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Who Is Jim Burch

Everyone deserves a marriage ceremony which is focused on celebrating the love they share. I know that God loves everybody equally - no matter their religion or denomination. I honor every religion, every denomination, or none. God loves us all the same.

I have been officiating weddings for 20 years. After the first one, it took off like a snowball rolling downhill, and I now get over two thousand requests each year to officiate, can only do about 100 to 130 per year. I have had the honor of celebrating over 2,500 weddings.

If you might be interested in thinking about this "religion" topic further, below is an explanation of how this wedding ministry views denominations and various religions. Perhaps the first thing to remember, though, is an Aramaic (the language Jesus spoke) saying from Jesus' day: "we breathe in and out the universe." In other words, we are here for the experiences of THIS life. And we get that by existing - no matter the religion we may or may not belong to. The "work of God" IS the human being experiencing life.

At the beginning of this third millennium, there are many, many religions and many, many expressions of Christianity - from fundamentalist to progressive. Within Protestantism, there are many denominations, with about 450 million members. Within the Catholic portion of Christianity, there are now about 200 different rites (the same thing as "denominations" in Protestantism). The largest, of course, is the Roman rite, with about 1 billion members. The Eastern Orthodox Church has about 300 million members (2 million or so in the United States). The Eastern Orthodox have not been in communion with Rome for the last 900 years, but are as "Catholic" as "Catholics." About half the Catholic rites now in existence are in communion with Rome, and half are not. All Christians - Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox - adhere to the essentials of the Gospels of Jesus. The non-essentials that separate the various Christian denominations are relatively unimportant ... they are differences that arose after the time of Christ, of the Apostles, of the New Testament writers and of the Early Church. They are differences that might have made little difference to the earliest disciples of Christ.

I am the principal bishop of the Catholic Dioceses of One Spirit (www.OneSpiritCatholic.org). This organization is not clerical, not institutional, not heavily structured, and is attuned to living the beauty of the Christ-Message, rather than enforcing stiff rules. Many of its priests are also ministers in other religions as well - because the "little stuff" doesn't matter. I am one of literally thousands upon thousands who felt that the beautiful spirituality and liturgies of the church had simply acquired too much baggage for a great many people, the church seemed to have become a gatekeeper to keep people out rather than welcome them in. There were too many categories of people who were not welcome, whereas Christ had no barriers to anybody at all. There were dogmas and doctrines hardened in stone, despite the fact that few thought in the references anymore that those dogmas and doctrines were framed in. There were too many rules and regulations for what you had to do and what you had to think to avoid going to hell, whereas Christ simply showed that God was Love in which we participate, told stories and asked people what they thought (he respected them wherever they were), and gave ideals to live by, rather than criteria to avoid "hell." So, we thought, could we do less? It seemed like a pretty good set of principles to return to. This Wedding Ministry follows those principles.

Jim is married to Patty, a nurse. They have five adult children and twelve grandchildren. Jim brings an interesting business background to his spiritual work. He was a real estate developer for many years in decades past and the original developer of what is now National Harbor, was the founding Chairman of the World Trade Center Washington, DC, and press secretary to then-Senator Joe Biden.