Even though I took Portuguese as my required language at the University of Georgia, I never really got the hang of it, and so after twenty years I go to Google (rather than my own skill) to read the site of the CongregaÃ§Ã£o Unitarista de Pernambuco, no Brasil. That is, in Brazil. (And that’s about all I can do.)
They seem to come from the mellow Unitarian Christian end of the tradition: the one that any number of New Englanders would recognize, at least in theory or in Portuguese. Seeing a Communion liturgy “for home and hospital” I was quick to get a translation. The first line of their affirmation or statement of faith goes:
LÃDER: NÃ£o estamos sozinhos. Vivemos no mundo de Deus.
Leader: We are not alone, we live in God’s world.
I thought that looked pretty familiar. Indeed, the whole thing maps to the United Church of Canada’s “New Creed” — that is, up to near the end, when Unitarian theology and habit takes over. The Canadians “proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope” while the Brazilian Unitarians “proclaim the message of Jesus, our model of unconditional love.”
I’ll take either, and hope to hear more from this interesting group.
What is most amazing about this group is that they claim to exist since 1933, but there were no reports or references about them at the UUA or the ICUU (or nobody told us that they existed)! The ICUU found them thanks to the budding UU group in Sao Paulo led by Bruno Maroneze, who attended a couple of international UU events. Now the Pernambuco Unitarian Christians and the Sao Paulo Unitarian Universalists have become provisional members of the ICUU.
I wonder if they went dormant and re-organized at some point. It’s not to far of a stretch to think that there might be a Universalist demomination in Britain today under the same circumstances if things had been but a little different.