departments, including Congregational Stewardship Services, Growth Services, BGLT Concerns, and Youth/Young Adult Ministry. UUA President Peter Morales thoroughly enjoyed meeting with the Remonstrant leaders as well, and looks forward to continuing close relations in the years to come.

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