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© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: bMS 1216
Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Creator: Church of the Larger Fellowship, Unitarian Universalist (Boston, Mass.).
Title: Church of the Larger Fellowship, Unitarian Universalist (Boston, Mass.). International affiliation files, 1970-1986.
Quantity: 3 boxes
Abstract: Records on the international affiliations of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, including files and correspondence on international tours, minutes and information on International Association for Religious Freedom meetings, overseas fellowships, and financial information. The records span 1970-1986.
Originally known as the Post Office Mission of the Unitarian Women's Alliance, the Church of the Larger Fellowship began in the 1800s as a relay system for letter correspondence. In 1904, Unitarian minister William Channing Gannett founded the Church of All Souls, mailing monthly letters and sermons to Unitarians with no church affiliation. Under the direction of the President of the American Unitarian Association, Reverend Frederick May Eliot, Dr. Albert Diffenbach became the first minister of the CLF in 1944 and formed the Church School by Mail program, making lessons widely available to the widespread congregation. Meanwhile, Universalists formed their own CLF in 1947 in conjunction with the Universalist Church of America, with Reverend Clinton Lee Scott serving as minister. With the merger of the Unitarian and Universalist churches in 1961, the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Unitarian Universalist was formed, retaining its semi-autonomous nature and purpose to provide a spiritual home for Unitarian Universalists throughout the world.Dr. George Marshall, who served as minister to the CLF from 1960 to 1985, created the Independent Study Program and the Directed Discussion Course for members to study and correspond with one another on matters of faith. On September 24, 1970, the CLF was legally incorporated as its own religious society. Membership was broadened to include those who belonged to local UU congregations, as the CLF provided a spiritual home to isolated religious liberals, with programs and services designed to promote the growth of Unitarian Universalism. A minister's phone line was created in order to increase personal connectivity between ministers and members, and in 1999, the CLF went online, launching both a website and podcast. In 2011, the CLF launched a new website to include live streaming sermons and to serve the growing community more broadly.
This collection contains information on the international affiliations of the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Included in this collection are files and correspondence on international tours, minutes and information on International Association for Religious Freedom meetings, overseas fellowships, financial information, and the Albert Schweitzer award, given by the International Association for Religious Freedom.