Paganism

The first thing to understand about my religion is that it focuses on the worship of and belief in the Gods and their place in the cosmos in relation to us. Every one of us is a potential God. Consider yourself God Larva; your body a temple or battlefield. The Gods are our Teachers and the narratives about them, a lesson to be learned. As with the Gods, what you do in this life echoes in eternity, if you do nothing the memory of you will fade; if you do great noteworthy deeds the memory of you will live for all time.
My belief centers on my ancestors’ Gods, the Gods of the Cruithne the indigenous peoples of Western Europe before the Romans invaded the land. I being by nature a skeptical person have researched and pondered the controversy of the old ways for quite some time. I found the answer to the controversy, for myself at least.
The methods and mechanisms of the Gods are done. What is left is for us. What I mean by the previous statement is that the future of our creed is left up to us. The Gods may lend help to us but it is best for us to develop our own strengths and find a cure for our own weaknesses. The Gods and your Family may lend aid, but it is you who ultimately need to evolve.
In respect and reverence for the Gods, we honor the holidays and festivals apportioned to them so they will not forget our existence. Every God has his or her own holidays, the ceremonies and rites of which have been written down for centuries in the mythological cycles. The holidays are based on some action of the God the holiday honors. These actions are presented in the narratives detailing the Gods’ time on this world. Every clan and culture of the Cruithne had its own Oral Tradition, but the generalizations in all those traditions are so similar as to be from one larger Celtic culture. For instance, the tales of the deeds of the Gods I tell my children are slightly different from the written versions popularized, but the outcome is the same. I have come to realize the importance of written language and urge anyone if they have an oral tradition to write it down, even publish it, to save your culture.
The pattern of ceremony and festivals honoring the Gods follow the wheel of the year, every holiday in its season and every God honored in his or her holiday. Blessings are given by the Gods on special occasions and life changing events via the Priesthood. Geases and Divinations are also relayed through the Gods via the priesthood. A Gease is a Taboo that is given to an individual, and should be given at about age thirteen. This builds character, during youngsters’ truly formative years.
The religion also gives respect and proper attention to what is known as “The Seventh Son of The Seventh Son” That is to say that any child or person who bares special physical and paranormal gifts in this world, although they may be a lay person, shall be mentored by the priesthood, to channel and hone those special qualities and to lend the schooling of the priesthood to the subject. Therefore a person with these special qualities would always be versed in the ways of the priesthood and carries the office of a priest but may choose a non priestly life. Many Cruithne Demi-Gods have grown in this way, CuChullian for example was reared for his special qualities by Scartchach the warrior priestess.
The Priesthood was known to the Celts in history as Druids, as it is in our priesthood. The priest must be versed in the Oral tradition, Law keeping and judgments, Medicinal studies (herbal and First aid (tribal) Horticulture, Zoology, Metaphysics, Astrology and preside over marriages, blessings, birthings, holiday ceremony, sacred ritual and sacrifice, as well as maintain the sites held to be holy and sacred. Weather or not a given Priest is a magic (magick) practitioner is a personal choice and His or her school of Magic (magick) should not affect the function as a priest, although belief in “Magic” in the Religion is very common.
Although my religion may contain Wiccans in its midst, the religion itself is not Wiccanism. This is Paleo-Paganism.
“The Carnyx sounded upon the felling of Nuada, and it stirred Lugh from his Domain in the underworld and mounting his steed; out he strode to aid of the Tuatha De Dannan. To the East the Fomorians’ felt the Sun sear the flesh on there backs and it was as the first rising of the sun for those who dwelt in the darkness and the first blessed dawn for those who defended against them”

Rev. Russell L Lamerson.

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As an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since its inception, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Seminary grow.

Spiritual Development Course

Noosphere (pronounced /ˈnoʊ.ɵsfɪər/; sometimes noösphere), according to the thought of Vladimir Vernadsky and Teilhard de Chardin, denotes the “sphere of human thought”. The word is derived from the Greek νος (nousmind“) + σφαρα (sphaira “sphere“), in lexical analogy to “atmosphere” and “biosphere. Introduced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 1922  in his Cosmogenesis“. Another possibility is the first use of the term by Édouard Le Roy, who together with Chardin was listening to lectures of Vladimir Vernadsky at Sorbonne. 1936 Vernadsky accepted the idea of the Noosphere in a letter to Boris Leonidovich Lichkov (though, he states that the concept derives from Le Roy).
In the original theory of Vernadsky, the noosphere is the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere. In contrast to the conceptions of the Gaia theorists, or the promoters of cyberspace, Vernadsky’s noosphere emerges at the point where humankind, through the mastery of nuclear processes, begins to create resources through the transmutation of elements. It is also currently being researched as part of the Princeton Global Consciousness Project.
For Teilhard, the noosphere emerges through and is constituted by the interaction of human minds. The noosphere has grown in step with the organization of the human mass in relation to itself as it populates the earth. As mankind organizes itself in more complex social networks, the higher the noosphere will grow in awareness. This concept is an extension of Teilhard’s Law of Complexity/Consciousness, the law describing the nature of evolution in the universe. Teilhard argued the noosphere is growing towards an even greater integration and unification, culminating in the Omega Point, which he saw as the goal of history. The goal of history, then, is an apex of thought/consciousness.
One of the original aspects of the noosphere concept deals with evolution. Henri Bergson, with his L’évolution créatrice (1907), was one of the first to propose evolution is ‘creative’ and cannot necessarily be explained solely by Darwinian natural selection. L’évolution créatrice is upheld, according to Bergson, by a constant vital force which animates life and fundamentally connects mind and body, an idea opposing the dualism of René Descartes. In 1923, C. Lloyd Morgan took this work further, elaborating on an ‘emergent evolution‘ which could explain increasing complexity (including the evolution of mind). Morgan found many of the most interesting changes in living things have been largely discontinuous with past evolution, and therefore did not necessarily take place through a gradual process of natural selection. Rather, evolution experiences jumps in complexity (such as the emergence of a self-reflective universe, or noosphere). Finally, the complexification of human cultures, particularly language, facilitated a quickening of evolution in which cultural evolution occurs more rapidly than biological evolution. Recent understanding of human ecosystems and of human impact on the biosphere have led to a link between the notion of sustainability with the “co-evolution” [Norgaard, 1994] and harmonization of cultural and biological evolution.
The resulting political system has been referred to as a noocracy.
American integral theorist Ken Wilber deals with this third evolution of the noosphere. In his work, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (1995), he builds many of his arguments on the emergence of the noosphere and the continued emergence of further evolutionary structures.
The term Noöcene epoch refers to “how we manage and adapt to the immense amount of knowledge we’ve created.” 
The noosphere concept of ‘unification’ was elaborated in popular science fiction by Julian May in the Galactic Milieu Series. It is also the reason Teilhard is often called the patron saint of the Internet

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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.
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.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar
As an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since its inception, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Seminary grow.

Master of Religion

Master of Religion Completion Essay
In the first few lessons I was reminded easily of how the Bible came about and how, even though, it may have gone through several interpretations by many individuals and having so many contributors, it still can be believed in as “God’s” word.  I was reminded of the many sections I had long since read and needed to touch again to re-enforce the strong Faith I already have, making it stronger.  I had known of several of the sections being missing and was reminded of those and still know in my heart they are the true word.  I can remind those that still doubt the words from other religious factions that one faith has taken the bible and reworded or paraphrased sections to meet their needs and cannot be taken seriously, many religions have done this and all are still accurate and true to their belief systems.  
As I progressed through the lesson I was given some good tips on ways to study the bible, many I had not even considered, since the readings in the many versions is at times very intense with the translations, paraphrasing and lengthy wording.  I now have a confidence that I can review and renew my faith at any time and assist others in doing son also.  I now have many sections I had not referred people to reminding them “God” does exist.  I can now take these sections to further my educational efforts and use them to teach others and ask various questions to help in establishing or re-establishing their faith.  The true meaning of the :”Trinity” has been elaborated in a fashion very meaning full and truthful.       
The middle chapters remind me of the true and ongoing duties of the Priesthood, Missionary duties and why I was called on to help spread his word and depend on “God” to lead me in the right direction to help those who need the help and not condemn those who may not believe completely, but help to become believers and still lead them to a path as Jesus would have done.  The many titles religions of the world have for their leadership, with one intention.  The Sacraments and Baptism section reinforced my understanding and teachings of what I had been told as a young man.  I am now more confident in being able to properly teach about the Sacraments and it’s many portions it encompasses, from Baptism, the Eucharist, Anointing of the sick and the Holy Orders. 
The section on Marriage and Tithing reminded me of my true and binding relationship with my beloved wife for whom I truly love and cherish in the true meaning of “Marriage” with the understanding we are equals and our children are gifts of this marriage and we have taught them the words and the meaning of “God” hoping they will carry it with them through life and learn from us.  It is not necessarily the church that confirms your marriage and the meaning of it, but it is the words in themselves and the thoughts that go beyond them. 
In the later sections of this course I have been given a plethora of information to re-enforce my stances on Homosexuality, Abortion, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Prostitution and Divorce.  I received a lot of good information about Counseling with good information I can use to help people who turn to me for my assistance no matter what the issue may be.  I can them have re-assurance I have done the right thing and said the right thing to get them back on track and focus on their goodness and faith to lead them further into life and with the understanding coming to me for help is part of my duties as a Minister and Hopefully a Chaplain. 
The last sections of the course reinforced my understandings of the Church with its’ vast history, the many Denominations and directions they take and concluding with further education on the governance of the Church.  I would recommend this course for everyone, no matter what level of Christianity you wish to take.  It was very educational and gave me a better understanding of the faith that has been instilled in me since birth to the meaning of my calling and the reasons I need to continue to help my fellow man.  I would also like to Thank Rev. Amy for all her hard work at putting this and the many programs of the Seminary together for us and sending them so timely and helping us to accomplish our goals as Graduates of the Seminary and Chaplains.  I would lastly and not leastly like to Thank Bishop Pat and the many other contributors to this course for the opportunity to indulge in their readings. 
Rev. Charles (Chuck) Callahan, DD
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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.

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.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar
As an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since its inception, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Seminary grow.

Islamic Studies

Final Essay
I thought that a study of Islam would be appropriate at this time considering the attacks of 9/11 and the war in Iraq. I really didn’t have an understanding of the Islam and the Islamic terrorists and what could possibly be on their minds to attack the very soil of the United States.
Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last prophet sent by God after Abraham, Jesus and others. Muhammad’s beginnings were simple and poor. He was born in 570 and was raised by his uncle Abu Talib who taught him to be a caravan trader. Muhammad was exposed to Jewish and Christian traditions on these caravan journeys. He eventually married his employer, Khadija, who would bare him many children one of which was a daughter, Fatima, who would marry Muhammad’s cousin Ali.
In the year 610, Muhammad began having visions from the angel Gabriel. These visions resulted in the Qur’an. The Qur’an is believed to be a correction of errors in scripture from the time of Abraham. Its message is that there is one true God; there is a Day of Doom coming; the wicked will perish and the Elect will live in paradise. Not much different from Christianity. Islam means “submission to God”. A Muslim is “one who submits”. They believe that the Qur’an is God in the form of words. It “is”, it is not “created”. Muslims believe in the Five Pillars of Islam: confession of faith, prayer, almsgiving, fasting and pilgrimage.
There are two main groups of Muslims that are in the news these days: the Shi’ites and the Sunnis. These are the groups that are at war with each other in the Middle East and the reason the US is there. The difference between these two groups is this: The Shi’ites believe that the successors to Muhammad should be from his family line through Ali and Fatima. They believe that Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and Fatima’s husband, was appointed by Muhammad on his deathbed and should have been the first successor or Caliph. He eventually became the fourth Caliph. But the Sunni’s believe that there should be an elected Caliph. The Shi’ites believe that because of all this confusion the Caliph or Hidden Iman, has been removed from the earth to return in the future. That certainly seems like something to go to war over. To put this into perspective, the Shi’ites could be compared to Catholics, and the Sunnis could be compared to Protestants. We are familiar with how well they get along in some countries.
This brings me to Osama bin Laden, a Sunni. Osama studied the writings of one Ibn Taymiyyah who taught “not a voluntary jihad or holy war to propagate the faith but an involuntary jihad or just war to defend the faith. Under such conditions, all under attack must fight and all others must help them…Government and religion must be intertwined, for religion cannot prosper without the coercive power of government, while government must be subject to Revelation if it is not to fall into error and tyranny…Right religion must have in it the Guiding Hand and the Helping Sword”. Osama says “Islam ceases to exist where the ruler is an infidel”. Is he referring to the United States? He also quotes Ibn Taymiyyah out of context to suit his own jihad because Ibn Taymiyyah also said “The consensus of the community, not the decisions of a militant minority, must be paramount” and that jihad must be fair and without animosity. It seems to me that that statement should be considered by the Whole World.
I’m still not sure that I completely understand what the fighting is all about. Perhaps it’s the innate arrogance of the People of the Book because they were the ones that the Book was given to of all the others in the world.
Rev. Judith Wolf
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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 theUniversal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.


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As an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since its inception, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Seminary grow.

Science of Religion

I have to admit I was not looking forward to this lesson. I do not like philosophy. To me it is just people who are not afraid to speak their opinion and want to get recognized.
I was impressed with what I learned and did get some answers to questions I had and learned some things about myself.
Let me explain this way. I have always been a person that believes totally in God but have a real bad taste in my mouth for churches. When we were young and living in a house with a father who was an alcoholic, my mom taught us her way of believing and what was best for us. We had a cabin that we built as a family growing up. We did not go to church much, but were members of a church. I remember one time our minister came to the house and accused my mom of not raising us right because we were not in church. My little 5 ft mom kicked him right out the door, saying we believe in God, but the things that keeps us together is being up north. 
During the week my dad spent all his time in the bar after work, spending money we did not have and never being around when we needed him My mom not having a license had to depend on others to get groceries, hospital emergencies and most things, however when we were up north with no electricity or plumbing we were a family. We played family games, rode snowmobiles, fished, spent time with friends. It was a great way to grow up. The cabin was our house of God. That is were we were a family and felt God keeping us together.
When I met my husband and we decided to get married we went to his church, were his family was very active in the church. We wanted to get married in the yard on his family farm, but the Minister said he would not tip toe through the tulips. The minister said it was not a house of God. How much closer to God can you get than under the sky above.
When we had our children I believed it was right to have them in Sunday school and be confirmed so they could make their own choices. During that time I did teach Sunday school. My son never had much to do with the church, my daughter loved it until she got older and was totally turned off by the same Minister that would not tip toe through the tulips.
I really had a hard time with a minister who did not even acknowledge your presents when you went to church and when he sees you on the street he does not know you are there.
Getting back to the coarse, it taught me why some ministers are the way they are and I can forgive them for it. The to are a product of greed, at least some of them. It still amazes me though how people are because of one philosopher. But then I see it every day in the way people listen to the news with politics, (because it is on the news it is true). I believe in 1% of the news, especially when it come to politics. Words or a lack of them can be a very dangerous thing.
I am an Municipal Judge here in Glenwood City. The law is so much like religion. If you have a good attorney that can take one word in the law and change its meaning, he can get you off. It all has to do with interpretation.
This coarse has also taught me to get my ego in check. I had thought I was doing pretty good in that area, but have since learned I have a long way to go. Trying to build my business of Holistic Pet Pampering. Healing Energy, and all Natural Products has been hard. I have groomed for 15 years and working with the animals and the love I have for them is easy. However building this business with finances and wanting to be financially stable is getting in the way of why I started to begin with. It made me realize I have to just focus on helping as many animals and people as possible and try not to dwell on the finances. It will come. My ego also gets in the way of how I look at some people and being jealous of others successes.
The sad part about all of this, God loves us all unconditionally, but it is the interpretation of his love that causes wars and hate among others. There is some definitely wrong with this.
My sister says I should talk about God more in my teachings of Reiki and healing energy. I refer to the Higher Power. I try to explain that even though my Higher Power is God, It is not everyone’s. I have to keep religion out of it. She has a hard time separating the two. I do tell people I am a Minister and proud to be able to say that, but I specify that I am a Minister of the Body, Mind and Spirit, and the Higher Power. not a Minister of Religion. This coarse helped me to figure that out and explain the difference of the two.
Rev. Kimberly Moe
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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
As an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since its inception, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Seminary grow.

Spirit-Quest

By John Peterson
First, let me mention, I have been enlightened by this course. The topics are genuine and always cause me to ponder, wonder and apply to this lifetime. Essay – Changes in my Life.I have been though many changes over the last several years, study of theology, alternative medicine practices and self-awareness. All of which have formed a new perspective of looking at issues that I have, that others have. Looking out from this body from the Spirit and Soul, I see the need in others, to have a Path to follow.
To understand that there is a choice they can make to heal themselves, to manifest the need that this life requires. Through this course, I have identified myself, my Spirit. I once had a huge void inside, in my heart. I did not understand the void, only to know that I felt I was missing something in my life. Purpose? Why am I (we) here? What was causing the weight in my heart?Coincidence? Things happen for a reason. My hip required an adjustment. I asked around, who had a great chiropractor. I was lead to an office that was on my drive home. Upon arriving, the new patient paperwork, I was sent to a room to wait.
When the door opened and the Doctor came in, all she could say was, “Wow, you’ve got a huge Aura!” I quickly responded by, “My name is John, my color is blue!” “I’m Dr. Lisa, and my color is Green. I’m a healer” she piped back. “You can do anything you need to for my health”, I offered. From then on, Dr. Lisa introduced me to energy working people, self-healing classes, meditation, crystal energy and more. I have pursued energy work very passionately. I am a study of Reiki, and the Chakras and other modalities. During a self-healing exercise years ago, Soul Fragmentation Retrieval, I became incredibly aware. I have become very empathic, Clairsentient and have become a Medical Intuitive. I provide Spiritual Healing services and body scans. I see Auras around people and have regarded this as a measure of one’s Spirituality, and is very accurate. I have no fear when it comes to the Spirit.
When I see an Aura, I immediately comment to that person how gorgeous it is, then go into the meaning their Aura. Often, I sense the level of energy their chakras carry, connect to their Spirit and scan their physical body to identify problems they carry by the imbalance in the Aura field. People need to be aware of the great experiences that can be available to them, just by asking.I continue to have great experiences.
My Soul is at peace with my Path. I am continually amazed at the information provided to us and am recognizing more ways the messages come to us. We all need to listen with our Heart. This is where I carry my Spirit. Filling the void I once had. Lighting my Path.When you look at issues from the Soul’s perspective, the real ‘Why’ comes out. Only Truth. Letting go of the Ego is the healing we all need. My roses are in bloom!If only all could see their Spirit.
Thank you Spirit Quest. For opening up new possibilities.
John E. Peterson
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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
As an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since its inception, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Seminary grow.

Gospel of Thomas — ULC

Gospel of Thomas
Submitted by Joy Maestas

I do have a somewhat different perspective on these teachings then my Teacher, so hopefully he will have an open mind on my perspective.  I will be reading more to learn about this Divine web but my take is from a Christian back ground not a Catholic one so I see differences in our perception.  The Kingdom Jesus refers to is the real kingdom in Heaven where our Father and Jesus are now residing.  I see beyond the physical and know the real Kingdom is not yet come to this plane. Coming to self knowledge it the knowledge in Christ that all things are created through him and without him nothing exists.  Without him in us we do not exist but are spiritually dead and there for misfortune.

I can understand how you would call this world a Divine Web as everything in this world is connected, every creature, plant, human has the same make up and I think I just had a epiphany in understanding the Divine web.
4. Jesus said, “An old man will not be reluctant to ask a little child of seven days about the dwelling of life, and he will become one and the same.”
I love this quote, as in  Matthew 18:2 he stated “And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
To be innocent as a child, not hating, blindly trusting, loving all.  I don’t know how Baptism is in the Catholic church but for Christians it is the outward sign that we have giving ourselves to Christ and we are putting the old life behind (going under the water) and living now as a disciple of Jesus (coming out of the water). It has nothing to do with forgiveness of sin.  When he (Jesus) shed his blood on the cross is when our sin was washed out and we were make clean in the sight of our Father.
Again our back grounds clash, as I whole heartedly believe Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, he taught over and over his kingdom of which he ruled was not of this earth and he was a Rabbi/Teacher and as High Priest Offered himself as the Lamb sacrifice which was the offering for sin. He is still Jewish and still their Messiah, more Jews today are turning and accepting Jesus as their Risen Messiah then ever before and I and they await his return.  I have studied a lot in the Jewish history and Talmud.

Number 5, We do agree this Thomas was around and part of the original group that followed Jesus, so this quote is found in Matthew and Luke.
Matthew 10:26

“So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.

Luke used it twice to make a point, Luke 8:17
For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.
Luke 12:2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
When we reach our Spiritual Father who is in Heaven with my Savior Jesus that is when we will have that which is concealed made known and that which is hidden will come to light.  In this end times and yes I believe we are in the end times before his return.  We are increasing in knowledge some man made some revealed by the Holy Spirit to us. As we progress in our spiritual journey the mysteries that are hidden from in the scriptures are made known to us.  One person is not awake can read the same passages and get nothing, another who is awake will read it and it can be life changing.  Awake meaning spiritually not physically.

#6 Refers to their Jewish upbringing where they were instructed to fast at certain times and the prayers were ritual and not from the heart. Giving to charity was a new thing as they only gave to the temple and they were instructed not to eat certain foods.  Jesus was trying to let them know to not to imitate the teachers of his time but instructed them to fast but not let any one know as this is something to do and it is for revelation from the Father and when praying to do so until the Father and recognize him 1st.  Later when he gave revelation to Paul that no food was unclean as it was all created by the Father, this was a real eye opener for them as up to that time they were still only eating what Jewish law considered to be clean.

I find the Book of Thomas totally fascinating as it reinforces what Matthew, Mark and Luke and Paul,wrote also.  I even ordered the Nag Hammadi Library so I can read the other papers found.

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As an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since its inception, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Seminary grow.

St. Paul

“Master of St. Paul“. The subject and title seems a bit ironic because of St. Paul’s service and dedication to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Non the less I found this course to be informative and I enjoyed the weekly assignments. The teaching techniques used are effective in that they make the student research the course material. I do find however that Lesson 16 “Admitting that you are a Sinner”, to be more of a sermon and less of a lesson. It seems to be a bit more personal to the instructor than to the student. The lesson would be better served in my opinion if the focus on sin was from various perspectives using more study on actual transgression as in the Old Testament on the transgression of law.
However when studying the life of arguably the greatest missionary, theologian and writer of the early church this course does a good job of covering Paul as one of the most important figures in the New Testament. Paul’s gospel indicted all of humanity for the crime of rejecting God and His rightful authority. Under the influence of Adam’s sin, mankind plunged into the depths of depravity so that they were utterly unable to the righteous demands of God and deserved only the wrath of God. Consequently, the sinners only hope was the gospel which embodied God’s power to save those who had faith in Christ which was the focus of Paul’s gospel. Paul affirmed Jesus’ humanity and His deity and the fact the Jesus was a physical descendant from the from the line of David.
In his years as a Pharisee, Paul’s initial and adamant rejection of Jesus as the Messiah may largely have been motivated by Jesus’ ignorable death. Death by crucifixion was indicative of divine curse. Certainly the Messiah could not have died under the curse of God. But when Paul wrote his first epistle, this death curse was recognized as the grounds for substitutionary atonement. (Gal.3:10-14) Paul explained that the idea of a crucified Messiah was a stumbling block to the Jews. This gospel would later lead to plotting his death and several attempts on his life. Yet through all of his life’s challenges after his conversion he never spoke in anger or arrogance but always in love and patience. But he knew that he would suffer after his vision from God, “This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before Gentiles, kings and the sons of Israel. I will certainly show him how much he must suffer for MY name !”.
Paul’s missions were initially met with suspicion from Church leaders but Barnabas intervened in is behalf and when meeting with Peter and James, the Lord’s brother, and he is on his way to teach for several years. The pillars of the Church Peter, John, and James approved the no-Law gospel preached by Paul and his focus on Gentile evangelism. “No-law” of course referring to Paul and Branabas’ journey to Jerusalem to settle the circumcision matter. Still as a result of this matter, the Law-free gospel does not encourage unrighteous behavior in believers.
History tells us that Paul was probably a man of above intelligence considering his years of Rabbinic training and by his own words in Gal.1:14, “I advanced in Judaism beyond many contemporaries among my people, because I was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors”. Though zealous, his knowledge would have taken a great deal of reading, work and study. Yet after Christ appeared to him as the resurrected and glorified Christ in blinding radiance on his way to Damascus, Saul immediately surrendered to His authority and went into the city to await further orders. There his blindness was healed and he received the Holy Spirit and accepted believers baptism.
I take great solace and comfort in the example set by Paul. His amazing display of courage and faith to endure the prison’s, the death threats, ship wrecks and other situations that may have never been recorded in the annals of history are truly are a testament of his never ending faith and belief in God’s work. His gospel of salvation that is so freely given to humankind through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and our union with Jesus through faith is our liberation from sin, death, and allows us to help one another mature, to serve Christ, and glorify Him, which is the highest purpose.
I thank you once again for offering this course.
Gods blessings upon you all.
Rev. Dennis Zerull
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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.
As an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since its inception, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Seminary grow.

Druidism

For many years I have studied many sources of information on Druids and Celtic society in general. This particular course was especially useful for presenting information from several different authors and thereby allowing the reader to compare different points of view and writing style in presenting the subject. Unfortunately this work, just as all other previous writings on the subject, suffers from the same dilemma. That of the lack of direction and guidance of any real live Druids trained in the original traditions. The old ways of passing down information orally from teacher to pupil did not completely stand the test of time, disease, or the incursions of the Roman and Christian cultures into Celtic society. Therefore any knowledge we have about Druids is second hand at best and colored by the prejudiced attitudes, both for and against the Druids and their style of worship, by the authors. 
For instance, when Julius Caesar first wanted to expand the Roman influence into the area of Gaul, popular opinion was decidedly against it. His troops feared the Celtic warriors and with good reason. Their ferocity in battle was well documented and they were some of the first to start using the longer broadsword, as compared to the short-sword which was the main weapon of the Roman infantryman. They even had a larger two-handed great-sword, called a Claymore, that could only be wielded by the largest and strongest warriors. 
The Celts were tribal and war-like and always fighting among themselves so that the only ones capable of organizing them into an army that would be able to resist the Roman expansion were their Religious leaders, the Druids. Caesar began a campaign of propaganda against the Druids designed to sway public opinion against them. He exaggerated the tales of human sacrifice by the Druids in order to justify invading Gaul and civilizing the barbarians. Although the Druids did practice human sacrifice, the victims were usually ones which were caught raiding their cattle or they were chosen from the Druids themselves and were volunteers. Interesting to note is that the Romans themselves had practiced human sacrifice only about sixty years earlier. Anyway they got a real bad reputation from his propaganda.
Caesar was one-third a general, one-third an inquirer into alien faiths, and one-third a literary leader. He was capable of winning over and making friends with AEduan Diviticus the Druid, and learning from him all that he would tell him about Druidry. Eventually, however, continental Druidry would compromise itself with Rome, and so lose it’s power , despite preserving its forms and temples. In my opinion, mere ritual, without inner wisdom for guidance is just an exercise in theatrics. Unfortunately this is what modern day Druidry has degenerated into.
It was on the sacred Island of Mona (Anglesea) that the most important college of Druid learning was established. Unfortunately the Druids lost everything when the Roman governor, Suetonius Paulinus marched on Anglesea with the intent of exterminating the Druids once and for all.
They were driven out of power. Many of the Druids fled to other parts of the British Isles and their teachings were preserved only by the surviving traditions of the local peoples. Later an attempt was made by some to write down the teachings and recapture the ancient wisdom, but Druidry would never again attain the respect and prestige it held before the Roman conquest.. 
Maybe this is as it should be. When I first began my studies in Druidism I was told by some more knowledgeable than I, that the reason that the teachings were always in oral form and never written down was that the attitude of the original Druids was such that they truly believed if the teachings were MEANT to survive then they WOULD survive. I think it was also so that the Druids, like other more modern and more organized religious leaders, could retain their control over the uninitiated and uneducated.
It’s difficult for me to believe that they were so short-sighted that they couldn’t foresee the possibility that disease, attrition, famine, or a conquering army might leave them in a position where there were no qualified Druids left to continue their teachings. In any case all we are left with is remnants of the original. In our attempt to understand and practice Druidism we can’t even come close to recreating the past. All we can hope for is to create our own Druidism. In the old Gaelic tongue this is, “Arn dRiocht Fein.”
With that being said I would like to end this paper with what I’ve been taught is a universal Druid prayer:

Grant, o God, thy protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of God.
God and all goodness.


Rev. Paul D. Stow, Sr.

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The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics, as well as courses in Mystical Christianity, Buddhism and Comparative Religion. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.
As an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since its inception, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Seminary grow.

Comparative Religion

Comparative Religion Course - Universal Life Church - ULC
If we were required to write a single word essay to describe this course it would be easy. WOW!!
I have done a lot of reading and attending other religious ceremonies over my long lifetime, most of that early on in my young adult life. I can honestly say I have never seen so much information of such value in one place before. I have no doubt that I would take further courses compiled by Kythera Ann at some point in the future. I particularly appreciated the way the sections were laid out to compare various religions side by side, rather than doing separate chapters on each and expecting us to refer back.
There was nothing that I did not like about the course, except for the trouble I had in getting it all to print out for me. This resulted in my having to hand write some parts after printing out the text. This could have been a fault at my end though.
I think that the greatest thing I got out of this course was the realization that most religions seem to share so many myths and stories and traditions. Surely this cannot be coincidence. I got the feeling that all religions had the same starting point and evolved over time as people wandered and passed along their stories and beliefs, sort of like wandering minstrels.
I had believed in the existence of Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha etc, as historical individuals and great teachers elevated to saviour status. I now wonder if perhaps they are not all the same person, or to be more precise, the reincarnation of a single soul throughout time. There are just far too many similarities.
Taking this course should be required for all adults in order to help them to understand that we are truly one in this world; that all man made religions seem to lead back to one deity. We would realize that fighting our fellow man in the name of religion makes no sense when we all seem to have the same basic core values covered over with differing vegetation.
It was quite interesting to learn about all the different ceremonies of each religion as well as their “chains of command”. This did not help me to better understand how each are similar, it merely gave me a bit better understanding of how bureaucratic some can get.
The chapters dealing with angels were interesting. I have always had an interest in the realm of angels. It seems that they have played a much greater role throughout history than I could ever have imagined.
Overall, this comparative religions course was outstanding. It would be a huge benefit for all ministers to read in order to get a better understanding of, and perhaps become more tolerant of, other religious beliefs around the world.
It was well written and easy enough to understand that most lay people would be well advised to make it required reading.
I thank Kythera for all the work she obviously put into compiling this course. I have learned a great deal.
Rev. Donna Baydak
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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.


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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As an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it’s Seminary since its inception, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Seminary grow.