Newsletter #25 - The Church of Spiritual Humanism
June 17, 2015 - Philadelphia www.SpiritualHumanism.org
Return of the Newsletter
It's been quite some time since the last newsletter. As you are might be aware this coming Sunday, June 21st, is the Summer Solstice. I think this is as good as time as any to resume the sending out the newsletter. Of course this longest day marks the official beginning of summer but it is also a great time to take a few moments to appreciate and be spiritual inspired by nature.
Some ideas for achieving a spiritual connection to the natural universe this Solstice would be to take a morning walk through the woods, observe the star and planets in the night sky, or build an evening bonfire which is a millennia old tradition for celebrating the Solstice. You might want to take a few moments during any of these activities to appreciate not only the beauty of nature but also how lucky we are today to have cultivated a scientific understanding of it.
Just a few hundred years ago we did not realize all the stars in the sky were suns very much like our own; that trees and plants of the woods propagated by pollination; or that we humans as a species have been in lived on Earth for over 200,000 years. We are a creative and highly adaptable species and I'm optimistic about the future. We have learned so much in those past 200,000 years. Can you imagine what we will have discovered in the next 200,000?
The Offiicant's manual, available on our web site, has more information about celebrating Solstice and Equinox.
In the News
N. Carolina's religious-exemption gay marriage bill now law
By Gary D. Robertson AP June 11
RALEIGH, N.C. - A measure allowing some court officials to refuse to perform gay marriage responsibilities because of their religious beliefs became law in North Carolina on Thursday, but opponents said litigation challenging the new measure was likely to come soon.
The new law means some register of deeds workers who assemble licenses and magistrates to solemnize civil marriages can decide to stop performing all marriages if they hold a "sincerely held religious objection."
see full article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/n-carolinas-religious-exemption-gay-marriage-bill-now-law/2015/06/11/13827f0c-1047-11e5-a0fe-dccfea4653ee_story.html
I am surprised and delighted to agree with Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's failed attempt at a veto of this law. The gist of it is that county workers could legally refuse to perform their duties to register and officiate marriages if they had any 'religious' objects to those that they are employed serve. Not only could they refuse to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple, they could refuse to issue one for any religious objection whatsoever. For example if the applicant was not a member of a denomination the official approved of, the objecting official can refuse to serve them.
I think there is very little chance that this law is going to withstand challenges on constitutional grounds. But it illustrates why we must maintain continued vigilance upon our elected officials.
Readers Write In
-------- Original Message --------
Several years back I became ordained through your church and I have performed a few wedding ceremonies since. Do I need to renew? Is it possible to get an updated card? I have been asked to perform another wedding and I just want to make sure everything is in order.
No need to renew. The ordination is for life. As always just make sure the couple has a valid marriage license, that it is completed correctly (your official title is Ordained Clergy Person) and that it is returned promptly to the clerk's office. You can help support the church by ordering one of our Advanced or Deluxe Clergy Packs which includes our book "The Officiant's Manual." It includes sample ceremonies and the companion Reference CD which has marriage laws from all 50 states. You can also search online for your state code and look for the marriage or family law section. You should learn these laws before you perform any ceremonies just to make sure you don't accidentally break them. I would also recommend calling your county clerks office, or where ever marriage licenses are issued in your locality. Usually they can give you more info about the requirements for wedding officiants.
Best regards, RA Zorger
If you have a question feel free to email me at info(at)spiritualhumanism.org
Our Clergy Packages are available in the online store http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/shop.htm The Ordination Certificates are printed on acid free paper for extra long life, and Clergy Wallet ID Cards are nice to have. As I mentioned the Officiant’s Manual includes information on celebrating the solstices, sample ceremonies, etc.. The fees charged for these packs are our only income and help defer the cost of the web site, advertising, PO Box, and fund our record keeping and ordination services.
President, The Church of Spiritual Humanism