A Wonderful Trend I Am Discovering

Dear friends, You should know that I still have availability on my calendar for your wedding this Spring and Summer.

Drop me a note and let’s meet or at least speak briefly on the phone.

This year, I have noticed a very wonderful thing: I have been so pleased by the number of people who keep God and their faith close to their hearts, even though they don’t have a regular church they attend. Marriage is a great time to consider your spiritual options. People think about family, and who or what is at the foundation of their life. I am often asked what church I attend, because they would like to go their also.

My recommendation is that you first try to identify the faith and churches your family attended, and secondly, try all kinds of churches before you settle down. I can tell you this (because I attend a lot of them), you will know where home is when you find it. If a church feels like home, then stick with it a few Sundays (or other worship days).

Once you find your home, stick with it. It can be tough getting up early on a Sunday, or getting a family together for that matter. But if it becomes part of your routine, you will find the reward worth it. Your weeks will seem more meaningful, and your life more stable and centered. Your faith becomes the backbone you need to get you through the week.

The second thing I have noticed is that many younger couples don’t attend church, and are a little afraid to speak to me about their faith, religion, and ceremony, because they don’t know what to say. They don’t know the words. They feel embarrassed.

Faith is a journey. God understands you don’t know all the words. The Holy Spirit is always around you, and you never need to worry about what you say, or what you don’t know. Frankly, a lack of knowledge should never become a barrier to your walk with God.

So chill out, don’t worry, and drop me a note if you would like to talk. By the way, my main ministry is not marriages, it is at risk youth and end of life spiritual needs (among others).

 

My Stand on Same Sex Marriage

My friends, Oregon’s ban on same sex marriage was struck down by a federal court. Many want to know my opinion about marrying same sex couples.

I personally think it is a wonderful thing. Love is the one law, above all others, that Jesus wanted us to follow. He said, “First love God, and love all others as you love yourselves.” ┬áThe Holy Bible, like the very Constitution of this country, was written with enough ambiguity to allow us to find the truth in our own thinking and in our hearts.

As many passages from the Holy Bible can be found that indicate acceptance of same sex relationships as can be found against it. We just not use the Holy Bible as a battering ram for our personal opinion.

My own faith, the Friends (Quaker) have long fought for Gay Rights as early as the beginning of the 20th century, as they did for Civil Rights in the 1830’s.

I do not find same sex marriage a threat to marriage whatsoever. It is an extension of confirmation that God wanted us all to love each other, as well as judge not others because none of us are without sin. That isn’t to say that same sex partnerships are sinners–I don’t believe that for a minute, but some faiths think so, and I believe it is wrong to chastise others until your own house is in order–and that shall come only when you reach the gates of Heaven for judgement.

Will I marry a same-sex couple? Of course I will. Above all, love triumphs. God Bless you. P. Michael

Oregon to Hear Findings on Same Sex Marriage Today

Dear friends, I want you to know my feelings about the same sex marriage ruling that will be handed down by a federal judge today, at noon.

I know many people are against same sex marriage, saying it is against the Holy Bible and against God’s law. I had the chance in the 1980’s to listen to a brilliant black activist in Portland who was also a minister of his church. I felt his “arguments” demonstrating the Holy Bible’s commandments allowing same sex couples were as compelling as the arguments against it.

Since that time, two things have been my backbone on this issue: First, God does not want any of us to judge each other. Heaven knows we are all sinners, and we should not stand judgement against each other on such personal issues as whom someone wants to spend their life with.

Secondly, Jesus Christ was asked, “What is the greatest Law that mankind must follow?” In other words, what is the one law above all others that Christ wanted us to remember. His answer was that we must love God with all of our hearts, and love our neighbors as our self. In other words, His number one commandment was to have love and peace, for God and all of God’s children.

There are those who pick and choose passages from the Old and New Testament to prove their points, but the power of Love and Peace above all others is hard to argue.

As a practicing Friend (Quaker), I point out that we have long held the stance of equality and rights for all Americans, starting with Civil Rights in the 1830’s, long before it was popular (to be kind), and for Gay Rights since at least the early 1900’s. In the case of Civil Rights, I am confident that stance has proven to be a sound one, and right by God. I also believe that allowing for Gay Rights (now the rights of GLBTQQ) will prove to be the right one. How can we deny anyone the right to love and worship God the way they choose?

For those who do not agree or understand, I hope you will find Peace in your hearts.

For more details about same sex marriage in Deschutes County Oregon, click here.