New Edition of the Liberal Beacon

Lit beacon, lighthouse

The Liberal Beacon #10

Featured Articles: 

  • Sensing the Spiritual Realm: Benneville and Early Universalist Pietism  – Vernon Chandler 
  • Religious Pluralism in Context  – Terry Cummings 
  • The Diversity of Diversity: Why Integration is Still the Right Way ForwardBruce Knotts 
  • Be LovedJudy Robbins 
  • An Open Statement in Opposition to Article II RevisionsKevin McCulloch 
  • Mind Control, Cults and Unitarian UniversalismTodd F. Eklof 

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What stage of Reaction to the Changes in Unitarian Universalism are you at?

In this insightful article, Dr. Stephen Polmar examines changes and reactions within the Unitarian movement using the famous stages of grief model developed by Dr. Kubler Ross.

This article was first published in the Oct. 2023 issue of the Liberal Beacon and bears reading -for a second time.  Many of us in the NAUA have reacted strongly against the critical theory driven agenda of most of the leadership in today’s Unitarian congregations. But where and how does that leave individuals with long records of service and support for their local congregation and the wider denominations?

This article helps us navigate our own internal feelings and may well help us move forward with understanding and resolve to make things better.

The whole issue of the Beacon, led by Stephen’s excellent article is available for download

Does this article resonate with your expereince. What stage of grief are you at?

I Before We Except Overseas – Tracing The Roots Of Our Multi-Century Identity Crisis

Most cultures of European descent cultivate individual identity more than other cultures of the world. We have to go back 60, or 100, or perhaps 300 years to find the roots of our contemporary debates over the role of identity in our society. One intriguing theory is that this focus on individual identity has been intentional and has a distinct purpose. This talk will look at some theories that help explain how we have ended up with increasingly destabilizing disagreements about culture and politics in North America and Europe.

Understanding our Supreme Courts: US and Canadian Perspectives

In these session (origionally presented on Feb 13, 2024) our three presenters discus the ways in which our two Supreme Courts are appointed and some of the major issues with which they deal.  The decisions of these courts have powerful and sometimes unexpected effects on all our lives.


Nils and Joyce (husband & wife who live in Port Townsend, WA) have offered SCOTUS overview courses for their county library for the past three years, as well as a book study of The Great Dissenter:  The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero.  For several years before that, they offered historical and topical overviews of the Supreme Court through the local UU fellowship’s adult education program, their county library and two local Community Colleges.

Nils Pedersen is a retired patent attorney and newly-admitted member of the WA State Bar.  His current legal interest is estate law and end-of-life legal planning.

Joyce Francis is a retired international relations professor and long-time organizer and facilitator of adult-education programs.  She is also a member of NAUA’s Academy Advisory Board.Speakers:

Anthony (Tony) Carfagnini began practicing law in 1979 and carried on a corporate commercial, real estate, wills and estates and aboriginal law practice.ony’s professional interests and experience include business law, corporate governance, indigenous consultation and resource development, and privacy law. For over 40 years he acted as legal counsel to a number of First Nations and indigenous organizations engaged in child welfare, medical services, political advocacy, renewable energy projects, forestry and economic development.