Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Not without God, I can't

So, in trying to pick up a little extra cash, and because I love to do them, I asked by DH to pass the word around at his workplace that I am available to officiate at weddings.

At 5:34, he sent out this message, along with my contact info:

Ordained minister available for weddings and commitment ceremonies.

As you plan your wedding, it may seem that you are drowning in details. There is so much to think about and so much to do, that it’s easy to lose sight of the true meaning of the day – the promises that you and your intended will make, in the presence of God and witnesses, to spend your lives together.

I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (a liberal and progressive Christian denomination) and it would be my honor to work with you, as we create a ceremony that draws on tradition while honoring your unique personality and background. In addition to weddings, I also perform commitment ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples.

I will travel anywhere within three hours drive of Seattle. If you are looking for a venue, I can check to see if my home church is available for your date. (The church comfortably seats 200 and has an ample reception hall.)

We will meet three times to get to know each other, to plan the wedding ceremony and for pre-marital counseling. Pre-marital counseling is an opportunity to talk about some issues that come up in most relationships. This is generally a gentle and affirmative (and often even fun!) process for you as a couple.

My fee for three planning/counseling sessions, attendance at the rehearsal and officiating at the wedding is $300 (plus mileage if the wedding is outside Seattle city limits.) If, after our first meeting, you decide that I am the not right fit for you, there will be no charge and no further obligation.

At 6:10, (less than an hour later) I got a reply! Woohoo! I actually thought it, "Woohoo! This is really going to work!" But the couple is looking for a "non-spiritual, secular wedding." I'm trying to figure out how to gently as possible let them know that as a person who's made vows to be a minister of God, I can't just do a "secular" wedding - because the vows make it impossible, but also because I literally cannot imagine trying to make those words having any meaning without reminding the couple and all the witnesses of the Third in their marriage. Having only been married five years, I can tell you we never would have made it THIS long if it weren't for the fact that God sustains, loves, challenges, helps, carries and embraces us every minute of every day. The worries and sorrows of marriage are just too great for two people to try and bear alone, and the joys are too tremendous not to have a place to give thanks.

So I will sadly have to tell them that I cannot do it, even for $300 plus mileage. Hmm, I wonder what my price WOULD be for that....Nope, I cant imagine it for any amount of money.... And I'm back to the drawing board with my little ad, too. I guess mentioning God only one time was a little too subtle the first time around.


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