by Rev. Mark Cutolo
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Universalist Convocation, which was held this year at the Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center in New Jersey. Since 1990, those Unitarian Universalists who are interested in our Universalist heritage have been holding an annual convocation to hold-fast the spiritual roots of American Universalism.
The Retreat Center is a gem, and besides the pleasant facilities, it’s on the site where John Murray, the father of Universalism, first preached the gospel of Universalism on American soil in 1770 (of which the sestercentennial anniversary will be next year in 2020).
Attendees came from many towns, cities, and states- I met people from GA, NC, NJ, NY, and PA. The speakers were all very dynamic- we heard lectures on Early Voices of Universalism, John Murray and His Impact on American Universalism (delivered by former UUA President John Buehrens), and Hosea Ballou and His Impact on American Universalism. Universalism, with its emphasis on God’s unconditional love, universal salvation, and the supreme worth of every human personality, is a rich spiritual tradition and it was encouraging to see and meet others who wish to preserve this legacy for future generations.
If you’re interested to learn more about these Convocations, you can visit their website. In addition, if you’d like to subscribe to the Universalist Herald, the oldest continuously published liberal religious periodical on our continent, check out this link.