American Unitarian Conference™
Promoting the American Unitarian Tradition
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President's Letter 12/2002
Dear AUC Member:
One of the goals of the American Unitarian Conference is to provide support
to individuals and congregations that want to worship God within the
Unitarian tradition. To this
end, we aim to eventually publish liturgical materials and a hymnal in
book and pamphlet form. We
have begun this process in earnest and it is beginning to bear fruit.
With this issue of the American Unitarian, we will begin publishing
Unitarian hymns and providing information to our readership about
American Unitarian Hymnody. Each
quarter, we will publish one or more hymns from the Unitarian tradition.
We will also continue to publish prayers and other liturgical
materials. Hymns, prayers
and orders of service will begin appearing on our web site in the near
future. In addition, if our
members would find it useful, we could make tunes available as well.
American Unitarians were once great hymn writers.
Roughly a hundred hymn writers penned nearly a thousand hymns.
Some of them were fine hymns. Some were only average.
Many of them have endured, but have done so largely because
hymnodists outside of Unitarian Universalism recognize their value and
their worth. Many of the
great American Unitarian hymns today are sung in Methodist, UCC or other
congregations rather than in Unitarian Universalist congregations.
This is because the last two UU hymnals have dropped more and
more of these classic Unitarian hymns.
It is one more way that the UUA has been such a poor steward of
our tradition and moved further from the traditional Unitarian faith in
It is my hope that we can rekindle an interest in American Unitarian hymnody
and spark a new generation to write hymns - hymns that provide spiritual
sustenance and inspire us to the service of God and man.
It is a key, and increasingly forgotten, part of our tradition
and one that we at the AUC aim to rekindle.
Yours in faith, freedom, and reason,
David R. Burton
American Unitarian Conference
© 2002 American Unitarian Conference™