Forrest Church, one of the nation’s best-known Unitarian Universalist pastors, died September 24 after a three-year battle with cancer that shaped his final years of ministry into an extended reflection on death and dying. Church, 61, had been pastor of New York’s Unitarian Church of All Souls for more than 30 years, transforming a declining parish of 100 worshipers into a flagship pulpit that regularly attracted crowds of 1,000 or more. Church died of esophageal cancer, a condition that caused him to step down as senior pastor in 2006 and take on the title of minister of public theology. During his illness he wrote two books, including his most recent, Love and Death. His 25th and final book, The Cathedral of the World: A Universalist Theology, will be published in November. Church, the son of the late Idaho senator Frank Church, was barely 30 when he was tapped to lead All Souls in 1978.


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