About the Bisbee trial

Because of the controversy around the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association's public censure of Todd Eklof, there's been talk of heresy trials. Of course, there's no trial yet, just the censure and waves of accusation, though some formal action could happen. (I wonder what the euphemism will be?)

There was a trial of a Universalist minister, Herman Bisbee, that's widely regarded as a heresy trial — and a mistake. Naturally, it's come up in the Facebook conversations (with Michael Servetus, whom I'll leave for someone else to write about) so good to give some context to those unfamiliar with the situation. I'm going to pull together what I've written about it plus any original documents I can scare up.

But Charles Howe's article at the Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography is detailed, and rather than re-write one, I'll point to his.

Up next

As my long-time readers have seen, I have written more here lately and hope to keep up the pace. Apart from historic connections between Unitarians and the Independent Sacramental movement I mentioned in my last update (that'll be a longer piece), I'll be writing next about:

  • Why Universalists gathered parishes and societies at all
  • Trying out short-format meditations tied to the Revised Common Lectionary
  • Why I don't engage in apologetics
  • Notes about my eucharistic piety
  • What Universalist "convention churches" were
  • My tech-supported writing workflow
  • Clippings from the Universalist General Convention
  • Historic books I've started reading

Up next

Up next, in no particular order,

  • A versatile order for communion for prayer breakfasts
  • The continuing series about the Independent Sacramental Movement (ISM) and Universalism
  • ISM overlaps with the Unitarians from generations ago
  • Interesting finds from Universalist year books of the 1920s and 1930s: polity and public policy
  • My next sermon manuscript
  • Thoughts about shopping for church supplies

The Universalist church the mortgage killed

For my last post, I was going to link to some research I assumed I had made into a blog post: a substantial Universalist church that was killed by bad planning, bad luck and a big mortgage. But I guess I didn't write it.

I'll see to that as soon as I find my notes.

Next on the blog

After I wrap up this series on "The Gadfly Papers" I'll turn to writing what I had intended this week: an exploration of the Independent Sacramental Movement.

What it is; what distinguishes its approach(es) to Christianity; the unexpected ways it overlaps with Unitarian Universalism; and what we have to learn and appreciate from them.

Thou shalt neither…

Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Other translations

Like others who look to the Bible for a revelation of God's character, and sure of God's nature, which is Love, this is my witness: the migrant concentration camps cannot stand.

Christians ought to band with whomever seeks the just treatment of migrants and demand of civil authorities the immediate relief of all who suffer inhumane conditions (especially children and vulnerable adults) and a prompt investigation in the cause of this cruel and unnecessary crisis.