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DonnaJ Gamache

Celebrating 22nd Wedding Anniversary

  • Twenty-two years ago yesterday, my husband John and I were married. We wanted a non-religious service, and in Missouri you don't have many options for that. We both had abandoned the faith in which we were raised (Roman Catholic) decades ago, since that time we have been "un-churched," and we neither one have supernaturalistic beliefs (my husband is an atheist, while I consider myself a Bright.) We had a difficult time finding someone to do the kind of ceremony we wanted.

    Missouri does not have Justices of the Peace, so if you want a civil ceremony, you must either know a judge who will do it for you as a favor at your choice of location (generally judges just don't make themselves available to travel to various sites here and perform weddings), or you must go to city hall and be herded through like cattle with a quick and impersonal civil service. I know that the Ethical Society here will do a non-religious service, but we are not members. I appreciate the beliefs of the Ethical Society, but in practice the congregation tends to be fairly socio-politically focused, and I didn't feel a good fit when I attended events there.

    So, we settled on a minister we read about in a newspaper article. He caught our attention because he had married a couple at the copy machine where they work, which is where they wanted the service because that is where they met. He also married a couple and welcomed the woman's cat as one of members of her wedding party. John and I were serious about what we were going to do and were not intending to make a joke out of the service, but we felt that this minister would be broad-minded enough to keep the religious overtones and mentions of God and other deities to a bare minimum, if he felt he would be obliged from his perspective to mention them at all. We were married in my father-in-law's office---a large, well appointed room similar to the Oval Office of the US President, and the minister only mentioned God once. Still, we felt some discomfort, because ultimately the ceremony did not reflect who we are.

    After that experience, I had a friend tell me about the Universal Life Church and the online ordination and privileges. I checked it out immediately, as did my husband, and we were both ordained a couple of decades ago. I have not performed any weddings, officiated at any funerals, or used my minister status in any way. I would like to let people in the greater St. Louis, Missouri, area know that I am available for these things, if they are looking for a joyful, dignified, personalized, non-religious service.  

  • Dorin Ann Finn
    Dorin Ann Finn Good for You both. I am glad you did not stay quiet and now are available for others. I wish you success in whatever you desire to do with this ordination and enjoy the folks you help.
    Blessings to you both,
    Dorin :o)
    July 14, 2009
  • <i>Deleted Member</i>
    Deleted Member Thank you for your kind words, Dorin. I am also available for renewal of vows for people with spiritual beliefs of any kind, who might be "unchurched" and want something with spiritual overtones, or even specific religious statements, but who are not part...  more
    July 14, 2009 - delete