There once was a “Uni” named “Wendy,”
Whose horn glitzed in gold was so trendy.
She searched for her herd,
Where diversity is spurred—
Found the Fellowship varied aplenty!
Author & UUFP member Julian Padowicz marries his passion for writing with his zeal for sharing the UUFP story of embracing diversity.
Last month, "In the Beginning...," we met Wendy the Unicorn! As Wendy experiences inclusivity through relationship with the UUFP, she hopes that both adults and children will share our story about who we are and what we do, as Unitarian Universalists, and offer a warm welcome to all to our stable—uh...we mean...Fellowship!
"There's Room at the Stable"
Wendy, the Unicorn, showed up at the door, as she had every Sunday for the last few months, but, this time, she found it locked.
This was Sunday, wasn't it? Of course, it was. Yesterday it had most certainly been Saturday. And this really was the door to the UUFP, wasn't it?
Just to make sure, Wendy looked around for a sign and found a sheet of paper taped to the inside of the glass door that had, "Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula," printed across the top. Yep, she was in the right place. So where was everyone?
Then Wendy realized someone had written something else on the paper. Something about the fact that, because of the coronavirus danger, the place would be closed for awhile. There would, however, be virtual services online. Then there were directions for connecting online.
Wendy had heard about the coronavirus. It was like a very, very bad flu that was making lots of people very sick all over the world. Many people were even dying. It was spread by people coughing or sneezing or just breathing on one another. It didn't affect unicorns, but her people friends took corona very seriously, stayed away from each other, and got vaccinated. They wore masks over the lower parts of their faces and bumped elbows instead of shaking hands.
And she knew what "online" meant. It was something you did on a computer so you could see and talk to people who were far away. So, what the sign was really saying was that people would be "getting together" on Sunday mornings without actually getting together. And they'd be doing it by computer.
The problem was Wendy didn't have a computer.
Wendy didn't have a computer because she didn't have fingers. She had four shiny hooves that she was quite proud of and polished every Sunday morning before going to services. But you couldn't operate a computer with hooves, no matter how shiny they were. She could gallop along the beach or through the woods; she could give rides to people, but there was no way that she new of that she could operate computer.
This was terrible. It meant that the many friends Wendy had made over the last few weeks would be getting together by computer—but without Wendy. It meant they could see each other, and sing hymns together, and tell each other about important happenings in their lives, and listen to their minister talk about living more fulfilling lives, but Wendy wouldn't be able to take part in it. And she would be lonely again.
On top of all of that, there stood Wendy, in front of the locked building, on a Sunday morning, and she had nothing to do.
Well, that wasn't exactly true. There was something Wendy could do. It was something she could almost always do when she had nothing to do. And that, of course, was to go for a gallop, if there was room to do it.
She always started by trotting, left front hoof and right rear hoof forward together, then right front hoof and left rear hoof forward together. That was faster than walking, and, as it got even faster, she would break into a canter, in which both rear hooves went together, and then the two front hooves, with one just ahead of the other. This was faster than the trot, and it was a gentle rocking motion with a comfortable rhythm.
And that would lead her into a gallop, when the two front hooves went forward just as far as she could stretch them, and then the rear hooves kicked her forward as far as they could. As she galloped along side of the road or along the beach, it felt as though she was flying, with the wind blowing through her mane and her tail stretched straight back, the same way that the golden horn in the middle of her forehead was pointed straight forward.
Before she even realized that she was doing it, she was galloping at the side of the road, passing the cars, whose occupants were all staring at her because most of them had never seen a unicorn before.
Then, Wendy was galloping through a park and passing trees that went by in a blur, lamp posts going by in a blur, and a young man sitting on a front porch with a closed laptop computer in his lap going by....
A who with a what in his lap?
Wendy pulled to a stop and turned around. Yes, that was a young man in jeans and a blue sweatshirt, on that porch, with a closed laptop resting in his lap.
"Hello," Wendy said.
"Hello," replied the young man.
"I'm Wendy," said Wendy.
"I'm Martin," said the young man.
"Isn't that a laptop in your lap?"
Wendy walked back to where the young man was sitting and asked, a little out of breath now, "Would you like to...attend...a virtual...church service with me?"
"I don't do church," replied Martin.
"You don't do church?" Wendy went and stood beside Martin because unicorns didn't get corona.
"I don't believe in anything or anyone like a god person," the young man said. "I mean, different people call him different things, like Allah or Jehovah, but it's still like a person who runs everything from up there. Know what I mean? Well, I don't believe like that.
"You see," he went on, "what I see is that it's how people feel about each other, not about a god; that's what it's all about—I mean, it's people and unicorns, that is—that make things happen. So, if you and I like each other, then, what they call God or Allah, or whatever you want to call him, her or it, is sitting right here on the bench with us. Know what I mean?"
"Well, I believe something a lot like that, too," Wendy said. "I also don't believe in somebody up in the sky, looking down on us, or from some golden throne, somewhere. But what's important is love between people, and between people and unicorns, and unicorns and unicorns, except that I don't know any other unicorns. Do you? I mean, have you ever met another unicorn?"
"No, I haven't, except for you. You're my first."
"I'm my first, too. Well, in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, that I belong to, they don't care if I'm a unicorn or if I believe in God or not, or in Allah or Buddha.
"What we Unitarian Universalists do believe, however, is that each of us is free to believe whatever makes sense to each of us. When you've really, really thought hard about it, when we come together in church on Sunday, or virtually, through computers, it's to help each of us fulfill our own belief in what a good person or unicorn should be."
"So, you mean, no one's trying to tell you what you should believe?"
"And that's what you want me to watch online with you?"
"Yes, would you?"
Martin already had his laptop open. "So, what’s the web address?
In another minute or so, Martin had the Reverend Andrew's face on his computer screen. Rev. Andrew was wearing headphones, which made Wendy laugh a little, since she had never seen him look like that before. But she quickly recognized his voice, and she and Martin listened to him and sang the hymns, as the words appeared on the screen.
When the service was over, Martin said, "Hey, that wasn't bad. Want to do it again, next Sunday?"
"Sure. See you next week!”