American Unitarian Conference

Promoting the American Unitarian Tradition

Back to the American Unitarian page

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 God.

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