Mark a spot on your calendars! The Universal Life Church Ministries is creating a new holiday, Universal Day, and we're inviting all our members in New York to join us in celebrating the occasion on November 3. There are all sorts of ways to participate – check out the guide below for ideas on how to observe exciting event in your area.

1. Become Ordained in New York

Have you taken the opportunity to become ordained yet? In case you haven't, that's a great starting point! The Universal Life Church Ministries is proud to make ordination free and easy with a simple process on our website for anyone who feels so-called. The application itself takes only a couple minutes to fill out; if you're interested, just click the button below to get started!

2. Vote in New York

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
New York Hero, Elizabeth Cady Stanton

As individuals, we may not have the power to change the world overnight, but we can certainly vote for and elect leaders who are willing to actualize reforms. Casting a vote is the most effective way to make your voice and demands made clear to the powers that be. We recognize these are far from normal times, but as part of Universal Day, we'd encourage you to get involved in the democratic process by filling out a ballot.

New York State has recently updated its guidelines to make clear than any person is now eligible to receive an absentee ballot in hopes of preventing the spread of COVID-19. While there is not an explicit religious exemption that would allow you to request an absentee ballot so you can celebrate Universal Day, you may meet a number of the other requirements: including fear of temporary illness or disability like COVID-19. Using the application linked below you can ask New York to send you an absentee ballot so you can safely cast your vote from home! You'll have to send in an application to receive that ballot, and you should do that soon. Below you'll find a link directly to the application. Please do remember to send in your ballot in a timely fashion to ensure it gets tallied on Universal Day!

Voter Registration Details

  • In-person Registration Deadline: 10/9/2020
  • Mail Registration Deadline: Received 10/14/2020
  • Online Registration Deadline: 10/9/2020
  • Election-Day Registration: Not Allowed

Register to Vote

Haven't had a chance to register to vote? It may not be too late – click on the link below to get registered:

Taking Time Off Work

Although these are obviously not ideal times to be casting ballots in-person, public health officials have provided safety measures that will help people stay healthy when voting. On this Universal Day, please follow those guidelines if you’ll be casting a vote at a physical polling location. Employers are also required to make certain accommodations to their employees – such as the ability to participate in the voting process. If you're not familiar with how that works, talk with the HR department (or equivalent) to better understand what your workplace policy is. If for whatever reason they refuse your request for time off to vote, we'd encourage you to remind your employer about the laws governing reasonable accommodations for religious holidays. As an official religious holiday, your employer should be flexible in allowing you to celebrate Universal Day on November 3. Regardless of who or what you vote for, consider this a friendly reminder to make sure those choices are in-line with your personal values and are made freely with a conscious mind.

3. Write to Elected Officials

The work doesn't end with voting! Once you've taken that important step, consider other strategies for making your voice heard – like contacting the elected officials that represent you. Establish a line of communication with these folks directly and let them know what policies you support to bring about positive change in the world. In order to make this process as simple as possible, we've built a database of contact information for elected officials. Just enter your zip code below to see who represents you and how best to contact them!

4. Meditate or Pray

Making your voice heard in the outside world is undoubtedly important, but don't forget the power of getting connected with your inner self. Often, setting aside time to refocus your mind and restore your energy can be the key to manifesting change in the world. Whether that activity takes the form of prayer, meditation, or another mental exercise entirely – don't neglect the power of your inner self as a catalyst for success. With so much work to be done, it’s imperative you take all possible measures to ensure positive action – and having your mind and body on the same page is central to that effort.

5. Help Build Community

By becoming a member of the Universal Life Church Ministries, you have already demonstrated a strong propensity for leadership. We’re inspired daily by the work that our ministers undertake in their communities, and it is our sincere hope that Universal Day creates an additional platform to further vital organizing and community-building efforts. On that score, we encourage you to connect with your fellow ULCM members to join forces in this fight:

Individuals pushing for change can always make an impact, but by working together toward a common goal you help to boost the reach and effectiveness of your efforts.