Justice of the Peace
Vol. 8 Issue 3
Happy Passover and Happy Easter
JPs who are also Universal Life Church (ULC) Ministers Speak Up
Quite a response to our query about being a Universal Life Minister. We've learned that ULC is hardly the only denomination offering a quick route to ordination.
"I've been a Connecticut JP since 1976 and a Universal Life minister since 1999. It's come in very handy. Over the years, I've performed marriages in NY, NJ, RI. among ogther states. A friend who was a CT JP for many years before moving to NC joined ULC at my suggestion and is doing fabulously." Kurt Zimbler, Stamford CT
"YES I have been a Universal Life minister for the past 12 years. Couples have chosen me to officiate because I am both a JP and a minister. They may not want a religious ceremony but need to show relatives that their marriage certificate was signed by a member of the clergy. Families are complex!" Josef Porteleki, Boston
"I am an ordained Minister through the First Nation Church as well as a JP." Donna G. Barsalou, Enfield CT.
"I am both a JP and a Universal Life Minister," writes Marie Killackey, Cambridge MA. She advises any couple considering hiring a so-called "Internet minister" to ensure that they may legally officiate in their state.
"It is very interesting that you featured Universal Life Ministers in your newsletter. I have had two requests in the last two months to just sign a wedding license because friends are being ordained [as ULC ministers] strictly so they can officiate. I declined both requests because I am not comfortable with this. Also my understanding is that this is not legal in CT." Patricia A. Lucas, Fairfield CT. Ed: Actually, it is perfectly legal for you to sign the license regardless of who is doing the public ceremony, as long as you adhere to your state's requirements. How do you handle such requests?
...French-speaking NH JP
"It is hard to believe that there are no JPs speaking some French in NH!" write Cathy and Jerome, a couple planning to wed in Keene, NH on May 29, 2010. Do you qualify? Remember, you can live in VT or MA and officiate in NH (as long as you're a JP in your own state. See findajp.com/findnh.htm.) Write to us if you (or another JP you know) can help.
... Office space
Licensed Professional Counselor and JP Association member looking for office space to share in the Greater Hartford, New Britain or New Haven area. Call Paul at 860-516-4496.
Surprise: Cohabiting Doesn't Increase Marriage
Nevertheless, for what it's worth:
Does any of this surprise you? Do most of your couples live together before marriage? As far as you know, have the couples you married stayed married? Do you care?
Vermont follows Massachusetts in permitting Officiant for a Day
Did you know? As of July 1, 2008, Vermont law allows the Secretary of State to authorize individuals to officiate at a specific marriage in Vermont. Fee is $100. Authorization must be attached to the marriage license which is returned to the issuing municipal clerk. Authorization expires at the same time as the corresponding license.
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