New Beginnings: The Future of Christianity and Our Church

A year ago, I started the Universal Church of the Restoration. With the help of my friend and fellow liberal Christian, Colin Mills, we began weekly video services and online small group meetings last January. We continued this for six months, then cut back to once per month. In total, during the year 2021, we produced 28 video services with sermons and stories of spiritual heroes, and we held a similar number of online meetings for prayer, fellowship, and discussion.

Starting a nondenominational church is not easy, even when the leaders do a good job of creating inspiring and meaningful content. Colin and I believe we have done that to the best of our ability. Despite our best efforts, however, the UCR has not attracted an audience as large as we hoped it would during the first year of its existence, and there are few signs of growth or increasing engagement with our church and its message.

After much thought and prayer, we have decided to stop producing videos, which we have learned is an inefficient way to spread our ideas. We have also discontinued the small group meetings for now. We will be continuing the ministry as a blog about religious teachings and issues from the perspective of Restorationist Christian Universalism.

Overcoming Evil: How to Heal and Break Free

From our service on December 5, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


Evil is one of the most important topics addressed by religion. Although it’s not pleasant to talk about, it’s very important that we do, because evil is a pervasive part of our world. So if we aspire to live a good life, we need to learn how to recognize evil and resist it.

In our previous two sermons, we talked about the reality of evil and the mechanism of evil — what evil is, and how it works. To summarize the main points, evil is the rebellion against God’s plan of harmony among all beings, by seeking excessive individual advantage and subjugating or destroying others. Evil gains power over our minds, our lives and society by deceiving us about the meaning of life, distracting us from our true spiritual purpose, getting us addicted to fruitless drama and conflict, and corrupting our good intentions with the idea that the ends justify the means, even if that means doing evil in the hope that it will ultimately lead to a more virtuous or ideal outcome.

In this, the third and final part of our series on evil, we’ll talk about how to overcome it. What does overcoming evil really mean? In a world filled with evil, how can we heal from its damaging influence and break free of the misguided attitudes and addictive behaviors that give evil its seemingly relentless power?

Emil Kapaun

From our service on December 5, 2021, a story of the inspiring life of Emil Kapaun, as recounted by Colin Mills.

December 5, 2021 Service: “Overcoming Evil: How to Heal and Break Free”

Today, we conclude a three-part series on evil. How can we heal and break free from its harmful and addictive deception? By accepting the value of human freedom, and by looking to the example of Christ on the cross, we can choose what is good and inspire others. In this service, we also tell the inspiring story of Emil Kapaun, an army chaplain who was captured in the Korean War and ministered to fellow POWs as well as his captors.

The Mechanism of Evil: Strategies and Methods of the Dark Side

From our service on November 7, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


Last month, we began a three-part series on evil. In the first sermon of the series, I began by discussing the reality of evil: what it is and why it matters. Evil is a very real and significant part of our world. Evil pulls people away from unity and harmony with God and each other, into a mindset of separation, discord, exploitation and destruction. Throughout history, people have been falling into this mindset and living according to the impulses of the flesh, which naturally lead us into evil through the competitive instinct of survival of the fittest.

Today, we continue the series by talking about the mechanism of evil: how evil actually works, to influence our behavior and our world. To a large degree, evil is the natural human condition, because of the wiring of our brains. Evil exploits this, and most humans are easy prey. The exploiters who target us may be negative spiritual beings from beyond this world, or human beings here on earth with a negative agenda.

Chiune Sugihara

From our service on November 7, 2021, a story of the inspiring life of Chiune Sugihara, as recounted by Colin Mills.

November 7, 2021 Service: “The Mechanism of Evil: Strategies and Methods of the Dark Side”

Last month, we began a three-part series on evil: what it is, how it works, and how to overcome it. Today, we focus on the mechanism of evil. How does evil take over people’s hearts, minds, and lives? What are the ways that evil corrupts our souls and our world, through specific strategies and methods? Evil is constantly at work all around us — and it’s important to understand it, so that we can effectively resist it. In today’s service, we also tell the story of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who boldly resisted evil and saved the lives of thousands of Jewish refugees during World War II.

The Reality of Evil: What It Is and Why It Matters

From our service on October 3, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


In today’s sermon we begin a three-part series about evil. Evil is an important topic for any sincere spiritual seeker, or indeed any thoughtful human being to consider. Today we’ll discuss the question of what is evil? — and perhaps more importantly, why it matters that we discuss it. In fact, why is it so important that I’ve decided to do three sermons on evil instead of just one?

Evil is real, and it’s a major aspect of the human condition. It’s popular nowadays, especially among liberal-thinking people in relatively free, stable, and prosperous countries, to discount the power and pervasiveness of evil and the human tendency to fall prey to it. Many optimistic, I would say naïve people believe that evil is merely the absence of good, and that the average person is essentially good and does not naturally feel any evil impulses that exert a powerful pull on the psyche. I profoundly disagree.

October 3, 2021 Service: “The Reality of Evil: What It Is and Why It Matters”

Evil is not a popular topic to preach on or discuss. But we live in a world that is full of evil, and the inclination to sin lurks within the hearts of all of us. Throughout history, human beings have struggled to create societies where all people’s rights are respected. Why does evil so often triumph over good, and how can we change that? Today, we begin a three-part series on evil: what it is, how it works, and how to overcome it.

The Simple Life

From our service on September 5, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


Many of us have heard the famous Shaker song, “Simple Gifts.” It begins,

’Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
’Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be …

And so on, about the importance and joy of turning away from worldly pride and living the simple life.

In the Gospel, Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” [Luke 12:15]. This was the preface to an extended soliloquy we heard in our Scripture reading today, on the topic of simple living and relinquishing our anxious grasping for more and more stuff [vss. 16-34]. Jesus made it clear that if we wish to live according to his faith, we should live for God and our fellow man, rather than the things of this world.