I guess you don’t know who James Mack Warren Jr is? I only recently met him through a mutual friend at a weekend gathering. James is an American, a successful businessman but also an ordained minister in a church. After we met, he gave me his official minister business card.
Having multiple jobs nowadays is something that is becoming increasingly common for a lot of people – with freelancing being a widely popular trend around the globe – but I never heard of being an ordained minister as a side hustle. Well, that cat is out of the bag now, so I guess the only thing that remains is picking the right church to become a minister.
“Tell me, how does one become a minister in that church of yours?” I asked James.
“It is quite simple actually,” he replied. “You register online and the entire procedure for becoming an ordained minister is conducted online, it is completely free of charge and is valid for an indefinite period of time.”
I guess the IT revolution has truly seeped into all pores of life today.
But let’s take it from the beginning.
Universal Life Church in question operates under a slogan “We are all children of the same Universe”. The fact that you are a member of another confession or religion is not a hindrance to becoming a member of the Universal Life Church. What is more, members are expected to abide by two basic guiding principles – the second one being that everyone is free to practice their own religion as long as that doesn’t impede on the freedom of others or contradicts the applicable laws. The first principle is “Do only that which is right”.
The Church has been around for some time. It was established around fifty years ago and its followers are, among others, Richard Branson, Sir Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and many other celebrities and famous people.
As I mentioned, prior to meeting James I was pretty clueless on the topic. As the conversation progressed and I gained more information the whole thing started to look like an exclusive and eccentric club, repacked in the format of a functioning church.
“So, as I understand, that is not a church in a classical sense of the world, right?” I shared my view with James.
“Of course it is” – he replied with confidence. “Let’s say you want to get married right now – I can officiate the ceremony, on the spot.”
“Right here and now?” – I asked in utter disbelief.
“Yup, right here and right now. We can also do it later online, if you feel like it” – he replied with ease.
Let’s do a bit of nitpicking right now: even if I wanted to get married on the spot, that wasn’t a realistic option as James’ officiating powers are limited to the territory of the United States, where the majority of federal states allow for a minister – including the ordained minister of the Universal Life Church – to officiate a wedding in person or to do it online. The fact is that this can only be done in the States and perhaps a country or two around the world at the moment. However, this can easily and very soon become a norm everywhere ELSE.
I admit that at one point in time during the conversation I tried to imagine myself in the role. Not the role of the minister officiating the wedding, but in the role of the groom. Despite my previous appearances as the main protagonist of the story, I never played an online groom. Also, another shortcoming to the imaginary role-play: there is no bride in sight. And this made me think of Fernando. No, not in that way, that was your mind rushing ahead…
Fernando is a digital nomad that used to live and work from Mokrin House. That is how the two of us met. Fernando is spearheading a very interesting business. Namely, he is an online dating consultant. Exactly that – an online dating consultant. Fernando is being hired by clients who need professional assistance in creating profiles on online dating platforms and help in selecting photos and descriptions of themselves in that regard. Fernando also offers Skype sessions and online consultations for a range of situations in regard to online dating. When you take a second to think about it, for people deciding to become online dating consultants, one would have a hard time arguing that there is a limited demand.
So, time for a brief summary. If, after everything, I still feel like becoming an online groom, I firstly need to schedule an online session with Fernando to help me meet and pick an online bride. Then we both register online for an online wedding and arrange with James to officiate the ceremony, obviously online. After we say our “I dos” online, we’ll live online happily ever after till the end of our online days…