SisterSalome

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Aside from conducting wedding ceremonies, are there other services you conduct as a Minister? What's the various things that are possible with Ministry? I read somewhere that in some states Ministers still need a letter of Recommendation, so I know some of you provide that recommendation to other Ministers. But what else? What's the scope of potential activities a Minister can be involved in: both ceremonial and administrative?

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mererdog   

There are no legal limits for religious activities. Anyone can legally run a church, lead a funeral, ordain clergy, baptize people, bless things, etc. The complications arise with activities that either have a secular legal component (like marriage) or intersect with professional licensing requirements (like counseling). And,  of course, once you accept money, there are tax ramifications. The specifics will vary by state.

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It all depends on your state and/or local government on needing to register and needing a Letter of Good Standing if you wish to perform marriages. Beyond this (remember a marriage is viewed in most cases as a civil matter due to the legal ramifications of the marriage, such as joint ownership of property acquired during the marriage) the government has little to no say in the religious/spiritual aspect of your actions such as saying when or how you can perform a funeral, baptism, marriage (only thing they can dictate is, again, that you need to possibly be registered with the state/local government and that the couple will need to apply for the marriage license before hand and then you will have to fill out some of the information on the license that couple will have, and in most cases you are also responsible for insuring that the license is filed with the appropriate authority, typicaly the county clerk of the county the couple got the license from, beyond this they can't say how you are to perform the ceremony), etc...

 

As for counseling, that can be a tricky area, I would seek legal help to insure you know what you can and can't do when it comes to pastoral counseling in your state, though most states I believe don't have any requirements for licensing as long as you are giving spiritual/religious advice, though I could be wrong, again I would suggest getting legal advice from a lawyer on what your state requires.

 

As Meredog mentioned once the exchange of money for your services comes into the equation it then becomes a tax issue. Zondervans Tax Guides (theres one for Ministers and one for Churches, new editions are published yearly) are your go to source to help you start navigating through financial and tax related issues. of course a CPA can also help immensely.

I a not an expert on what you can and cant to, these are my own personal opinions based on what I have been able to gather from various resources. As always the best and only real advice I can give you for anything legal related is to speak with a lawyer.

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I am hoping to conduct services for pets. Many people mourn the loss of a pet, some almost as much as a member of their own family or a great friend. For many, a pet is a great friend and part of the family. But pet services do not only have to be about death - they can be about the beginning of a relationship, holding a special ceremony to name a new pet for instance.

Some may potentially feel this sounds a little crazy or even pointless. But for many this is a useful service and one the Universal Life Church in South Devon hopes to perform.

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emalpaiz   
On ‎3‎/‎27‎/‎2016 at 11:55 AM, Rev Richard said:

I am hoping to conduct services for pets. Many people mourn the loss of a pet, some almost as much as a member of their own family or a great friend. For many, a pet is a great friend and part of the family. But pet services do not only have to be about death - they can be about the beginning of a relationship, holding a special ceremony to name a new pet for instance.

Some may potentially feel this sounds a little crazy or even pointless. But for many this is a useful service and one the Universal Life Church in South Devon hopes to perform.

I totally agree with this.  In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, God (Sri Bhagavan Krishna) says: "I am the true Self (Atman, Soul) in the heart of every creature..." (Gita 10:20).  The Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Day of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) on October 4 every year.  Many  Roman Catholic Churches hold blessings for the animals on said date.  I think that I will start celebrating services for the blessings of animals.

Hermano Luis

 

Edited by emalpaiz

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On 3/11/2016 at 10:47 AM, SisterSalome said:

Aside from conducting wedding ceremonies, are there other services you conduct as a Minister? What's the various things that are possible with Ministry? I read somewhere that in some states Ministers still need a letter of Recommendation, so I know some of you provide that recommendation to other Ministers. But what else? What's the scope of potential activities a Minister can be involved in: both ceremonial and administrative?

Last month, I was one of three clergy conducting a funeral service.  Ordination is not required.  It does let people know that you are serious about your calling.

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emalpaiz   

These are not services in themselves, but those who come to me always get a smile and loving kindness.  And in some special cases, a good hug.

Hermano Luis

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VonNoble   

Services?

Hmm.  I suppose most people on this Forum perform the service of kindness daily.

More specifically, our church provides the standard services of most churches (weddings, funerals, 

memorial services, hospital visitations, prison visitations, home visits and such.)

 

Additionally, we have been involved in a wide array of community outreach programs (disaster

relief, shelter assistance, food pantry, literacy, financial support to those in need etc.) it is like most

churches - limited only by the time, talent and treasure shared of our congregation.

 

Von

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I'm not sure I joined as an Atheist member and mostly to abuse the same rules others use in mainstream and fringe religions to "preach against faith" and "for the advancement of the Truth through reason and the tools of science". But in the spirit of that I was considering giving fancy printed Indulgences forgiving their sins now, in the future and into eternity for the low price of $5 US off my own web site those dedicated to God.

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13 hours ago, ClericThomas said:

I'm not sure I joined as an Atheist member and mostly to abuse the same rules others use in mainstream and fringe religions to "preach against faith" and "for the advancement of the Truth through reason and the tools of science". But in the spirit of that I was considering giving fancy printed Indulgences forgiving their sins now, in the future and into eternity for the low price of $5 US off my own web site those dedicated to God.

 

In the ULC, we are all free to define our own ministries.  That comes with radical religious freedom.  

:whist:

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IndyRick   
On 3/27/2016 at 11:55 AM, Rev Richard said:

I am hoping to conduct services for pets. Many people mourn the loss of a pet, some almost as much as a member of their own family or a great friend. For many, a pet is a great friend and part of the family. But pet services do not only have to be about death - they can be about the beginning of a relationship, holding a special ceremony to name a new pet for instance.

Some may potentially feel this sounds a little crazy or even pointless. But for many this is a useful service and one the Universal Life Church in South Devon hopes to perform.

What a FANTASTIC idea.  Many of us view pets as family.  Thank you for thinking of this!

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