Universal Life Church
My Call to Ministry
My Call to Ministry
My call to ministry came thirty years ago when I was still serving in the United States Air Force in Colorado Springs, but my spiritual journey started long before. I was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and was educated in their school system through college. I was planning to follow the family tradition by becoming a Seventh-day Adventist minister as my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had been. Fortunately, I entered active military service in 1971 during the Vietnam conflict and volunteered for duty in Southeast Asia. Naturally, to honor my wishes, I was sent to Alaska. There, I began reading about Eastern philosophy and studying the Tibetan Book of the Dead. I also converted to the Catholic Faith, largely because I had been told as a child that Roman Catholics had torture chambers in their churches, preparing to torture Seventh-day Adventists, so I set out to find the torture chambers. Instead, I made some wonderful friends and discovered an inspirational form of worship. As the years passed, I continued to study Eastern religion while I attended Mass every Sunday.
In 1975, I was transferred to Colorado Springs to close down Ent Air Force Base and move on to Peterson Air Force Base. My first summer there, I had a training and was partnered with a Buddhist, who invited me to attend his worship. I did, they fed me, and I stayed for two years, while continuing to attend Mass every Sunday. Practicing Buddhism showed me a new path to the experience of God, and though I decided that I needed to explore my own tradition further, I never came all the way back. I feel that all religions have something to teach us. During my transition from Buddhism, I returned to a Protestant church, as I never fully accepted the concept of transubstantiation . I experienced what I considered a call to ministry in 1978 and returned to Northern California to attend Seminary and begin service as a Methodist minister.
I served a church for about eight years, but did not like being told where I would live and what my politics would be. It almost felt as though I never left the Air Force, so I left active ministry, still filling in as pulpit supply and doing weddings and funerals as requested. I am currently working as a history teacher and still do pulpit supply for Lutheran and Methodist churches. I am an active member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church and serve on the church board. I teach adult Sunday School and just finished an eleven week series on World Religions using Professor Huston Smith's book as a textbook. On September 3, 2007, I was formally ordained by the Universal Life Church. I support religions freedom and believe that the ULC provides an incredible forum for interfaith fellowship.
I am currently enjoying my classes at the ULC Seminary and plan to continue with my ministry as a main stream protestant minister. I do not intend to return to parish ministry, but certainly enjoy pulpit supply and performing weddings.
Rev. R Helmerson
The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.
Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free, and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.We also offer many free wedding ceremonies for your use.
The ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials. I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.
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