Update: I'm planning for a May 10 launch. Details to follow.
For six weeks, plus Ascension Thursday, I will be creating short audio services of worship and posting them here. I will start this Sunday (May 3) or the Sunday following, depending on how quickly I can work through the logistics.
Why? As always, I think Universalist Christianity is a word of comfort, sorely needed now. In part to share an expression of Universalist Christian worship at time when other expressions of Christian faith are being distributed through internet-published video, audio and text. Also, I want to offer something to readers, a couple of whom wished aloud that the services of my home church, Universalist National Memorial Church, Washington (UNMC) could be available. In fact, they may be in time (that’s not my decision), but for now they can only be experienced live. Six weeks is all I’m ready to commit to, and that also may see us through this wave of the shutdown. (I hope.)
Even if UNMC starts broadcasting, surely there’s room for two Universalist Christian services. But keeping that possibility in mind, I want to distinguish my efforts in several ways:
- The services will be rooted in the now little-known Universalist prayer book tradition. It’s close to my heart and I want it to be better appreciated. I hope to show that it’s approachable enough to learn and adopt where there is no Universalist Christian church nearby.
- The profession of faith I will use is the one I turn to the most: the Winchester Profession of 1803. UNMC uses a local declaration of faith based on the 1899 Chicago “Five Principles” Declaration.
- I will use the older one-year lectionary rather than the Revised Common Lectionary that I almost always use in my preaching.
- There will be no sung or choral music; it’s past my ability.
- The services will be pre-produced, not live.
- The services will serve more a supplement than as a principle worship service, though that may not be an important distinction for many.
- The services will be audio only, probably with a text option. This should make them more available for persons with limited internet access. The digital divide is real, and even in the United States, many people live with no internet or a poor connection; streaming or recorded video is not an option for many people.
Pray for me as I take the first steps into a different mode of ministry.