Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wiccan Studies

Dr. of Wiccan Studies Program
Rev. Laury Burris

What I learned:
First let me thank the ULC for offering this class to further my education. I thank you for all the work you do. Next let me thank Lord Starwalker for putting together these lessons and presenting them to us, allowing us to grow. I thank you.

I have been writing rituals for some time now; they can be a hefty task by itself. To take into consideration what the ritual is for, what the person is requesting and all the correspondences that go into putting a ritual together. Now after finally mastering all of this along comes these lessons and a ritual for a Hand fasting or a Childs Blessing. It was not the writing of the ritual that sat me down to thinking, it was the idea of doing a Hand fasting or a child’s blessing. This was a part of my faith that I had not really thought of yet. Along with this is the idea of using the whole house or backyard as a sacred space. These two things together seemed to sit me down and wonder. First I live in a small town on the down east coast of Maine; there are not many Wiccans here, though we seem to be growing in numbers. But this was the reason I became ordained, was it not? To help the people in my community who followed the same path as I did, so why had I not thought of this before? Now don’t get me wrong it’s not the thought of doing a hand fasting or a child’s blessing, to me there would be no greater joy than to bless a new baby or join a couple together in the eyes of the Goddess. If anything the idea of this intrigued me, why? I know that if asked to do one there would be of course people attending not of the Wiccan faith; this is what made me come to a full stop. So now I wondered at myself could I undertake such a task? Could I present a Wiccan ritual to others and yet make them feel comfortable? 

So I suppose I was asking myself was I ready? Me? I wondered could I? With much thought given to this I came to a cross road, was I more scared of me being ready or was I more scared of what other people would think? Well I know both in my mind and in my heart that I am ready, so it left me wondering about the other. Then I came to another conclusion. If the parents of a child or a couple who wanted to wed had enough faith in me to come to me and ask me to perform this for them, then I had enough faith in myself to present a Wiccan ritual the best I could to all who attended. This then brought me to the final conclusion that being ordained in which ever faith you believe in meant not only taking care of the everyday needs of the people of your community, but also the major events of people’s lives. We as ordained ministers are responsible for the people of our community from their beginning to the end. So now one could say that have I not only learned that writing these rituals are important, but performing them is also an important part of our community. 

Thank you for helping me to see the full encompass of my position and thank you for teaching me to have more faith in myself. I am now a stronger person for this. May I now go forth into my community with a better understanding of me and now being able to better serve the people of my community?

Ms. Laury Burris


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