Universal Day is a newly-created official religious holiday of the ULC. On November 3, we encourage our ministers to observe this exciting occasion in Alabama! There are many different ways you can choose to take part in Universal Day. We'll list some of our favorite ideas below; just know that there is no “right” way to mark this holiday. You're certainly welcome to follow the ideas laid out here on this page, or forge your own unique traditions. Acting in the spirit of Universal Day is what’s most important! Here are some suggestions for how to participate:
1. Become Ordained in Alabama
The first step, if you haven’t already done so, is to get ordained through the Universal Life Church Ministries! Becoming a minister is completely free and the application takes only a few moments to fill out. Just click the link below to get started:
2. Vote in Alabama
Participating in the democratic process is one of the most direct ways to make your voice heard, which makes it the perfect activity for Universal Day.
Some residents of Alabama are qualified to vote using an absentee ballot this year. These reasons range from being a member of the military, to work or caregiver status. While there is not a specific religious exemption to receive an absentee ballot, you may qualify under one of the other categories. Take a look at the applications linked below to determine whether or not you will be eligible to receive an absentee ballot, and make sure you complete and send this to the address provided as soon as possible! If you don't qualify to receive an absentee ballot, you will need to visit a physical polling place to cast your ballot.
Voter Registration Details
- In-person Registration Deadline: 10/19/2020
- Mail Registration Deadline: 10/19/2020
- Online Registration Deadline: 10/19/2020
- Election-Day Registration: Not Allowed
Register to Vote
In case you're not yet registered to vote, you can do so using the link below!
Taking Time Off Work
Since you are required to cast your ballot in-person, please be careful to follow all necessary safety precautions recommended by the CDC and your local public health authority. If you are employed, your employer should provide reasonable accommodations to allow you to vote either during an early voting period, or on election day. If for some reason your employer is not willing to make such accommodations, you can request the day off to observe Universal Day as a religious holiday. Under federal law, employers are forbidden from discriminating based on religion, so they are generally willing to work with employees to allow them time off to observe religious holidays. Whether you’ve got your ballot in hand or you are standing in a polling box, voting your convictions is your duty, regardless of your political views.
3. Write to Elected Officials
Another great way to participate in Universal Day is to write elected officials that represent you and let them know where you stand on issues that are important to you. You can also politely bring attention to areas where you think they could be doing a better job. Remember: they may be public figures, but they work for you. If they’re not upholding their promises, you should feel empowered to let them know about it! You can write to your elected representatives using the contact information below.
4. Meditate or Pray
Getting in touch with your spiritual side is another great way to mark Universal Day. No matter which higher power(s) you choose to commune with (even if it’s none at all – that’s fine too!), taking some time alone to meditate or pray can help you center yourself. Reflect on how you’re feeling and refocus your energy on what’s important to you. There is much work to be done, but as crusaders for change, we’re most effective when we are feeling fully charged – spiritually and mentally.
5. Help Build Community
Communities require individuals to work together for a common purpose in order to be successful. While a solo voice can be powerful, a chorus of voices is much harder to ignore. As part of Universal Day, you might consider taking on a larger role in your community to help out those in need, or banding together with other like-minded individuals to demand change. One way to do this is by simply connecting with your fellow ULC members on social media!
Direct action can take on various forms. In the digital world, you can work with others to grow online petitions and put pressure on legislators to enact better policies. If you’re comfortable going out in the community, consider participating in protest efforts (while taking care to abide by public health guidelines), or reach out to local organizations that need volunteers. No matter how you choose to observe Universal Day, we urge you to stay true to its underlying ideals and never hesitate to stand up for what you believe in.