Universal Life Church – Why I Became a Minister

Sometimes, whimsy is just the touch of inspiration needed to tip one into a decision that has been brewing under cover for a while. As a Discordian (sometimes), I recognize the touch of the divine in whimsy. So, when the Universal Life Church ad appeared on facebook (the current era’s best example of the Discordian maxim that imposing order leads to more chaos), I went with my whim & clicked on the ad. Thus, the first visible step taken was Discordian.

I was prepared to take that step in a room or place Masonic. For years, I had served as the Prelate in the 32nd Degree of the Scottish Rite & before that I served as Chaplain of my Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star and as Prelate of my Court of the Order of the Amaranth. More recently, I volunteered to become the Chaplain for 2010 (and beyond) for Zaman Grotto & I am serving in that office now.

I will not belabor the Masonic point to go into all the ways Masonry encourages its members to participate more in their respective religious faiths — or the overtly-religious titles of some offices I have held, Degrees I have received & bodies of which I have been an active member. So, before I took my first step in Whimsy, my way was made straight by Masonry.

Having taken that step, I followed through & applied to be a ULC Minister. Once I received the email confirming my ordination, I began doing more research on the ULC, which I had looked into several years ago.

(Yes, this is pretty much the way I approach all life-altering events — consider it at the subconscious level, then jump right in, and THEN do research on what I have done. Not the most logical behavior, I admit, but it sorta works for me – grin!).

As a Christian, I was pleased to see that they have a Biblical basis for their open-door policy on ministers. As a Unitarian Universalist, I was pleased to see the focus on ethical behavior & the absence of restricting creeds & doctrines. As a Mason, I was happy to see that this is a legally constituted body which focuses on freedom of religion.

Not that I expect most Christians, UUs or Masons to agree with my decision.

Although the UUs will probably agree that I am free to do this, their requirements for their own ministers are considerably more educationally-intensive (I checked), as are many Christian denominations.

Suffice it to say, I am still researching & considering where this new status of being a Minister leads — I just know that becoming a Minister was a Good Thing.

Universal Life Church logo - free for all ULC Ministers to use

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I originally posted the above on facebook on 13 May 2010.

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About Tim Gatewood

55+, male, widowed (May 2016). Mobile notary public and signing agent, freelance writer, and ordained minister. Science fiction and fantasy fan, willing servant to cats, avid reader and collector of books and other stuff. Please see my websites (including this blog and others) for more info on me and what I think about the issues of the day.
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