Monday, 9 May 2011

Those Other Unitarians

So there are these other Unitarians, then. Let's face it: these days, you can set up anything you like. But nevertheless here is a group with cross-currents into 'official' Unitarianism, that is Unitarianism that was established and defended in Transylvania and Hungary, that keeps a catechism, and that Anglo-American Unitarianism that evolved out of English Presbyterianism and American Congregationalism. Here is a look at some Unitarian Ministries International clergy:

Unitarian Ministries International is based on congregations, groups and emergent churches interested in Unitarian Christian faith and tradition.

Rev. Maurisa Brown is a Messianic Unitarian Christian and Unitarian Ministries International founder and Senior Pastor. She has a dual ordination as an Interfaith and Unitarian Christian minister. She is a member of the World Alliance of Interfaith Clergy, UU Christian Fellowship, New Seminary Mentor Program, Delta Epsilon Tau Honor Society, and a friend of The Norwegian Unitarian Church overseen by Knut Heidelberg.

Pastor Roberto Rosso was the Founder of Christian Unitarian Italian Congregation (CICU) in May 2004 and in August 2007 he sang the Avignon Manifest for a Larger Christian Unitarian Cooperation in Europe. And he received a Letter of Vocation From the Bet David Unitarian Association of Norway (The Norwegian Unitarian Church) after studying for ordination under Bishop Knut Heidelberg being ordained in November 2008.

So we notice a connection here: that of Knut Heidelberg and his doctrinal Unitarian Christianity based on Hungary and Transylvania, and the fact that here he is described most clearly as a bishop (though one that was described as non-apostolic).

Then there are these interesting people here in the UK:

Rev. Dr. Graham Louden is an ordained Unitarian Christian minister with Unitarian Ministries International. He is a graduate of Oxford University and the Open University. His Doctorate in Divinity is from Trinity Evangelical Christian University. He has taught Religious Education in a Quaker school in Reading (where there is no Unitarian congregation).

Anthony Dawson is a Lay Pastor Member and has been a Lay Preacher, Organist and Choirmaster in a Unitarian & Free Christian Church and is a member of the UCA, the Unitarian Christian Association. He is also active in LGBT groups.

Lay Pastor Lewis Rees serves at Gellionnen and Graig Unitarian Church near Swansea and intends to be a full professional Unitarian minister. He is also a member of the UCA. He offers rites of passage at Gellionnen and Graig.

Some clergy are of interest in the USA.

Rev Carolynn Holmes-Search (USA) has an MA in Pastoral Care and Counselling, and taught adult education classes at First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. She has expertise in the Transcendentalist Movement (especially Margaret Fuller and Louisa May Alcott). Interestingly she has ordinations With both the Old Templar Holy Catholic Apostolic Church and Unitarian Ministries International.

Rev. Edward Knight is an ordained Unitarian Christian Minister with Unitarian Ministries International and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship.

Rev. Stephen York (USA) went to Starr King School for the Ministry where he received his Master of Divinity in May 1993.

Rabbi and Chaplain Joseph A. Chandler (USA) might be called a Unitarian messianic Jew (but certainly not the fundamentalist kind). He has been a Youth Pastor at Matlock Baptist Church, a Pastor at Jackson Christian Fellowship Church and has received ordinations from The Missionary Methodist Church, Tel Aviv Messianic Fellowship and Unitarian Ministries International.

Then there is an Anglican (but not in the Anglican Communion). Rev. Jeffrey Lynn is a graduate of the Anglican Divinity School and was ordained by the Universal Anglican Church, the Free Protestant Episcopal Church, and Unitarian Ministries International.

Around the world there is Chaplain José Aparecido of Brazil, who was trained in Spiritual Counselling at Baptist Seminary, studied Methods for Bible Study, the New Testament, Biblical Eldership, and History of the Church at Mount Zion Bible Institute. He has ordinations With LDS Church, Liberal Anabaptist Church and is an ordained Unitarian Christian Minister with the Unitarian Ministries International.

Away from the main Unitarian centres, Rev. Dr. Francis Manuraj is the minister of the Unitarian Christian church at Erode City, Tamilnadu, India. He has a BA in Divinity and yet nevertheless went to Unitarian College Manchester (where I was for a year). He was ordained as a minister with the Indian Council of Unitarian Churches.


Anonymous said...

Maybe these will be the last Unitarians standing after the rest of the denomination have fully evolved into 'Free Religion'? I think much of the denomination is currently in a halfway place - a self-inflicted purgatory of sorts, maybe. Or a chrysalis?

I used to firmly ally myself with these revivalist movements but I am no longer sure if this 'Unitarian Christianity Restored' is simply nostalgia or the seeds of something more.

Taz said...

I did a bit of a double take when I read "Graham Louden"! He attends the same church as me these days - Edmund Kell Church in Southampton - where he leads our choir. Had no idea he was "Rev. Dr."!

Naomi said...

Please God, Matt, Unitarians of the Christian variety may be happily incumbent of a chrysalis. Purgatory has always been an uncomfortable concept, into which I would not wish to place myself.