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“Work and Dreams and the Wide Horizon” By Louis C. Cornish

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Selections from Work and Dreams and the Wide Horizon

by Louis C. Cornish

(Beacon Press, 1937)

Chapter IV “The Fellowship Committee,” pp. 36-44
Chapter IX “Poignant Problems”, pp. 98-107
Chapter XXI “The Free Church Fellowship”, pp. 268-97

Louis Cornish (1870-1950) was President of the AUA (1927-1937). His memoirs cover a period where Unitarian histories do not exist or are sketchy. Cornish’s chapters on ministerial certification, the denomination during the Depression, and the wider Unitarian outlook as embodied in the Free Church during the 1930’s all have polity implications.

  • Cornish does not wrestle with the power of the fellowship committee as a gatekeeper in an association of free churches. What would possibly be his response if the issue were raised?
  • Cornish’s response to the Depression seemed to be spreading good will. He talks of the role of the wider denomination but rather discounts its effort “to handle funds and manage administration affairs.” Out of what doctrine of the church does Cornish write?
  • What point do larger religious affiliations, such as the Free Church, have for Unitarian Universalists? What powers did the Free Church have? Does the chapter suggest in any way that the effort was about to fail?

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