Click for information on the Off-Center Cross

The New Massachusetts Universalist Convention

Annual Meeting 2004--All UUs Invited!

“Living with Soul: the Intersection of Spirituality and Social Justice”

Saturday, October 2, Medford, MA

The Rev. Dr. John Buehrens will give the keynote address, “Living with Soul: the Intersection of Spirituality and Social Justice,” at the New Massachusetts Universalist Convention’s Annual Conference on Saturday, October 2, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford, MA, 147 High Street. The day will run from 8:30 to 4:30 and include food (breakfast, lunch, snack), worship, small group reflection, workshops, and lots of good conversation.


$20 per person--includes continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. Make checks payable to "New MA Universalist Convention."
Child Care:
Available if we receive your request by September 18. (We need time to prepare.)
The building is wheelchair-accessible.

By September 25 (earlier if requesting childcare) please send us the following information:

  • your name,
  • your postal address,
  • your phone number,
  • your email address (if you have one),
  • the number of registrations (at $20 per person)
  • and (if requesting child care) the names and ages of the children.

Please send this information either by email to:

or by post to:
        New Mass. Universalist Convention
        c/o 30 Briarwood Circle
        North Easton, MA 02356



8:30-9:15 a.m. Continental breakfast, Registration & Schmoozing
9:15-9:45 a.m Worship
9:45-10:00 a.m. Break
10:00-11:00 a.m. Keynote: "Living with Soul: the Intersection of Spirituality and Social Justice," The Rev. Dr. John Buehrens
11:00-11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Small Group Reflection
12:15-12:30 p.m. Business Meeting
12:30-1:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15-2:15 p.m Simultaneous Presentations
2:15-2:30 p.m. Break
2:30-3:30 p.m. Presentations Repeated
3:30-4:30 p.m. Closing, Snack, Social Time,

Presentation Descriptions

Universalism and the Problem of Evil”

Edmund Robinson
Are Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein heading to heaven? There is a philosophical problem with a religion which posits that everyone is saved: what do you do with acts which have traditionally been regarded as evil, and those who perpetrate such acts? Some Universalists have argued that the so-called "problem of evil" is an illusion; other say that acts which appear evil proceed from inadequate knowledge. How can we have confidence in the saving grace of a loving God in the face of the dismal inhumanities of the past century?


"Bringing Text Alive"

Lisa DiFranza
The speaking voice is a fundamental part of lively worship. Through physical and vocal exercises, participants will be encouraged to release restrictive habits, examine the physicality and spirituality of speech, and re-discover the wide, colorful range of each voice. With this innovative approach to language and listening, you will engage in a fresh exploration of storytelling as well as build confidence for speaking and reading out loud.


The Gospel Code”

Richard Trudeau
The stories about Jesus in the gospels contain coded political messages that the original audience of Jewish peasants received loud and clear, but that went right over the heads of the Roman authorities (and go right over our heads today). A look at some of these messages, and their relevance to the self-understanding of contemporary Unitarian Universalists.


The Rev. Dr. John Buehrens was the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association from 1993 to 2001. Prior to that he served congregations in Knoxville, Dallas, and New York City. He is the co-author (with Forrest Church) of A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism and author of Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals. He now serves as Minister of the First Parish in Needham, MA (Unitarian Universalist) and as Senior Advisor to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. He lives in Needham with his wife, the Rev. Gwen Langdoc Buehrens, a priest in the Episcopal Church. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Divinity School, and holds three honorary doctorates. He is a national leader of Freedom to Marry and of the Clergy Leadership Network for National Leadership Change.
The Rev. Edmund Robinson was raised an Episcopalian in South Carolina, but saw the light and became a UU in 1978. He practiced law for 20 years and, with his first wife, raised two children before coming to Harvard Divinity School in the mid-90s. He has served the UU Church of Wakefield, MA and is now Minister of the First Church in Belmont, MA. He is a folk musician and dancer as well. He is married to Jacqueline Schwab, a folk pianist.
Lisa DiFranza is a passionate, creative teacher and workshop leader with a strong professional background as a theater director and a deep dedication to revitalizing church life and worship. Ms. DiFranza is an adjunct faculty member at Andover Newton Theological School, in Newton, MA and Bangor Theological School in Bangor, Maine. Lisa has served as artist-in-residence at Andover Newton Theological School, and consulted and led workshops in a variety of settings including First Baptist Church in Newton, MA; Lutheran Church of the Newtons; La Sallette Catholic Shrine in Attleboro, MA; Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, MA; and the "Risking Art Risking Faith" conference in Cambridge, MA. As a theater professional, Lisa has served on the Drama Division faculty of The Juilliard School in NY, as Artistic Director of The Children's Theatre of Maine and as Associate Director of Portland Stage Company. She has worked at numerous theaters and schools throughout the country, including Ensemble Studio Theater in New York, NY; the University of Iowa in Iowa City; and the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. Lisa holds a Masters Degree in Theology and the Arts from Andover Newton Theological School.
The Rev. Richard Trudeau is Minister of the UU Church of Weymouth, MA, and edits the newsletter of the New Massachusetts Universalist Convention. He also teaches college mathematics.


The Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford is located at 147 High Street in Medford, Massachusetts, just west of Medford Square.

By car: Take Interstate 93 to Exit 32 (Route 60). Take Route 60 West (Salem Street) to Medford Square (approximately 1/4 mile). Continue on Route 60 (now High Street) beyond Medford Square. Go past Medford Public Library on your right and St. Joseph's Catholic Church on your left. The church, made of stone and brown shingles, is situated on the right at the corner of Powderhouse Road. On the map below, the star indicates the church's location. Parking is available behind the Church building.

By public transportation: MBTA buses 94, 95, and 134 go right by the church. Bus 94 connects with the Davis Square station on the Red Line, bus 95 with the Sullivan Square station on the Orange Line, and bus 134 with Wellington station on the Orange Line. Alternatively, by Commuter Rail, the church is 2 miles east down Route 60 (High Street) from the West Medford station on the Lowell line.

The church's web site is and its phone number is 781-396-4549.





| Home | Who We Are | What is Universalism? | Universalist Declaration of Faith  |
| What Universalism Has to Offer | FAQs | Annual Meeting |
| Speakers Bureau | Mailing List | Administration | Resources | Site Map | Contact Us

This page was last updated on 09/05/2010.
For questions about this Web Site, contact Susan O'Connor at