October 2012 Newsletter
The holiday season is on our doorstep. Our calendar of religious holidays is chock-full from October to January. In this month we observe days that mark the beginnings of the Baha'i and Sikh faiths, a feast in Islam that celebrates the obedience of Abraham, and a Hindu celebration considered a lucky time to start new projects. We hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy fellowship with their friends and family for each of these occasions you celebrate.
On October 18th, Christians celebrated the Feast of St. Luke. Luke was the author of one of the gospels, and the patron saint of physicians and artists. As interfaith ministers we can dedicate this time to providing care and comfort to those in need. One ULC Monastery minister has taken it upon himself to do just that through his generosity and wonderful spirit of compassion.
Marcus Croman is the owner of Cuppa Bella Café in Kingston, Washington. He and his wife, Tonya, donate all the café's profits to local charities selected by his employees. A recent $2,500 donation helped feed disadvantaged local youth in Kitsap County, Washington. “It wasn't a large grant, but it was all that we had in the fund to give and we were happy to give it, and they were more than excited to receive it!” said Croman. We applaud Rev. Croman and the staff at Cuppa Bella Café. You can
read the full story to learn more.
You can help Cuppa Bella and Marcus Croman raise the money they need to open an additional location by making a
tax-deductible donation to their IndieGoGo campaign.
Cuppa Bella Café is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
Our sister website has some great resources available to you for free! We know many ministers
become ordained to perform a wedding, so we've included a guide to planning and performing a wedding, we have a nice selection of wedding music, and a guide to changing names for newlyweds.
For those of you with your own ministries, we have guides on funerals and baptisms, holding Bible studies, and keeping your church in good financial standings. Some holy texts have been added and we've got more content on the way, so keep checking with us on our sister site,
Comedian Rob Corddry, a former correspondent for the Daily Show and the talent behind Adult Swim's
Children's Hospital, has been a member of the ULC Monastery for years.
Earlier this month he
performed a wedding for two close friends, Jesse and Raina. Corddry describes the couple as “gracious and generous,” adding that they embraced their shared quirkiness during the ceremony, held in a speakeasy-themed restaurant in Manhattan's Lower East Side.
Corddry was able to take advantage of the freedoms of being a ULC
wedding officiant, as well as his talents. “I didn't practice my bit because I didn't want it to feel polished or rehearsed; I wanted to be in the moment,” he explained to the Monastery staff. During a touching moment, the couple pledged to remain together even in the afterlife - to be ghost lovers and scare people. What a perfect addition to vows for this fun couple so close to Halloween. We wish Jesse and Raina all the best, and congratulate Rob Corddry on a job well done.
Read more about Rev. Corddry's first wedding experience on our
For Halloween, we thought it would be fun for our
interfaith ministers to learn a bit about some of the traditional spooks and things that creep and crawl on this haunted holiday as they pertain to religion.
Demons & Religion
Demons are among the popular choices for Halloween costumes, and they appear in some way in many different faiths.
For some Christians & Catholics, they are rebellious angels fighting for your soul that can take physical form and possess living things. Satan himself is one such creature, having previously been the angel Lucifer before being overtaken by a sick sense of pride and self-indulgence.
Hinduism has different types of demons, including some that eat people and others that possess dead bodies. One demon actually succeeded in taking over the world, warding off all challengers by his inability to be slain by any man. He was defeated by the warrior goddess Durga, and this is celebrated on October 16th during a festival called Navaratri.
To those of the Baha'i faith, demons are merely metaphors for the worst parts of human imperfection and don't exist in the real or spiritual realms.
In Islam, there are creatures called Jinn, which means “unseen.” These beings aren't quite demons. They can be good or bad as they have free will. Sometimes people compare them to ghosts, though that isn't quite right either as they were never human. It is written, “If you hear the barking of a dog or the braying of a donkey, then seek refuge with Allah, for they see that which you do not see.”
We all love a good monster story for Halloween, and the Bible describes two massive beasts with the potential to destroy the earth.
The great sea monster, the Leviathan, and the land beast, the Behemoth, were created in pairs by God. Apparently having second thoughts about letting these creatures roam free, God promptly killed one of each so they could not produce offspring.
Monsters are commonly metaphors for great trials in one's life. Glory is given to those who face their monsters, and the flesh of the slain Behemoth and Leviathan are said to be the main course in a feast for the righteous in the end of days. To quote ULC minister Lisa Thayer-Van Dyke, “if that's what they're serving for dinner, I think I will show up late for dessert.”
Hopefully no one will be handing out Leviathan scales to trick-or-treaters this year. We hope everyone has a fun Halloween. Remember to be safe, and no driving if you've sampled the witch's brew!