In the News

Church of the River calls new pastor

The Commercial Appeal - May, 2017

The congregation of First Unitarian Church of Memphis voted unanimously Sunday to call Rev. Sam Teitel of Boston as the new minister, replacing longtime Rev. Burton Carley.

Church of the River Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Memphis Magazine - January, 2016

Reverend Eric Posa, interim minister of First Unitarian Church of Memphis, admits that there are times when he’s been on the pulpit that he’s seen congregants’ eyes drift … mostly from left to right.

Memphis firm attracts $4.6 million investment for drug-delivering hernia mesh [The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.]

Bloomberg Business - April 23, 2015

A new investment of $4.6 million will allow a company powered by two University of Tennessee Health Science Center professors to develop a drug-delivering hernia mesh for commercial markets.

The Veterans History Project: A Labor of Love and Meaning

American Red Cross of Mid-South - April 8, 2015
By Paul W. Cook, Mid-South Service to the Armed Forces Volunteer

I think I must have been five or six years old when I interviewed my first veteran. Of course, it was a “what did you do in the war, Daddy?” interview.

Rev. Carley retiring after 32 years at Church of the River

The Commercial Appeal - March 13, 2015

Rev. Burton D. Carley, who has been the minister of the First Unitarian Church of Memphis longer than anyone in its 122-year history, is retiring in July.

A Holiday Gift

Readers and Writers - January 8, 2015

My seven year-old grandson Noel and I had an interesting holiday season.

Mothers and drug babies - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - August 1, 2014

A Memphis woman was arrested this week under a controversial new state law that allows police to arrest mothers whose newborns test positive for drugs.

Hobby Lobby ruling - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - July 4, 2014

In the so-called "Hobby Lobby" case, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that corporations have religious rights and that the federal government can't force company owners to provide birth-control coverage to female employees.

Washington Redskins - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - June 27, 2014

Native Americans and others offended by the name of the NFL’s Washington Redskins are calling on team owners and corporate sponsors such as FedEx to change the name.

Summer reading - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - June 6, 2014

I recommend Sue Kidd Monk’s “The Invention of Wings.” It’s about the Grimke sisters of Charleston, S.C., though raised on a plantation by a father who supported slavery, they become leading abolitionists and activists for women’s rights in the early 1800s.

Memphis and the Grizzlies - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - April 25, 2014

Memphis experiences chronic episodes of poor self-esteem.

Kellogg's lockout - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - February 21, 2014

Both a strike and a lockout are troubling and unstable occurrences. The former has a tendency to look like greed, while the latter often appears as stinginess.

Quotes that inspire us - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - January 24, 2014

Here are the quotes that inspire members of the Faith in Memphis Panel. Which quote inspires you?

More of this in 2014 - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - January 4, 2014

I would give Greater Memphis the gift of more healthy, loving, spiritually grounded, committed relationship, because - in modifying the Ghanian Proverb - I believe the blessing and strength of a nation begins in the homes of its people.

Memphis Pre-K Referendum - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - November 16, 2013

Fifteen years ago, the principal of Caldwell Elementary School came to me and said, "Our children don't feel well. Can you help us?"

Banning field trips to houses of worship - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal September 28, 2013

The Sumner County, Tenn., school board banned student field trips to religious venues... Should public high school students be taking field trips to any religious venues?

Fair wages - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal September 7, 2013

In recent demonstrations across the country, fast-food workers demanded that corporations pay them $15 an hour, about double the minimum wage… As Congress considers raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, we are asking the Faith in Memphis Panel if issues of income inequality and the minimum wage are moral or faith issues...

A moral response to Syria's immoral acts - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal August 31, 2013

Read how leaders in the Memphis faith community responded to this topic.

Lifting gay Scout ban - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - June 1, 2013

I'm a Mormon and an Eagle Scout who's glad the Boy Scouts of America has lifted its ban on gay scouts and that the LDS church has openly supported the move.

Season of hope and grief, Part 2 - Faith in Memphis Panel

The Commercial Appeal - December 28, 2012

I spent about an hour in Mayor Wharton's office listening to Memphis Police director Toney Armstrong talk about the family of slain police officer Martoiya Lang.

I Choose Memphis - Katy Spurlock

The Commercial Appeal - October 30, 2012

Memphis is a city full of proud residents who are passionate about calling this community home! New Memphis Institute partners with The Commercial Appeal to feature members of our community who are proud to say "I Choose Memphis."

Young faces in pulpit - Rod Starns, Special to My Life

The Commercial Appeal - June 17, 2012

Students carry the message at worship service, expressing generation's 'Courage to Dream'

Burton Carley on Unitarianism - August 18, 2011

Burton Carley, minister at First Unitarian Church–the Church of the River, spoke on August 11, 2011 on Unitarianism as part of MIFA’s “One Light, Many Colors,” a series of free weekly lectures on world religions held at Town Village Audubon Park in Memphis, Tenn.

Humorous pastor finds wisdom in daily life - Faith Matters - March 19, 2011

When she calls herself a Pentecostal Unitarian, Rev. Meg Barnhouse isn't trying to be funny.

Churches move to live lighter on the earth - Faith in Memphis - January 8, 2011

Is there a more common symbol of fellowship on God's green earth than the simple, disposable, environmentally sinful polystyrene foam cup?

Away from Thanksgiving table, families, friends have fun, serve others in unique ways

The Commercial Appeal - November 24, 2010

There are as many Thanksgiving Day traditions as there are recipes for stuffing or opinions on canned cranberries.

The Church of the River lived up to its name with cutting-edge design

The Commercial Appeal - November 9, 2010
The Church of the River sits quietly on a bank above the Mississippi, so at ease in the setting ...

Modern Man

Memphis Magazine - November 2010

Acclaimed architect Roy Harrover deserves much of the credit for changing the public face of our city...

We covenant... - UUA View from Berkeley

April 26, 2009

When I think about how the UUA Board might be accountable to the heritage, traditions and ideals of Unitarian Universalism, one of our sources of authority and accountability, I think of Burton Carley.

Spotlight on Mom - Liz Conway

The Commercial Appeal - June 3, 2010

Life has taught Liz Conway many lessons, most of all, how to live it.

Faith-blended families seek rite balance

The Commercial Appeal - December 24, 2008

Alice Fleming and Gary Feder light the menorah with their children each night of Hanukkah and celebrate by firing up a batch of potato latkes.

Dozen Downtown churches put best pew forward for open house

The Commercial Appeal - October 10, 2008

The 12 churches on the Downtown Church Tour Sunday illustrate the principle that the "wherever" in "wherever two or more are gathered in my name" should be taken literally.

Evolution evangelist to speak at Church of River

July 25, 2008

Believers on both sides of the evolution-creation debate have been slugging it out for more than a century.