Sad news from Doug Drown emailed to me earlier today and Â reprinted with permission:
Thought you would like to know that it has been reported on the Maine Conference UCC website that the Gardiner United Church of Christ in Gardiner, Maine (former First Universalist Church) has closed. The property and assets have been turned over to the Conference to help provide funding for its ministry.
This was not a "former" Universalist church; it WAS the Universalist Church, having elected not to join the UUA at the time of the merger and to subsequently cast its lot with the UCC instead. The building is a particularly lovely example of New Brunswick-type "Bishop Medley" Carpenter Gothic, of which there are few examples in Maine. It's painted yellow, which is also unusual. I'll try to find a photo.
Thank you, and a photo would be appreciated. There are other unaffiliated Universalist churches formerly associated with the denomination, of course. Some are independent or locally federated, but this situation is unusual. (There was a church in Ohio affiliated with the NACCC but it was small and I've not seen it in the directory lately.)
Again, a sad word, worth noting with thanksgiving.