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Monday, December 15, 2014

The "News from Reverend Woods" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Sitting at a card table and wrapping presents on the second floor landing so I can hear the football game from the living room below.  Not one of my favorite Christmas traditions to do, but a task that has to be done.  My wife is busy baking cookies and candy so the least I can do is pitch in and wrap the gifts.  She reminded me that I have to prepare my yearly blessing for Christmas dinner when all the kids and grandkids arrive for gift exchanges and a family meal on Christmas.  The blessing will be easy since I am, if you remember, a Reverend.  It was December 15th, 2010 that I was 
ordained a minister in the Universal Life Church.  Everything was accomplished by going online to get my degree.  Took all but 15 minutes.  At that time I was given the responsibility of running my own congregation, guiding others on the path of God, and performing weddings and baptisms.  The requirements of becoming a minister in the ULC were: (1) Believe in God as the one true God, (2) Accept Jesus Christ as our true and holy savior, and (3) Pray for the forgiveness of my past sins.  Number 3 was the toughest of the requirements and took the most thought and prayer, but I made it.  I never applied for an official framed document to hang on the wall in my office, but may have to do that sometime in the future for those who can't picture me as Reverend Woods.  I must admit that my college degree is to teach Industrial Arts and not a degree in theology, but that isn't necessary in the ULC.  I could teach how to build a church or even a kneeler with the teaching degree that I have.  Becoming ordained simply requires a demonstration of my commitment and a few minutes to fill out the form which is accepted in all 50 states.  As of 2014, I have not performed any weddings or baptisms, but I do have a few dates open in 2015 if you are in need.  About the only official duties that I have been performing are saying grace at important family meals and praying for those ill in my family.  Pool parties at my brother's house and get-togethers on our rear deck don't require my blessing, even though I have volunteered.  If I ever do decide to start a church with a congregation or even a Bible study group, I am encouraged to seek financial support from those I lead.  After I retire from my part-time job at the framing gallery and give up my printing responsibilities at the high school where I used to teach, I may have to buy a robe and start my own congregation.  I can't stand to be idle, so my future seems to be bright.  And, how hard can it be to be a full-time Reverend in the ULC?  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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