Compiled by Helen Zidowecki

Allow me to introduce one of the most dynamic people in our Unitarian Universalist religious history: the Reverend Doctor Dorothy Spoerl. Following the brief "statistical notations" (in italics) are Dorothy's comments (in regular type) from communications and discussions with Margaret Gooding and Helen Zidowecki. Interspersed are notations, in the blocked format, related to Dorothy's writings. For more information on the writings, see the Annotated Bibliography.


Dorothy Mary Tilden was born on March 20, 1906, Brooklyn (Flatbush, E.17th St.) to Joseph Mayo and Gertrude Estelle (Bennett) Tilden. In addition to her older brother, Sidney Edward, Dorothy had a twin brother, Donald Mayo, who later taught chemistry at St. Anslems College (the only Protestant on the faculty).

Her father was Instructor and Assistant Principle at Erasmus Hall High School, and lecturer on architecture for the New York Public Lecture System. He worked for the American Sanitary Works of New York, 1910-1915.

In June 1916, Dorothy's father became President of Lombard College, Galesburg, Illinois. He was active in the Universalist Church of America, serving on the Board of Trustees of Universalist General Convention 1919, 1923, and 1927; and was Secretary of Illinois State Convention. He became ill at the Convention in Hartford, on October 18, 1927, going to his mother's in Concord, then to live with Sidney (son), where he died on February 27, 1928. His obituary in The Christian Leader (March 3, 1928) describes his enthusiastic dedication to Universalism and wide circle of influence within the denomination. (I find these also in Dorothy.)

1927 Dorothy received a B.A. in Religious Education from Lombard College. In 1928 she received a M.A. with a major in Religious Education from Boston University. She became the DRE Assistant in the First Universalist Church in Charlestown, (MA), under Roger Etz, and also worked with the youth in the Universalist Church in Everett.

I am a native New York State Universalist, having been born into the All Souls Church in Brooklyn some years back. I remember little of the church school or the church services (children went to church with their families in those days), except for learning the Five Principles of Universalism [established in 1899 by the Universalist General Convention], which we recited each Sunday morning from a tender and uncomprehending age. I found them comforting, at least the fifth, the final harmony of All Souls with God, and felt fortunate to be a member of All Souls Church. Imagine my surprise, at the age of ten, upon moving to Illinois to find that the Galesburg Universalist Church also believed in the final harmony of All Souls with God, and that it really meant all souls, not just the members of our Brooklyn parish. It was then, perhaps, that I began to learn that interpretation is important, and that the process of interpretation often changes one's understanding of words, phrases, principles, It was an important learning, for I have since discovered that such change is a continuous process. ("We Do Not Stand, We Move", New York Universalist Convention, 1976)

Brought up as I was, I could hardly escape a "career" either in the church or academia. From the age of ten, I lived in Galesburg, Illinois, on the campus of Lombard College. Galesburg is on both the Sante Fe and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroads, both of which were then the major transcontinental trains. My father was not only the president of Lombard, but through many of the years on either the state or national Universalist boards or committees, and a "popular" speaker at many events. Anyone who was going anywhere on denominational business went through Galesburg and was apt to be invited to stop off and speak at the college chapel. Therefore, a lot of dinner talk was of denominational affairs, and I met many of the "important" people of Universalism, but also of Unitarianism, because the Western Conference, centered in Chicago, was not unknown in our academic halls. Furthermore, we children went with our folks to many affairs, conventions, and what not, and got a good "dose" of enthusiasm.

Galesburg's population was about 25,000, and probably 70% Swedish Lutheran. It tells you something that when the Universalists wanted political allies who were liberal, they teamed up with the Catholics. What "saved me" from the combination of Galesburg and my Baptist grandmother (both parents were raised Baptist) was having Ruth Owens (who later married Tracy Pullman) as a church school teacher when she was at Lombard for two years (my last two years of high school). She encouraged me in the ministry as well as in Religious Education.

Of course, when old enough to go on my own, I went first to state conventions of the Young People's Christian Union and then, as a high school graduation present, to a two week conclave at Ferry Beach, one week a national YPCU convention, the other a General Sunday School Association week at that beach. At the end of that I was convinced that I had made my choice at long last between the three things that I had thought of as career: journalism (my highest hope to work for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle with its Universalist head editor or owner, I'm not sure which, one of the Gunnisons), or to be a teacher, or to be a minister.

My father was a little conservative on the subject of women in the ministry (he thought they had no future there), so he said I could go to Boston University to study Religious Education, but discouraged my "dream" of St. Lawrence and the ministry. On the other hand, by then I knew a lot of Universalist types in the Boston area, and the year I graduated from college and went to Ferry Beach before starting in at Boston University, I fell in love with a young "minister from Vermont," whom Mary Slaughter (later Scott) had said "I think you will like him." Between having an apartment with Mary (who was then field worker for the Universalists), and having met Roger Etz at Ferry Beach, at mid-west conferences, and at Murray Grove, he offered me the part time job in Charlestown (MA).

I went to work for Roger Etz in Charlestown, including some preaching, discovering some thirty years later that Charlestown was Starr King's father's church and later his (Starr King's). But my introduction to Unitarianism came in summer conferences, which included 'those dreadful Unitarians,' as our Galesburg people said. I met Curtis Reese, whom I adored with all the zeal of a high school girl and who 'made a liberal out of me,' as to religion. He, along with Waitstill Sharp (head or the Religious Education Department at American Unitarian Association and later with the Unitarian Service Committee) and Robert Dexter, took time to talk to an aspiring young church worker. Going into the church was inevitable.

What made me a 'liberal' as related to social action was moving to Boston on the night Sacco and Vanzetti were electrocuted; the influence of Clarence Skinner (at Tufts University), who came up to Ferry Beach weekends to help us understand social issues; and a wonderful social ethics teacher at Boston University, David Vaughan.

At mid-year of that year at Boston University, we had a Ferry Beach reunion, and I met again the 'young minister from Vermont.' That summer I went to Ferry Beach as a celebration of having my M.A. in Religious Education and left at the end of the week engaged (on the pier at Old Orchard Beach) to the 'young minister' [Howard Spoerl].


In 1928-1929 Dorothy was Director of Religious Education at Detroit Universalist Church under Frank Adams. Her mother went to Detroit with her, as her father had died in February 1928.

1929-1930 Dorothy was the President of the Young People's Christian Union.

That year in Detroit tied me closer to UUism. The Religious Education Director in the Detroit Unitarian Church was Frances Wood (later field worker for the American Unitarian Association and then the UUA), and we became lifelong friends. Frances had the ability to take people where they were and to move them beyond.

That year also taught me to be aware of people who agree with you to your face and take different action behind your back (church politics). However, the youth group was successful, with half Universalists and half B'hai's. Howard came to Detroit with a ring at Christmas. (My friends in Boston had tried it on before I even saw it!)

On July 28, 1929, Dorothy married Howard Spoerl, Minister in Bath, Maine, in Ware, New Hampshire. Dorothy was a minister's wife as well as the Religious Education Director. She was ordained in Bath before they moved to Orono, where Howard was minister at a Congregational/Universalist Church. He obtained a M.A. from University of Maine in Philosophy, transferring credits that he had obtained from Harvard University.

My husband, Howard, and I were at the church in Orono, Maine. Prowling in the excellent University of Maine Library, I ran into the twenty or so volumes (or was it twelve) of Frazier's The Golden Bough (first published in 1890) and read it through with mounting excitement. I began to devise a course on mythology for the Orono church school. I wrote it up for the Christian Leader. The editor wanted to know if I was sure that I wanted him to print it, as he was afraid that it would "close many doors in the denomination" to me and Howard. I said "yes" anyway. Sophia Fahs read it, was already of the same mind, and invited me to come and talk with her about working with her on Beginnings of Life and Death.

Two years as a minister's wife and we decided that Howard was more academic than ministerial, so we threw in the sponge and moved to Boston so he could get his Ph.D. in Psychology and Philosophy at Harvard (and thereafter we shifted between preaching and teaching for the balance of our lives). What you can do with and for young people in one is the same as the other, but there are different approaches and a wider area of trust sometimes from the young for teachers than for preachers.

Sept.15,1928- Apr. 5, 1930 Almost weekly columns in Leader, "Our Young People," The Christian Leader, continuing jointly with Max Kapp Oct.11, 1930-Oct.3, 1931,

"Christmas Service," The Christian Leader, Dec. 20, 1930, p.1624.


1931-1933 Dorothy worked for the Benevolent Fraternity in Boston, which included Bulfinch Place Unitarian Church under Christopher Eliot, father of Frederick May Eliot, then Chester Drummond. She worked with children in the North End Union one day a week. Abigail Eliot (Frederick's sister and cousin to T.S.Eliot) also taught in the church school. She was one of the leaders in nursery school education.

So Howard could go to Harvard (we had, of course, saved nothing on our munificent $2000 salary, par for those days), I wrote to Waitstill Sharp, who was then head of Religious Education of the American Unitarian Association and asked if he could get me a full time job in the Boston area. I was sent to an interview with the Benevolent Fraternity of Unitarian Churches. This was the strangest interview of my life. It went like this, "You want to be RE Director?" Me: "Yes." He: Where did you go to school?" Me: "Lombard and BU." He (a high official in the Boston Edison, I think it was): "I never interviewed anyone before. What else should I ask you?" Me: "Why don't you ask me if I want the job?" He: "Do you?" Me: "Yes, very much." And he hired me. When I went there, it had had three ministers in the past 150 years.

Howard graduated from Harvard, and he and Dorothy went to St. Johnsbury, Vermont,, returning to Boston because of low salary. Dorothy worked for Houghton-Mifflin Company, and Howard taught at Northeastern part time. A brief notation in the Christian Leader states that Howard was settled in the church in South Weymouth, Massachusetts on September 27, 1931.


1937-1939 Dorothy was Minister, Second Universalist Church, Springfield (MA.) Howard taught philosophy and Dorothy, psychology at American International College, Springfield. Dorothy was also Religious Education Director at Unitarian Church, under Whitman Emes. She feels that she paved the way for the later joining of the churches.

1940 Dorothy and Howard moved out of Springfield during war time because many of the business were related to guns and ammunitions. They were ministers in the combined Methodist/Congregational Church in Jeffersonville, Vermont, and alternated with the church in Cambridge, Vermont.

"Among Children's Books," Christian Leader, April 1937.

"Child Psychology and Religious Education I," Christian Leader, July 10, 1937.

"Child Psychology and Religious Education II," Christian Leader, July 17, 1937.

"Reading, the Magic Highway to Adventure," The Christian Leader, Nov. 20, 1937.

"Effect of Pictures on Recall of Stories Told Orally," Child Development, Vol. 8,295-298.

"Attitudes of the Mature Mind, Lessons VII-IX," The Helper, Nov.1938.

Beginnings: Life and Death, with Sophia Fahs, Beacon Press, 1938.

"Has Swedenborg an Message for the Liberal Churches?", Christian Leader, Feb. 19, 1938.

"Principles of Education," Lecture, Shoals RE Institutes, 1938.

"This Year's Children's Spring Book Festival," Christian Leader, May 7, 1938.

"To Read or to Keep," Christian Leader, May 20, 1939.

"Anything May Happen Soon," Christian Leader, Dec. 2, 1939.

"A Study of Some of the Possible Factors Involved in Foreign Language Learning," Modern Language Journal, Vol.23, 428-431, 1939.

"After the Festival of the Home," Leader, May 18, 1940.

"The Drawing Abilities of Mentally Retarded Children," Journal of Genetic Psychology, 57:259-277, 1940.

"Personality and Drawing in Retarded Children," Character and Personality, 8:227-239, 1940.

On May 18, 1941 Howard resigned from Universalist (and Unitarian fellowshipping) and became lay leader in the Church of the New Jerusalem, Swedengorgian. He also taught in their theological school in Boston. However, when they required re-ordination, he returned to fellowship via Congregational fellowship, then Universalist and Unitarian.

1942-1944 When the American International College got a new and liberal president, Howard and Dorothy returned to Springfield, where he remained the rest of his life. Dorothy returned as minister of Second Universalist Church and Professor of Philosophy at AIC. She attended Smith part time, then Clark full time, receiving her Ph.D. in Psychology from Clark in 1942, with major work in child development and a thesis on the impact of a bilingual childhood at college age.

"Overcoming Fear," Sermon from Second Universalist Society, Springfield, published by Universalist Church of America.

"Teacher Growth--A Search for the Philosopher's Stone," Tufts College, Sept. 9, 1941.

The Gift of Life: A Guide for Teachers and Parents, written with Josephine Gould and Elizabeth Manwell, 1942 and 1951.

"Bilingual and Emotional Adjustment," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 33:37-57, 1943.

"Academic Bilingual Childhood," Journal of Genetic Psychology, 64:139-157, 1944.

"Adjustment of College Age Jewish Students...Bilingual Childhood," Vivo Bletter, 1945.

"Alas, My Children," Christian Leader, Oct.6, 1945.

"Good Teaching, Country Style," International Journal of Religious Education," Dec. 1945.


Around 1946 Dorothy represented the Universalists on the Joint Curriculum Committee. Dorothy was appointed in 1954 as one of four Curriculum Editors for the Council of Liberal Churches (CLC), with Edith Fisher Hunter, Lucile Lindberg, and Robert Miller under Ernest Kuebler. The CLC included Unitarians, Universalists, American Council for Judaism, and the Ethical Society. She was a speaker at numerous institutes, such as at Ferry Beach in 1948.

"Encouraging the Artist in Your Child," Parents Magazine, August 1947.

"Is Creative Activity Enough?" International Journal of Religious Education, April 1947; reprinted in Religious Digest, Oct. 1947.

Suggestions for Activities for Nursery Groups, with Margaret Price, Beacon Press, 1947.

"Creating Stories for Children," Writers Monthly, Jan.1948.

"It Isn't My Real Name," National Parent-Teacher, Vol. XLII:No.9, May 1948.

"Demand, Supply and Balance," with Florence Klaber and Lucile Lindberg, 1950.

"Help Your Child to Write," Writers Monthly, Feb. 1950.

"Jewish Stereotype, the Jewish Personality, and Jewish Prejudice," Yivo Better, 1950.

"Preparing the Baby for College," National Parent Teacher, June 1950.

"Unless My Dream Is True," Fellowship, Nov. 1950.

"Some Aspects of Prejudice as Affected by Religion and Education," Journal of Social Psychology, 33:69-76, 1951.

"Research and the Newbery and Caldecott Books," Wilson Library Journal, Jan 26, 1952.

"Values of the Post-War College Student," Journal of Social Psychology, 35:217-225, 1952.

"Category Scoring of the Multiple Choice Rorschach," ? 38:287-291, 1953.

"Comparison of Macholver and Thematic Appreciation Test Interpretations," Journal of Social Psychology,40:75-77, 1954.


From 1955-1960, Dorothy was Editor of the Beacon Series. Howard died in 1957, as did her mother, who had been living in Florida, and her brother, Donald. In 1958, Dorothy built the house at Witches Meadow, and taught in 2 room school (expanded to 3 rooms) in Ackworth, New Hampshire (36 children, grades 3-6).

When Howard died, and Walter, who was 15 years old, wanted to "live in the country," I built my house at Witches' Meadow in Langdon, New Hampshire. It got its name the night I had bought the land. When I approached the land, it was hazy, with the moon shining faintly through the mist. "Witches' Meadow" seemed like the perfect name. [Basis for a section, "Behold Beauty Now Invisible" in Up, Up, and Away by Rev. Margaret Gooding, 1994]

Of no connection, I am a descendant of a Salem witch, Suzanne Mont, who is mentioned in The Devil in Massachusetts.

"Bilingualism and the Hebrew Day School," The Jewish Parent, 1955

"Too Large a Hope," Christian Leader, Dec. 1956.

"Clear Witness to Brotherhood," The New Christianity, XXIII, No.1, Winter 1957.

Beginnings: Earth, Sky, Life and Death, with Sophia Fahs, 1958 (Translated into at least German and Japanese)

The Child's Expanding World: An Outline of Developmental Characteristics, CLC, 1958.

"Insights for Religious Education From Psychology," Education Department, CLC, May 25, 1958.

"Teaching Anthropology in Religious Education," with Lucile Lindberg, 1959.

Religious Education for the Pre-Nursery Child, with Josephine T. Gould and Lucile Lindberg, Council of Liberal Churches, c. 1950's, revised 1965 as smaller pamphlet.

1960-1964 Dorothy was curriculum editor of the Unitarian Universalist Association. This included editing the Beacon Science Series.

I got a phone call from Ernest Kuebler. By then I had been on the curriculum committee of the Council of Liberal Churches for many years, and had been for a time one of four part time editors for the Council of Liberal Churches. He wanted to know if I would like to come to Boston to do research in religious education and be curriculum editor. I said, "yes" and went. He told me later (half in jest) that I was "the only person he could hire (it was the year of merger) because the Unitarians all thought I was Unitarian and the Universalists knew I had been brought up a Universalist, therefore I wasn't controversial at that point in history." ( As a person I 'merged' long before merger/consolidation.) Whatever his reasons, I enjoyed the work. Ernest was marvelous to work with, and I would have stayed had he not left. I could not work with Henry Cheetham, but as long as I worked for him (Cheetham), I supported him.

"The Bible in Our Church Schools," Christian Leader Nov. 1960, p.273.

"The Book is Not the Course," Christian Leader, Oct. 1960.

"Values Study of the Division of Education," Unitarian Register, Sept. 1960.

"Religious Education," The Universalist Leader, March 1961.

"Are Unitarian Universalists Indeed 'Different'?" Study, University of Illinois, 1961.

Hands, Beacon Science Series, 1961.

"How Does a Child Identify with the Church?" Unitarian Register and Universalist Leader, 1961 (REACH 976).

"The Inner City: Bibliography in a Context of Community," with Jim Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American, 1961.

"Inner City's Children," c. 1961.

"Religious Education," Unitarian Register, March 1961.

"Riches for the Seeking," The Unitarian Register and Universalist Leader, June 1961.

"Is Our Religious Education Religious?" Unitarian Register and Universalist Leader, Mid-Summer 1961.

"Values for Unitarian-Universalist Youth," Journal of Psychology, 51:421-437, 1961.

The Child's Expanding World: An Outline of Developmental Characteristics, UUA, c.early 1960's.

"The Baby-Sitting Dilemma: Who Provides Care as Parents Go To Church?" The Unitarian Register and the Universalist Leader, February 1962.

"Are We Holding Our Young People?" The Unitarian Register and the Universalist Leader, March 1962.

"Our Teachers Need Background," The Unitarian Register and Universalist Leader, April 1962.

"The Bible and the Public School," The Unitarian Register and the Universalist Leader, June 1962.

"Unitarian Development in the Twentieth Century," 1962.

"Hands to Work and Hearts to God," New Hampshire Profiles, July 1962.

"To Behold Beauty Now Invisible," Education Luncheon, Chicago, May 16, 1963.

"The Creative Process and Religious Education," Minns Lectures, Fall 1963

"To Behold Beauty Now Invisible"

"The Climate for Learning"

"The Real Defense of Freedom Is Imagination"

"Team Teaching Not a Team of Teachers," with Elizabeth Lasselle, September 1963.

"Basic Principles and Issues in Religious Education," 1963.

"The Fellowship School," 1964.

"The Church: Salient or Subordinate?," Barry Street Lecture 1964, Journal of the Liberal Ministry, V, 1965.

"Value Implications of Map Making,"

Am I A Good Church School Parent? with Lucile Lindberg

Am I A Good Teacher? with Lucile Lindberg

"What is Religious About Our Religious Education?" ?

"Ourselves and Our Children's Faith," Twelve Celebrations, The Family

The Fellowship School 1964.


1965-1966 Dorothy was on the faculty, Starr King, 1 day/week, and was West Coast field staff for Religious Education

1965-69 Dorothy worked on Adult Education under Royal Cloyd.

It was a joy when I was invited to Starr King to teach one course and do the west coast field work. I was not sure that I could survive the California highways. When Royal Cloyd offered me a job in Adult Education working for him, I said "yes." Royal was the most creative man I have ever worked for.

Henry Cheetam demanded that I turn down all religious education invitations for three years after leaving UUA initially and to not tell people why. When Royal went through Dana Greeley (1967?), Henry permitted me to accept the invitation to spend time working with the Remonstrants in the Netherlands to introduce the Dutch translation of Sophia Fahs' Today's Children and Yesterday's Heritage. The UUA paid my salary and the Remonstrants paid the expenses. I gave 21 speeches in 3 weeks.

When I was speaking at the Haag, three men in the back row nodded and agreed with my speech. They told me that is was about time that someone said the things that I had said. They introduced themselves as the "Pope's bad boys." They were three Catholic priests!

"Exploring New Teaching Trends," Address given at Education Day, General Assembly, San Francisco, May 9,1964.

"What Do We Think About the Older Members of Our Churches?" 1965.

A Guide to the Study of Jesus To Be Used With "Who Do Men Say That I Am?" Chapter on "The Nature of Adolescence", Beacon Press, 1966.

Tensions Our Children Live With, Beacon Press, 1967.

"Teaching Our Heritage," 1968.

"Savage Mind and Aggression," Journal of the Liberal Ministry, Spring 1968.


1970-72 Dorothy was minister at Woodstock and Hartland, Vermont. She then moved to Charlestown, New Hampshire, then moved to Sanford, Maine, basically to be near her son and his family. She continued to speak at conferences and religious education gatherings.

In 1987, she received UUA Distinguished Service Award. In 1994, she received the Angus MacLean Award in Religious Education.

Retirement brought constant contacts with Sunday church services and organizations after the merger. This included participation in the St. Lawrence District Conference, "Revolving Door Syndrome." For six weeks in the fall of 1972, I worked for the Department of Extension on the "front range" of the Rockies, doing a quick demographic study of each town where there had been a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship or church, speaking in each church and fellowship. This included three weeks in Colorada Springs.

In 1973, I was awarded the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology from Starr King School of Ministry. I was the theme speaker for the Starr King Summer School.

In 1977, I conducted a West Coast "safari" doing a three day workshop with lectures on curriculum past, present and future for church school people in the Santa Monica, California, area. I was then theme speaker at Seabeck for the Northwest, followed by a month as minister in residence at the Vancouver Church while Phillip Hewett was on sabbatical writing and researching his history of the church in Canada.

In 1979, I was presented a Doctor of Divinity by Meadville/Lombard Theological School, and gave the commencement address, "To Keep Man's Spirit Free." In 1980, I was the Spring Term Minister in Residence at Meadville/Lombard where I taught a course in religious education. From there I went to Galesburg to the Lombard Alumni Reunion and spoke of the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of Lombard to assure them that the charter was "alive and well" and doing splendidly at Meadville.

I was Minister of the Week at Starr Island in 1979 and 1985. I am also a member of the Ferry Beach Park Association, serving on the Board until 1987.

In 1982, I participated in the ordination of Corelyn Sean in Charlottesville, Virginia. I also did the Theme Talks for the week each at UUMAC in Easton, Pennsylvania, and Ohio/Meadville Conference at Kenyon College. The theme of these weeks was community, but each one was different.

In 1983, I participated in the dedication of the Oakcliff Church in Dallas, and had a workshop the day before at First Church and a talk with children on atomic war.

In 1986, I participated in the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Woodstock, Vermont, church, giving the anniversary sermon (not preserved in written form).

Since retirement I have preached or spoken to religious education groups on numerous occasions until a few years ago when bus service out of Sanford/Springvale (Maine) was discontinued and my eyes forced me to give up driving, so I could not get to most of them. I did have a session at the Religious Education Week at Ferry Beach in July 1995.

"A Brief Guide for Possible Uses of Rebellion in the Mountains: The Story of Universalists and Unitarians in Vermont, ?

"Consider Identity and How It Grows," Unitarian Sunday School Society/UUA, 1971.

"Why and How a Church School," Rochester, NY, April 29, 1972.

"The Total Use of People," The Unitarian Universalist Christian, Vol.27: No.3-4, Autumn/Winter 1972.

"Unsung It Stays Half-Lacking," Sermon for the Service of the Living Tradition, 1972, reprinted in the Journal of Liberal Ministry, Vol.XII; No.3, p.40-44.

"Aberrant Rainbows," Sermon for the Installation of Margaret Gooding as Director of Religious Education, Ottawa, April 21,1974.

"A Capsule History of the American Universalist Association," June 1974.

"A Different Drummer," Worship Arts Clearinghouse, 9/74

"Heresy Indeed," All Souls, New York, May 11, 1975.

"A Year of History," Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the American Unitarian Association, 1975.

"Values Made Manifest," 1975, reprinted in REACH in 1988.

"Canst Thou Bind the Unicorn?" A sermon delivered in the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, May 2, 1976.

"The Trumpet's Uncertain Call," Sermon at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, May 9, 1976.

"The Hidden Teacher," Address at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, May 10, 1976.

"A Plume of Starlight," Sermon at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, May 16, 1976.

"Three Experiments in Community," Sermon at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, May 23, 1976.

"Beyond the Margins of Necessity," Sermon delivered in the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, May 30, 1976.

"From Lombard to Knox--With Love," Commencement Dinner Address, June 5, 1976.

"We Do Not Stand, We Move," New York Universalist Convention, Albion, October 16, 1976.

"A Brief Look at the History of Extension: Overview of Extension Practices in the American Unitarian Association, the Universalist Church of America, and the Unitarian Universalist Association," The Commission on Appraisal Report to the Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Association, 1978.

"Back to Basics," 1978.

"And Practice Good Works," address for the 175th Anniversary of the Winchester Profession of Belief in Universalism, Winchester, NH, September 23, 1978.

"To Keep Man's Spirit Free," Meadville/Lombard Convocation Address, 1979.

Only a Few Children? A Guide for Developing Our Religious Values Together, Church of the Larger Fellowship, 1979.

"Historic Profile: Abnew Kneeland," 1979.

"Lombard Remembered," Talk at the 50th Anniversary of the closing of Lombard College, Galesberg, IL, 1980.

"Salvation in Heaven or on Earth? The Universalist Story," 1981.

"Story of the Unitarian Universalist Merger," 1981

"Background Paper on Black Ministers in the AUA, UCA and UUA" Fall 1981.

"Now We Are One: The Story of the Unitarian Universalist Merger, 1961," Sept.1981.

"A Revolution of the Spirit," Historical Society, Oxford, MA, Sept. 14, 1985.

"Values of Our Liberal Youth," reprinted in REACH, 4/88 (original publication date is unknown).

"Fahs and MacLean: A Living Heritage: Guest Editorial," Liberal Religious Education, Number 4, Spring 1990"Ceremonial Time," Summer 1990.

"A Conversation with Three Curriculum Editors," Liberal Religious Education, Number 7, Fall 1991.

"Acceptance of Angus MacLean Award," General Assembly, Fort Worth, June 26, 1994.


Dorothy fell and broke a hip in January 1993, followed by rehabilitation for that and subsequent falls in various nursing facilities in southern Maine. She maintains extensive correspondence, in spite of visual impairment. Dorothy retains her concern for quality in religious education.

May 1999 Dorothy has moved to Sullivan County Home, Claremont, New Hampshire, to be close to her family. She appreciates phone calls and letters. She is an avid "reader," a great customer of the Talking Books Program, as her vision is very poor.

Charles Howe, in the First Days Record, September 1991, remarks that "Henry Hampton, in his Fahs lecture (1987 General Assembly) put it well: "Thus far in her long and productive life of service, she has helped educated our children, build a denomination, save more than a few intellectual souls, and, without a doubt, she has changed the course of the world...Dottie Spoerl is the best we have to offer...(Her) life of service testifies to the tremendous difference one individual can make......"

© Rev. Helen Zidowecki 1999 (RR1 Box 8279, Litchfield, ME 04350, 207-582-5308,