"The Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship has been a healing and ever present force in my life for the past 25 years. I was raised in a fundamentalist evangelical environment as a child and knew all too well the guilt of my sins and the necessity for revival to have these sins forgiven over and over. I eventually left religion entirely for a decade coming back to a UU church as an agnostic who was very angry with Christianity. When I experienced the ministry of an incredible Universalist minister I realized the beauty of grace and love.
Not long after I discovered the UUCF and the journals they produced which assisted me in the process of healing. And then the UUCF did the "unthinkable"....they held a national revival in New Orleans which I could not attend. I heard such fascinating testimonials regarding what went on at "Revival" I attended the Revival in 2003 in Washington DC. It was a transforming experience.
Early on the Saturday morning of that revival, I attended a service of prayer and meditation with a harpist playing music in the background. When she began to play the old altar call hymn of my youth, "Just as I am", I froze in fear. "Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee....Oh Lamb of God I come...I come." And then forgiveness came as the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear..."I love you just as you are." I knew the Grace inherent in Universalism but it suddenly became real in that moment and that has made a huge difference in my life.
Come join us at Revival 2012 and find out what we mean by "Following Jesus in Freedom".
Rev. Dave Dawson
"I have been to every Revival since the very first one in New Orleans in
1999. Why do I keep coming back? Because there is something about
gathering together to worship with other Unitarian Universalist Christians
that lifts my spirit, feeds my soul and stirs my conscience. I attend Revivals because I need to bear witness to my own Christian identity and to
hear the words of my teacher and mentor, Jesus. I seek out Revivals because
my faith needs to find a Rock in a weary land. Go to Revival, if at all
possible. It will renew you in ways that will surprise, delight, challenge
and change you!
Rev. Kathleen C. Rolenz
I was privileged to be the delegate to the UUCF Revival #9 in Dallas Texas. The topic was Rediscovering Jesus and Communities of Hope in October 2010 at Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church in Carrollton, TX. There was an exciting wide range of events, but I will only refer to those I experienced myself: the vision of the occasion was that of inclusivity since all were Welcomed: Christian or not, Unitarian Universalist or not, believers, skeptics, seekers…gathering in the loving and liberating spirit of Jesus. For example, one of our key workshop was on Christian Faith and Buddhist Practice.
We experienced keynote speakers who gave us great insights in our Christian pluralistic tradition. For example, there was Brandon Scott who explored "Re-Imagining Jesus along with Peter, Paul, and Mary and the other radical early disciples.” He focused on the revolutionary political message of liberation present in the writings of the authentic Paul but hidden by mystically shaped translations from the original Greek. We also heard from Rev. John Buehrens, who spoke on UU Christianity as the option between Christian and humanist extremism. And there was a powerful presentation of the future of our UUCF network through house churches, symbolized by the Rev. David Owen O’Quill founding pastor of Micah's Porch Community Church in Chicago. He also led a powerful healing service.
I attended an interesting workshop presented by Rev. Dennis Hamilton, the minister of the host church Horizon in Carrolton. He gave a slide show presentation about early Christianity in India (c. 45 AD) and described his adventures near Mumbai with Indian Catholics.
We also had dynamic varied worship services with folk music and congregational hymn singing, homilies and sermonette, our traditional Taize Service, based on medieval Christian chant singing, and a baptismal service with communion. There were also small groups in which I and four others shared our spiritual journeys to UU Christianity. In addition, we brainstormed a service project in connection with First Unitarian in New Orleans, involving direct volunteer work plus political agitation around the issue of wetland ecology. Of course, we Christians love to eat both communal eating in large groups and in small groups: my group had a splendid “Eucharist” meal at an Italian restaurant. And each evening, a few of us attended a medieval evening prayer services led by Rev. Mark Walz and Gil Guerrero.
And O the fellowship: Conversations with new people and old friends, like Rev. Naomi King, Brandi (one of our young adults) and Jasmine, a proponent of polyamoryism; arguments about racial caucusing vs. multiracial caucusing. Or, why the 3 million dollars raised around Katrina did not go first to our UU churches before going elsewhere. My roommate was an ex-socialist who had come to UU Christianity out of the failure of the old movement. So we had some interesting conversations. And I leafleted the gathering about the issue of racist unemployment and the need for multiracial unity, even in a predominantly white organization like ours.
We ended with our traditional farewell circle on October 17. I felt inspired to finally say farewell to my old home church, Russell Street Baptist Church, and ready to put my heart and hands to this plow of Christian freedom with all its revolutionary and contradictory implications.
Rev. Finley C. Campbell, Chicago Chapter, UIUCF