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This blog is maintained by the History and Archives Committee of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria, Illinois. To learn more about our church, visit www.peoriauuchurch.org.

Monday, May 5, 2008

165 Years Ago

Today, May 5, is the actual 165th anniversary of the founding of our church. On that evening in 1843, a group of people gathered in the meeting room at the courthouse to hear a traveling Universalist preacher named Aaron Kinney. We don't know for sure how many people attended the meeting, but we do know that thirty-seven of them decided to form a Universalist Society. That small society survived, thrived (with some bumps along the way), and ultimately became the Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria.

What better reminder could we have that the members and friends of our church are the church. The Universalist Society didn't have a building of its own, much less an organ, pews, or even (probably) a coffeepot. All its members had was each other and a shared vision. May we, as a church community, continue to build on their legacy. Happy anniversary!


Michael said...

After looking at your coffee pot reference, I couldn't help but wonder what was happening in the world of coffee as the church was being founded. After a whopping five minutes of research, here is what I found. In 1843, the coffee machine was commercialized by Edward Loysel de Santais and then exhibited at the Paris Exposition in 1855, where it was able to produce 1000 cups of coffee per hour. Given the well-known correlation between UU's and coffee hour, clearly the Peoria church could not have been founded any earlier than 1843 since the commercial-grade coffee machine hadn't been invented yet! :-)

Michael H.

reference: http://www.coffeemakersetc.com/coffee-history.html

Kathy Carter said...

Michael, this is a brilliant insight! At the next coffee hour, we'll have to have a toast to the 165th anniversary of the commercial coffee machine and to Edward Loysel de Santais, to whom we owe so much.