Looking back, I think that the largest gift coming out of the merger [of the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association in 1961] was that we saved our Universalist heritage. I didn’t appreciate this until years and years later. The person who turned me on to Universalism was the Rev. Dr. Forrest Church. Thanks to Forrest and others like him—currently the Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed—people in our pews are learning to know what Universalism was historically and celebrating the theological bounty of Universalism in the lives of our congregations. The progress we have made toward understanding the life of the spirit has freed up people like me to go back and explore childhood theistic roots. Understanding what Universalism means to us as a faith movement is, I think, the most positive outgrowth of the merger.
This passage is taken from an interview conducted by the Rev. Vanessa Southern for the UUA’s 50th Anniversary Oral History Project. See “The UUA at 50: Rooted and Growing” for a guide to other articles in this issue related to the fiftieth anniversary of the Unitarian Universalist Association.