July 9, 16, 23 & August 13, 20, 27

4:00 – 5:30 pm PT

Online via Zoom

UU Ups and Downs:
Lessons from the Past

A Six-Part Adult Education Course for Bay Area Unitarian Universalists with Rev. Dr. John A. Buehrens, author of A Religious Center with a Civic Circumference: Unitarians in San Francisco Since 1850

Meet the Speaker

Rev. Dr. John A. Buehrens

The Rev. John Buehrens, in receiving a doctorate in 1991 from SKSM (the first of several) was cited as the “evangelical rabbi of liberal religion, with his stained glass voice and a twinkle in his eye, [who] has led us, ministers and laypeople alike, to understand more deeply and embrace more fully the heritage we share. Author, scholar, organizer, and teacher, but above all pastor . . . [he] gives us hope that we may yet fulfill our promise in the years ahead.” Author of Universalists and Unitarians in America: A People’s History (SHB, 2011) and Conflagration: How the Transcendentalists Sparked the American Struggle for Racial, Gender, and Social Justice (Beacon, 2020), he has now volunteered to help SKSM by teaching a course on his latest book – about the first liberal church on the pacific coast, its influential laypeople, ministers (including Thomas Starr King), and its early and later offshoots. He served as the 6th President of the UUA from 1993 to 2001.

Event Details

This six-part course will take place Sundays this summer online via Zoom Webinar. Each meeting will run 4:00-5:30 pm PT. Daily topics are listed below:

  • July 9 – Our First High Point: The Argonauts and Thomas Starr King
  • July 16 – The Gilded Age, Higher Education, and the Great Earthquake
  • July 23 – World Wars, a Great Depression, & a Unitarian Renaissance
  • August 13 – Our Second High Point: Civil Rights and Anti-War Activism
  • August 20 – The ‘Me Decade’ of the 1970s and the Religious Right
  • August 27 – Challenges to Progressive Religion in the 21st Century


Registration was required for this series and has already closed.

Required Reading

A Religious Center with a Civic Circumference: Unitarians in San Francisco Since 1850 is required reading for this course. You can purchase the book here for $30.

Continued Connection

Interested participants from the same congregation or region will be put in touch with one another to continued connection. There is also the possibility of additional help from Rev. Dr. John Buehrens in putting together something appropriate to their situation.