Jennifer Johnston Crow
Minister ID: 611569-348212 View Ordination Certificate
Minister ID: 611569-348212 View Ordination Certificate
Officiated by Jennifer Johnston Crow at Grandview at the New River National River in Glen Jean, West Virginia on June 12th, 2020.
"Rachael Elizabeth Klimas and David William Raymond -- It was a great privilege and honor to officiate my niece's wedding. We gathered at Grandview, part of the New River National River, in West Virginia for a rustically beautiful Boho ceremony in nature, overlooking the New River as it wrapped around those majestic West Virginia mountains. The weather cooperated, providing brilliant blue skies, puffy white clouds, and perfect temperatures. Although this was during the COVID era, Rachael's mother (my sister Susan Sharp) had made beautiful masks for all guests. The photographer even captured one photo they can use in 20 years to tell their children: "...back in 2020, we had to wear masks to socialize. ..." Creating the message specifically for the couple was a labor of love, and I spent time with them, virtually, to conduct a relationship activity (I'm also a relationship coach) that I believe will help them have meaningful conversations as they start their journey and grow in love. It's my hope that they will forever experience conversations worth having as they walk through life together."
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Friends and family:
Welcome to this beautiful location for such a joyous reason: to join Rachael and David in marriage. It's a day of great celebration! As Rachael and David start their journey, they will nurture a love that makes them better versions of themselves.
But... let's go back to the beginning ... David and Rachael met in 2015 in Preston County, WV. Specifically, at the Big Bear Lake 2x12 Mountain Bike race. David sported a broken wrist on one hand and a broken knuckle on the other. Rachael was actually racing.
Now, Rachael rarely made it to the West Virginia mountain-bike races, but for the first time in a long time she just happened to be racing in this particular one.
Voila! They were both in the right place at the right time for something real to emerge ... Once introduced, they both recall that there was just something special about the other. David kept catching Rachael's attention and then Rachael would catch David's attention ... and so it went until the race was over and the celebrations began.
That's when they began chatting ... about how to score those Dixie cups for the keg ... their shared love of punk and reggae music ... an interest in physical therapy ... and how they both loved seeing older couples walking along, holding hands, even after years of marriage.
It was a surely a Conversation Worth Having: deep, unsolicited, positive, generative. Rarely do we meet another person where, within minutes, we feel safe sharing our vulnerable, most authentic selves. But that's just what happened. The two of them agreed then and there that what they both wanted in life was to find the kind of love that deepens over time ... to be there for a partner with 100% honesty ... and to experience all the joys and, yes, the trials, of life.
Rachael and David, I encourage you to keep one another as the highest priority in your hearts. Always guard and cherish your love -- after all, it's your most valuable treasure.
You know, from the moment you met you acknowledged you both wanted to experience not only true love and all the joys it brings, but also to be there for one another throughout life.
I'm glad for you because it shows greater wisdom than you may realize! While there's obviously great joy and love in your lives, you wisely know that there also will be differences of opinion, hurt feelings, even anger. That’s simply the nature of relationship: it contains not only bliss but contention ... and BOTH can enrich your relationship. You'll be uplifted by the blissful times and grow wiser and stronger by working through the contentious times.
Rachael and David, I'm giving you this cup. It's handmade and reminds me of mountains, which I know call to you, so it ultimately reminds me of you. Think of it as a cup of appreciation. A cup of curiosity. A cup of inquiry. Put it somewhere in your home where you'll notice it often.
I want you to use it whenever difficulties arise. One of you just reach for it, fill it with the other's favorite beverage, and offer it as an unspoken agreement that your relationship, your love, matters far more than any disagreement. Let appreciation and love triumph.
Let this cup always remind you to ask questions that are curious, positive, and lead to mutual learning and respect for your differences, your unique wisdom, and what you bring to this partnership. Questions that invite new ideas and perspectives, things that stretch you as a couple and help you grow into those better versions of yourselves you both value.
Surely THOSE will be Conversations Worth Having, just like that initial Conversation at that bike race five years ago.
INVITATION TO ATTENDEES
And now: I invite you all to join Rachael and David as they make official their promise to share their lives together.
COUPLE'S DECLARATION OF INTENT
Rachael and David, you have chosen to write your vows, and it is with these words you will express your binding promises to love, honor, and cherish one another as long as life lasts. Are you ready?
Please face one another.
David, when you're ready you may begin.
Rachael, when you're ready you may begin.
Thank you for sharing your vows with us.
Rings are unbroken circles that represent unending love and commitment. Whenever you notice the rings on your fingers, I hope they always remind you of how you promised your love to one another today.
1. David, place this ring on Rachael's finger and repeat after me:
2. Rachael, place this ring on David's finger and repeat after me:
As this ring encircles your finger,
From this moment forward
So will my love forever encircle you.
You will never walk alone:
My heart will be your shelter,
My arms will be your home.
We will walk through life as partners & best friends.
I promise to do my best to love, cherish and accept you
Just the way you are.
I give you my heart until the end of time;
I have no greater gift to give.
Rachael and David, you've pledged your faith to each other in the company of your families and friends. By the authority vested in me by the State of West Virginia, I now pronounce you husband and wife. I invite you to seal this covenant with a kiss.
I am proud to present for the first time, David and Rachael Raymond.
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