Free Church of the Hieros Gamos (Divine Marriage)
Formed May 19, 2013 4:44am
Jamaica, NY 11432
(718) 480-8863 24 hours/7 days
Head Trustee/High Priestess, Donna Lee
The Articles of Our Faith in Action (Amended Sunday, 8/10/16):
I find that our values and aims are too innovative for most people to understand and for us to implement at this time. So we will not be accepting any offerings whatsoever at this time in spite of the below, or accepting new members or stewards at this time. I will, however, still be doing "Survive Until You Thrive Money Makeoverstm" for free in connection with our church. (To allow our church to be listed as a public charity on the Foundation Center's Grants to Individuals online database, we are giving away $1,200 grants to each of the first 7 people who complete our "Survive Until You Thrive Money Makeoverstm" who get $1,200 or more in financial benefits from the tips we give them within 3 months after receiving their personalized profiles. To be listed in the Foundation Center's online database as a public charity, we have to have given away at least $5,000 in charitable donations for a year which is why we are doing this at this time.) Please feel free to read our further plans below and keep them in mind. Hopefully, at some future time we will be more able to implement them more fully. Thank you for your continued interest!
Our religion/Free Church of the Hieros Gamos (Divine Marriage) seeks to marry (irrevocably join) the divine feminine attributes of love, kindness, peace, and compassion, to the divine masculine attributes of justice, reasonableness, sound thinking and good material stewardship in each of us.
The Divine Marriage is always an inner phenomenon in humans, and takes place only through exercising great patience, and perseverance, the completion of which is a very arduous (difficult) process, and also leads to great emotional and inner maturity, strength and authentic power, the latter as described by Gary Zukov in his book, Soul Stories. There is no guarantee of success in completing this process, as there isn’t with most endeavors in our inner world. Our Church believes it behooves each of us, however, to work towards completing this inner Divine Marriage, whether we are married to spouses on the outside or not!
The most important aspect of true emotional maturity is to realize and own (be 100% responsible for) what emotions and characteristics belong to oneself, whether we perceive these as positive, or negative, “good,” or “bad,” by using what I call “The Four ‘A’s’” toward them, namely, Acknowledge and Admit that these traits exist inside us without judgment, Accept that they belong to us, and Accommodate them in our makeup in as constructive a manner as we can. Another behavior that can help in this process is to stop believing that outside forces control these traits in us, after following “The Four ‘A’s’”, making a very strong effort to communicate by using statements like, “I feel (sad, glad, bad, mad, frustrated, etc., you fill in the blank) that________________,” NOT “YOU are,” or “YOU did” or “YOU MAKE me feel, do, etc.” Doing the former is called “withdrawing projections” in psychological parlance and is extraordinarily difficult for most people to do. I have other tips that can help people accomplish this, but I won’t list them here.
There are other ethical considerations to having great relationships on the outside and with oneself, like trying to see the positive in challenging situations no matter how bad they may at first seem, learning from those experiences, and being thankful for them and being as honest as one can be with oneself and with others while still maintaining as much tact and compassion (kindness and gentleness) as possible and choosing one’s associates with great care and good judgment.
However, the first and most important step to success in any relationships if one considers oneself an adult who is not non compos mentis or largely irrational or unreasonable is to take full responsibility for oneself, including one’s circumstances. (The eminent psychiatrist, Carl Jung said that the subconscious is also outside us or also in our outer circumstances!) I stated above that coming to this maturity, which is a type of Inner Divine Marriage, is incredibly difficult for most people to achieve and its achievement is not guaranteed. The result of achieving it, however, is also incredibly beneficial to the individual who does achieve it and lends great psychological strength, balance and authentic power to that individual including the power of love rather than the love of power!
Our Church shall help people who ask us, whether they are members of our church or not, to find adequate healthcare and housing as we are able to, and train our members to help others in this and other ways, free of charge, provided you meet our criteria.
We shall provide free “Survive Until You Thrive Money Makeoverstm” to anyone who asks, to give resources for work or to help you apply for government and other benefits you may not already be receiving.
If you give us free will offerings of $200 per month, that you must pay monthly (once per month every month only for as long as you wish to do so) and which offerings may be tax deductible (consult with your professional tax consultant for more information on this situation), and you also save up to $200 per month in an interest bearing account of your choice with a banking institution of your choice, our Church will match your savings with approximately 33.4 cents (approximately 33.4%) on every dollar you save, up to a savings on your part of $600 total every three months, for a total match of up to $200 from our Church paid to you once every three months, which savings you must prove with a copy of your savings account statement. By all (legal!) means, we invite and encourage you to save more than $200 per month if you like and are able to. However, we will only match up to $200 per month of your savings or up to $600 per quarter as outlined above. You may save less than $200 per month, and still receive our match of whatever amount you save up to $200, but your monthly offerings to us must be exactly $200 to get the 33.4% match of whatever amount you save up to $200 per month. This is over a 130% match on your savings from us per year, although we don’t pay compound interest or interest on your interest (! Plus any interest you may get from your chosen banking institution !) We shall either pay this match amount to your Paypal account, send you a Postal Money Order, or a check quarterly (four  times a year or every three  months within one  calendar month of the end of every third [3rd] month of receiving your offerings, which offerings you must make once every month and which offerings will be kept in a safe escrow account until said time. If you don’t make your offerings to our Church monthly, we cannot match your savings. If you give offerings to our Church for any less than all three  months per quarter, we also cannot match your savings for that quarter whatever they may be. These offerings are NON-REFUNDABLE, so please be sure that you want to do this; you can stop giving offerings at any time you wish with no need to notify us that you are stopping, but any offerings you’ve already given shall not be returned to you according to our terms above! Our Church empowers YOU and shows you the help you can get when you help yourself! You DON’T have to give any offerings to us to get our other services nor do you have to be a Member to get our other services! To donate any amount BELOW our monthly matching grant amount of $200 recurring or just a one-time donation to help us with our ministry, please click on our "Donate" button below to make a donation of any amount (even if it's only $1!) with Paypal or a credit or debit card. Thank you for your continuing support.
I based my model of matching savings on programs like what are known as Individual Development Accounts (see http://www.idanetwork.org ) that match participants’ savings, usually between $1 and $3 of every dollar the participant saves. These programs have much greater restrictions upon the uses their participants/members may put their savings to and the time commitments to their program, which are usually only for certain named purposes and a couple of years or more, respectively.
I believe that if our Church Members can save up to $200 per month or more AND give our Church free will offerings of $200 per month then they deserve the freedom to decide how they want to use their money and when. My goal is to free people to the greatest extent which also entails the greatest degree of individual responsibility in all things in accordance with the above.
Our Church leadership shall be the “Head Trustee” and “Stewards.”
The requirements for membership in our Church are that one must declare to us that she or he would like to be a member, give us her or his permanent legal first and last names, street address (we will not accept P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, and phone number, in writing (preferably by e-mail) which we will keep strictly private except as mandated by law, and share with Church leadership as necessary, and shortly after that time we shall mail a certificate of membership to her or him in the name and at the address she or he has provided to us provided she or he passes our background check (please see further below). Potential Members must be at least 18 years of age and must speak English fluently. The only money offerings necessary to receive any of our services is for the quarterly savings match; all other services shall be free. (Please see above to learn more about this.) We have no physical meetings or premises. We will do at least a partial background check on everyone who applies for membership before we admit him or her. (We do not check your credit report.) Anyone who gives false identifying information will not be admitted to membership in our Church or will be excommunicated if we discover it after we have granted membership to her/him; we expect our members to live with integrity which begins with being honest with us. We do not discriminate at all except for the above criteria.
To be a “Steward,” you must be at least 18 years of age, a declared member, and train in our methods to perform “Survive Until You Thrive Money Makeoverstm,” either by the “Head Trustee” or a “Steward” the latter of whom has received her or his certification from the Church (see below) and you must use these methods to help yourself and other members and/or the community at large over at least six (6) months (three  months helping yourself, and three  months helping others, as needed) while you’re a member before you can attain the title of “Steward,” which training is free of charge. “Stewards,” shall be authorized once they have adequately, according to the standards of the Head Trustee or the Stewards who train them, the former of whose decisions are final (see grievance procedures, etc. below), finished their training, to train other members, free of charge, on behalf of the Church, who want to become “Stewards.” You may not become a “Steward” unless you first become a “Member.” We shall issue paper certificates to “Stewards” after they have successfully completed this training, which certificate shall declare same. “Stewards,” are NOT allowed to give any investment advice unless they are Certified Financial Planners. Doing so otherwise shall be cause for divestiture of “Steward” status and excommunication from our Church because it is illegal. We do NOT give Certified Financial Planner training or certification. The “Head Trustee” has final authority in all matters of Church functioning and procedure and God/dess willing, shall appoint her successor in the event of her complete disability or death.
a member or former member has a grievance with the Church leadership, namely
the “Head Trustee,” or “The Stewards,” or any other member(s), she or he must
bring it in writing by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org,
to the “Head Trustee,” within three (3) months of the incident’s occurrence,
stating briefly, the full name and street address, with city and state, and a
phone number, of the person who has the grievance, the approximate date of the
occurrence of the grievance, the first and last names of the parties (people)
involved, the nature of the grievance, and at least three (3) different
possible desired solutions to the grievance.
The “Head Trustee” shall review the allegations and make a decision
which the “Head Trustee” shall return, by First Class Mail, or by e-mail, to
the member who submitted the grievance with the “Head Trustee’s” reasoning and
decision on the matter within the following three (3) months. The decision of the “Head Trustee” is final! The reason for that last is if you don’t have
faith in or trust the justice, fairness and wisdom of the “Head Trustee” of our
Church, then perhaps you should renounce your membership, for such a situation
will be insupportable to you and to us.
We do not perform funerals, burials, baptisms or outer marriages, of any kind, as consecrated by law.
OUR CHURCH THROUGH ITS LEADERSHIP GUARANTEES THAT ANYONE WHO GETS OUR FREE "SURVIVE UNTIL YOU THRIVE MONEY MAKEOVERtm" WILL SECURE AT LEAST $1,500 EVEN IF THIS BE IN THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT BENEFITS, FREE SERVICES, OR LOANS THAT MUST BE PAID BACK. OUR CHURCH IS NO LONGER CARRYING OUT THE BELOW AND ABOVE FUNCTIONS EXCEPT AS NOTED AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE. IF AND WHEN THIS CHANGES, WE WILL LET YOU KNOW. WE WILL ALSO GUARANTEE THAT IF YOU MAKE MONTHLY OFFERINGS AS STATED IN OUR ARTICLES OF FAITH, WE WILL PAY THE MATCHES, AS STATED, IN GOOD FAITH. WE GUARANTEE THIS LAST BY HOLDING YOUR OFFERINGS IN ESCROW FOR THREE MONTHS. ONCE WE DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF YOUR SAVINGS AS PER THE ABOVE, YOUR OFFERINGS WILL BE RELEASED TO THE CHURCH AND OUR MATCHING FUNDS WILL BE RELEASED TO YOU. IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANY OF OUR TERMS FOR RECEIVING THE MATCHING FUNDS, AS STATED ABOVE, PLEASE INQUIRE OF US AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU DO UNDERSTAND ALL OUR TERMS BEFORE GETTING INVOLVED. PLEASE CALL US TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE YOUR OFFERINGS. FOR YOUR PROTECTION, PLEASE SEE THE LAWS ABOUT ESCROW HERE: http://www.nylawfund.org/pubs/escrow.shtml THE LEADERSHIP OF OUR CHURCH WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY OTHER DAMAGES TO ANY OF OUR MEMBERS OR NON-MEMBERS WE MAY HELP ACCORDING TO OUR ARTICLES OF FAITH STATED ABOVE FOR ANY OTHER LOSSES FINANCIAL OR OTHERWISE EXCEPT AS STATED ABOVE THAT OUR MEMBERS MAY INCUR FROM USING OUR SERVICES, FREE OR PAID, OR FROM THEIR MEMBERSHIP IN OUR CONGREGATION OR FOR PERFORMING THEIR DUTIES AS “STEWARDS”!
Note: Title 26 of the Federal Tax Code and IRS Publications both clearly state that a church need not file with the IRS to be exempt from tax or for their offerings to be "tax deductible." We are not required to apply for 501(c)(3) status to be tax exempt. You are therefore not allowed to discriminate against our church for not having filed paperwork that the law does not require us to file.
Head Trustee/High Priestess
Our Church has applied for a grant of $25,000 from New York State AmeriCorps and for another from the Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Memorial Fund in 2013 also for $25,000 from both of which funders we should be receiving their determinations by December 2013, with our programs for which we receive this funding to start no later than January 2014. We will post their decisions here.
As it turns out, we discovered on 12/19/13 that the Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Memorial Fund does not give grants to churches. Also on that date, we got word that Governor Cuomo of New York State made his announcements of the AmeriCorps grants last week and we should be hearing our grant status by next week. Please check back often for further updates.
We learned on December 31, 2013 that we also did not receive funding for our New York State AmeriCorps grant application. We continue to seek funding and ways to publicize our church and its mission.
We look forward to hearing of your continued interest in our organization. Free Church of the Divine Marriage also has information about programs that help ex-offenders. We believe that everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance.