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The New Massachusetts Universalist Convention

Annual Meeting 2007--All UUs Invited!

“Universalist Spirituality”

Saturday, September 29, Braintree, MA

"Universalist Spirituality" will be the theme of the New Massachusetts Universalist Convention’s Annual Conference on Saturday, Sept. 29, at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 196 Elm Street, Braintree, MA.

Worship (“Gift of Forgiveness”) will be led by the Rev. Olav Nieuwejaar. The keynote address ("Universalist Spirituality") will be by the Rev. Richard Trudeau. The day's program will also include a presentation by the Rev. Edmund Robinson (" 'Universalism': Means of Salvation or the Coming World Religion?"), a panel of “old-time Universalists” reflecting on how Universalism as they remember it differs from today’s UUism, a presentation about the new Universalist Heritage Center in Winchester, NH, and a sing-along of Chris Raible's parodies of UU hymns. The day will run from 8:30 to 4:30 and include food (continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack) and lots of good conversation.



$25 per person--includes continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack.

Make checks payable to "New MA Universalist Convention."

The building is wheelchair accessible.
Child Care:
Sorry, no childcare

By September 22 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 $25 per person)

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
9:15-10:00 a.m Worship: "The Gift of Forgiveness," Rev. Olav Nieuwejaar
10:00-10:15 a.m. Break
10:15-11:15 a.m. Keynote: "Universalist Spirituality," Rev. Richard Trudeau
11:15-11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sharing and (brief) Business Meeting
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch (including vegetarian options)
1:30-2:30 p.m Simultaneous Presentations

(a) "That Old Time Religion," Panel
(b) " 'Universalism': Means of Salvation, or the Coming World Religion?" Rev. Edmund Robinson

2:30-2:45 p.m. Break
2:45-3:45 p.m. Simultaneous Presentations

((c) "Universalist Heritage Center," Revs. Jeanne & Olav Nieuwejaar
(d) "Parodies of UU Hymns," (sing-along) Rev. Richard Trudeau, host

3:45-4:30 p.m. Closing, Snack, Social Time

Presentation Descriptions

Worship: "The Gift of Forgiveness"

Rev. Olav Nieuwejaar
In our world of terror and violence, how shall we respond to those who hurt us? At the heart of Universalism is the call to love; indeed, it is this way of being in relationship with others that gives meaning to the first principle of our Unitarian Universalist faith: the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The theologian Reinhold Neibuhr observed that forgiveness is “the final form of love.” That's a tall order, but Universalist love demands it.


Keynote: "Universalist Spirituality"

Rev. Richard Trudeau
While we UUs scour the world's religions for a satisfying spirituality, we often overlook a genuine UU spirituality, deriving mostly from the Universalist side of our movement, that is relevant today.


That Old Time Religion”

A panel of "old-time Universalists" discuss what it was like to be Universalist before consolidation with the Unitarians.


" 'Universalism': Means of Salvation or the Coming World Religion?"

Rev. Edmund Robinson
When we look back after merger, we tend to want to identify "Universalism" as one thing. But in fact it was many things. In an influential 1970 essay, the historian George Hunston Williams identifies at least four different understandings of the name "Universalism" held by people who belonged to the movement. This presentation will explore these different meanings as well as any others suggested by the participants.


Universalist Heritage Center”

Revs. Jeanne & Olav Nieuwejaar
A short video and presentation about the new Universalist Heritage Center in Winchester, NH.


Parodies of UU Hymns”

Rev. Richard Trudeau, host
A sing-along of Chris Raible's parodies of UU hymns, with commentary on some foibles that we religious liberals are prone to develop.

Presenters (in alphabetical order)

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. After being ordained, he served the UU Church of Wakefield, MA for five years while practicing law part-time, and in 2004 was called to serve the First Church in Belmont (MA), UU. He is on the boards of the New Massachusetts Universalist Convention and the Institute for Religion in an Age of Science. He is married to Jacqueline Schwab, a folk pianist.

Rev. Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar
was raised as a Universalist and worked for many years as a religious educator before studying for the ministry. In 1987 she was ordained and served for the next twelve years as co-minister, with her husband Olav, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Milford, NH. Leaving Milford in 2000, Jeanne and Olav served as interim ministers for several years, first in Cambridge, England and then on Long Island. They returned to NH in 2002 and served for four years as District Executives of the New Hampshire-Vermont District. Jeanne continues in interim ministry, serving last year in Springfield, VT, and this year at the Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church in Danvers, MA.

In her years as a religious educator Jeanne authored and co-authored several books and curricula. Most well known is her Skinner House book, The Gift of Faith. Among other roles in the larger UU world, she served on the board of the Ferry Beach Park Association and is presently working with the Chapel Restoration Committee at Ferry Beach. She also currently is secretary of the board of the Universalist Heritage Foundation.

Rev. Olav Nieuwejaar
was ordained in 1968 and served the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Milford (NH) for twenty-four years, the last twelve with his wife, Jeanne, as co-minister. They left that position in February 2000. Returning from Cambridge, England, where he was Interim Minister of the Unitarian Church of Cambridge during the spring of 2000, he served (again with his wife) as the Interim Co-Senior Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, Manhasset, Long Island, NY for two years. Both he and his wife served the New Hampshire-Vermont District in many capacities over the years, and, from 2002 to 2006, they were District Co-Executives. At the moment, he is floating around in semi-retirement, trying to figure out what he's going to do with the rest of his life. A lifelong Universalist, his roots were planted in a tiny north-central Massachusetts Universalist church in the village of North Orange.
Rev. Richard Trudeau
is minister of the UU Church of Weymouth, MA and edits the newsletter of the New Mass. Universalist Convention.


By car:  
From the North:

From the Southeast Expressway/Route 93/3 southbound, after the Furnace Brook Parkway exit, take a left at the split, on Exit 7 towards Route 3 South.
Immediately after the split, take Exit 18 (on the right) toward Washington Street.
Move to the center lane.
Turn left at the light onto Washington Street and immediately get into the far right lane.
Turn right at the light onto Church Street.
Go to the end of Church Street. You will see the church on your left.
On the other side of the church is Charles Street.
Park on Charles Street or in the parking lot behind the church.

If you should miss Exit 18 (above), stay on Route 3 and take the next exit, Exit 17, and use the "From the South" directions below.
From the South: From Route 3 northbound, take Exit 17, Union Street, onto a rotary and take the first rotary exit onto Union Street.
Go 75 yards to a traffic light.
Turn left onto Cleveland Avenue (which becomes Middle Street) and go about a mile to the end.
Turn left at the light onto Elm Street.
Just before the next light, turn right onto Charles Street. The church will be on your left.
Park on this street or in the parking lot behind the church.
From Route 128 Take Route 128/95 southbound.
In Norwood Route 95 exits to the south toward Providence, but you should stay on Route 128. Now Route 128 becomes Route 93 and the exit numbers start over at 1.
Just after you pass Exit 6, the road will split with Route 93 curving to the left and Exit 7 going to the right toward Route 3 and Cape Cod. Stay to the far right.
Immediately after the split take Exit 18 for Washington Street Braintree. It is a long exit.
Take the right fork, following the signs for Washington Street Braintree.
Move to the center lane as you come to a traffic light.
Turn left at the light onto Washington Street and immediately get into the far right lane.
Turn right at the light onto Church Street.
Go to the end of Church Street. You will see the church on your left.
On the other side of the church is Charles Street.
Park on Charles Street or in the parking lot behind the church.


The church's web site is and its phone number is 781-843-1388.

Click here for a larger map of 196 Elm St Braintree, MA 02184-1801


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