NYSCU Publications

A key component of the mission of the New York State Convention of Universalists is “To promote awareness and appreciation of, and literacy in, both Universalist history and the contemporary value of basic Universalist concepts.”  Toward that end, the Convention has published or assisted in the publication of a variety of resources. 

The World Religions Poster

The Charles Street Universalist Meeting House was created in 1949 by the Massachusetts Universalist Convention, led by the Rev. Dr. Clinton Lee Scott.  Universalist minister Kenneth L. Patton was invited to take the pulpit.  He accepted, and there he was able to express his life-long passion for the visual arts, bringing art of all religions and cultures into “a religion for one world.” (For more on the Meeting House project, see the book by Maryell Cleary below.)

Brother and sister metalsmiths Ralph and Charlotte Edlund designed 65 world religious symbols for display in the meeting house and coached congregation families in constructing them during Friday night work parties. Fifty-five of the symbols are displayed at the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA; twelve of them appear on this 18x24" art-shop-quality poster.  Click on the image to see a larger version, together with descriptions of the symbols. 

A check for $10 payable to NYSCU includes all mailing costs. Two additional copies in the same mailing are $5 each. Order from Joyce Gilbert, 70 Harper St., Rochester, NY  14607-3142.  For further information email Joyce at Joyce Gilbert's email address.

Charles Street poster

The Universalist Heritage and Remember Universalism Into Life

For many years the keynote address at the annual session of the NYSCU was devoted to Universalist History, Ethics, and Theology.  Addresses from 1976 through 1992 were gathered into a handsome, 200-page paperback volume, edited by Harry Burkart, and published by the NYSCU in 1993.  Individual essays are by Dorothy Tilden Spoerl, Ellsworth C. Reamon, F. Forrester Church, Gordon B. McKeeman, Max A. Coots, Christopher G. Raible, Richard S. Gilbert, Donna and Mark Morrison-Reed, Kenneth L. Patton, Brian S. Kopke, Peter Lee Scott, Cynthia Grant Tucker, John A. Buehrens, and Carolyn S. Owen-Towle. 

To accompany the keynotes, the Revs. Raymond Nasemann and Elizabeth Strong developed a 65-page Leaders’ Guide for an 8-week adult discussion series.  This series has been used by dozens of UU societies around the world.  As of summer 2005 approximately 150 physical copies of The Universalist Heritage remain in the Convention archives.  Copies of the Leaders’ Guide are printed on demand.  Both are available, at a cost of $8.00 each, plus shipping, from

Michael L. Scott
54 Laconia Parkway
Rochester, NY  14618-2310
Michael Scott's email address

Alternatively, you may download the following printable, searchable PDF files:

Both titles are Copyright © 1993, New York State Convention of Universalists.  Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute, with attribution, for non-commercial religious or educational purposes, provided this copyright notice is retained. 

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Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1956 keynote address

At NYSCU’s annual meeting in Cortland, NY, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King delivered a keynote address entitled “Non-violent Procedures to Inter-Racial Harmony.”  Download the original article from the Empire State Universalist (4.7MB) or the textual transcription.  Both are copyright © 1956, NYSCU. 

picture of MLK

Other NYSCU Keynote Addresses

Non-NYSCU Addresses

Reclaiming Universal Salvation: (Universalism: yesterday, today and tomorrow)
by The Rev. David H. MacPherson
Forward by the Rev. Gordon B. McKeeman

Funded by a 2007 grant from the NYSCU, this book grew out of an address on “Universalism in the New Millenium,” delivered in Nashville, TN, in June, 2000.  It aims, in the author’s words, “to learn what is behind the use of the word ‘Universalist’ in [the name of the Unitarian Universalist Association], and of what importance the roots of that name ought to be for us and for the generations to come.”  Available from lulu.com

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The Letters I Left Behind: Judith Sargent Murray Papers Letter Book 10
transcribed and introduced by Bonnie Hurd Smith

In 2004 the NYSCU provided a grant of $2,000 to the Judith Sargent Murray Society to assist with publication of the first volume in a series containing the collected letters of the distinguished 18th century essayist and playwright, married to John Murray, the principal organizer of American Universalism.  Available from the author and publisher

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Letters of Love and Loss: Judith Sargent Murray Papers Letter Book 3
transcribed and introduced by Bonnie Hurd Smith

In 2009 the NYSCU provided a grant of $2,000 to assist with the second volume of the JSM letters.  This volume covers the years 1785 to 1789, spanning the death of Judith’s first husband, her brief poverty and widowhood, and her subsequent marriage to John Murray.  Available from the author and publisher

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The Larger Message: Universalist Religious Education’s Response to Theological and Cultural Challenges 1790-1930
by the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth M. Strong

In 1995, Rev. Strong delivered the keynote address at the NYSCU annual meeting.  Her remarks, greatly expanded and developed, eventually evolved into her D. Min. thesis at Meadville Lombard Theological School.  In 2003 the Convention provided a grant of $4,000 to assist in the publication of this thesis as a full-length book.  Available from the UUA Bookstore

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A History of Universalism in North Carolina
by Peggy Ward Rawheiser

This edition, supported by a 2007 NYSCU grant, updates and greatly enlarges the book originally started by Dr. Harry L. Canfield and completed by Mr. John E. Williams in 1963.  It is a history of the early Universalists in North Carolina starting about 1740 and of all the known churches which they formed.  All of the records of the Universalist Convention of North Carolina are summarized in the book.  Some biographical information is included on many of the leaders of the North Carolina Universalist Churches.  Also included is a history of all the current Unitarian Universalist congregations in North Carolina, the Universalist Convocations, and Shelter Neck Conference Center and Camp Ground.  Copies of the book may be ordered from: Guild Masters Graphics, P.O. Box 31184, Raleigh, NC  27622-1184. A check should be made payable to the “Universalist Convention of North Carolina” For $24.95 plus $5 shipping and handling. 

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To Live a Truer Life: A Story of the Hopedale Community
written by Lynn Gordon Hughes; illustrated by Lindro

In 2003 the NYSCU provided a grant of $4,000 to assist in the publication of this children’s picture book on the Hopedale utopian community, founded by Universalist social reformer, minister, and pacifist Adin Ballou.  Available from the Friends of Adin Ballou

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A Bold Experiment: The Charles Street Universalist Meeting House
edited by Maryell Cleary

In 1949 the Massachusetts Universalist Convention, under the leadership of Clinton Lee Scott, set out to create a new Universalist congregation in Boston, to model new forms of liberal worship.  They called as minister the Rev. Kenneth L. Patton.  Over the course of the next two decades Patton wrote, and the Meeting House tested, an extraordinary wealth of religous language, hymnody, symbology, and liturgy, literally transforming the modern UU movement.  In 2002 the NYSCU provided a grant of $2,000 to assist in the publication of this compendium of essays tracing the history, personalities, philosophy, and enduring legacy of the Meeting House project.  Individual essays are by David Bumbaugh, Maryell Cleary, James D. Hunt, Charles A. Howe, Kenneth L. Patton, Peter Lee Scott, Charles A. Reinhardt, Charlotte Sawyer Fish, Alan Seaburg, Paul Sawyer, Thomas R. Schade, and Alicia McNary Forsey.  Preface by Ernest Cassara.  Available from a variety of sources, including Amazon.com

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American Universalism
by George Hunston Williams


Hunted Heretic: The Life and Death of Michael Seretus, 1511–1553
by Roland H. Bainton

In 2000 the NYSCU provided a grant of $2,500 to the UU Historical Society to identify and reprint significant books on UU history.  In 2002 this gift bore fruit with the Fourth edition of Williams’s classic study.  Preface by Charles Howe.  Available from Skinner House Books

In 2005, with proceeds from the sale of American Universalism, the Historical Society was able to reprint Bainton’s classic biography of the Reformation-era theologian, physician, and Unitarian martyr.  Available from a variety of sources, including Amazon.com

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The Last Man Jailed for Blasphemy
by Stephan Papa

Abner Kneeland was a radical Universalist minister who was more than 100 years ahead of his time in his pantheist theology and his stands for economic and social justice.  He spoke out for equal rights for women and blacks, inter-racial marriage, and birth control in the 1820s. 

In 1998 the NYSCU provided a grant of $3,500 to assist in the publication of this biography of Kneeland.  Now out of print, but available from used-book sellers, including alibris.com

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Universalism in America
edited by Ernest Cassara

In 1996 the NYSCU provided a grant of $4,000 to assist in reprinting this classic collection of essays on American Universalist history.  Available from the UUA Bookstore

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Unitarian Universalist Association

Last modified November 27, 2023.
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