What blew my mind wide open was the recognition of how many of my clients were starved for soul food, desired a healing of religious wounding, and are yearning for connection – a re-connection – with God.
If you had asked me anytime in my life prior to 2009, “What are your plans?”, creating a wedding Officiant business was never in site. (Nor becoming an ordained Interfaith Minister – me? Really? Are you kidding?)
Having always been on a “spiritual trek” since eight years of age, I just didn’t think about anything other than my own healing of religious wounding, personal growth and a desire to offer faith based guidance and prayer for anyone that asked. After many years of studying, practicing and Spiritual Practitioner certifications I then attended One Spirit Seminary in New York as a distant learner. Following ordination in 2009 I decided to begin a wedding officiant business.
It seemed logical to begin the business by creating an online presence. A website with my name, Reverend Lucinda, seemed appropriate but at the same time, very scary – I still cringe when addressed as “Reverend”… after all, I am a divorcee with a potty mouth. I also sensed there was a need to have a website for wedding ceremonies that would be specific to that service. My name is not important to couples searching for a wedding Officiant. I knew I needed a “hook” to attract folks in need of support for “spiritual but not religious”, non-denominational Christians, or folks not wanting to be or allowed to be married in a church. I understood online marketing enough to know people would be using keyword searches related to weddings – not my ego driven need to have a business in my name.
Interfaith Minister Directories were beginning to be formed, however, my sense was that most people (especially the ones that knew nothing of Interfaith) would not be looking for services there… not the people that really needed us: spiritual but not religious, ex-communicated Catholics, people forming an “anti religious organization” narrative.
Finding the domain name for my new wedding business was challenging, in part, due to my wanting to wallow in my personal pity party navigating loss of a long-term marriage. (I am happy to report it evolved into a Divine Experience and so did the divorce.)All the domain names I tried to register, like “Wine Country Weddings”, “Weddings of Heart”, and many more look ups, had all been taken. I spent hours trying to search a domain name that met my needs: good branding, catchy and easy to remember. I gave up for a while. Then, returning to meditation, prayer and contemplation, I “heard” from Spirit, “Vows and Kisses”; God’s truth.
Anxiously, I began the daunting online search for that domain name, fearing to be disappointed, again. (Oh yeah, starting a business provides lots of opportunity to face one’s FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real.) To my surprise (a passing moment of huge lack of faith) Vows and Kisses had not been taken.
I figured by the time we went live with the new wedding website I would begin networking to drive traffic to it and to book weddings for the next season. To my surprise, I began getting contacted immediately and booked ten non-denominational and interfaith weddings; having an online presence worked, as did the branding of Vows and Kisses ®.
What blew my mind wide open was the recognition of how many of my clients were starved for soul food, desired a healing of religious wounding, and are yearning for connection – a re-connection – with God. I fell to my knees in gratitude and humility when I realized the importance of this work – serving people in weddings became a path to help them rediscover a deep spiritual connection with authentic self and their relationship in/of/with the Divine. Blessed Be!
This was when I became passionate about creating an online directory to help people find us – professional, Interfaith Ministers, and to help Interfaith Minister’s wanting more work, to be found. (Hmmm, sort of sounds like a “lost and found” drawer at a department store.) It is about being lost – and found – lost in a myriad of confusion around spirituality, religion and life, and for devoted minister’s hoping to be found – to be of service.
By beginning a wedding business I recognized the expressed need of my clients to begin Spiritual Life Coaching sessions, to develop relationship and communication skills. I then returned to OSIS and attended the Interfaith Counseling program. In addition, I was Divinely guided to form Graceful-Mournings, the second online directory promoting Interfaith services for Funeral, Ceremony of life and grief support for all life transitions. I cannot tell you how profound and much needed this service is and am honored and humbled to be of support.