“Love Is Law!”
As an Open and Affirming Church of the United Church of Christ (#795), with ministries to diverse communities in Anoka County, we are proud to celebrate—with our LGBT sisters and brothers—the right to choose in our lives the partners we love. This is a reason to celebrate—together—it is a gain for so many, at the cost of no one who truly loves as Christ loved.
Weddings at First Congregational UCC Anoka are delightful events!
As fully ordained ministers in the United Church of Christ (UCC), our Minister performs ceremonies for both opposite-gender and same-gender couples, with equal joy in marrying “those whom God has joined together.” Our “weddings” are fully licensed weddings, before not only God, but also community and state.
We enjoy doing the ceremony. The practice is to meet with each couple individually at least two times, to discuss their plans, get to know them as people (if we don’t already), and work with them to construct a service that reflects their own individual style and identity. We usually begin with a basic layout of elements, drawn from the UCC Book of Worship, which itself offers choices in liturgy. With this as a backdrop, we then add, subtract, combine, enhance, replace or otherwise embellish — or simplify — the service, according to the couple’s own wishes. A variety of vows are offered to “prime the pump” of ideas. Couples may then choose or recombine from a multitude of options either offered by us, or researched by themselves, or write their own vows – as they wish. We have an excellent keyboardist on Church Staff, who plays both piano and organ, in a variety of styles and repertoires. If he is not available, we offer other options. We are also open to using outside music sources that the couple may request, including recorded music.
A second meeting (or third, if necessary) with the Pastor, along with our Church Wedding Assistant, helps to set the couples’ plans, so they may proceed with invitations, etc. Although our Church Wedding Assistant may respond to a need for further follow-up, if necessary, responsibilities of this position are onsite during the rehearsal and the wedding only, but do not extend to additional wedding planning or coordinating.
Although no pre-marriage sessions are required outside of two to three wedding planning sessions, we do offer the option of a five session pre-marriage consultation program, for an additional stipend, offered by our Minister. These sessions are best scheduled to begin around six months before the wedding, so that appropriate focus may be given the relationship, not just the wedding. Pre-marriage consultations begin with an inventory which is tabulated, and the results shared in discussion over a period of time. These consultations are best explained in person by the pastor, upon request. Completion of the full 5-sessions grants the couple a reduction in marriage license fees charged by the State. Please see the Minnesota Statutes webpage for information regarding licensing fees, and appropriate requirements for your particular MN county.