Universal Life Church Ministries Declares November 3rd "Universal Day"

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The Universal Life Church Ministries has declared that November 3rd, 2020 will be the first annual "Universal Day", a new religious holiday devoted to encouraging prayer and community action - like mail-in voting - among its ministers.

Logo symbol of the Universal Life Church

Universal Life Church Symbol

This year, the Church said, Universal Day would fall on November 3rd.

The Universal Life Church Ministries (ULCM) announced on Monday, August 24th that it had added a new holiday to the calendar: “Universal Day”. This year, the Church said, Universal Day would fall on November 3rd.

To explain its new holiday, ULCM published an entry to its widely circulated blog “The Visionary” as well as a standalone website at UniversalDay.org. The new religious holiday, they write, gives their ministers and members a chance to “to connect and engage with one another, to discuss some of the big questions and challenges that face humanity….”

At UniversalDay.org, the Church encourages its members to take time out of their days on November 3rd to pray, meditate, talk with other ULCM members in their communities, write to their elected representatives, and vote. Citing the COVID-19 crisis, the Universal Life Church Ministries has also made available on that website specific information to assist people in safely voting by mail, wherever possible. The Church describes voting as a “sacred act” and encourages its members to vote for whichever candidates and issues most closely “align with [their] beliefs and values” in furtherance of one of their two central tenets: “Do That Which is Right.”

They argue that the celebration of Universal Day, which falls on the same day as the U.S. General Election, justifies their ministers requesting an absentee ballot for religious reasons in those states that permit mail-in ballots to be sent to registered voters with a request for religious accommodation.

The ULCM is perhaps most well-known for its provision of ordinations online to any individual who “feels so-called" at its websites like ULC.org The ULCM states that its ministers perform a wide range of religious ceremonies, in addition to acting as general ministers in their communities. Its ordained ministers, which reportedly include celebrities like Conan O’Brien and Ian McKellen, are often featured in newspapers and on television performing weddings. ULCM asks only that its ministers abide by its two central tenets:

1.    Do that which is right

2.    Practice your faith however you see fit, so long as that practice is in accordance with the law and does not infringe upon the right of any other to do the same.

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Brother G. Martin Freeman
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