After two years of training and 25 years of preparation, I am being ordained as a minister on the 26th July and you are invited to attend. :)
When and where?
Saturday July 26th, 2pm-3:30pm. Seating is available from 1:30pm.
Second Church of Christ, Scientist
104 Palace Gardens Terrace, London W8 4RT
What should I wear?
It’s going to be the equivalent of a graduation, so I guess the standard dress is going to be what you would consider appropriate for that, but quite frankly you could come in a bin liner and neither I nor anyone else will care, most likely. I’m sure my friends would all choose tasteful bin liners to wear.
What’s going to happen? Is it going to be really hippy/esoteric/”out there”? Am I going to have to do anything?
I’m not entirely certain, I’ve spent most of the time panicking about what *I* am going to wear. There’s going to be some singing, some inspirational words, and some touching of my third eye, I know that. It’s the seminary’s big bash and they’re planning to make the most of it, so just sit back and go with it. I believe they are planning to offer a audience-participatory body prayer, but that’s as intrusive as it’s going to get.
Can I bring my friend/relative/someone who’s visiting/my priest/minister/rabbi/
everyone I’ve ever known?
Yes. The venue has seating for 800 and will fit anyone you want.
Will you mind if I come and then immediately go shopping/meet other friends/do other things in London?
Nope. I will be pleased you came.
What you doing afterwards?
As I’m supposed to be there from 11 and by the time we’re done schmoozing afterwards it will closer to 4pm, I will most likely be wanting to sit down, have a drink, and possibly some tea (in the southern meaning). TBD, but you’re welcome to come!
Do I need to give you a gift?
I have absolutely no expectation that anyone should give me gifts, but if you want to, I certainly won’t stop you. I will accept anything from informal word-of-mouth promotion of my ministry to small islands (there’s some lovely places on privateislandsonline.com).
You’ve invited me and you know I live in Oman/am in prison/cannot travel to the ceremony?
I wanted you to know I am being ordained. I will love you even if you don’t come.
When you say “minister”, what does that mean?
I am being ordained as an interfaith minister under the auspices of the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation. That means I have been trained to minister to anyone who feels spiritually inclined, including (and perhaps especially) those who have no particular affiliation to any religion or specific belief system. I can write/perform customised ceremonies for you, offer spiritual counselling sessions, pep talks, and pretty much most things you would expect a minister to do.
Click the image to learn more the seminary (though bear in mind it’s an umbrella body rather than an organisation where everyone believes and practices the same thing):
Does that mean you can legally marry me and my partner(s)?
I can legally marry you and (one of) your partner(s) in Scotland, Ireland and all 50 states, and a bunch of other countries I haven’t looked up yet. Because we have an Established Church in England, I can do your wedding but you’d have to make a separate trip to a registry office a few weeks before or after for the official part.
The government is currently consulting on allowing non-religious-but-non-civi
Aren’t you Jewish though? Why didn’t/don’t you train as a rabbi?
Yes, I am still Jewish and practicing. I see no contradiction between my traditional Jewish beliefs and my belief in a universal spirituality accessible to everyone. However, my calling to ministry just doesn’t currently lie in the rabbinate.
What are you planning to do as a minister then?
That part is still murky, and I am going to bask in the afterglow of my ordination for several months before I actually start systematically thinking about it.
What’s your title now? What do I call you?
I will be the Reverend Sarah McCulloch (though technically, thanks to the Universal Life Church, I have been so since 2004).
I will continue to answer to Sarah, McCulloch and Dave.
What do you think of homeopathy/dowsing/
crystal healing/ley lines?
I continue to believe in empirical evidence for practices that claim to affect our understanding of physical reality.
Can you perform exorcisms?
I’ve never had the opportunity, but I have looked up exorcism in Judaism and I would be well interested in having a go if you have a haunted house or possessed person. Contact me to discuss further.
Do you believe in fairies?
Only radical ones.
What was your favourite moment in the Twilight Saga?
The bit where this Mormon fairytale (so tame that in the few moments the Cullens spend not rescuing Bella, the toughest, strongest, most violently inclined vampire is shown making a house of cards for pleasure) has Edward explain that because vampires don’t sleep, the reason he’s the best musician in the family is because everyone else is having marathon sex sessions. (This actually happens. Breaking Dawn, pg 445.)
I’ve opened a can of Dr Pepper and put a straw in, and it keeps popping out again.
Swivel the ringpull 180 degrees and insert the straw through that, and it will stay down.
Any other questions, post in comments. See some of you there. :)
Have a wonderful day, and congratulations.