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Personal Profile for...
Magickal Path: Solitary eclectic, hearthwitch
Age Group: Adult
Occupation: ITS, wedding minister
Relationship Status: Married
Located in: Birmingham, Alabama
Likes: rites of passage, daily ritual, transcendentals, communication, research and exploration
Dislikes: bigotry from any group
Publically, I am an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Church, where I've served as the chair of the Worship Partners committee for a five year stint, given sermons, been the service leader for more Sundays than I can count (not consecutively, mind you, we rotate) , and taught adult religious education classes (The Artist's Way, Adult OWL) .
Publically, I am an associate pastor for Rose Ministries and the International Old Catholic Church founded by a minister who is a former preacher. He couldn't reconcile dogma and church teachings with his life experiences and what he's seen in the world. He'll tell you that his only god is LOVE, which I can get on board with. The wedding ministry is devoted to providing couples with the wedding ceremony they want using the language and elements they need.
Philosophically, I fit into the same slot as Thoreau, Emerson, Whitman and Ben Franklin, some of the North American Transcendentalists. Read "The Oversoul" or Emerson's Divinity School Address (he blasts the seminarians for thinking Christianity is the only way, or that Christ would approve of what it has become) , and these are strongly in line with my beliefs about life and the afterlife - those are also outlined in my previous note to you about your father and my child. As a note, I'm a big fan of the teachings of Jesus of Nazarus (among others) , but not so much of the dogma or actions of the modern church. When asked at work if I'm a Christian (I work for an electrical distributor in the deep south, and sales in the deep south is radically conservative Christian in the face it presents the world) , I typically reply that my life has been changed by the life and teachings of Jesus, leaving out that the whole death and resurrection/salvation bit doesn't do it for me, since "Salvation" isn't quite relevant when one lives in communion with God, and actually defies one of the ideas Jesus himself outlined in loving God, your neighbor and yourself. I also am comfortable with the idea that if God created the world, then God also created evil as well as good - but again, those are philosophical exercises.
Personally, particularly where the wedding ministry is concerned, I'm a spiritual humanist. I don't have any problems offering secular or simply spiritual weddings. When I serve non-pagan religious couples, I will sincerely invoke God the Father or the Holy Spirit (which is actually the feminine aspect of the Divine, once specifically named as "Sophia" until the patriarchy needed to do away with such things) , but it's unusual for me to invoke the third part of their trinity specifically.
Personally, I'm also at heart an English Major, and my degree with all of the rest of my learning has taught me that people are deeply reliant on language and symbol to express themselves, and that the language and symbols may vary, but the root human message is mostly the same. When we live honestly and treat one another with compassion, trying to understand first and then be understood, life is very nice. That's pretty much the bottom line of most of the major religions, too, so I'm happy with that. Ten years ago I sought out ordination through the Universal Life Church simply so I could perform weddings for folk who didn't have an ordained person to do that for them who could be on board with the language they needed to use. If I can't perpetuate the community through the children of my body, then I will seek to leave at least a small legacy of love in my wake.
Privately, I'm a very pagan solitary practioner, and I use ritual for pretty much everyting, every day - what's the point in washing the dishes and not Cleansing the dishes? It's also respectful of the role the dishes play in our life. Why sweep the floor without sweeping away the chaotic energy brought in by the dust and dog hair and leaves? Doing the pagan wedding for the couple recently was a real treat. We didn't do anything overt, like calling quarters or drawing circles with salt, but I did deliver a very sweet and spiritual wedding that had the mostly baptist guests paying attention and feeling they were, as members of the beloved community, a part of Jason and Lenore's life and wedding in a very real and substantial way.
Obviously, I prefer to be the one who shares the details of the private part with other folks, but only because.. well, yeah. Alabama.
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