Metaphysics Course

This blog has essays from the Metaphysics Courses offered through the Universal Life Church. We have a variety of courses that are available in the area of metaphysics.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Rev. Vicki A Bennett D.D.

As a Buddhist, I am awed when I read the Pali Canon and the knowledge and wisdom of the Buddha's teachings. He was fully awakened and in receipt of all the intrinsic intelligence of the Universe. I aspire to becoming an awakened being that I may bring all whom I come into contact with the same awakening.

I have been on a solidly spiritual path for over 24 years now, but that was not always the case. I am a 59 year old woman who struggled through the lessons of this lifetime for 35 years before I began to see just who and what I really am.

I have tried to instill the knowledge of my journey in my daughter and now my granddaughter. I find that we are so frail until we take the journey within and discover the truth of our existence.

As a student of Buddhism, I have trained myself to be the objective observer so that I may not judge others, but see the lessons that they struggle with and be compassionate. This also allows me to be compassionate with myself and that is the greatest gift of all.

You were so open and honest in your final lesson to us; I will try and be the same. Like you, I did not have a wonderful mother. She was distant and silent, and I struggled to make her love me. I was and still am an artist and she felt that I was a failure even though I graduated from college and went to grad school, taught college and am a success as an artist. This was not good enough for her.

My father abandoned her when I was born, and so to her I was, “just like my father and so she never attached herself to me as I would, like my father, leave her. She remarried when I was 4 and he died of a heart attack when I was 7. I saw the whole thing, he was sitting in front of me, but she never explained anything to me, didn't take me to the funeral, just abandoned me even more completely.

I was constantly seeking affection, someone to pay attention to my emotional needs and unfortunately I was a beautiful young girl and this got me molested by a 25 yr old neighbor when I was 13. I was severely traumatized but again she ignored me. Her solution was to have our family physician prescribe mild tranquilizers for me and force me to live on them for 3 years.

My pattern became to seek out men who were emotionally distant, who would abuse and ignore me and then abandon me. After a second divorce at 33, I was a brilliant artist who suffered from chronic migraines, hated men and had managed to give myself uterine cancer.

After my hysterectomy, I gained weight for the first time in my life. I was 35 and no longer a perfect size 8. Since I had based my entire life on how I looked and how many men I could attract, I was devastated. I actually would cross the street if I saw a good looking man sitting out on his porch for fear that he might cringe if he had to look at me. (And I had only gained 25 lbs.)

Loosing my perfect figure was the perfect catalyst for me to begin my spiritual journey, the why me? became, who am I and why am I here? And this led to a number of synchronicities that became the path that I followed. As I opened myself to a higher consciousness, I was pulled through one door after another and allowed to explore the rooms within myself.

I learned to be completely quiet within, and then to journey out of body, to meditate for hours on end and to see the magic of the universe unfold before my eyes. I flew in my lucid dreams, brought back the wisdom of the clear light beings that woke me and took me on expeditions into the universal consciousness and beyond.

I have been given a gift that is beyond riches. I have come to a place where I am approaching clarity. I am grateful for that gift everyday, thankful that I found this church of open-minded beings that I can commune with over the internet. Happy that people like you have chosen to dedicate themselves to the greater good and hopeful that you will achieve clarity also.

In your final essay to us you wrote:

I have decided that any philosophy written by a philosopher who has never been married (and who if married has not made it through at least ten or more years of marriage) is a philosophy that is less than worthless. Marriage teaches us about ourselves like nothing else. When we live with someone, that someone will eventually learn who we really are, not who we want the world to think we are. This forces us to look at ourselves. This is so traumatic that divorce, as difficult as divorce can be, is often easier than honest introspection. Without this part of life, any philosophy is left wanting because the philosopher has never had to face himself in so honest a way as marriage requires.

This caused me to stop and take pause. I can see the truth in your words and yet I know that this was not true for me. I could not see myself or the person that I would become while I was in an abusive relationship. I kept asking, What is wrong with me? and, How can I make him love me? These were the very same questions that I asked my mother.

When I realized that I could not be whole while I was trying to get someone to love me, I left my husband whom I loved with all my heart and soul. I left him so that I could love me, so that I could discover the woman that I have now become. And now when I perform weddings, I am filled with joy for the couples that I am marrying, I don't feel the sadness of loss, the why am I alone?

I am full, whole and complete. And this was only possible by giving up the need to have someone love me physically and emotionally. Balance is best kept by finding your ground and staying in the moment.

At this moment, I am reading Quantum and the Lotus it is a dialogue between a Buddhist monk (Matthieu Ricard) and a physicist and professor of astronomy (Trinh Xuan). It is the meeting of two minds discussing the reality of reality

The Heart Sutra is the mainstay of Buddhist thought, form is emptiness, emptiness is form meaning that nothing in and of itself arises independently and so everything is devoid of intrinsic being. We are just collections of atoms (energy) each creating our own universe with that energy and colliding with each other so that our realities overlap and evolve. Thank you for sharing your energy.

We are all one.

Rev. Vicki A Bennett D.D.


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.

The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training.

As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church  minister supplies. Since being ordained with the Universal Life Church for so many years and it's Seminary since the beginning, I've watch the huge change and growth that has continued to happen.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Defining Spirituality Essay
Rev. Francis J Douse, ULC Seminary


This is my essay for the Defining Spirituality course with the ULC Seminary.  A matter of confusion on my part had occurred, which is not a good start on any course of study.  I was thinking the course dealt with actually defining what spirituality is, which would have been a monumental task in itself effort to devise let alone study.  Instead, I soon discovered it was quite different to my expectations and truthfully some prejudices on my part and yet it has proven enjoyable, informative and complemented studies and thoughts I've followed during my life.

The course itself explored the basis of current Western thought and how it has developed over the centuries, this was presented in the context of ministering to scientific and/or rationalist minded people.

Manifest Matter and Mysticism at the Heart of All Things

Something I felt was implied if not asserted was that matter can be manifest or at least manipulated by will. But this is not expanded upon, or at least not to the point where a minister is attempting to breach the gap between themselves and someone who is scientifically minded, can discuss the matter in a meaningful way.  The hardened rationalist will be looking directly for logical evidence during such a discussion and I did not feel that 'rational' examples were given. I would have liked to have seen this explored in more depth. The course writer states that science proves mysticism to be at the heart of all things and whereas I can agree, again, I cannot see how a rationalist will accept that statement without irrefutable evidence. I've encountered some concepts posited to support this, firstly Shrodinger's cat - a quantum mechanics thought experiment. A cat (or other living organism) is placed in a sealed box with a poison. According to the Copenhagen Interpretation, the cat is both alive and dead until the box is opened, the act of observing the end result determines the outcome. Another is a phenomenon known as wave-particle duality, for example photons behave like a wave or a particle depending on how they are being observed. Whereas these seem almost mystical and would indicate that the mind does affect matter, the reality may be more complex. For example, with the cat experiment the Copenhagen Interpretation is just that - an interpretation and there are and probably will be more now and in the future.

The Classics, The Cave and Religious Philosophy

I've always believed that a classical foundation is a good starting point for education and for understanding our roots in western culture. I enjoyed the material presented especially the cave allegory by Plato. It was similar to an example given to me when studying quantum theory at university. In this example, imagine a sheet of paper which represents a 2 dimensional world in which 2D stick people live. They can only perceive the X and Y axes, there is no Z axis for them - it is beyond their perception. Now imagine I take pencil (which can also be a Platonic perfect form) and pierce the paper on which they live, I pass the pencil through along it's length and remove it on the other side. What would the folk in 2D world see? A 3D pencil? No. They see a dot form where the pencil pierces, the dot grows into a circle, the circle persists for a time and vanishes. The idea that a 3 dimensional object had passed through their world would be ludicrous to them! It underlines the limits of our own perceptions and knowledge.

Although we are concentrating on western philosophy, no man is an island.  There is a massive jump from the Greek philosophers to the Renaissance thinkers, I believe an acknowledgment must be given to Islamic scholars who gathered and built upon Greek knowledge and it's re-introduction to the west.  Also Constantinople should be given a nod, as the capital Eastern Roman Empire it persisted another 1,000 years after the collapse of the west, and traded heavily with the Islamic world especially in regard to the ancient texts. Such knowledge was highly prized and the Byzantine book markets still survive to this day. After it's fall in 1453, the great Byzantine thinkers came westwards bringing the knowledge with them. Similar events occurred in Spain too. I admit I am over-simplifying a complex issue but none the less, a paragraph about where the knowledge was and how it was used when Europe languished in the so-called Dark Ages would have been useful.

One thing I am not too clear on. Renaissance thinkers worked (generally) within the rules of the Church (and failure to do so would be at their peril) and many have been men of great faith, yet rationalists build on that foundation to assert their own cold God-less world views.  I'm not sure how they reconcile or reconciled that. How many of these more recent philosophers will still stand the test of time in another 1,500 years or more?  I would be surprised if the likes of Plato and Aristotle aren't still read. Will Nietzche's syphilitic nihilism still hold any real value? How much philosophy is useful and how much is just plain old over-thinking?  These are issues I have been motivated by the course to question and to continue seeking meaningful answers to.

Atheism - A Clear and Present Danger

Atheism is a subject that was explored.  There are those who use the foundation of other philosophers and thinkers (many of whom had faith) and a conceited reliance on logic, reason and science to support their atheism. Just as I cannot prove the existence of the Divine using science, they cannot disprove it. I assert that atheism is simply a belief and not a 'non-belief' as some would say. It is a system of belief like any other, and a narrow myopic one at that.  For the atheist, life essentially has no meaning, no purpose. We are born, we live, we die and that is it. Anything else is just wishful thinking and fantasy, a coping mechanism to deal with our own mortality, it is placed into the same category as Father Christmas and the tooth fairy.

I further assert that reason, rationalism and science cannot be used in any context of spirituality anymore than carpentry can help in mountaineering, they are separate fields of human endeavor. Also from all the experiences I have had with atheists - and I say this as a former atheist myself, that there are those who reject the Divine because they had a limited and naive view of it to begin with.  If one has been exposed to a literal view of God as a human dressed in white with a long gray beard sat on a throne behind pearly gates, then I could sympathize with their rejection, after all, such symbolism is a relic from Greco-Roman paganism.  To me, to rely on science to provide 'proof' that God does not exist is a lie and a conceit because science has no  bearing on faith whatsoever.

I believe that extremist secularism and atheism as espoused by Richard Dawkins represents a real danger in society, just as real as religious extremism. Here in the UK as more and more are brought up without any spiritual dimension whatsoever, society is in a real and demonstrable moral free-fall.  Nobody thinks twice now when an 11 year old boy fathers a child with a 15 year old girl!  Even here in York, I've witnessed with horror a medieval church being transformed into a hedonistic nightclub! The moral vacuum has lead to over-inflation of the ego, loss of self-respect and ultimately damage to the soul. It is a sorry state of affairs and very few seem to even care.

My own conclusions

As I said in the introduction, I had a little confusion about the course when I began but it has proven to be a most insightful and enjoyable course.  I believe that there is no conflict between science and spirituality as they are separate endeavors. Science deals with what can be observed and measured while God is beyond all things, ineffable and transcendent, as mankind learns more about it's place in the cosmos God will always be beyond touch. For me, He is beyond mathematics and reason, He has revealed Himself to me and thus in my mind I have all the evidence I need. 

Science is not a subject where one should place all of his or her stock, it;s a systematic way of objectively viewing what we perceive, it provides no meaning and no idea of what happens after death. Science has limits, we will never know what happened before the Big Bang, we don't even know how the universe will end, only that there is an almost biblical cosmic struggle between dark matter holding the universe together, while dark energy seeks to pull it apart. We think the universe is one of many and we know the universe is some 14 billion years old, we know many things and their mechanisms. We know the odds of producing a world full of complex creatures are against us, let alone the mass extinctions that life has fought through. The odds against us being here are literally astronomical and yet here we are.  Is it by an intelligent design or simply pot luck?  As stated in the discourses, we can only say we know nothing.

As sad as it is, there will be people we cannot minister to. I have encountered people who simply cannot believe in a concept of a soul and anything of a Divine nature. This is anathema to me, to reject one's own soul is like rejecting the mind and consciousness itself.  Approaching scientifically minded people is possible if they have a seed of spirituality within them, as ministers we can nurture that and allow it to grow to its full potential.


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As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church  materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Spirit Quest

Master of Metaphysics

I just finished the final module in the Spirit Quest Course and I can't believe it's over.  I feel enlightened, free, and a bit more prepared to face the world in to which I have been reborn. The mission I have been assigned to complete has been elusive, but at this time clarity has been bestowed upon me. After my first near death experience there was an abundance of confusion, my thought processes were almost abstract. I had a sense of what happened but could not find relevance for my life. Previously, I had never been a religious person, despite the fact that until the age of maybe thirteen, I was raised as a catholic. I attended church services infrequently but I did complete the childhood sacraments christening, first Holy Communion and confirmation. Christmas was always special and even at a young age there was a distinct feeling within that was far more than just the enjoyment of being gifted with all of the worldly delights of a child. There was one more special time of the year when I would actually attend mass and other ceremonies namely The Stations of the Cross, which were celebrated during the Lenten season before Easter. During the Stations of the Cross I would again sense something very enjoyable and comforting and it was deep. I realize today that it was a very Spiritual sensation.

I think my confusion stemmed from the discourse I had felt while attending mass on Sundays and the classes I needed to attend to complete the sacrament of confirmation. By this time I had developed the cognitive abilities to Question. The things that I questioned the most were the way the Church (Catholic) would change the rules in mid stream to suit their needs. The time was the 1960's there were a lot of changes going on in the world and here in the United States. Technology was at its birth stage, television was more readily affordable for more of the population. The drug culture was in proliferation and people were getting busy with things other than going to Sunday Mass, at least that was the way it was for Catholics. This may sound petty maybe even a bit insincere but believe me this was the onset of my discourse with the Catholic Church and organized religion as a whole. Scenario, census in the Catholic Church had been dropping off for month's maybe even years; during this time the Church decided they could re-write Gospel and church law to suit their needs. While I was growing up we were prohibited from eating meat on Friday now this may sound trivial but it was profound to me. All of a sudden, it's fine now we can eat meat on Friday. They changed God's law. What Spirit Quest did for me, was to bring my focus back to my own spirituality and made me realize that God lives in me and even though I am more tolerant now of organized religion (I just opened Port St. Lucie Church of Spiritual Enlightenment) fully operational and all the legalities covered and Incorporated. So thanks to this course I obtained the strength to forge ahead. So from the very first lesson it was stated "Overcome the roadblocks that keep you from reaching your goals". I found things in every lesson that helped me overcome my roadblocks.

Thank You,

Rev Glendon Ricker

Pastor, Port St. Lucie Church of Spiritual Enlightenment

The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.

Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free,  and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spirituality Course

The Insight Into Awareness course is based on the ten insights presented in the Celestine Prophecy. It is a wonderful course that can be easily applied to provide intense spiritual growth. I loved this course!

The First Insight is the awakening. It talks about an awakening that is currently occurring on the planet. There is a critical mass of people who are experiencing their lives as a spiritual unfolding through meaningful and mysterious coincidences. As we begin to pay attention to the coincidences, we notice more of them. This is the realization that the divine is leading us in a particular direction to fulfill our mission. Many times we do not recognize the “blessing in disguise” until later. An example in my life was when I decided to take a class in herbal medicine. I loved it and thought it was fun, so I became involved in an herbal apprenticeship class for 7 months. I still wanted to know more after that 7 month class, so I decided to look for a degree program and found one that fit my needs (and budget). Five years later, I have a doctorate in natural health and will open a business in a few years when the finances allow for it. This will help me fulfill my mission of helping others with their health and stress.

The Second Insight is called the “longer now”. People are becoming more aware of the purpose of our lives on this planet and the real nature of the universe. We are spiritual beings with a spiritual nature. This new focus replaces the preoccupation with technology and the gaining of material comforts. In the past, I was always focused on my career, being promoted and being a super-achiever. At a point in time (when my Dad passed away), I became much more focused on spirituality. My focus increased considerably when my mother passed away a couple of years later.

The Third Insight is about energy and the fact that our universe is composed of dynamic energy, not matter as we had previously thought. This energy is sacred and through projections, people can focus this energy and increase the number and pace of the coincidences. Wherever we focus our energy, is where the energy flows. I became aware of this truth with my Reiki training and am now a Reiki master. With the constant use of Reiki, my understanding of this truth expands.

The Fourth Insight makes us aware that we are in a struggle for power. Too often we cut ourselves off from the source of energy. We tend to compete for other people’s energy by wanting attention. This competition for scarce human energy is what causes conflict. This insight explains why there is conflict within families—especially between parents and children.

The Fifth Insight teaches us that when we tap the source of divine energy within us, all of the conflict and violence ceases. This is the message of the mystics. Once we make this connection, we feel light and a constant sensation of love. I have found one way of making this connection is through meditation and Reiki.

The Sixth Insight show us when we tend to lose connection… usually when we are under stress. We become aware of when we manipulate other people’s energy and steal it. The more we become aware of when we are connected and when we lose connection, the more connected we will stay.
We also must recognize what our parents gave us, how we are using it and then clear the past so we can eliminate our control dramas. This opens us up to aligning with our spiritual path more clearly. I find I lose connection when under stress. I am trying to become more aware of every situation in which I do this.

The Seventh Insight is about engaging the flow of energy once we become aware of our personal mission. Once we are in the flow of energy, the coincidences increase, we daydream and have meaningful dreams to find answers to our questions. At some point there will be synchronicities that when we have a question, it will be answered intuitively by another person. This has occurred for me on several occasions. Usually, the answer comes from my husband a day or so before I ask the question!

The Eight Insight teaches us the interpersonal ethic and how to conduct our relationships. We need to uplift everyone that comes into our lives and be careful not to lose our inner connection with our romantic relationships. It is easy to become co-dependent on another’s energy. It teaches how to project energy to others and handle family situations. This is one insight that I will use from now on.

The Ninth Insight is about our evolution to spiritual beings through synchronistic growth and attainment of higher energy states. We will eventually end the cycle of birth and death and will unite the afterlife dimension with the physical dimension of earth. I work with Reiki to continually attain higher energy states.

The Tenth Insight is about fulfilling our birth vision in remembering how to live this spirituality on earth. This spirituality is what all humans have strived to accomplish. Once we remember that we are here on assignment, we will pull a fuller vision of what we wanted to accomplish while on earth and be able to live it. I have the vision of what I wanted to accomplish and that is helping others through counseling. Living it on a daily basis is a challenge.

As I have a strong interest in the Celestine Vision, I went a little further and found that there is now an Eleventh Insight that talks about extending prayer fields. Every religion and sacred writing refers to the power of prayer, positive thinking, etc. Using a prayer form of holding a vision of intention for a spiritual world, we are helping to transform the world into spiritual form. I have been participating in a global prayer forum where many people hold a positive vision for the world together.

There is a Twelfth Insight under development. Stay tuned!

Rev. Patricia Buben


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Spiritual Awareness, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Spirituality Course

In the beginning Man and God, by most accounts, were on a first name basis.

Then, Man began to explore the world, and soon there was THOUGHT. The first thought was good, but it led to another, and another, until finally Man had invented a NEW God.

And so it has gone over the millennia. Every few generations God is re-invented so that God will fit Man’s paradigm of what God should be.

You may well ask, “Where did this heretical woman get her blasphemous ideas!”

My ideas have come from many places, most recently the Universal Life Church Seminary course “Spiritualism.”

Religious practices of pre-history were based on empiric observations by people who depended in large part on their skills as hunter-gatherers. Their God/s images revolved around the hunt and fertility of the land.

As civilization spread, Man had the leisure to pursue higher thought, and philosophy emerged, changed, changed again, and evolved into formalized religious beliefs.

The advent of scientific investigation began to alter philosophy, turning thought away from empiricism toward reason and scientific observation of reproducible data. These data lead to physical laws, mathematics and facts being the basis for beliefs. Thus began the decline of mysticism, astrology and empiricism.

Thankfully, the pendulum never stops moving, and the writings by early philosophers remain in the world, and are still read by many.

The teachings of Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, the Cynics and Stoics are still revered in our culture, and bring the human race closer to its feeling side.

The more we understand of the elder philosophers the better able we are as ministers to see the vulnerable and helpless side of Man; thus revealing our own weaknesses and strengths. Once we are able to identify these qualities, we can reach out with our good right hand to those whose spirits are in need of support. Then will we be a blessing, as we have been blessed ourselves. 

Rev. Kristine Dice


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have various classes in Christianity, one on Wicca, along with several Pagan courses, more than a few courses about Metaphysics with more being added regularly.

Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free, legal and lasts for life, so please take advantage of our Free Online Ordination.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of minister supplies.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and am proud to have started the Seminary.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Spirit Quest

Spirit Quest
The experience of a lifetime.

When I first signed up for this class, I was expecting to talk to a spirit guide and have some sort of out-of-body experience. Instead, I practiced using an amazing array of practical spiritual tools. I would subtitle this course “Practical Spirituality”. It's a course that takes 30 weeks to present, and a lifetime to learn.

My favorite lessons are the ones on using energy. I'm a mother, wife, and teacher. Most of my time is spent responding to the needs of other. I often use the grounding cord to remove the negative energy that my husband and kids generate when they complain. Their negativity doesn't affect me as much. I use the grounding cord when I'm driving in congested traffic. It's a great way to remove the frustrations of stop and go driving. I like to run energy, too. It gives me a boost when I'm feeling tired. The very last lesson talks about using personal energy versus cosmic energy in healing. So many times, I try comforting my family by using my personal energy. I wind up feeling very drained, but I want to help them. Now, I going to invite cosmic energy in to use in healing them. Of course, the hardest thing to do is remember to use these tools in a situation.

Some of the tools don't work as well for me as others do. I have trouble creating a protection rose. I can create one and sit in it, but I don't feel protected. This tells me a couple of things. One is that I probably don't need protection as much as I think. If one sees love in all of creation, why is there a need to be protected? Of course, we have a society which encourages and rewards victimhood. Why seek protection and seize controls of one's life when being a victim works so well? There is a lot to learn from our struggles with certain lessons.

I am very grateful to Amy for this course. I now have more tools in my toolbox for integrating spirituality into day to day living. I've saved all of the lessons, and I will go back to them from time to time. I'm sure that some lessons will become clearer after I've had a little more time to reflect on them. It has been a fun and interesting journey. I rather sad to see it come to an end.

Rev. Donna Kruse


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.

Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free,  and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar