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Orders of Service for Public Worship

Orders of Service for Public Worship was compiled by Anna Garlin Spencer, minister at the Bell Street Chapel in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1896. It resulted from the chapel’s several years of experiments with creating ceremonies that represented progressive religious thought.…

Unity Festivals

Unity Festivals was published by the Western Unitarian Sunday School Society in 1884, when the Western Unitarian Conference was under the effective leadership of Jenkin Lloyd Jones. This brief book of sample services and songs contains material for Easter, a summertime Flower Service, a Harvest service, Christmas, a “National Service,” a christening service, and finally, a congregational covenant service as well.…

Winchester, Elhanan (1751-1797)

An early Universalist in Pennsylvania, Elhanan Winchester was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on September 30, 1751. His father was a farmer and shoemaker, and a religious wanderer from New Light Congregationalist to residence at a Shaker village. Although he did not receive much formal education, Elhanan was largely self-educated and he became a master at languages.…

Biography of Rev. Peter Raible

By Peter Raible, Editor of “Polity Among Unitarians And Universalists” (1992)

Peter Raible is a lifelong, in fact fourth generation, Unitarian. His late father and retired brother were also UU ministers. His roots are in New England, though he has lived in Texas, Illinois, California, Nebraska, and now for over 30 years in Washington State, where he is the parish minister of University Unitarian Church of Seattle.…

Preface to “Polity Among the UUs,” by Patricia Bowen

When Peter Raible asked me to help him prepare this syllabus for a course in church polity, I confessed that I’ve never been sure I knew what “polity” was.  Peter said that polity is simply the way we are and why we are that way. 

Introduction to “Polity among the UUs,” by Peter Raible

Polity relates to our governance, that is, how we are organized. Among Unitarians and Universalists, however, that clear parameter quickly becomes permeable, for so much seems to relate to horn we mew our polity. Polity is not theology, but belief issues affect church organization.

Table of Contents

[All page numbers listed in this Table of Contents refer to pages in Raible’s original collection of documents. All links (other than the prefatory material) lead to Peter Raible’s helpful introductions and guiding questions, provided for each text in the collection.

Acknowledgements for “Polity Among the UUs,” by Peter Raible

Many persons have helped immeasurably in the preparation of this work on polity. The Theological Grants Panel of the Unitarian Universalist Association, chaired by the Reverend Lee Barker and staffed by the Reverend Ellen Brandenburg, provided the finances which allowed the work to go forward and be published.…

HSL’s Introduction to “Polity Among the Unitarians and Universalists”

In the early 1990s, the Rev. Peter S. Raible of Seattle’s University Unitarian Church created a collection of materials relating to Unitarian and Universalist congregational polity, or structures of church governance. The documents quickly totaled well over one-thousand pages, coming in at almost 1,440 pages in length.…

Kahlil Gibran and Charles W. Eliot

Harvard Square Library is pleased to present online a recent article about a meeting between Harvard University President Charles W. Eliot and the artist and poet Kahlil Gibran. Paul M. Wright’s article, “The President Meets the Prophet: Charles W. Eliot’s 1910 Encounter with Kahlil Gibran,” appeared in the Fall 2010 issue (Vol.…