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 New Jersey! There are many different ways to observe Universal Day, and we'll list some of our favorite ideas below, but know that there is no “correct” way to mark this holiday. You are more than welcome to follow the suggestions laid out here on this page, or if you'd rather, forge your own unique traditions! Acting in the spirit of brother and sister-hood is the most important thing. Below are some ideas for how you might get involved:
1. Become Ordained in New Jersey
The first step, if you haven't already done so, is get ordained with Universal Life Church Ministries! Becoming a minister is completely free and the application takes only a couple minutes to fill out. Just click the link below to begin:
2. Vote in New Jersey
Participating in the democratic process is one of the best ways to make your voice heard, which happens to also make it the perfect activity for Universal Day!
If you are a registered voter in New Jersey you can request an absentee ballot by completing an application on the state government’s website. We've included a direct link below so you don't have to go hunting for it. New Jersey law says voters don't need to provide a reason for requesting an absentee ballot, but you should request it as soon as possible. There are also some key dates that will be important to remember -- you'll find those listed here on this page. One other important note to keep in mind: state election officials always recommend sending in your ballot early to account for any potential delays.
Voter Registration Details
- In-person Registration Deadline: 10/13/2020
- Mail Registration Deadline: Postmarked 10/13/2020
- Online Registration Deadline: Not Available
- Election-Day Registration: Not Allowed
Register to Vote
In case you're not yet registered to vote, we'd encourage you to do so using the link below!
Taking Time Off Work
If you are voting in-person, take care to follow all necessary safety precautions recommended by the CDC and your local public health authority. For those currently employed, your employer should give you reasonable accommodations to allow for voting either during an early voting period, or on election day. However, if for any reason your employer is unwilling 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 typically will allow employees time off to observe religious holidays. Regardless of how you choose to cast your ballot, voting your convictions with a clear head and a clear heart is the most important thing.
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. Tell them how you feel about the issues, and where you believe they could be doing a better job. Remember: they may be public figures, but ultimately they work for you. If these folks aren't upholding their campaign promises, you should feel empowered to let them know about it! You can write to your elected representatives using the information available below.
4. Meditate or Pray
Getting in touch with your spiritual side is a wonderful 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 time to pray or meditate can be instrumental in helping to center yourself, reflect, and refocus your mind on what’s important to you. There is much work to be done, but change is most effective when its crusaders are fully charged – mentally and spiritually.
5. Help Build Community
Any successful community effort requires working together for a common goal. While a single voice can be impactful, a collective group of voices is much harder to ignore. As part of Universal Day, embrace a larger role in your community by helping out those in need or banding together with other folks to demand change. And, if you haven’t yet done so, make sure to connect with your fellow ULC members via social media!
Direct action can take on various forms. In the digital world, you can collaborate with others to make online petitions and put pressure on legislators to enact improved policies. If you're comfortable going out in public, consider joining in protest efforts (while taking care to abide by public health guidelines), or talk with local organizations and see if they need volunteers. No matter how you choose to observe Universal Day, we encourage you to stay true to its underlying ideals and always stand up for what you believe in.