Brother Kevin

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Everything posted by Brother Kevin

  1. Prayers for the people of Texas. For their safety and for courage and strength for those who will have to rebuild their lives. And for the wisdom and heart to continue to pull together and look after one another.
  2. Hello friends, I hope you are well and hanging in there through all of the changes going on with the forum. The process of the big changes is nearly completed. And there are some things to come in the near future which will hopefully express a sense of genuine gratitude to all community members who participate on the forum. Truly, the members of the forum community care for one another. There are special relationships created and built here where connections have lasted for years. I cannot thank you enough for choosing this forum to make it your place to come together.
  3. Five syllables here Seven more syllables there Are you happy now? (allegedly attributed to an anonymous 4th grader)
  4. Happy Birthday to you. Egads. Now I'm gonna have that song stuck in my head. I hope you have a great one!
  5. "Neither this Court, nor any branch of this Government, will consider the merits or fallacies of a religion. Nor will the Court compare the beliefs, dogmas, and practices of a newly organized religion with those of an older, more established religion. Nor will the Court praise or condemn a religion, however excellent or fanatical or preposterous it may seem. Were the Court to do so, it would impinge upon the guarantees of the First Amendment." I'd love to have been there to see Kirby's reaction to hearing these words from Judge Battin's ruling in ULC v USA! 43 years later, and those wor
  6. It's been 55 years this month since Kirby Hensley decided to incorporate the rapidly-growing church that he founded in the garage of the Hensley family home. On May 2, 1962 papers were filed with the Secretary of State, establishing the Universal Life Church as a not-for-profit corporation headquartered in the state of California. Over the decades, the church grew like wildfire, attracting attention around the world for its "novel" doctrine, that religious freedom is a natural right of all peaceful people, not something to be tampered with or unduly regulated by governments. Surprisingl
  7. I received this information from Dusty Hoesly, a member of our ULC community who has been following this case closely. It appears that the state of New York has a different understanding of the word "Supreme" and especially "Supreme Court" than the rest of the world, and that this case still has a path to appeal even within the state. So far the courts are ruling in favor of religious freedom on this one, but it will continue to be one to keep an eye on! Dusty wrote: I quickly scanned the court decision, and sure enough the judge rules that the ULC counts as a religion in New York.
  8. It doesn't change the law, no. New York City was already accepting ULC ministers and issuing them the required permits to officiate marriage. That issue was resolved quite a long time ago. There were those who claimed that the state law of New York did not include ULC ministers, for various reasons, and pointed to an old divorce case for support of that idea. Which to me, always seemed silly, because if true, that would have meant that the New York City Clerk's office was issuing the permits to ministers who were not authorized by the state law to officiate marriage. (Not to mention
  9. Andre Hensley notified me that the New York Supreme Court has handed down a decision in a case that has a lot of significance for religious freedom in general and for the Universal Life Church specifically. In Oswald v Oswald, the court held among other things, that the Universal Life Church is a "church" within the definition of the New York statutes. As church president, Mr. Hensley was called to New York to testify in this case, which the court relied upon heavily in making its determination. It will be interesting to see whether that information is redacted from the case file wh
  10. In the scenario you describe, I do not know of any "deductions" you can take. There are no tax deductions that accrue to individuals for using their time and resources to do good in an informal and independent manner. Tax exemptions apply to churches, not individuals. And tax benefits and deductions for ministers come in the form of Employee Business Expenses, so yes, you do have to be an employee to have that type of deduction. A church can pay ministers certain tax-exempt benefits, such as a travel, housing, or clothing allowance, but again, to receive such a benefit, it has to come fro
  11. I believe the database error issues that began appearing yesterday have been resolved. It is unclear what happened, and I'm still working on getting an explanation from the server support team. To date, their answers have been somewhat vague, something to do with the password for phpmyadmin needs to be changed from time to time, even if it is changed to the same password. After they "fixed" one problem we we seeing with phpmyadmin, the Forum database wouldn't connect. Some workarounds and discussion with Invision support and now I'm hopeful that it is working again . . . fingers crossed!
  12. I'm not Jewish, but I always get a kick out of Adam Sandler's "Chanukkah Song"
  13. Thank-you kindly for you good wishes! Much appreciate it!

  14. You don't have to register in order to officiate weddings in Utah. If you are ordained with ULC, you can officiate there. If you ask the clerk whether they will allow a ULC minister to officiate marriage, they are likely to quote you a law that says ministers ordained by mail or using the Internet cannot officiate there. They are actually violating a federal court order by quoting you this law, in my opinion. There is indeed such a law. It was signed into law by the governor, but before the law took effect, the ULC brought action in federal court and the law was found to be unconstitutiona
  15. In the United States, governments do not regulate peaceful religious activities. You don't even need to be ordained to evangelize.
  16. For some time now, various clerks in Pennsylvania have been trying to obstruct ULC ministers from officiating marriage. They have sent out warning letters to couples who apply for marriage licenses, which they have carefully worded so that they don't actually state any facts but still tend to scare folks. The ACLU has taken up the cause and has filed suit in three different counties. Rev. Frank Palumbo, who has some powerful political connections in his network, has also been working to bring about changes to the way things are done in Pennsylvania, and to prevent further erosion of religio
  17. I know that many of you would have liked to be able to attend the memorial service for Lida. And I can tell you that it was clear to me that the family and staff at Headquarters were well aware of the many people who could not attend, but who were there in their hearts. Because I have the good fortune to live only a short drive from Modesto, I was able to attend, and would like to share my experience with you here. The little church was filled to capacity with those who had come to remember the life of this great lady. There was a line of people waiting to crowd into the church, and even af
  18. It's a time of sadness for us, because we will miss her presence and inspiration. And it is a time of rejoicing, for a life well-lived and well-ended. Her spirit remains with us and the legacy that she and Kirby created will bless many generations to come.