I consider myself a born once Unitarian. I was born into a Unitarian family extending back for several generations. My grandfather, Palfrey Perkins, was the Senior Minister at King’s Chapel when I was born. Palfrey Perkins was also one of the founders of the Unitarian Service Committee and the Unitarian Christian Association; he was also Secretary of the American Unitarian Association. I was baptized by my grandfather at King’s Chapel when I was five weeks old.
During the mid-fifties my parents were involved one of many small fellowship groups which grew to be thriving Unitarian churches. Throughout my childhood I attended Unitarian Sunday School where we learned about many other religions. Later in my teens I was involved in LRY, where I learned about social action issues. In my twenties and thirties I attended church with family only a few times a year, but I was involved in social justice issues.
In the early nineties I brought my grandmother to church regularly while caring for her during the weekend. In 1992, I became a member of King’s Chapel making the conscious decision to return to my Unitarian roots.
I have worshipped at our Partner Church in Kolozsvár, Romania, a connection which began in 1922 by a group of Unitarian ministers, including my grandfather. I may not be able to recite all seven of the UUA Principles from memory, but I am most definitely a Unitarian. I identify with the following words from the Unitarian General Assembly, UK:
We, the constituent congregations, affiliated societies and individual members, uniting in a spirit of mutual sympathy, co-operation, tolerance and respect; and recognising the worth and dignity of all people and their freedom to believe as their consciences dictate; and believing that truth is best served where the mind and conscience are free.
Finally, I aspire to live by my grandfather’s simple words: “Faith is not an abstraction but a way of living.”
Statements of Religious Belief
In the spring of 2015, six parishioners of King’s Chapel wrote statements about their personal religious beliefs that were published in Between Sundays in conjunction with the Sunday Forums on “The Religion of King’s Chapel – A Living Legacy.” The forums were a series of lectures on three major religious roots: Anglican, Unitarian, and Independent. The lectures were given by the Reverend Dr. Carl Scovel, Dr. Daniel McKanan, and the Reverend Joy Fallon (recordings of the lectures are posted on the KC website under Education). The statements of religious belief were produced by Denton Crews, Julie Hyde, Louise Perkins, Charles Perry, and Peter Sexton.