Philosophy

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I can legally perform weddings in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in the State of New Jersey!  I was not ordained just to perform weddings.  I did not receive my ordination online.  I am ordained by the United Church of Christ; this progressive Protestant denomination is recognized legally within Pennsylvania as a 'regularly established church.'    I perform civil or religious ceremonies, at my discretion and am not limited by the tradition I was ordained in.  Within Pennsylvania, I am authorized to "solemnize marriages between persons that produce a marriage license issued under this part: a minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation." (Paraphrase of PA Marriage Law 1503 (A) (6).  I am also able to perform weddings in New Jersey. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts.  I received my Masters of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary, a seminary of the United Church of Christ, located in Lancaster, PA.  I have completed additional advanced training (1600 hours of Clinical Pastoral Education) as required for my professional work as a Healthcare Chaplain.  I have all of the current clearances to work with children in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.    I regularly participate in peer review and educational programs for my own personal growth and professional development. I have worked as a chaplain in a variety of healthcare institutions, including hospital, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, continuing care retirement communities, hospice and mental health settings.  In my professional work as a chaplain I was responsible for assisting others with their spiritual needs.   I encouraged those I cared for to use what they believed in, not what I believed in.  I supported patients and families who had no spiritual or faith beliefs or practices as well.   Meaning and emotion, value and hope can be found and recognized by all of us.  I use this same approach when working with couples, families and individuals to plan and create meaningful rituals and ceremonies. -Stephanie

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