Two clergymen were keen to enhance ecumenical fellowship. One, a Catholic priest, and a second, a Anglican Vicar, decided to ask another clergyman to join them on their fishing trip to a favourite lake. So they asked a friendly Baptist pastor to join them. On the appointed morning they went to the lake, fishing gear, bait, and food in hand, the row boat ready. They put off from the dock and rowed to a secluded inlet. They began to fish and the fellowship was wonderful, but toward mid-morning the Anglican Vicar experienced nature’s call… he stepped out of the boat and made his way on the water to the shore, and a few minutes later returned – again walking on the water.
The Baptist pastor’s eyes bulged in wonder and disbelief. A little later, the Catholic priest said, “You know, it is so calm, I think I’ll go for a walk on the beach,” so he jumped out of the boat, walked on the water, walked on the beach, and then walked on the water back to the boat. By this time the Baptist pastor was feeling greatly challenged, and in spite of the desire to enhance unity among the churches, he knew he had to meet what he saw as the challenge of his colleagues. After all, if a Catholic and an Anglican could walk on water, surely a Baptist could!
Gathering his courage, the Baptist pastor stood up, stepped out of the boat and said, “You guys think you are so great, watch this,” whereupon he catapulted over the side, only to go straight to the bottom. He came up and said something “I bet nobody gets it right on the first try!” He dragged himself across to the other side of the boat, jumped overboard, and again went straight to the bottom of the lake.
This time as the Baptist minister pulled himself back into the boat coughing and gagging… the Anglican turned to the Catholic priest and said: “I suppose we really should have told him where the stumps are!”