What is Interfaith Ministry?
I am an ordained Interfaith Minister, living in Port Townsend, Washington State, graduating from The New Seminary in New York City in 2006. I enjoy serving as a guest minister, facilitating chant services, and helping create any ceremony or ritual you would like—from weddings to funerals, to baby blessings, pet blessings, or transition rituals. I specialize in helping you personalize and create your own ceremony that reflects your values and beliefs. Rates vary depending on the occasion and amount of assistance needed.
Interfaith is a spiritual philosophy that honors and values the fundamental beauty and wisdom in all religious traditions. It respects the many paths to and names of the Divine.
As an Interfaith Minister, I don’t have my own church. I provide ceremonies for anyone who would like them in a way that’s fitting for them. Your beliefs, values, and needs are the guiding principles for any ceremony we create together.
Why Choose an Interfaith Ceremony?
A Minister from a specific religion might have restrictions on what they can offer. The ceremony may have to:
- Be in their church, mosque, or temple
- Have a particular structure or include content such as church doctrine or formal prayers
- Use specific language for the Divine, such as the word “God.”
In an Interfaith ceremony, there are no restrictions on where your ceremony is held or what you want to say. I do my best to create a ceremony that incorporates your beliefs and values.
Are Interfaith Ceremonies Legally Binding?
Only a wedding ceremony has a legal component. In the USA, each state and county has a different set of procedures. My ordination enables me to register as a legal officiant in any state. You will also have to follow the procedures required in your particular county in order to complete your marriage license.
If my partner and I are from mixed religious and cultural backgrounds, how will that work in the ceremony?
Interfaith ceremonies are perfect for just this case as we can customize your ceremony to include appropriate rituals and words that honor any faith tradition. Your ceremony can reflect your different beliefs, as well as your shared ones, while honoring the needs and expectations of your families.
Do we have to be religious?
You don’t have to “be” anything you are not! I can help you create a ceremony that reflects who you are whether you consider yourself to be religious, spiritual, an atheist, or anything in between! I enjoy getting to know you, finding out what is important to you, and including this in the ceremony.
There are so many ideas out there I am confused as to where to start to create our ceremony. Can you help?
Yes! I have collected a vast array of resources for ceremonies-from music, to vow creation, to poetry and readings, to ritual elements, and other practical things to think about to make sure the event goes smoothly. These days, the internet also offers many wonderful resources for ideas, as well.
I love working with you to help you create a ceremony that reflects your beliefs and values to help you celebrate this important time of your life.
“Thank you again so much for creating our wedding for us. This is even BETTER than I could have ever imagined the service would go. I was worried at first that I would not be able to find someone that allowed us to have a more spiritual service rather than a religious service and that we wouldn’t find someone that would fit for John as well.
I never dreamed I would find myself in a situation where I am actually allowed to choose so much of the service…This is turning out to be such a beautiful and accurate representation of John and me as individuals and as a couple,
and I just can’t tell you how grateful and happy I am to have found you. Everything is feeling so genuine and true…You are worth so much more than we are paying you. Thank-you again for all you are doing.”
~ Marci Wicklund
Your wedding is a service to celebrate your commitment of love with one another. While love is something we all get a chance to experience in our lives, ideally your wedding will reflect the individual expression of your love.
If you would like, I can help you weave the story of your love into your ceremony, by providing questions to guide your exploration, and then incorporating your words and expressions into the ceremony. I enjoy engaging in an interactive process with you in which I provide drafts of the wedding based on your choices and words until we arrive at a final version that reflects, honors, and affirms your love the way you want it to.
Weddings can be short and sweet or longer depending on what elements you would like to include.
A baby blessing welcomes your new baby into a life surrounded by loving family and friends. We incorporate symbols into the ceremony that mean something to you, blessing your baby with all four elements, and welcoming the baby’s amazing new life into the world and into the love of your embrace.
Usually included is an official bestowing of the baby’s name and its significance. Baby Blessings are usually shorter—15-20 minutes.
“This is so great Katy. You do such great work! The service is so beautiful; I know there will be tears, and not just from me. You are so good at what you do; you are worth far more than what you charge. It’s perfect. So perfect and I couldn’t imagine anything more perfect for my son. Thank you so much for doing this for us. You are such a blessing in our life and I am so, so thankful that Pam brought you to my life.”
~ Marci Wicklund
“Thank you so much for being a part of Reed’s special day. The ceremony was just perfect and I appreciate all your help to make it just perfect for our family.”
~ Lindsey Wilson
“Whether her topic is non-Western philosophy, Enneagram personality types, or spiritual aspects of human relationships, Katy brings humor and humility into the mix. No saint herself, she openly shares her own blind spots, limitations and continuing journey. Her honesty and good humor about her personal challenges are absolutely terrific, creating a disarming environment in which all participants find it possible to embrace their own unique, challenging and beautiful human natures.”
~ Elizabeth Alexander, Composer
I served as a Worship Associate at Unity Unitarian Church in St. Paul, Minnesota for many years and now as a Worship Assistant at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Port Townsend, Washington. This may include helping to choose the readings, create the through-line and form for the topic, and crafting a Call to Worship.
I also serve as Worship Leader when the occasion arises, both in my home church as well as a Guest Minister in other churches. I love to create services that invite the listener into a supportive space where they feel welcomed and safe to explore meaningful material that may help them to lead a more loving life of integrity, service, and joy.
“Sweet and urgent.”
“I love your voice. I could listen to you reading a phone book!”
~ Anonymous Comments from a 2010 Sermon
“I appreciate your clear and calm spiritual direction. I am so impressed with your sharing and presentation skills. It is your ability to help people see beyond what they can currently see; to feel beyond what they can currently feel by building a bridge there that is easy to cross. I look forward to hearing you speak in the future!!”
~ Hal Freshley, Worship Associate Coordinator, Unity Church Unitarian
Some of Katy’s Sermon Topics
Walk in Beauty
Sometimes life can feel pretty overwhelming with all that is happening in the world. How do we find our way? What is right action for us? What if the answer were as simple as choosing to walk in beauty in each moment? We will unpack what it means to walk in beauty and to explore how to make it real in our daily lives. Watch the service.
What’s Up With the Goddess?
How does the resurgence of teachings focused on the Goddess have relevance for us today? As Sobonfu Somé clarifies, these are not “new age” teachings, but “ancient age” teachings. We will explore how the qualities and manifestations of the Goddess are necessary for living a balanced and whole life today.
There’s a lot of talk in different traditions about Awakening — awakening to what? If we’re awakening, doesn’t that imply we’ve somehow been asleep? We will explore what it might look like to awaken to the natural, life force energy in all of us and how that awakening not only fuels our passion, but helps us to find our innate balance.
With One Smile
Sometimes opening to suffering is what awakens us to joy, the heart is cracked open to the depth and breadth of life. Another way to awaken to joy is to cultivate the soil in which it grows and is nourished, and we can begin at any time with one smile! We will take delight in playfully exploring the art of savoring and welcoming all of life.
“I just have to write to extend my appreciation for the great Solstice Service last night. Katy Taylor and the other organizers did a great job. As I looked back over the last year, I realized I did not attend Unity Unitarian as much as I wanted to and as a result, I felt a “hole” because of that. I decided that the Solstice service would be my re-entry back to Unity. It was a wonderful service and ritual. I brought my almost 2 year old and she loved it as well (and was very relaxed by the meditation portion and loved the animal walk). I found the service to be meaningful and great for families. Thanks again!”
~ Heather Vinge Hanson
Seasonal & Transitional Rituals
Celebrating the turning of the year and of our lives is an important way to mark seasonal and life changes. Setting time aside to settle in, to contemplate what we’ve learned from a certain time in our lives, and to look forward to what we are moving into helps us to know ourselves and the earth’s rhythms more intimately.
I facilitate a Winter Solstice Celebration annually at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Port Townsend, Washington. It is a contemplative, family-friendly, Earth-centered, Celtic-inspired ritual to mark the turning of the year as the darkness gives way to the growing light. This participatory ritual generally includes calling in the Directions, chanting & singing, meditation, candle-lighting, cauldron-jumping, and deep connection with this seasonal turning of the year.
I would be happy to help you create any seasonal or other transitional ritual. Such rituals could include, but are not limited to:
- celebrating the turning of the seasons
- new stage: coming into womanhood, pregnancy, entering elder years, dying
- acknowledging grief and loss
- releasing a way of being
- owning a change, a new place in yourself
- moving into a new home
- separation or divorce.
“I highly recommend Katy Taylor as a guest performer for any spiritual conference or training. I have worked with Katy on many occasions and find her to be not only a gifted performer but also an impeccable professional. Her music is mystical and reverent, adding beauty and wonder to any gathering, regardless of its particular spiritual orientation. People come away from her performances deeply moved and inspired but also profoundly quiet inside as if they had been engaged in prayer, which in fact they have.
Katy and her music are just the healing medicine that our world needs during these turbulent times.”
~ Gail Straub, Author and Executive Director, Empowerment Training Programs, Read more.
Chant & Song
Chant & Song with Groups
For group singing, I like to lead simple, repetitive melodic lines that allow participants to surrender to the sound and notice how it moves and flows in and through them. I also incorporate chants in languages other than English to allow the left brain to take a break so that a deeper connection can arise.
Singing is known to help connect us to ourselves and to each other, as well as to calm the nervous system, which we all need. All voices are welcome.
Group Chanting experiences currently include the following formats:
Chant & Song for Community, Healing & Hope
We chant together to create the world we want to live in through our song. We sing chants from many sources—Thich Nhat Hanh, 12th c. Hildegard von Bingen, Scots Gaelic, local singer/composer Laurence Cole, and many more from the community singing tradition.
I teach each song line by line so you can follow along, and then we sing all together. While we are on zoom, due to intermittent connection, you’ll only be able to hear and sing with my voice, but you’ll be able to see others and have the visual experience of singing and being together. See Calendar event.
On 1st Sundays of every month, we meet to sing our prayers in this 45-minute, contemplative Christian service, which draws on the Celtic Christian and Taize traditions. I am the cantor for the service, singing and playing simple guitar, collaborating with Elisabeth Haight.
During the warm months, we meet outside, but until we can meet safely and warmly again, we offer a zoom service. See Calendar event.
Singing Meditation was created by Ruthie Rosauer. In this participatory singing, we sing simple chants and rounds with universal themes of unity, devotion, and spiritual practice from many spiritual traditions. After each one, we dissolve into silence and allow a time of quiet meditation before the next song is begun. Singing in this way can be a practice of coming home to our embodied selves as we allow the vibrations of sound to quiet our minds, open our hearts, and land us more deeply in our bodies, in the moment, physically present. Nothing currently scheduled.
“Group singing is a different kind of connection. In a group, it is not about any one single voice being heard. We are together creating something. It is much more about interaction, an energy and blending between us, and hopefully that leads to movement toward the divine.”
~ Quote from me in Ruthie and Liz Hill’s book Singing Meditation: Together in Sound and Silence
I also enjoy creating chant services that weave music and spoken word together to create a meditative, participatory, and welcoming atmosphere. I draw on my own database of readings to work with a theme and can sing solo or lead a group in participatory chant.
“Thank you for your excellent time and attention! I think it was a very peaceful and restorative service and many of the ministers told me how much they appreciated it.”
—Rev. Jann Halloran, Prairie Unitarian Universalist Church of Parker, Colorado, from Chant Service for the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, June 2010
Chant & Song, Solo
As a vocalist, composer, and musician, I sing a wide range of music–from new and ancient chants, to layer songs of life and community, to my niche: original and medieval chant and song that weaves celtic ornamentation with haunting, mystical chant and prayers. I also specialize in the music of Hildegard von Bingen, singing a capella as well as accompanied by shruti box and guitar. Read reviews.
Many of my original songs have been inspired by Celtic prayers, which weave a simple, folky connection of Earth, Mother, and Christianity. Others grow from poetry that invites us into deeper connection with Earth, others, to the divine in this daily life we are living.
My two most popular CDs can be found on my bandcamp site. There you can listen to my music as well as to purchase it via download or CD directly from me.
“Katy’s music is as healing as it is beautiful. Not only does her voice touch our hearts and souls, but her gentle presence itself is a gift. She tunes into the specific needs of each group and works with the leader to create exactly what they want. Whenever Katy has sung for my women’s circles, the women have talked about the experience for days.”
~ Jalaja Bonheim, Author and Founder, Institute for Circlework, Read more.