While most Unitarian Universalist ordinands leap to the late Peter Raible’s ordination and installation guide — which has never much impressed me — I contacted W. Scott Axford, the minister of First Universalist Church, Providence. He has a knack for such things and was quite helpful for that day in 1999 when I was ordained to the Ministry of the Gospel.
I contacted him because — apart from being a friend — he wrote an essay for the Unitarian Universalist Christian, the journal of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship some years before.
Geo gratia. That essay, reprinted by permission, is online at the Joseph Priestley District Web site.
I find the scriptural argument in the text rather weak. If the argument against the Episcopal order is Matthew 18:20, on that same ground there should be no ordination whatsoever, congregational or otherwise. How come bishops are not scripturally based, but ministers are? And if ministers are not scriptural but they are convenient, why not bishops (ethym. “overseers”)?