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Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, and thank you for for your interest in FAC’s or Pastor Jon’s services. Regardless of whether Pastor Jon or FAC participates in your wedding, we truly desire God’s best for you and a blessed and happy marriage should God lead you in that direction.
We hope to answer a few questions you may have. If you need more information contact Pastor Jon at FerndaleAllianceChurch@frontier.com or call 360 384 4279
“Pastor, will you marry us?”
“Maybe” is the short answer. Pastor Jon usually does ceremonies with those whom he knows, or is “getting to know.” Just “doing weddings” isn’t part of Pastor Jon’s ministry or job description. Rather, Pastor Jon is committed and concerned with healthy, stable, and growing marriages, of which the wedding is just one day. However, he will at times assist couples whom he doesn’t yet know well.
There are several things Jon requires of couples who wish for him to work with them as they prepare for their special day.
The couple needs to understand that Pastor Jon is a Christian, a Christian pastor of a Christian church, and does Christian weddings. He assumes and expects that a couple coming to him desire a Christian pastor and wedding because they themselves are either Christians or on their way toward following the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The ceremony and wedding vows he uses don’t work well for folks who don’t believe or don’t both feel yet like they wish to make Christ Lord and Savior and Center of their homes. If you wish to meet Pastor Jon to understand how to have (or renew) a relationship with God, he is more than happy to meet with you!
The couple needs to attend a local church (hopefully, together!). We believe that marriages are about communities and relationships. It isn’t “just about 2 people.” Of course, many, many marriages succeed and thrive without the benefit of a Christian, church community. However, we think belonging and being involved in a community of faith is God’s desire and ideal.
Pastor Jon and our church believe in chastity (sexual abstinence) before marriage, and faithfulness in marriage. Regardless of the level of sexual intimacy and practice in the past, if Pastor Jon performs the wedding ceremony he asks that couples live, going forth, as chaste and unmarried (celibate, and not living together) until your wedding day. (Pastor Jon is happy to discuss unique situations in which this might not be possible, especially if a de-facto family (shared children) has already been built and there has been long-term cohabitation.)
Pastor Jon requires premarital counseling with couples. This usually requires, at the minimum, 3 months time before the wedding or (preferably) more. Usually, there are 5-6 sessions. The primary goal of these counseling sessions is to assist as much as possible in the preparation of a happy, successful, and lasting marriage. Sometimes Jon does the counseling, other times he may arrange the couple to meet with another family/marriage/pre-marriage counselor.
Jon does not have a “set fee” for his wedding services and feels it is part of his work as pastor with Ferndale Alliance Church. However, it is generally customary and proper to provide an honorarium, the amount being chosen by the couple. Also, if wedding or reception is held at Ferndale Alliance Church there would be a reasonable charge to manage janitorial needs, utilities, and set up.
We hope this is helpful. Pastor Jon, at times, can be flexible on these requirements in special, unique situations. These are guiding principles for him and our church, not rigid and inflexible laws. If you have any questions, contact him.
Also, if you are still looking for an officiant to do a wedding, you can Google “Whatcom County Marriage Officiant” which will lead you to some resources. Or try searching “life celebrant.”