Monday, January 24, 2011

Rent-a-church weddings?

As an associate minister, UCC minister Lillian Daniel got stuck with the non-member weddings. She writes about being ordered around by engaged couples and listening to their rants about organized religion. She was treated like a service for purchase, similar to the caterer.

She brings this up in a review of G. Jeffrey MacDonald's book, Thieves in the Temple: The Christian Church and the Selling of the American Soul. MacDonald writes that the religious marketplace is full of people looking for a church that meets their desires, a church that requires very little of them.

Instead, MacDonald argues that people ought to be looking for a church that shapes their desires. He says people need a faith that requires commitment, sacrifice, and the occasional denial of our whims and desires.

The Christian Century Magazine, January 25, 2011

1 comment:

  1. With all due respect, Lillian Daniel did not have to submit to the role of a purveyor of wedding services for consumers. I know from experience that, with the backing of one's church board, one can reframe non-member weddings as a form of ministry with clear, explicit standards and expectations up front, including a fee schedule and guidelines about what will and will not be permitted, required premarriage counseling/consultations, who will run rehearsals (the minister), etc. When I was in the parish, I found that conducting non-member weddings was mostly a gratifying experience and an opportunity for significant ministry.