November 2012 Newsletter
November has been an important month for 2012. In addition to Thanksgiving and the building excitement over the holiday season, the results of November’s election cycle will greatly influence the course of the U.S. The ULC Monastery is particularly excited about the passing of two measures and a referendum in Maine, Maryland, and our home state of Washington that will legalize same sex marriages as soon as they go into effect.
Our excitement about same sex marriage is primarily derived from our interest in LGBT rights; the ULC Monastery firmly believes that marriage equality is something that should be given to all U.S. citizens. We would like to remind our ordained ministers that you can legally perform same sex weddings in states where gay marriages are recognized in exactly the same manner as you would for a straight couple. In addition to the three aforementioned states, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont will allow you to perform same sex weddings within them.
In order to celebrate the legalization of same sex marriage in Washington state, the ULC Monastery will hold a wedding event called “December to Remember” for gay and straight couples in Seattle, Wash. on Dec. 15 at a premiere wedding venue. This free event will include individual luxury wedding ceremonies for each couple, as well as flowers, cake, photographers, and music – all provided for the couples at no charge. Between the couples, their guests, our staff, the public, and members of the media, over 200 people are expected to attend December to Remember.
The ULC Monastery staff has been blown away by the support our ministers have given same sex marriage. Hundreds of ULC ministers have expressed interest in participating in December to Remember as wedding officiants, photographers, and planners. All of these individuals cited their support for marriage equality and LGBT rights as the reason why they would donate their time and the services of their businesses. We are truly humbled by our ministers’ generosity and are greatly looking forward to working with you.
Anyone who is interested in attending this historic event should email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Would you like to participate in December to Remember?
Many gay couples have questions about the logistics of same sex marriage in the wake of their states legalizing it. These questions include:
- Can a gay couple get married in a state that allows same sex marriages and then have their home state, one that has not legalized gay marriage, recognize it?
- Does a gay couple that has legally entered into a domestic partnership need to dissolve it before they get married?
- Can a gay couple who were married in a state where same sex marriages are legal get married again in their home state now that it has legalized them?
It is vital for same sex couples who want to get married to know the answers to questions like these; legal headaches are inevitable if they do not know how their state’s same sex marriage laws work. The ULC Monastery staff has compiled a list of
same sex marriage FAQs to answer the questions of any gay couple you might perform a wedding for.
Never before has it been so apparent that our actions have a profound effect on the sustainability of our planet’s precious natural resources. The current changes in the Earth’s weather patterns speak to the urgency of the problem. The “Earth Sabbath” celebration was established by a Raleigh, North Carolina United Church of Christ as an interfaith holiday with the purpose of bringing spirituality to environmental issues. This celebration is a time for interfaith ministers to reach out to their congregations, friends and neighbors to seek guidance and direction on healing the home we have been blessed to share.
Spirituality is the very core of environmentalism and love for the planet. The “Earth Sabbath” is a holiday that will allow people of all faiths to come together to harmoniously express their feelings, voice their concerns and bring about action with a peaceful, loving attitude of respect that can only be achieved through acts of faith, love and kindness. We can work together to keep our practices and our planet green.
Speaking of green, residents of Washington and Colorado, in a few days you can
smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Measures legalizing marijuana for personal use passed at the ballot boxes, despite a looming federal law to the contrary. At the very least, voters have shifted the national conversation about the War on Drugs that the nation has been losing for decades.
The ULC Monastery isn’t taking a stance on recreational use of the “herb,” but we feel this might add momentum to the idea that medical marijuana should be available for people suffering in all states. As we’ve stated, we firmly believe that pot provides ill people a method of alleviating pain, and some research suggests it can actually slow some ailments. We encourage our ministers to follow the law, but as these elections show, we can also change it. Check out
the full story.
The holidays are now in full swing. We hope our American ministers had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It’s important to not just take a day to have a thankful heart because tradition tells us to. We are all blessed, and to quote W.T. Purkiser, “it is not just what we say about our blessings, but how we use them that is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” The ULC Monastery is thankful for all our ministers, and we want to hear how you all have been blessed. Take a moment and
share your gratitude for anything in your life.