Category: radical theology

A Rogue Wedding in Disneyland

A couple years ago, I signed up at the Universal Life Church Monastery, and became an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church.  I did this in order to perform the wedding of one of my best friends.  A few months ago, one of my former co-workers at Symantec, messaged me to see if I could still do weddings.  He and his long time partner were finally going to get married, and they wanted to get married at one of their favorite places to go…Disneyland.

The problem with getting married at Disneyland is that its not allowed.  Sure you can get married at one of the hotels…starting at $10,000 for the official Disneyland wedding experience.  Even then, you can’t get married inside the park at that rate. 

So my friend asked if I’d be willing to perform a “rogue” wedding inside the park.  It would be just the two of them, a witness and myself.  I was more than glad to help out, so it was just a matter of my friend figuring out the date.

The date was finally set for May 5th and I took the afternoon off from work.  Because of a last minute change of schedule, Alicia wasn’t able to come with to be the witness, so my friend Noelle stood in.  We got to the park around 3pm and headed in to find a good location to perform the ceremony.  But first we had to stop and get some Mickey ear’s to complete the dress code.  We ended up finding a nice quiet spot next to the Thunder Mountain Ride (which was closed for maintenance), on a wooden bridge overlooking a pond (with turtles sunning on the shore).  The ceremony was fairly quick, just the vows (read off of the Bride’s iPhone), and the exchange of rings.  A few people caught on and cheered when it was over (and the possible staff member that walked by ignored it). 


After the ceremony, we got some celebratory lemonade (enhanced with some adult water) to toast the happy couple, and then explored the park until closing. 


After the parks closed, we returned to their hotel to sign the papers (and make it official), and then had dinner at the mexican restaurant at Downtown Disney to celebrate both the wedding and have Cinco de Mayo margharitas!

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Giving up God

The thing that sucks about being a Christian is that God actually lives in other people.

— Sara Miles in Jesus Freak:Feeding Healing Raising the Dead

The community I am a part of is giving up God for Lent.  No, we haven’t all decided to give up church for hedonistic pleasures.  What we are doing is giving up our notions of who (or what) God is.  The goal?  To be open to new ways God can manifest in our lives.  As part of this exercise, our 10:15 community (along with the rest of the parish) is reading the book quoted above.  Unfortunately, because of a prior commitment, I won’t be able to participate in the discussions.  It’s going to be an interesting read (and Lent) based on the quote above from the books introduction.

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Intern intentionality

While looking for information on a different non-profit service org today, I came across the new site of the Episcopal Urban Intern Program (EUIP).  For those of you that don’t know, applying to the EUIP in 2007 led to me moving down to Los Angeles in August of 2007, though not as a participant in the EUIP.  One of the reasons I wasn’t selected was because of my age.  The EUIP is designed for folks approx 20-30 years old.  I was turning 31 in Auguest of 2007 (when it would have begun).  The program directors job was to choose good candidates who would have a good shot of forming a good community.  The interns that were selected were all between 21 and 24 that year (if I remember correctly).  I knew when I applied though, that I was pushing the age range, so I wasn’t too bummed out.  Plus I ended up getting offered a different opportunity to intern in Los Angeles through the Episcopal Church.  While that internship didn’t end up working out as well as I’d hoped it would, it was still a valuable experience for me.

This year, another one of my friends was accepted into a new intern program affiliated with the Campus Ministry at Cal State – Channel Islands…the Abundant Table Farm Project.  She luckily still fit under the 30 yr old ceiling most of the intern programs have.

Anyway, all this got me thinking about those of us in our 30s or 40s (or more) that are searching for ourselves, our spirituality, our intentionality.  Where can we participate in these kind of things?  I know my age group is more likely to be more settled into family life or a career (though maybe less so into careers in the current state of the economy), but there are many of us that are still searching for our vocation…or a vocational change.  Where do we go to find our community now that we are out of school?

I think this is something that I’ll add to my list to explore in the next year.

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Loving Everyday

I think I need to spend some time sitting (reading) with Richard Rohr.

Graciously stolen from this post by Gareth Higgins: How are We Present to Reality?

A remarkable thought from Richard Rohr, which, if I read it thoughtfully enough, I think might get me through the day:

“Somewhere each day we have to fall in love, with someone, something, some moment, event, phrase, animal, or person. And it must be done quite definitively! Somehow each day we must allow a softening of our heart, which usually moves toward hardness and separation without our even knowing it. We can now prove neurologically that it is easier to move toward cynicism, bitterness, fear and despair than it is toward goodness, beauty, or appreciation. All spirituality is intended to help us recognize and counter our downward spiral toward smallness.

The world often tries to conjure up life by making itself falsely excited, by creating parties, even when there is no actual reason to celebrate. I have often noted in poor countries how people create fiestas because they have survived another season or even another day. We create fiestas to create fiestas, which I guess is not all bad; but after a while the ungirding of joy and contentment is not there. We have to create and discover the parties of the heart, the place where we know we can enjoy what is, and that we have indeed survived and even flourished another day of our one and only life. Just make sure you are somewhere, and always, definitively in love! Then you’ll see rightly, because only when we are in love can we accept the mystery that almost everything is.”

(Read the rest of Gareth’s thoughts)

An interesting thought indeed.  It seems somewhat appropriate for me in relation to my recent spiritual struggles.  Living in a place like Los Angeles can be quite the beast.  Its a tough place to find your niche.  At least for me it is.  I’ve been here just over two years now and still haven’t found my “community.”  Sure there are a handful of acquaintances and even a few friends, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t gelled into a community for me.  Perhaps the comparison to my community in Portland gets in the way of this.  Perhaps the struggles of my first nine months working here and what that did to my confidence in myself…to my self-esteem…is sub-consciously hindering me in my relationships.  I don’t really know for sure.  I know my internal life has struggled and I’m sure it has affected my external presence.

In reality, things aren’t that bad.  I’ve got a job that pays well enough for a level of financial security I haven’t really had since leaving my parents house.  I’ve found love that is amazing and surprising in so many ways.  I just sometimes need to remind myself of that.

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Music Monday & Being

Both graciously stolen from Tamie:

“In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results….In the East – especially in India – I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches  us about love. The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done. The more we can remove this priority for results the more we can learn about the contemplative element of love.”

– Brother Geoff, as quoted by Mother Teresa in the book, “A Simple Path”

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to love…

graciously stolen from tamie (who got it from someone else):

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in a casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell.”

-C.S. Lewis

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being green

I just bought a bus pass for February.

I’m going to commute to work via bus.  It’s nice, I can take one bus from my house to work.  I’ll get to read on the bus, and avoid approx 40 miles/day wear and tear on my car (oh and traffic).

on a lighter note:

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repost from nevermind the bricolage:

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Day Without…

Sadly I am not participating…but today is:


For more info and events check here.

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today i can believe

my friend tamie writes at the owls & the angels

she often brightens my day with her posts

and gives me hope when my faith is weak

from her post this morning…

So, hello again, people. I hope you’ve been encouraging each other. I
hope you all know you’re loved, from the tips of your beautiful toes to
your shining hearts. Even if they feel veiled or sad or numb, they’re
still shining deep down inside there somewhere. If you find it hard to
believe today, I understand. I find it hard to believe often. But today
I will believe for you.

thank you tamie…for helping me believe today.

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