The First Parish in Malden, Mass., and the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Saugus, Mass., voted to consolidate their congregations on April 25. Both congregations had been holding services together at the Malden church for the past two years. The new combined church now has more than 70 members and will keep the Malden church’s name. The Rev. David M. Horst, minister of the Malden congregation, will serve the combined church.
Oil spill responses
Several UU congregations have held services in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Bellville, Ohio, held a vigil on June 8 marking the 50th day of the oil spill.
On the same day, members of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita, Kans., joined a national vigil organized by MoveOn.org to show support for Gulf Coast residents and to encourage the use of clean energy.
Members of the Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church in Racine, Wisc., participated in the international “Join Hands Across the Sand” action on June 26, holding hands with other citizens at area beaches to protest offshore drilling and to support policies promoting renewable energy sources.
The Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield, Mass., joined with other members of the Interfaith Council of Western Massachusetts to hold a “Service for Healing Our Earth” on June 29 at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Springfield. The church bell was rung 71 times marking the 71 days of the oil spill.
Residential service program
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens in Flushing, N.Y., has announced the start of a new program in which six UUs will be invited to reside in the church’s renovated parish house while they do a year of social justice work. The UU volunteers will live communally and engage in theological reflection about the work they’re doing. According to a press release issued by the congregation, the church is hoping the program “will serve as a model for the future of our movment.”
The 650-member River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, Md., celebarated its 50th anniversary on November 7, 2009, with a special service featuring all but one of the ministers who served the church since its founding in 1959.
The 52-member Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown, N.Y., marked its 125th anniversary on May 16, with a special service and program dedicated to the church’s founder, Dr. James G. Townsend. The Rev. Chris Raible, minister emeritus, delivered the sermon and after that led a procession to the Lakeview Cemetery where a new memorial bench inscribed with one of Townsend’s quotes was dedicated.
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