Are you really a Reverend, and why is that important?
Yes. I am ordained and have my authorization through the United Church of Christ. I attended Lancaster Theological Seminary for three years and earned a Master of Divinity. In addition to theological education, I have completed internships with local non-profits and churches as well as earning one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education.
Why does this matter to you?
I bring all of this experience with me when I meet with couples. Since I see myself as here to help you prepare for your marriage as well as your wedding, I have the training and experience to navigate the variety of joys and challenges that modern couples and families face. In addition, I am accountable to and authorized by something bigger than myself. This accountability means that I take my own continuing education seriously because I believe that you deserve someone connected to an authorizing body as well as a person continually learning about best practices.
What other credentials do you have?
Why do you require pre-marital coaching or counseling sessions?
I have three main reasons:
I believe marriage is one of the most important choices a couple can make. To enter into a marriage and to continue to have that marriage grow and bloom takes practice.
Planning a wedding can be stressful and overwhelming. It can be really easy to lose sight of the big picture. I meet with couples to help them learn to navigate these situations and to help remind them of what’s most important—their upcoming marriage.
FINALLY because I haven’t met you before our first meeting, we need time to get to know one another. The pre-marital sessions give me time to get to know you as a couple and are invaluable in helping me create a ceremony that is unique to you and your relationship.
You’re a Christian pastor. Do you officiate weddings of non-Christians?
YES! Again, our pre-marital sessions are time to help you as a couple share what YOU believe and what traditions YOU want to include in your ceremony. Interfaith elements are absolutely welcome.
Do you officiate same-sex weddings?
YES! I believe that all people have the right to marry and am grateful that today I can not only bless a same-sex couple but also legally marry them.
Do you officiate second weddings?
YES! This is one of my specialties. I believe second marriages deserve special attention and care. The second or third marriage family will be different than the first, and I believe preparing for a wedding is the perfect time to begin learning how family life might be different than what you expect. Whether you will have children in your home or they are grown, stepfamilies face unique challenges that pre-marital work can prepare you not only to face but to grow with and through.
Do we get input in our ceremony?
Absolutely! We will work together to create the ceremony that best reflects you as a couple and your unique beliefs, practices, and traditions. There is no additional charge or fee for unity elements, readings, or special moments in your wedding ceremony.
Do you attend the reception?
It is appreciated that you would ask this question. Traditionally, I perform the ceremony and say my congratulations, and then I leave so you and your loved ones can celebrate your day. I do not feel right asking you to incur an expense for me.