Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just Call Me Reverend

Well, it's official, I guess. My mid-life crises must have struck (I just turned 33, you know), because I signed up online to become an ordained minister. As always, I blame others for this strange predicament. =)

In fact, I blame AceoHearts most of all, because he's the one who suggested it to me. Somehow, he got it into his mind that I'm responsible for his current engagement with JBBK, and even went so far as to propose at a letterboxing event this last weekend. If there was to ever be a letterboxing wedding, this would be it!

And he e-mailed me this crazy idea that maybe I could preside over the ceremony. It's a crazy idea--the fool!--but it got me curious about the whole idea of what exactly is an "ordained minister." I suspect most of us have seen that episode of Friends when Joey becomes and ordained minister, but that's just TV, right? He was probably joking, anyhow.

But out of a morbid curiosity, I started doing some Googling about what exactly is an ordained minister and what does it take to become one?

The answers I found were shocking. Just click a few mouse buttons, type in your name and address, and presto, you too can become an ordained minister in mere seconds. No classes, no tests, absolutely free.

So why not? I filled out my name and address, clicked submit, and I am now an official ordained minister, and can legally perform marriages. Well, there might be some other hoops I have to jump through before I can do an actual wedding--crossing T's and dotting I's and such, but in theory, it seems that I really can legally perform weddings in most of the country.

After filling out my information and clicking the submit button, a window popped up with the "receipt of credentials"--mostly just proof that I submitted the form--and it says:

This is to certify that the bearer hereof
Reverend Ryan Carpenter
has been ordained this Monday the 14th of July 2008 11:15:22PM
and has all rights and privileges to perform all duties of the Ministry.

So there you have it. It's official. I'm a revenend. An ordained minister. And folks, this ain't no episode of Friends!

Now you're probably wondering if I actually plan to preside over any weddings.... I can only imagine that a fool would want me to preside over their wedding, but hey, I'll give it due consideration.

So what did you do for your birthday. =)

Back in April of 2001, I read a small blurb about letterboxing in Backpacker magazine. It was hardly a mention, with probably less than two inches of type. Little did I realize how that blurb would change my life. I met Amanda through letterboxing. I started Atlas Quest and somehow managed to scratch a living off of it. And now.... it's led me to this. Becoming an ordined minister.

Where will letterboxing lead me next.....?


Anonymous said...

Maybe now you don't have to pay taxes. I'd check it out!

Danny said...

Well, wherever letterboxing takes you, know that you have enhanced and changed for the better, the lives of countless people. (OK, so you probably could count them)

Thank you Reverend Ryan

Anonymous said...

I once attended a wedding aboard a tourist boat in Duluth harbor presided over by a woman who was mail order ordained by the Friends of the United Church of Kindness. It said so right on the license.

P.S. Don't read that too carefully.

Anonymous said...

Since we're already married we won't need your wedding services. But when we are ready to go to the big rubbermaid box in the sky, you could wear your reverend green robes and put our ashes into a letterbox, while leading the chorus and collecting the contributions.
Grumpy Grinch

dbltall said...

I agree with Grumpy Grinch, and would like the ability to pre-purchase a headstone with a hiding place in it for a letterbox. No reason why people still shouldn't be able to exchange with me just because I'm boxing in the Elysian Fields ;)

(and it would ensure that my grave was visited regularly ;)

Anonymous said...

i can so see my kids saying no, no mom you can not get a headstone with a built in letterbox. and no we won't maintain it........

gives a totally new picture to things....rev. green one........


AceoHearts said...

It was a sincere request. Does this mean you will perform the ceremony?


Anonymous said...

jeeves and I had this conversation once while looking for a letterbox in a cemetery! I'd like one of those concrete tree stump things right next to my headstone where you could slide off the top and hide the box inside. And I agree, if anyone could count the "countless" lives you've enhanced, Ryan, it would be you! Hey, you know what they say...find what you're good at and stick to it!
Mama Huntin Dog
(who was there for the proposal...he went on bended knee and everything! We were all crying by the end of it!)

wassamatta_u said...

Makes a certain amount of sense, I guess... after all, wasn't Jesus a Carpenter too?

snapdragon said...

holy smokes! uh...I guess Congratulations Reverend are in order. ;)

It does seem fitting for you to marry Ace and JBBK...they did meet on AQ, they got enganged at a letterboxing event---which I was there to touching...I'm so happy for them both!
so...they should be married by a letterboxer--and the icing on the (wedding) cake would be if it is you! :)

I hope to be invited to the wedding!! (hint hint JBBK!)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Ryan!! Reverend Green Tortuga. Change your profile name now. lol. You have so many guru, lber, tour guide, hiker, .....on and Reverend. The sky is the limit!? Do you own a pair of wings?
I could use some counseling.....
Okie Dog

Anonymous said...

Does this mean we can have another event??? WooHoo. I'm sure there will be a betting pool on how many cooties the Rev can slip in on the Happy couple during the ceremony or would that be kosher??? Hmmmm

JBBK said...

snapdragon said: "I hope to be invited to the wedding!! (hint hint JBBK!)"

Of course, all of my Lb friends will be invited...Hoosiers, Buckeyes, New Yorkers, Kentuckians, come one -- come all!

Pioneer Spirit said...

I could not resist the temptation, I too am now a Reverend.

I shall now use my pulpit to wage war on those that transgress to slowly in the fast lane.

Anonymous said...

I've been ordained for many years now, and have even presided over a wedding (my brother & sister-in-law's). My own wedding certificate was signed by a mail-order minister, my darling husband's best friend from high school. She's the one who suggested I become a minister, too.

Welcome to the fold!

The Reverend TurtleMcQ

Anonymous said...

So now when I bust my finger I can say Holly Tortuga instead of a body function! ;) T

Anonymous said...

Just like Chris on Northern Exposure. He became a minister from an ad in the back of Rolling Stone magazine.

Kayak Bandit said...

The Rev

So when you preach, are you more like Billy Graham or Jeremiah Wright?

Kayak Bandit

Anonymous said...

I too am Now an Ordained minister! Oh..Should I change my name on the trails to Rev. Booker T Rex! :0)

Anonymous said... I seeing right? Do I win a prize????
Hey, all, if you will look at the top of this page, you will read the usual stuff, but....look again. Do you see what I barely see? I attend, boxes I've found or anything
worthy that has something to do with Letterboxing!!!!!rofl
That is just plain funnn ny!!
You are a card, Ryan.
Thanks for the laugh. er...snicker, mustn't rile up the new rev. Don't want to start out on the wrong foot.

O Dog

Lisa said...

Some anonymous friend or friends signed me up as a minister with the Universal Life Church (the classic mail order ministry), and years later I had the pleasure of marrying my friend Lyn and Uri.

Lyn wrote the ceremony. I just made it legal (and it isn't in every state). She had such a meaningful experience crafting a wedding that would honor all the faiths of the assorted family members, that she decided to attend seminary, and now Lyn is a minister in the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Of course, I could have killed her when I realized that she hadn't told a single member of her family how bogus my credentials were. It made for some terribly awkward conversations at the reception.

Anonymous said...

Oh, shoot, I think that says newsworthy, instead. Letterboxing is fun lights up and covers the letters some. Darn, oh well...

Anonymous said...

Bless me, Father Ryan, for I have sinned...

(not that it comes as a surprise)

dianesteelequilts said...

Wow, look at all the posts! Our daughter is a Rev. too, same way you became one and she's 'officiated' at a couple of her friend's weddings. She's also a wedding photographer and it comes in handy when the REAL minister doesn't show up and the next wedding party is waiting to use the facilities. (Really happened!) Her other duties include making sure the marriage license is in order, witnessing the reuqired signatures and getting the license to the proper authorities within 10 days of the wedding. You can handle that Ryan, can't you?

Mn8X said...

JBBK & AceoHearts first met on International Plant a Letterbox Day 2008 and got engaged at the OHmazing Race event; I hosted both of those. Am I responsible for hosting the wedding too?
Cool! When are you free Rev. Tortuga?

JBBK said...


I knew there was a reason I liked you! lol

Seriously, you are soooo great at planning things...wanna help? :~)

Anonymous said...

All this talk of letterboxing in cemetaries reminds me of deniserows' gorgeous 8-box series, This and Taxes, set in the many and multicultural cemetaries of Colma (where the dead of San Francisco rest). The Chinese one, the Japanese one, the Jewish one, the Italian one, the Serbian one, the pet one, the vet one (whoops, that l'il soldier's gone missing due to some military-style pruning). And deniserows is not the only graveyard planter- FilmFanTan's Harold & Maude series also has a cemetary letterbox.

What is it with you people?

Anyway Ryan congrats on your reverence. I think the tax aspect bears looking into- if you have to travel to a wedding, say, and have only a small offset for your fee, hmm, might be some deductions there?
Hey I am now doing a series, Our Lady of the Letterbox, for those who are religiously inclined..

Anonymous said...

Well, you've been REVERED for quite some time. Now I guess you can make it official. Maybe you can take over the Church of Elvis in Portland. I married Jeff Cebula there....I still have the plastic skull ring to prove it.

who is now worried she might be a polygimist...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

A Letterboxing Wedding Event would be cool. Just think, everyone would bring their own food and drink with enough to share! Ohh, the money they could save! Think of all their "exchanges" that they would actually love to do!