I became a Wedding Officiant in the mountains of North Carolina the way many of us become who we are: by following one attentive but seemingly random step after another. Years ago while working closely with a dying man in Los Angeles, an attending nurse said that if she was ever to marry, she would like me to officiate. I laughed and told her I had no plans to become a wedding minister. Neither of us foresaw that 10 years later I would be living in Asheville as a wedding minister and officiating at her wedding in nearby South Carolina!
I began studying theosophy and the cohesion of world religions at the University of Michigan in the 70’s. Being raised Christian, I expanded my understanding of God and Spirit to include a more universal outlook arising out of the hearts of all, and developed a sensitivity and appreciation of a wide array of cultures and beliefs.
In Los Angeles, I assisted in the founding of Child’s Sunvillage, Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to helping underprivileged children, on the board of which I still serve. I traveled to several other countries studying philosophy and cultural diversity, as well as working as a nurse in medical camps during times of crisis. I became certified as an Interfaith Minister and worked extensively with people approaching the end-of-life. Meditation became a daily part of my spiritual practice.
Serendipity then jumped into action, as serendipity does! I moved to Asheville, North Carolina where I was asked to help a family friend in the last stages of pancreatic cancer. She was a wedding minister who wanted to continue her work as long as possible because it gave her great joy, but needed assistance due to her illness. We drove through the mountains of Western North Carolina, pulling over at rivers, reading through ceremonies, sharing the most intimate of times. It was her desire that I take over her practice when she was no longer able and finally the day came. Her body was so weak, I advised her against officiating the next wedding. Two days later she went into a coma. It seems weddings had been keeping her alive!
I made a promise to myself that day that JOY would be my main motivation for officiating at weddings and that I’d let the business side take a back seat. It was then that I began donating a percentage of the fee to a charity benefiting women and/or children.. Sharing such a beautiful occasion in two people’s lives continues to be an honor, a privilege and a joy!