Meet the Pop-Up Chapel Ministers
The weddings performed at the Pop-Up Chapel were officiated by a total of 12 ministers, and the Universal Life Church Ministries is honored to have ordained eight of them. The ULC is always happy to meet with its ministers, see them perform ministerial duties, get to know them, and to hear about ceremonies they have performed in or been a part of in the past. The Pop-Up Chapel was a welcome opportunity for the ULC to do all of the above.
The vibrant and interesting ULC ministers we had the pleasure of meeting are briefly profiled below. Give their stories a once-over and, if you would like to congratulate them on a job well done or thank them for championing marriage equality, do not hesitate to e-mail them.
Rebecca “Bex” Schwartz
The vivacious “Bex” Schwartz is the woman responsible for completing the Herculean task of putting the Pop-Up Chapel together. Rev. Bex resides in New York, New York and, when not advocating gay marriage and performing the duties of a ULC minister, works as a “writer/director and pop culture commentator” and stand-up comedian. She has a strong Jewish background and is fluent in Hebrew but prefers to perform interfaith and secular wedding ceremonies to overtly religious ones.
Reach the one and only Bex Schwartz at email@example.com or read her blog, http://bexschwartz.blogspot.com/.
Barbara Ann Michaels
The self-titled “Jester of the Peace”, Rev. Michaels brings a theatrical side to the sometimes stiff and boring world of wedding ceremonies. A trained actress, Rev. Michaels has performed as a clown, dancer, and actor in improvisational, interactive, and physical theater. Beyond acting, Rev. Michaels serves as a wedding planner and officiant for couples interested in her services. When planning a wedding, Rev. Michaels focuses on the importance of love and the personal connection between a couple. Watch the videos we uploaded from the Pop-Up Chapel to see exactly what we mean!
Want to see for yourself what the Jester can do? Visit http://artfullove.blogspot.com/ or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Adams was the only ULC minister at the event to have been ordained through two organizations – he was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in Rome in 1977. Rev. Adams left the Catholic church after five years and has since gone on to work for gay blogs like the South Florida Gay News, Queer New York, and Bilerico. He is also relatively new to the ULC; he became ordained shortly after the New York State Senate legalized gay marriage on June 24, 2011. Rev. Adams looked to become a priest once again because he wanted to officiate the wedding ceremonies for gay couples, especially those with a Catholic background who prefer to have their faith someone involved.
Contact Rev. Adams at email@example.com.
The aspect of the Universal Life Church which attracted “Rev. Woody” was the way in which its ordination allowed him to perform unconventional wedding ceremonies, for gay and straight couples alike. Rev. Woody is a major proponent of marriage equality and considers himself to be on the forefront of the marriage equality movement; he marched with Christine Quinn, NYC Council Speaker, at the front of the National Equality March on Washington on October 11, 2009.
The formidable Rev. Woody has a website, http://revwoody.com/, and can be reached at RevWoody@RevWoody.com.
A ULC minister who hails from Brooklyn, Rev. Berkowitz specializes in performing Jewish and interfaith wedding ceremonies. She relishes the opportunity to craft a ceremony that bridges the spiritual gaps between denominations and even entire faiths. When she is not officiating wedding ceremonies, Rev. Berkowitz is an assistant professor of communication disorders and a speech pathologist.
People interested in learning more about Rev. Berkowitz and the ceremonies she performs can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website, http://www.revshari.com/.
Mark De Solla Price
Rev. De Solla Price approached the Universal Life Church for different reasons than most. As a prominent member of the New York gay community, Rev. De Solla Price was looking for a way to gain the means to officiate burial ceremonies for friends and acquaintances who succumbed to the AIDS virus. But, when New York State legalized gay marriage, Rev. De Solla Price was more than willing to lend his ministerial services to the Pop-Up Chapel to further gay causes.
Rev. De Solla Price appeared in HBO’s Positively Naked and currently resides in New York’s Greenwich Village with his husband, Vinny Allegrini. He can be reached at mark@MarkandVinny.com.
A Wisconsin native, Rev. McNally’s ULC experience began in the 1990s on a bit of a strange note. The first wedding ceremony he performed was a Pagan marriage that took place in the Midwestern wilderness on the spring solstice. The location of the ceremony took a while to hike to and the weather was dreary and cold but Rev. McNally still greatly enjoyed himself. He has performed other alternative wedding ceremonies since, including UFO and Bigfoot themed ones.
The only wedding ceremony at the Pop-Up Chapel which the ULC’s representatives were able to be a part of was one officiated by Rev. McNally. The grooms’ guests were no-shows, so the four ULC representatives and a handful of other volunteers quickly filled the chapel’s seats. Rev. McNally’s personalized and deeply-touching ceremony left both couples in tears within minutes and made the ULC representatives proud to witness such a professional and charismatic online-ordained minister.