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 Mississippi! There are many different ways to observe Universal Day, and we'll list some of our favorite ideas below, but know this: there is no “right” way to mark this holiday. You are welcome to follow the suggestions laid out here on this page, or forge your own unique traditions. Acting in the spirit of brother and sister-hood is what is most important! Here are some ideas for how to participate:
1. Become Ordained in Mississippi
The first step, if you haven't already done so, is to become a minister with the Universal Life Church Ministries! Getting ordained is completely free and the application takes only a couple minutes to fill out. Just click the link below to get started:
2. Vote in Mississippi
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.
Unfortunately, most voters in Mississippi are ineligible to receive absentee ballots, even if they are observing a religious holiday like you. There are a couple of other factors, however, that could qualify you to receive an absentee ballot. Feel free to explore the web page linked below to determine whether or not you meet these requirements are are eligible to make this request. If you are, complete and return that application as quickly as possible to ensure it is processed in time. For those that do not qualify to receive an absentee ballot, if you feel that you can safely do so, we would still encourage you to honor Universal Day by casting your vote at a physical polling location near you so you can ensure that your voice is heard.
Voter Registration Details
- In-person Registration Deadline: 10/4/2020
- Mail Registration Deadline: Postmarked 10/4/2020
- Online Registration Deadline: Not Available
- 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
If you are voting in-person, 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 any 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 and 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 with a clear head and a clear 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 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 a perfect way to mark Universal Day. No matter which higher power(s) you choose to speak to (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
Any successful community requires individuals to work together for a common purpose. While a single voice can be powerful, the noise of a collective group is much harder to ignore. As part of Universal Day, consider taking on a larger role in your community by helping out those in need or banding together with other like minded folks to demand change. If you haven’t yet done so, be sure to connect 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.