Universal Day is a newly-created official religious holiday of the ULC. On November 3, we encourage you to take part by celebrating this exciting occasion in Louisiana! There are so many different ways you can observe Universal Day, and we've put together a list of some of our favorite ideas below. Even though we have added our suggestions, there is no “right” way to mark this holiday. You are welcome to follow the ideas laid out here on this page, or forge your own unique traditions according to what moves you. Embracing the spirit of brother and sister-hood is what is most important! Here are some ideas we have gathered for how to participate:
1. Become Ordained in Louisiana
The first step to take, if you haven't already, is to get ordained with the Universal Life Church Ministries! Becoming an ordained minister is completely free and the application takes only a couple of minutes to fill out. Just click the link we have included below to get started:
2. Vote in Louisiana
As individuals, it sometimes feels like we may not have the power to create change. It is important to remember we can elect leaders who are ready and willing to actualize our visions of a better future. Casting a vote is the single most straightforward way to make your individual voice and demands heard by those in positions of power. We acknowledge these are not normal times, but as a part of Universal Day, we encourage all to take part in the democratic process by still filling out a ballot.
Some voters in Louisiana are able to request and receive an absentee ballot to make their voices heard. While there is not a specific exemption allowing for a person to receive their absentee ballot for religious reasons, like celebrating Universal Day, there are a couple of other qualifying factors relating to employment, health, etc. for which you may be eligible. Explore the application linked below to determine whether or not you qualify to receive an absentee ballot. If you do, be sure to complete and submit this as soon as you are able. If you do not qualify, you will need to visit a physical polling place to cast your ballot. If you do go this route, please do your best to adhere to all safety recommendations to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Voter Registration Details
- In-person Registration Deadline: 10/4/2020
- Mail Registration Deadline: Postmarked 10/4/2020
- Online Registration Deadline: 10/14/2020
- 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
Taking the time to vote is so important. Make sure you follow all necessary safety precautions recommended by the CDC and your local public health authority when you go to the polling location. As an employee you should be provided reasonable accommodations to allow you to vote either during an early voting period, or on election day per your employers policy. In the unusual circumstance your employer is not willing to make 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 and are therefore generally willing to work with employees to grant them time off to observe religious holidays. When you are standing in a polling box, voting your convictions with a clear head and heart is one of the most important things you can do.
3. Write to Elected Officials
Another great way to participate in Universal Day is to write a letter to the elected officials that represent you. Let them know where you stand on the issues, and 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 can feel empowered to let them know about it! Write to your elected representatives during Universal Day using the contact information below.
4. Meditate or Pray
Taking a little time for self care in the form of meditation or prayer can help you to center yourself. Give yourself permission to get in touch with your spiritual side. No matter which higher power(s) you choose to speak to (even if it’s none at all), taking some time to refocus your energy on what’s important to you is a perfect way to celebrate Universal Day. We all know there is much work to be done, but we are all most effective when we are feeling fully charged – spiritually and mentally.
5. Help Build Community
All successful communities require individuals to work together for a common goal. While single voices have potential to be powerful, the roar of a collective group is much harder to ignore. As part of your celebration of Universal Day, consider a larger role in your community. Volunteer to help out those in need or band together with other like minded folks to demand change. A great place to look for a like minded community is within the ranks of 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.