Tag Archives: uu history

New Episode of The Pamphlet featuring history of Rev. Althalia Irwin

In this episode of The Pamphlet Susan and Sean are joined by Gail Forsyth Vail, Adult Program Director at the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The discussion focuses on Rev. Athalia Lizzie Johnson Irwin who was one of the first women in the American South to be ordained to the Universalist ministry. Serving churches across the country she pioneered creative way to use print media for evangelical purposes.

Rev. Athalia Irwin & Universalism in the South [Ep. 10] w/ Gail Forsyth Vail

The story of Rev. Athalia Lizzie Johnson Irwin is included in a book co-authored by Gail Forsyth Vail and Polly Peterson called Missionaries, Builders, and Pathfinders Unitarian Universalist Stories from the Midwest, West, and South, 1830-1930 – This book belongs to the Tapestry of Faith Toolkit Series provided by the UUA Faith Development Office. Toolkit Books provide background knowledge, inspiration, and practical guidance to program and lead UU faith development and to help us explore and live our faith in our congregations, neighborhoods, nation, and world.

Polly Peterson authored another insightful book: Stirring the Nations’s Heart: Eighteen Stories of Prophetic Unitarians and Universalists of the 19th Century  – Eighteen compelling stories from the lives of 19th-century Transcendentalists and reformers who played key roles in Unitarian Universalist history. Each story includes introductory material to provide context and quotations that expand the picture of the subject’s life and work. Supplementary materials such as discussion questions allow you to shape a complete program for adult learning or small group ministry.

You can purchase these books at the UUA Bookstore, here:

pollys-book-1 pollys-book-2-gail


The Pamphlet Podcast: Chalice Capers

From logo to liturgy, what is the (real) story of the Flaming Chalice?

Vol. I of the Chalice Capers begins today.  

For the past four decades, the Flaming Chalice has become the undisputed symbol of Unitarian Universalism. Yet its origin as the logo of the Unitarian Service Committee during its efforts to bring refugees out of occupied Europe obscures our vision of it’s history.

The question remains, how did this very flat, very one-dimensional, logo become a very real, very three-dimensional, mainstay of our worship life?

Hosts Susan Ritchie and Sean Neil-Barron head to Oxford, Ohio tracking down a lead in the first of a multipart series on the (real) history of the Flaming Chalice.

For more information, and to listen to this series, visit:



The Chalice Capers Vol. 1: A Curious Case Of A Burning Mortgage [Ep. 5]




The Pamphlet Podcast: The Lively Place

As part of our ministry in small town Maine, we strive to share Unitarian Universalism within Pittsfield and neighboring communities, and with the world.  The Internet makes this mission far more accessible with treasures like The Pamphlet Podcast.  We are delighted to share this episode as it explores more deeply the history of Mt. Auburn.

The Lively Place: An Interview with Rev. Stephen Kendrick

The Pamphlet Podcast: A Unitarian Death

This episode of The Pamphlet Podcast, Susan and Sean explore the transcendental shockwave that was set off with the creation of Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Watertown, MA in 1831. They explore a Unitarian perspective of death and the ritual that should mark the passing of life into death.  This historical offering highlights the Unitarian contribution to social reform in pioneering a new way of how the living should ritually mark the passing of life into death.

A Unitarian Death


Introducing: The Pamphlet

We are delighted to share the creation of a new information sharing podcast that features Unitarian Universalist history.  The Pamphlet will air every two weeks.  Here is some information:

The Pamphlet: What’s in a name?

Details about the launch of this project are found on their Faithify campaign page:

Bring Back The Pamphlets! Fund A New UU History Podcast