The Universal Life Church is proud to announce a new official religious holiday: Universal Day. The first annual Universal Day will be held on November 3, 2020 and we encourage all of our members in Connecticut to take part in this special occasion! Universal Day can be observed in many different ways, and you’ll find a few great tips for how to do so in Connecticut in the guide below. That said, there is no “correct” way to celebrate this holiday. If none of the suggestions included on this page resonate with you, feel free to come up with your own activities or create your own holiday traditions. However you decide to celebrate, just make sure that it remains true to the ideals behind Universal Day. Check out the list of ideas below for some inspiration!
1. Become Ordained in Connecticut
Step one in the celebration process is to get ordained and become a member of the Universal Life Church Ministries! For those not in the know, the ordination process is entirely free and the online application (found on our website and at the link below) takes just a few minutes to complete. Follow this link to become an official ULCM member:
2. Vote in Connecticut
Voting has always been used as a force for change. By voicing support for a collective vision of the future, we as individuals can help society realize its higher aims. Engaging in this important process by casting a vote is one of the best ways to take action on Universal Day.
If you live in Connecticut and are registered to vote there, you can ask your state to send you an absentee ballot so you can safely vote from home! You'll have to apply with your state to receive that ballot -- you'll find that application linked below. There is a cutoff date, so you should make that ballot request soon! Connecticut does require that you provide a reason for requesting an absentee ballot this year, and we would encourage you to indicate on that application that you are a member of the Universal Life Church Ministries hoping to observe Universal Day by making your voice heard safely from your home. Please do remember to return your ballot in a timely manner to ensure it gets tallied on Universal Day!
Voter Registration Details
- In-person Registration Deadline: 10/27/2020
- Mail Registration Deadline: Postmarked 10/27/2020
- Online Registration Deadline: 10/27/2020
- Election-Day Registration: Yes, In-Person
Register to Vote
In the event you aren't already a registered voter in Connecticut, we'd encourage you to follow the link below to sign up!
Taking Time Off Work
If you’ll be casting your vote at a physical polling location, please abide closely by the advice of public health authorities and medical experts to ensure you can participate safely in Universal Day. Should you happen to be scheduled to work on that day and are concerned you may not have time to cast your vote, keep in mind that most employers will be flexible and provide accommodations to allow you to perform this important civic duty. However, if for some reason they are resistant to giving you time to go and vote, you should know that laws around work exemptions for religious holidays are quite firm. You can inform your employer that you will be observing a religious holiday, Universal Day, on November 3rd, and request accommodations from them in order to celebrate. Your vote counts! Make sure that whichever way you cast your ballot, you do so in alignment with your own beliefs and values.
3. Write to Elected Officials
Going to the ballot box is just one way to push for the change we wish to see in the world. Another great way to participate in Universal Day is to reach out directly to the elected officials who represent you and let them know where you stand on the issues. You can make a phone call, write an email, or send a letter to their office with a message you think they should hear from you, as a constituent. They might be the one holding office and making decisions, but don’t let them forget what the purpose of that position is: to act as an advocate for those they represent and to put their constituents' views into action. In case you don’t have their contact information on hand, we’ve gathered it in a database for you. Just input your zip code below to learn how to get in touch with your representatives on Universal Day!
4. Meditate or Pray
Sometimes change must come from within. Connecting with your inner self can be a highly effective strategy for channeling your energy and deciding on a goal or activity for your external self to pursue. Set aside a chunk of time to spend alone and meditate, pray, or otherwise get in touch with the forces of the universe you find power and truth in. Hope and change grow from the seeds of mental clarity and consciousness. Upon reflection, challenges which once appeared daunting may seem solvable after all.
5. Help Build Community
There’s a famous saying: “may you live in interesting times.” It would be hard to argue against the accuracy of that proclamation. Now, perhaps more loudly than ever before in our lifetimes, the world is calling out for positive change – the kind that can only be achieved by humanity working together towards a common goal. To mark Universal Day, think about ways you can get involved in your local community to make a difference in the lives of others and demand real change from those in power. As part of this effort, don’t forget to connect on social media with other members of the ULCM family who are active in the fight:
Digital technology has knocked down the barriers to direct action, giving anyone with access to the internet the power to participate in larger movements. If that’s where you’re most comfortable, consider starting an online petition and put pressure on lawmakers to spark reform. If you’d rather get your feet on the pavement, you could take part in a protest in your area (following all recommended safety guidelines, of course), or seek out organizations in your area that are asking for volunteers. And remember – this is by no means an exhaustive list of how to get involved. Regardless of what participation in Universal Day looks like to you, we are all capable of effecting change in the world.