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Rituals as singular as you

There's not another who like you- or you two. When life happens and a ceremony is called for, it should belong to you, shared with your family and friends. I am honored to provide as a service to the community ceremonies unique to the paths of those choosing to uplift transforming events into new worlds of possibility.

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Welcome to Southern Appalachia

Folks of all kinds have been flocking to Western North Carolina since the Nineteenth Century for its lush and ancient beauty, a culture which celebrates the arts, and to heal from the skirmishes of pressure and time. Naturally, our oasis hasn't gone undiscovered, but since we're people that are caring deeply about the Earth and creating, we don't mind all the wanderers as long as they join in the fun.

Deep Ritual, Deep Joy

With all the great many people gathering around comes a great many occasion for ritual. Ritual, ceremony, hocus-pocus, call it what you will, a coordinated effort by a people with a focused intent to create transformations in the seen and unseen world is as intrinsic to the human story as rubbing sticks to make fire and rock music. No matter to What or Whom the ritual is intended to call us, it's often the people joining in the effort together who are surprised by the strength of their connection to each other. It's been said that ceremony in the end is all about community, and in this age where belief systems compete (or not) in a "psychospiritual marketplace," the unity part matters more than anything. Especially when the ceremony is profoundly personal- a wedding, a child naming, a blessing of a place, or a celebration of life.

Jay Joslin: Minister, Counselor, Purveyor of Hijinks

Jay and his best friend Joshua immigrated to Asheville in 1997, a year after his first ordination in a small but dedicated ministry. In 1999, a series of happy accidents lead Jay to become a member of the Jubilee!, a community for those who prefer disorganized religion and who in unison raucously proclaim "All Creation Speaks Volumes of God," not just one book or one teacher. Jay continued on in his community ministry, while deepening his studies and practices and letting the good times roll with Jubilee!'s Minister for Ritual and Jay's mentor, Howard Hanger. In June of 2015, Jay accepted ordination as the Minister for Ritual, Teaching and Counseling at Jubilee! He also works as a clinician in the mental health/substance abuse field, writes books, and takes fancy pictures.

[profile photo by Yolanda Pinzon]

From Jaybird's Beak

If you are interested in Jay's facilitation style and curiosities are piqued in what he could offer your event, kick back and enjoy a little story from a journey in Thailand, where he learned a great lesson from an upturned purple beetle.

Oh the Places...

Tying the Knot, and Making the Rope

Without doubt, Jay's most sought after services are weddings. With over 50 celebrations of love uplifted and sealed, word of mouth gets around. Now that North Carolina has amazingly yet justly risen to the occasion, *legally* uniting couples whose love is thicker than any old law book is going to be a thrill- a busy one. He's united young couples, and those hove found love in their golden years, who tend to laugh a lot more during the ceremony. One thing that is consistent in Jay's passionately crafted, person-centered ceremonies is the importance of laughter- not only does it break up the jitters, it heals. It rakes out the clutter for something wonderful to follow. To learn how Jay creates unforgettable ceremonies with you and other wedding wonders, click on "Curious?" One thing is an absolute: this is your day, and your service. Expect an experience that tells your story from the heart, soul, and with a good surprise or two added for fun. Testimonials are available by request, and they'll tell you about my service- I must turn this around however and remind folks I'm just the middleman. The family, the friends, and the couple themselves are the ones who are truly weaving that one of a kind magic through the lovebirds on that day of days.

Birds + Bees = Blessings

One of the greatest thrills Jay has besides that off marrying people is seeing what happens when their love concentrates its force to create living beings. We're not just talking dogs and cats, we're talking babies, children, sprouts, wee ones, beloveds, whatever you want to call them. That's what a big part of this is about- calling the child into this world- with a name, with a gift they will hold for their whole life, and with assembled family that vow to be a part of the young life, forever. The naming and blessing ceremony exists in every culture throughout time- the customs and endless and as varied as they get, but one aspect is consistent- a name is given, and the blessed one is presented to the community, given to the world (again), in a sense. Just as with Jay's weddings, it's your preference and virtues that matter. The ceremony pictured includes elements of Cuban Catholicism and Native American faiths, with a lot of cute to go around. Of course, these rituals don't just apply to babies- growing ones, teens, even adults have rites of passage and can choose what elements need to call them into the world... again.

The "D" Word: Dance, Dare, Dream, Define

No doubt, our society has serious heebie-jeebies about DEATH. That word is in the dreaded all-caps because it just must be faced, it's as inescapable as a "pre-flight demonstration." Yet it's what we do with it that matters. Jay's philosophy about recognizing a death can be summed up in two ways- one, by the famous scene in Harold and Maud in which her audacious yellow umbrella stands out as an exclamation point among the dull sad moping mourning colorlessness. The second came by way of an sudden "bolt out of the blue" which came to him while he was eulogizing a dear friend who called herself Jay's "Cosmic Mama." It hit him that during life, we are nouns, and are even taught this in school. Yet why don't we become verbs when we transition on? In other words- when a loved one slips into the Mystery, we have an opportunity to take on all that they have meant and done in this world, we become their ambassadors in a way, and if we are to truly uplift their good names, we add some "-in" to our lives. In his friend's case, her name is Ram ya. His impromptu bolt from the blue lead to a community of her lifelong friends now called "Rhymed!" It's unavoidable that there is sadness in passing- yet our culture morbidly obsesses in this- not often is the blessing of the person's having existed extolled. We wring our hands in loss- why don't we joyfully lift our hands in all we've gained? There must be space in a Celebration of Life, a Memorial, a Wake, a Grand Re-Opening (if you will) for tears- but also for unrestrained joy. Should the need arise, Jay's training as a clinician and as an interfaith minister is at the ready.

How we make magic together

It's *Your* Service

Your family, friends, and "the whole gang" aren't coming to your ceremony to listen to what Jay believes about life, love and the whole communicable. They're coming to hear your music, and see your dance. Jay's story isn't important in the ceremony- it's yours. For weddings, he uses a technique that his couples have come to love and others have duplicated, which is a form of flattery. Not to spill the beans here, but you'll remember the process- and so will your community. For all other functions, meeting at least once in person is very important to make sure we all agree that we are the best team for the (sacred) job.

"We often talk about how magical you made our wedding day and now 2 years later we are having a baby. Life is full of amazing surprises! Thanks for the good vibes!" -CCJ

Jay's Background, in a nutshell

Jay's first ordination took place on July 14th, 1996 in Hagerstown, Maryland when we was accepted into the Ministry of the Sanctuary of the Beloved, a fellowship of congregations and ecumenical service organizations centered in the North East. He then focused his (then young and idealistic) energies on Unitarian Universalist parish ministry under the guidance of mentor Rev. Dr. Michael Bobtail. After moving to Asheville with his best friend Joshua in 1997, the focus shifted back towards community ministry and work in the human services field, including crisis mental health work, youth program development and currently in residential recovery clinical services. His award-winning photography has been featured by the United Nations and he has authored three books, with a fourth due out any day now... he swears. He is a proud member of the Jubilee! Community where his mentor and dear friend Rev. Howard Hanger drives all the bozos on the bus all over Creation. Jubilee called him into their ministry in June 2015, which he described as the "greatest honor of [his] life."

That Awkward Question

No one, least of all Jay, likes talking about money. OK, some people do. His fee structure is absurdly simple: pay what you think the service is worth to you. Keep in mind, every service he performs is often originally written and unique to your occasion, but his values are clear: performing these duties are an aspect of his call to service, not for his financial benefit.

"We opened our letters to each other on our anniversary. Thanks for the great idea and for officiating our ceremony. Thinking back on it a year later, you really made the day special!" G & BB

The Value of Ordination

To prove a point, Jay has ordained all of his cats through the Internet. To his knowledge, none of them have performed weddings. And if they did, the catnip mouse should've signed a pre-nup. Naturally, with the "convenience" of ordination, many people are conducting weddings who haven't had pastoral experience. Jay's decades of clinical work, church leadership roles and robust knowledge of world religious tradition provide folks with steadiness and confidence in managing events which "last but a moment, but the truth of it will resound throughout your lifetimes." He's worked for his calling, and presently he's working harder than ever before as good challenges have arisen for him to meet, which he's doing with great thanks and joy. With the official calling into the ministry of a well-known Asheville "brick and mortar" church community, you can be assured that he is established, trusted, and with Jubilee!'s support, he's not a not a fuddy-duddy stick in the mud.

The Next Best Thing To Telepathy

It is Asheville, and that's how people do things. Drop me a line or send a singing telegram, and I'll send a homing pigeon with a little note right back to you ASAP. I'm looking forward to serve you in any way I can, no matter the reason. We're all in this Universe together, we're all a part of someone else's constellation, it's our calling to shine.

Let's make magic

Please keep in mind, this is to contact Jay- if you're looking for services at Jubilee! Community, please head there and contact Don Fortuna, Administrator. This site is for Jay's hijinks and this site has no direct organizational relationship to Jubilee, but do check it out! Jay serves with Howard Hanger as a Minister of Ritual.

Good People To Check Out

Friends That Love To Make Memories

This page will return to its intended purpose soon: to link you to other services for your event! Stay tuned!