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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 1141

Church of the Larger Fellowship, Unitarian Universalist (Boston, Mass.). Administrative records, 1944-2008.

Administrative records, including meeting minutes of the Church of the Larger Fellowship Executive Committee from 1948 to 2006, committees, focus groups, and information on the history of the CLF. The records span 1944-2008.


  • 1944-2008


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


14 boxes

This collection contains the meeting minutes of the Church of the Larger Fellowship Executive Committee from 1948 to 2006. The collection also contains information on the history of the CLF, focus groups and committees, the Five Year Vision and Survey conducted in 1998, bylaws, financial information, a book of remembrance given to the CLF by Caroline Veatch Assistance and Extension Program and the North Shore Unitarian Church in Plandome, New York in 1975, and brochures on the CLF.

Biographical / Historical

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.


Organized into the following series:
  1. Series I. Executive Committee meeting minutes
  2. Series II. Additional administrative records

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 1121, bMS 1138, bMS 1140, bMS 1142, bMS 1216, and bMS 1431.

Processing Information

Processed by Tamira Beth Stephens, 2015.
Link to catalog
Church of the Larger Fellowship, Unitarian Universalist (Boston, Mass.). Administrative records, 1944-2008: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library

Repository Details

Part of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School Repository

Special Collections at Andover-Harvard Theological Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies.

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