Friday, May 11, 2012

Universalist Convocations 2012

 Logo 95x94


Historic Site to Host National Gathering
of Universalist Religious Leaders

(Lanoka Harbor, NJ) May 8, 2012 - This month, the 2012 Universalist Convocations will gather at the historic site where Universalism was launched as a leading American religious movement more than two centuries ago, at the Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center. Because of revived popular interest in Universalism today, the Convocations have begun to fill overflow capacity beyond Murray Grove, as people nationwide travel to hear leading Universalist figures speak from a wide range of faith traditions. In this contemporary religiously pluralistic landscape, Universalism has come for many believers to signify a distinct change in the tide and tone of interfaith dialogue, in particular.

Located in the Pine Barrens of coastal New Jersey, Murray Grove marks the spot where a shipwrecked Universalist preacher stumbled ashore in 1770. From there, he began spreading the radical religious message of a loving spirit that included each and every soul in the reach of a saving grace, traveling throughout the American colonies and establishing churches. Universalism had achieved considerable religious prominence by the mid-nineteenth century before receding from view in the twentieth. Its visibility is once again changing, however.

Recently and rather rapidly, Universalism has gained ground across the country, with a few of the most famous preachers in the country identifying themselves with this latent American religious tradition, even in the face of heated public controversy and charges of heresy. Bestselling books such as Love Wins and If Grace is True have made explicit the Universalist truth claims that were quite often implicit in mainline Christianity in America. They have started to articulate a unique vision for religion in the twenty-first century.

Revitalized as an ecumenical and interfaith movement, Universalism is now crossing customary religious divides and connecting strands of religious thought among clergy from varied faith traditions. During this annual convention, a Jewish Universalist, a Hindu Universalist, a Buddhist Universalist, a Quaker Universalist, and a Unitarian Universalist will all serve as panelists in the keynote presentation at the 2012 Universalist Convocations. 

This re-emerging theological trend continues to expand its influence year after year, with this year's annual convention representing a new high-water mark in the widespread national appeal of Universalism. In response to increased demand, a follow-up event at Murray Grove is already in planning stages for fall 2012.

Media Contacts:
Ministers for Murray Grove

The Reverend Carol S. Haag

The Reverend Dr. Kelly Murphy Mason

Presenters will be available for interview on site.

Presentations will be available on podcasts and MP3 files.

A follow-up event is in the planning stages for next fall, 2012.

For further information on the event:


Anonymous said...

I think another strand of thought and revelation that is likely to powerfully link up with christian universalism is the news pouring in from those who've had near death experiences.

Today with modern medicine there are millions of people who've come back to this life with glimpses of the next. For 37 years (since dr raymond moody's book "life after life", these accounts have been increasingly collated and studied. Although culture and religious belief do affect details clear major patterns are emerging. You can read or listen to thousands of these eye witness reports on the internet and in books, journals and podcasts.

The consensus messages these souls bring back include: God does love unconditionally, the whole multiverse of existence is within God, there are many levels and realms in heaven/God's mansion as it were, hellish realms exist but none are for ever, all beings shall come home and find fulfilment in God in the fullness of time, evolution and an old age of billions of years from a big bang is true but this material universe is more mind than matter and some kind of intelligent design is intrinsic and the kingdom will manifest in increasingly supernatural ways that are really just deeper levels of reality, souls have pre-existence and our journeys through eternity are for learning and growing in love, demonic beings exist but there does not seem to be any powerful satan (this concurs with judaic theology), reincarnation occurs but not as clear cut as hindus think, intelligent alien species abound through multiple universes. A great being of light who many identify as Jesus Christ is central to everything and the conduit for all knowledge and love. Indeed confirming the words of the creed and liturgy; through him, in him, with him, ask things were made and of scripture: he well draw all unto himself.

Both materialist atheistic scientism and fundamentalist religion won't like these revelations, but in the same way flat earth believers gave way in the face of mounting evidence, so will those belief systems.

You may think I'm projecting what I want to believe onto the NDE accounts, maybe I am but I started with very traditional christian beliefs before reading thousands of accounts and speaking with several people who've had NDEs and having a minor NDE of my own. Read and listen to them for yourselves.

The reason for this long comment is that christian universalism can be a movement to help marry up faith and science by incorporating NDE evidence into theological debate.

Steven Rowe said...

for some writings by Ken Vincent on the subject