Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'A Church for Atheists'

The Rev. Andy Pakula explains in a very nice post how Unitarian/UU churches welcome atheists as well as theists.

It reminds me of a story I heard from an Englishman (Andy happens to be in England, too, but he is originally from the U.S.) when I was at my Church-Away-From-Home sometime last year.

My English acquaintance told me of his friend who had moved in retirement from London to a small community up in the North of England.

As the retiree got to be known in the community, someone realized his general acumen and approached him about joining the vestry of the local Anglican church.

Flattered, the retiree nonetheless demurred. "I'm an atheist," he explained, apologetically.

His inviter was unperturbed. With a shrug and a wave of his hand, he responded, "Oh, that doesn't matter!"

My Episcopalian mother, and one of the priests at her church, found this story as funny as I and the man who told it to me did.


  1. It is sometimes said of Episcopalians that, no matter what you believe, some other Episcopalians are sure to believe it too. I suspect that if people were totally honest the same could be said of most any religion. The only problem with that is having someone else's truth as the only one presented in the liturgy and the homily, and in some churches, having someone else's identity validated but not one's own.

  2. An unrelated BTW: an inversion of characters in your link at left to UFWC takes one instead to UFCW, not quite a place of worship. ;)

  3. @Paul... LOL! Now fixed. And thanks for the correction. No, while I may be a pro-union type, I don't worship at the union hall...


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