Next up to read and study

I have to be careful about what I investigate or else I keep running down rabbit holes. Here’s what I intend to look at in the next weeks:

  • the role of deacons in the Universalist church
  • the sources of ambivalence around baptism among Universalists
  • the denominational climate around the time of the adoption of the Winchester Profession in 1803
  • resources for learning plainsong, which I have not sung since college when I shuttled between the Unitarian Universalists, the Episcopalians and the Quakers
  • low-cost video production for churches.

I hope also to write at least one article tying up my thoughts on the Kansas Universalist Convention Church, which I didn’t get back to.

6 Replies to “Next up to read and study”

  1. I have wondered if some of the ambivalence around Baptism stems from the mixed sources of some Universalist membership. At my own church, there is a long history of a steady stream of new members with Brethren background – and so infant Baptism was disliked. But the next largest source were ex-Catholics, for whom adult baptism was uncommon (unless you had never been a Christian before). Next came Quakers, for whom baptism was a spiritual experience apart from liturgy.

    I think my congregation over the last 100 years simply avoided the whole baptism issue, by just not doing it in any form.

  2. I think all of that’s right, and that it might sit on an older foundation that, baptism not being necessary for salvation, that it wasn’t really necessary at all. (Despite there being different theologies of baptism.) I’ll survey the nineteenth-century all-it-one guides (Raynor, Whittemore and perhaps others) for clues.

    (The historical connection between the Universalists and Brethren are there, but understated. So when I conducted my one immersion baptism, it was by the forward trine Brethren mode.)

  3. Oooo, I want to read all these!

    Re: ambivalence towards baptism, didn’t John Murray’s autobiography (ghostwriter: Judith Sargent Murray) come out against it?

    Re: deacons: I have a feeling that here in New England, deacons were more of a cultural thing in broader Protestantism than a denominational/theological thing. It’ll be interesting to read what you find out.

    Re: low-cost video production: I went to an ordination last fall in a church that took an interesting approach to low-cost video setup. The cameras were 1080 px webcams (adequate for the compression used with most livestreaming) going into OBS on a cheap laptop. Then they used mics from an existing sound system, running them into a mixing board connected to OBS. In other words, they did what everyone says you’re supposed to do: prioritize audio over video.

    Re: plainsong: My brief experience with plainsong was that I need to learn it aurally. So…hoping you come up with Youtube teaching videos….

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