S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Unitarian Continuation Page 1 keywords = Unitarian Universalis Muttontown Plandome Shelter Rock Huntington Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fellowship MUUF church denomination district UUA Metro religio philosoph histor

Updated:   26 Dec 2010, 20:35  ET
(Page created 07 Aug 2002; converted 26 Dec 2010)
[original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/uu1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/uu1.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher



note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I am scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.


S. Berliner, III's

Unitarian Page


FLAMING CHALICE

UNITARIANISM

(the Unitarian Universalist movement -
continued)


PAGE INDEX


On the main Unitarian Universalist Page

Doxology
UU History
Universalism
    (continued on this U.U. Continuation Page 1)
Sojourner Truth - "Ain't I a Woman?"
Olympia Brown - first ordained female minister
Purposes and Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association
Local UU Churches in my area of Long Island, New York
    (moved to UU Long Island Page 08 Oct 00)
Other Unitarian Groups
UU Christian Fellowship
UU Principles and Purposes
Personal - Readings, Sermons
        (including Thomas Jefferson disclaimer)
    "Eternity and the Horseshoe Crab"
Huntington Universalist Society
    (moved to UU Long Island Page 08 Oct 00)
BenedictUUs III

On this U.U. Continuation Page 1:

More on Universalism - Thomas Potter, John Murray, and Murray Grove.
Additional Wayside Pulpit Sayings.

On the Long Island U.U. Page

Long Island UU History
Local UU Churches in my area of Long Island, New York
    (moved from UU Page 08 Oct 00)
Huntington Universalist Society     (moved from UU Page 08 Oct 00)

See also the UU Partner Church Program in Erdély (Transylvania); there is a large and historically-significant Unitarian presence there and we try to maintain close contact with our brothers and sisters in Erdély.  An expanded history of Unitarianism, especially of its founding in Transylvania, appears there.


UNIVERSALISM - although heavily submerged in Unitarianism today, Universalism, originally the belief that every person is born capable of salvation, flourished primarily as a religion of agrarian people, of the heart; Unitarianism was more of an urban, intellectual religion.

Let me hasten, belatedly, to add that, while I do not hold to their original belief, I treasure the Universalist heritage and applaud their tenacity and integrity in maintaining their identity without being absorbed by, or subsumed into, the UUA.

The story of the founding of Univeralism (in the Americas) is so fantastic that it beggars belief, yet it is quite true.  It has been moved here:

Thomas Potter, a farmer along the New Jersey shore near what is now Lanoka Harbor (south of Tom's River) formulated a belief in universal salvation and was so enthused about it that about 1760 he built a chapel, entirely by himself, on the marshland along Barnegat Bay, hoping that a minister would appear some day to preach this new gospel.  Lo and behold, one day in September 1770, the British brig "Hand in Hand" was driven over the outer banks by a storm, grounded on a sandbar in Barnegat Bay, and off-loaded just such a non-conforming minister, one John Murray, a young Englsihman who had just lost his wife and child, newly come to the shores of the New World precisely to avoid preaching that very gospel!  He wanted nothing whatever to do with Murray's goal but the ship's complement desperately needed food and water and Potter struck a deal with Murray.  If Potter fully provisioned the ship and it remained stuck until the coming Sunday, Murray would preach.  Sure enough, the ship remained fast on the sandbar and Murray, true to his word, preached (on 30 Sep 1770, to be precise) and the rest is history.  It's true!  That very chapel stood there until 1841, when it was taken down, the land (which Potter left to Murray but about which he neglected to inform him) was sold off and was eventually reclaimed by the Universalists, and the site is now known throughout the denomination as Murray Grove!  In a more superstitious sect, this would have occasioned claims of a miracle and all sorts of commercialization and publicity flack.

Murray Grove is now a retreat and conference center; their Website has a far-more comprehensive history of the Potter/Murray story.. I was there on 26 Jul 2002 and my pictures follow.

Universalists are represented in New York State by the New York State Convention of Universalists.

There is also more specific history of Unitarianism and Universalism on Long Island on the UU Long Island page.

Olympia Brown, ordained by the Universalists in 1863, is usually recognized as the first woman ordained with full denominational authority.  She was ordained in upstate New York soon after graduating from St. Lawrence University (founded by the Universalists); she served churches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  Antoinette Brown Blackwell was ordained by a Congregational church in 1853, but the Congregational General Conference protested the action and later rescinded it.  She was eventually ordained by the Congregationalists and later fellowshipped with the Unitarians.  Celia Burleigh was the first woman ordained by the Unitarians (1871).

This information is provided courtesy of the Archivist of the Unitarian Universalist Association; if you're interested in further information, "Universalist and Unitarian Women Ministers" by Catherine Hitchings is recommended reading.


The old (1837) Huntington (LI, NY) Universalist Society church building is covered on the Long Island U.U. Page.


More on Universalism - Thomas Potter, John Murray, and Murray Grove.

The "miracle" of the meeting between Thomas Potter and John Murray in 1770 has been described briefly on the main U.U. page and bears repeating in more detail (done, above); here's the story as it appears on the welcoming placard at Murray Grove:
    [missing images restored 26 Dev 2010]

M.G. Placard - left M.G. Placard - right
(26 Jul 2002 photos by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Once in the grounds, on the east side of U.S. Route 9, at the far (eastern) end of the large central clearing, there is a commemorative plaque set in a large boulder:

M.G. Plaque
[Thumbnail picture; click on the image for a larger picture.]

The text reads:

NEAR THIS SPOT FIRST MET
THOMAS POTTER THE PROPHET
AND JOHN MURRAY THE APOSTLE
OF UNIVERSALISM
THE FOLLOWING SUNDAY SEPT 30 1770
IN POTTER'S MEETING-HOUSE
MURRAY FIRST PREACHED IN
AMERICA
THE WILDERNESS AND THE SOLITARY PLACE
WERE GLAD FOR THEM

There is a signpost for the "Chapel" toward the back of the clearing, but it points northeast to a Presbyterian chapel just outside the grounds (which you can just make out through the trees) and NOT the original chapel, which was taken down in 1841 (in fact, none of the buildings on the grounds are originals from the Potter-Murray era).

M.G. 14 Sign M.G. 12 Chapel Front M.G. 13 Chapel Rear
(26 Jul 2002 photos by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Having determined that there was not much of great antiquity to see on the grounds, I set off for the "short" walk due east down to the water's edge to see Barnegat Bay much as as it was when John Murray set ashore.  Oh, yeah!  My memory (and youth) seem to have failed; I had no trouble with the path (not as heavily travelled as when I was there ca. 1970) and saw a dot of brightness in the far distance, like the light at the end of the tunnel - only this tunnel was vegetation, and then took another (better focused) shot several hundred yards farther down the path:

M.G. 04 Path M.G. 05 Path

Finally, after a long walk, I saw open land in the distance and then broke out of the dense growth into marshland:

M.G. 06 Path M.G. 07 Path

"Getting there", thought I!  Guess again.  Worse yet, notice the encroachment of "civilization" into the once-pristine wetlands (left in second picture, looking south)!

Straight ahead (east) looks pretty good and you can sense where the Bay begins but it has been an awfully long walk (and I walk at three miles per hour).  Worse yet, mosquitoes are rising (West Nile, anyone?) and deer ticks are appearing on my pants legs (Lyme?) AND, because it's further than I remembered, the sun is lowering.  Also, note the all homes to the left (northeast) in the second picture:

M.G. 08 Path M.G. 09 Path

Note also the small copse of pine in the distance along the path and the large growth of bullrushes or Spartina grass in front of it.  Just before I entered that clump, I realized that the path had pretty well petered out, the mosquitoes were really getting scary, the clump was a haven for ticks, and those houses on the right (south) were just spoiling the whole ambiance, so, calculating an extra half hour for safety before it got dark, I packed it in.  Other than birds, mosquitoes, and ticks, I didn't see any wildlife, and I'm "woods-wise" (I wear mocs and walk quietly), but I DID see tracks in the fading light (deer, deer):

M.G. 10 Path M.G. 11 Path
(26 Jul 2002 photos by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

So much for finding the place of the Universalist "miracle"!  Ellen Chulak, Murray Grove's Executive Director, advises that it's a full two miles to the water; can't say I didn't try.


If you've read this far, you might enjoy my Religion and Philosophy page.



The Wayside Pulpit to which I refer elsewhere is not unique to Unitarian Universalism, but the sayings thereon sure are!  my all-time favorite is:

WaysidePulpit
(Illustration by and © S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image; or
click HERE for HUGE 1.5Mb imageyou can print out
at 8" x 10" to post in your own church.]

Other "Wayside Pulpit" sayings that have caught my eye:

NOT A SHRED OF EVIDENCE EXISTS IN FAVOR
OF THE IDEA THAT LIFE IS SERIOUS
  -  B. Gill

THE FIRST CASUALTY OF ANY WAR, WHETHER HOT OR COLD,
IS TRUTH
  -  James Avery Joyce

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE WE CAN HAVE
IS THE MYSTERIOUS
  -  Albert Einstein

ONE MUST STILL HAVE CHAOS IN ONESELF TO BE ABLE
TO GIVE BIRTH TO A DANCING STAR
  -  Freidrich Nietsche

HE WHO WOULD BE FREE MUST DARE TO LIVE
WITH UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
  -  J. Robert Smudski

IT IS BETTER TO ASK SOME QUESTIONS
THAN TO KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS
  -  James Thurber

EVERY REFORM WAS ONCE A PRIVATE OPINION  -  Ralph Waldo Emerson

THE WORLD'S BEST REFORMERS ARE THOSE
WHO BEGIN ON THEMSELVES
  -  George Bernard Shaw

LOYALTY TO PETRIFED OPINIONS
NEVER YET BROKE A CHAIN
  -  Mark Twain

{more to follow - hopefully}



BenedictUUs III

SB,III - Aug. 1980
(after Numbers VI: 24-26, adapted)

May we bless one another and keep one another;

May we make our faces to shine upon one another
  and be gracious unto one another;

May we lift up our faces unto one another
  and give one another peace,
  this day and forevermore.
    AMEN.


LEGACY

  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

See Copyright Notice on primary home page.



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