Thursday, August 16, 2007

Reverend Matthew Jung Lee

From the title, it's apparent that I've embarked on yet another key moment in my life. It was an arduous journey (5 minutes), but I finally achieved my goal of being ordained Reverend Matthew Jung Lee of the Universal Life Church. I'm available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, baby namings, baptisms, commitments ceremonies, house blessings, and vow renewals. As long as they're open bar.

My venture began when my friend and soccer teammate at work, Matt Viallant, told me that he ministered the wedding of two of his close friends earlier this year. I was really impressed and asked him if he had to study long and what the training was like in order to become a minister. He said that all he did is go online and sign up at the Universal Life Church homepage and get a free, legally valid certificate in 2 minutes (I took longer because I shopped around). I've heard of weekend classes to get ordained, but that's still too much effort to get something just for fun.

Through the Universal Life Church website all you have to do is submit your name and contact information and "waalaah" Certificate of Ministry. On top of that, they offer a bunch of packets for you to buy to further "validate" your title. I chose the "Monastery Credential Package". It includes: 10 certificates: Wedding, Handfasting, Renewal of Marriage, Affrimation of Love, House Blessing, Baptism and Commitment Certificates. It also includes a Minister Window decal. Press Pass and ULC Parking Hanger. Also included is a hard copy of the official Ordination Credential, a Wallet ID card, choice of Clergy Badge, and sample services. I really like the gold seals- they make me feel a lot more official than the one I printed out at home. Some might ask: is it really worth $49.99 just to propagate a joke? This man says: Hell yes!

First of all, it gives business to the Universal Life Church, who seem like extremely good and open-minded people. They don't discriminate or force their will on others. In their own words: "We make no religious hurdles, no hoops to jump through, no tests of loyalty, no rings to kiss and no fees to pay. Why? The ULC Monastery represents freedom, and to have freedom you can not make demands upon individuals." Nice. Finally, something I can believe in. Besides supporting an awesome group, who can pass up a ULC press pass? "Yes, I'm here to interview Miss Jessica Alba on behalf of the ULC." And, what God-fearing cop would stick a ticket onto a car with a ULC Parking Hanger? The card will come in handy for flashing when I feel like pompously saying "That's Reverend Lee to you." The Ordination Credential (again, with the sweet golden seal) is clearly the best item, and is going right next to my BS and MS degrees on my wall. I'm definitely not advocating going to this site and fooling around. I really might use my ministry someday. But, until then, it's just something to put on my resume and add to my list of titles.