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i have just received an annoying email from the universal life church, congratulating me on my five-year anniversary of becoming an ordained minister. i never did any such thing. i've never been christian. i've been an atheist for my whole adult life and half my teen years too. i was raised as a secular jew. there is no way in the proverbial hell i would be interested in becoming an ordained minister. they have my entire name right, including my whole middle name (i always use my initial) and my correct email address, and i have no idea how they got the idea i was affiliated with them in any way. the email reads:

Hello Rev. Gail,

Another year, another cheer! That's right, it's now been 5 years since you became an ordained minister! We can't believe it either. Time really does fly when you are having fun, doesn't it? It's been a while since we've been in touch, and we just wanted to check in and see how things are going. Have you been taking full advantage of your status as a legally ordained minister?

Rev Gail Ordination Certificate

No matter what activities you might have planned moving forward, we've worked hard to ensure that our site is stocked with all of the information and supplies that you may need to meet any challenge that comes your way and continue your mission to make the universe a better place. We would encourage you to click around the site and explore all of the resources that are available to you.

Get Yours Today!

That said, chances are you're already an old pro at this. Indeed, you've probably officiated your fair share of ceremonies by this point, but are you doing so in full regalia? If you'd like to add a bit of flair to your clergy outfit, consider picking up an official ULC stole! Our stoles feature tasteful gold stitching, high-quality tassels, and are available in a range of color options.

We've been hard at work over the past year, so we also thought we'd reach out and update you on some of the resources and materials that have been added to our site. In addition to exciting new apparel options now available in our catalog, we've also created some specific pages to help you navigate the world of weddings and find success as a marriage officiant. Check them out!

If it's been a while since you last connected with us on social media, then let's get back in touch! By using #ordained and sharing photos or memories of your experiences, we're able to follow all the exciting projects undertaken by ministers like you. Seeing your wonderful stories motivates us to keep getting better each day, so please don't be bashful!

We're thrilled to be able to offer guidance and assistance as you continue on the road ahead. We strongly believe that change comes from the ground up, and by providing support to influential individuals such as yourself, we're confident that tangible improvements can be made to this incredible planet we inhabit. Remember: we are all children of the same universe.


Brother Thomas

You are receiving this message because you became ordained through the Universal Life Church. If you wish to be removed from these emails you can unsubscribe here.

that's it except for the links to all the crap they want me to buy from them.

i wrote what i felt was a fairly restrained but direct response telling them how mistaken they are and how annoyed i am. they sent me an automatic email response:

A representative will follow-up with you as soon as possible.
Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm, Pacific Time.

Please reference which one of our websites you use to log into your account. | |

If you wish to send additional comments or information regarding this issue, simply reply to this e-mail.

Support Team

Universal Life Church Ministries

i can't WAIT.


genessa 8 Apr 12

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Someone, that you know, set you up.

no one i know who also knows my middle name in its entirety would do that. i do not use it online.



I would assume that someone submitted your statistics to them and they ordained you into the organization. It's totally free. The bright side is that you can now perform weddings if you have the certificate. 🙂 I've heard of people who have submitted their pets for this also.

i cannot imagine who knows my middle name and would do that. i do not use my whole middle name online.



I'd frame it. Great dinner party piece.

well, i don't have a working printer so that's out, unless i just frame the whole computer. meanwhile, i have not heard back from them, but i saw their hours and am not expecting anything until monday.



You should totally start start stalking Brother Thomas and scream at him when he's ordering coffee at Starbucks or something.

I give terrible advice. Don't do that.


Take advantage of it, since you are a minister have your home registered as your "church", and gain tax exempt status.

i don't think i am. it has to be an error, at best.


@genessa It probably wouldn't work anyway.


They aren't christian. I was ordained by them so I could officiate weddings. There's no religious requirement for their "clergy." I've never been a christian either.

JimG Level 8 Apr 12, 2019

They are exactly what you want them to be. They have fought for years to have the same rights that churches have today and mostly they have succeeded.


Yeah, everyone gets gunk mail. What else is new?

not all of it has one's full name and preferred email address on it, and not all of it has the kind of content this one has. it's different.



Many years ago I joined the UL church. I used it to reduce my income taxes for several years. It's not a christian church, they’ll ordain anyone. In fact, for a slightly larger fee they’ll make you a Saint! That said, the email might be a phishing attempt to get you to respond with more personal information.


Seems like you could use your superpowers to go around marrying people whether they like it or not. Have fun!


Maybe someone had you ordained as a joke and never told you. They'll ordain anybody for $65 (unless the price went up).

I hate to break it to you, but you're also a Pope of the Discordian movement. They decided to one-up Kirby Hensley back in the '60s and just declare everybody Pope. Every man, woman & child on the planet. []

@mzbehavin They also coined the term Mome, for those who objected to being called a Pope.

And I suppose if two of them opened a business together, they'd have a little Mome and Pope store.

@mzbehavin Thank you, I'm here all weekend.


I think, but I am not sure, they are a secular church.

they have christian trappings and give me the willies!



I’d wonder if someone stole my identity to get licensed. There’s money to be made there.

wouldn't they change the email to their own too? it seems careless to have left mine there.


@genessa right, didn’t catch that. So weird

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