Josh & Jen

My son, Josh and his wife, Jen, asked me if I would officiate at their wedding. Awed by this honor, I became ordained as a minister and licensed by the state of Ohio to solemnize marriages.

The Wedding Of Jen and Josh      July 9, 2011


Welcome to the wedding of Josh of Jen.

We’ve been invited here not just to witness the ceremony, but because Josh and Jen consider us an important part of their lives.

They’ve spent a year planning this, and it hasn’t always been easy. They’ve had a hundred and fifty delicate puzzles to solve – all the while hearing “so why don’t you just elope?”

…but it has all been worth it.

Josh and Jen have asked us here to be a part of their life, their relationship, and their marriage.

Josh, Jen, We are honored to be here.


To commemorate this moment, Josh and Jen would like to plant this apple tree. It will be planted down there by the water.

Actually, two trees will be planted because an Apple tree won’t bear fruit if it is alone. It takes two Apple trees for pollination.

These trees will get their strength and grow from the air, sun, and water. They’ll bloom because of their closeness to one another. Your relationship will draw strength and grow from your friendship. You, too, will bloom because of your closeness to one another.

Robin, Judy, as the mother’s of the two- Josh and Jen would like you each to tie your ribbons to the branches of the tree. After the ceremony, they would like everyone else to tie a ribbon to the tree as a show of your support.


We have come here today to participate the in the creation of a new family.

Josh, Jen, son, daughter, today you become the founders of a new family tree.

The roots of this new family tree are represented by all the people here. We are the people who, like the roots of a tree, will sustain, support, and hold you.

We have the love to nourish you as a couple, the respect for you to give you the space you need to grow, and the commitment, wisdom, and experience that you can always count on.

And this tree, this family, this relationship is your masterpiece. You’ve learned a lot, in the past  years, about commitment to one another and you’ve done tremendously well. Now, there’s something else – there’s a family, a whole family tree that is counting on you for its creation, nourishment, and life.

Today, the branches of this new tree begin a journey through the countless generations.

When someone takes a photograph of you together, smile, wave, say hello to your children, your grandchildren, your decedents who, when looking at this old photo, will know that this is the day, this is the moment where it all began.


Josh, Do you…

Painting by Sandy Johnson, May 23, 1983 – Sandy Painted another apple tree when I was first born over my crib.