Whodathunk, Missouri – In a move that some are hailing as “Well, Duh,” seventeen (16) congregations of Unitarian Universalists have signed an agreement of intent to join in full Eucharistic Communion with the Episcopals.
“Why not tie the knot?” said Jeff Jefferson of Jeffords Ford. “We’ve been watching the Episcopals for some time now. Oh sure, they’ve been getting some bad press — but it’s all good by us! One says heresy, another says hooray!”
Shannon Ford of West Jefferson chimed in: “I think this is great. My great grandfather was an Episcopal. But that was back in the day when they were known as Episcopalians and believed in many things contrary to Unitarian doctrine — like Doctrine. As Unitarians, we believe in the freedom of religious expression. All individuals are encouraged to develop their own personal theology, and to present openly their religious opinions without fear of censure or reprisal. We’ve come to conclude that the Episcopals believe the same.”
Wilma Tisdale (nee Jefferson) was one of the signers of the Accord. She said the convergence was harmonic, hastening to add: “We believe in the authority of reason and conscience. The ultimate arbiter in religion is not a church, or a document, or an official, but the personal choice and decision of the individual.”
One of the qualities that the Unitarians bring to the table is “stability,” said the Rev’d Alford Longfellow, pastor of St Gilded Lily by the Silver Lake. As a priest of 30 years in ECUSA, he’s grown weary of all the changes within his denomination. He quoted Benjamin Franklin, saying: “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, the best … but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have … some doubts as to his divinity, tho’ it is a question I do not dogmatize upon.” Alford added, “It has taken generations and not a little sweat and toil, but we have all arrived at the same place.”
While many claim that this move was brought about by those formerly known as Episcopalians and their jettisoning the traditional beliefs of the Christian faith, others see this union as a labor of love that has come of age. “We believe in the motive force of love” said Jeff Jefferson. “The governing principle in human relationships is the principle of love, which always seeks the welfare of others and never seeks to hurt or destroy.”
However, not everyone is impressed. Cathy Olix of East Oxford called the new union a disgrace, saying: “I never thought I’d see the day! There once was a time when a Unitarian was a Unitarian (whatever that was) and an Episcopalian was an Episcopalian (whatever that was). Now it seems that what was is — and that just ain’t right. They’re even calling us Episcopals — whatever that is!”
When asked about the next step in the process toward union, everyone was in mutual agreement: “There is no next step.” As if to seal the deal, the Accord cites the Reverend Samuel J. May in a paper written in the 19th century: “Because we have no formula of faith; no system of doctrines; no list of articles prescribed by pope, bishops, General Assembly, or other human authority, which every one must profess to believe before he can be admitted to membership in our church, — there are those who allege that we Unitarians have no faith; that we believe nothing, or that each one believes what he pleases.”
And this, everyone agrees, is exactly what the Episcopals believe.
(This satirical post is not intended to diss the beliefs of Unitarian Universalists — which, it seems, have remained consistent. In that regard, they are more traditional than, well, the “Episcopals.”)