Sarah Joyce Shoemaker and Stephanie Anne Hunt
August 27, 2016
Long Point Light House
Order of Events
Welcome: John Hunt
Reading: Kirsty Carey
Gifts of love: All Present
Reading: Robin Stouder
Homily: John Hunt
Promises: Stephanie Hunt and Sarah Shoemaker
Kiss and Celebrate
Wedding Ceremony: Sarah Joyce Shoemaker and Stephanie Anne Hunt
Hello and welcome to all family and friends of Sarah and Stephanie. Welcome to this wedding, an eternal celebration of living, loving and commitment. Just as this ocean represents the origins of life and the light house offers guidance; so does the commitment of marriage lead us toward eternal living, loving and commitment.
Kirsty Carey Introduction
To speak of the eternal love, the commitment of marriage, and the blessings of healing and being able to move forward in love, again
Gifts of Love
Sarah and Stephanie have requested gifts of love and sharing. At this time please offer a token that expresses your thoughts on love and sharing. Please place these expressions in the vase and speak of those expressions as you wish.
Sarah’s Family Expression: Robin Stouder
From Touched by an Angel, by Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
John Hunt’s thoughts on living, Loving and commitment
Life hands all of us some interesting, and yes, even challenging twists. Like, Sarah and Stephanie asking me to be Officiant for this wedding and then also asking me to talk about love. So naturally, I thought no wedding would be right without the Bible first Corinthians verses 1-13
Love is patient, Love is kind
And envies no one.
Love is never boastful,
Nor conceited, nor rude,
Not quick to take offense.
Love keeps no score
Of wrongs, does not gloat
Over another’s sin,
But delights in the truth.
There is nothing
Love cannot face,
There is no limit
To its faith, its hope,
And its endurance.
In a word,
There are three things
That last forever:
Faith, hope and love,
But the greatest
Of them all
Kirsty spoke of earlier loves in Steph’s in life and suggested:
I contend that is a matter of faith, hope and love stated in Corinthians.
We can’t miss however, that the greatest of these is Love. Maya Angelo said “Only Love Sets Us Free” and it is Love that promises the hope of our future.
I, like Stephanie, was widowed far too young at 49. The light of my life for 33 years was gone over night. I was certain, in those dark months that followed, that I would never marry again.
After months of desperate sadness and months of my friends and my church community’s encouragement, I lost a bet to a friend resulting in my going on a date with Harry Hood???!!! I know what that sounds like BUT he actually got me to go to a singles dance after three months of asking.
And like Sarah and Stephanie at the folk concert, my eyes met Carries; something sparked and you may think we easily fell in love. Well, not so fast -------- because Carrie and I have been there and we know Sarah and Stephanie have really had to work. The process of healing takes time and patience.
1. They first had to become good friends
2. They had to find commonality.
AND 3. They had to build trust
This probably sounds like how any other romance starts out.
No, it’s not the same when one of you is so blue.
I have been blessed to have Carrie because she, from the start, was patient, kind, she never envied, boasted, she was never conceited, (even though she had cause) she absolutely never rude and selfish.
Yes, like the Corinthians verses, Carrie illustrated unconditional love that gave me a comfortable place to heal, very slowly, and today I am blessed by 46 years of marriage. Almost 17 to my wonderful wife, Carrie. Acknowledge Her
By the way, I am told that Bill and Marta have also been married 46 years, Congratulations.
I am also blessed by my faith in all that is good, hope for the future and most all for the incredible love that ties Sarah and Stephanie and all of us together.
I have observed the patience, kindness, and gentleness that Sarah has displayed.
I am certain, Stephanie, that you are, as I have been, blessed with love of a beautiful woman.
I am also certain that if we listen, listen very closely, we can hear the cheers of support from those not physically here.
Faith and Hope are what we believe. And it is Love that is the greatest of these for loves provides the gateway to our future and it is
Love that SETS US FREE
Stephanie and Sarah promises
Stephanie and Sarah state their commitment to each other.
2 years 5 months 3 days ago, a very special person’s presence was needed in a place we cannot physically see but that I am certain spiritually exists. In 34 days, we would have celebrated our 10 year anniversary of marriage. Yet here I stand – to marry again. Why you may ask? The answer is this ------ I believe in marriage and in my very core I would have given anything to have Candice as my wife to this day still. We don’t choose these things in life.
BUT It has always been very clear to me that very little in life is as important as love and this is where we have a choice- ; to live and continue to be open to love and essentially great joy even when we know what enormous pain this may also cause. What we learn in loss, is we could never experience the heartache without true happiness. Joys and pains weave and coexist like marriage.
After losing Candice, I went to the ocean- the ocean conjures my earliest and fondest memories as a child and growing up. Some never experience the gifts and beauties of the sea. To witness the parallels that the ocean shares with our life cycle is one of many reasons I have been blessed. It has brought my heart palpitations beholding powerful swells and crashing waves against rocky cliffs. It has also been my healer and soother on a calm sunny day in the sand.
Skies portray it’s power both in playfulness and ferocity
full of shades of blues, greens, greys.
sparkles of silver and white–
it offers a truth in that we don’t get to tell it how it will go-
it is bigger than us and we are forced to respect this
and we are taught that we cannot control nature and its way …we can only hope we are nimble and resilient to continue to see past the storms ---to the horizon (both linear and eternal)
This is the ocean’s surface…
In special moments we get to witness small glimpses from beneath …Whales breaching, seals bobbing, fish arching…
.….but perhaps there are mermaids too–
I met mine on April 25st, 2015 …. - I was feeling a little unsteady (to say the least). I was on a raft in the middle of the ocean with little clarity where I was and where I was heading. But alas, I saw a mermaid –with the purest intention to help me find my way back to steady ground.
Yes- I looked across a room and saw you and in that instant I felt hope, a future and love …again and …. No – in no way has it been easy to get to shore. In fact we may not be there in full or ever…What I have learned is it takes strength and a leap of faith to stand here today. Afterall, the ocean is a beautiful and cruel landscape…this is much like my journey to stand here today. I ask you all present to not only witness but to support this miracle with care.
What I know to be true ---is simple …..Sarah Joyce Shoemaker- my mermaid, I love you and this is my heart’s pure and tangible certainty. Thank you for giving me light in darkness and for giving me a reason to fight and struggle again. It would be far easier to go this world alone, free of love and free of potential further heartache. But as I learned – we don’t always get to choose….. I could no more choose to not love you than to breath. This was clear from the moment our eyes met across the room. It – like the ocean, is a powerful and wonderful pull. I choose to marry you today and everyday forward ----I promise to love, care and devote my life to you and the family we will raise together.
I know that we found our way to each other with a little help from a light house… a beacon, an angel who guided us to this point (a long and lovely place much like I hope our lives together experience.)
Stephanie. It’s nearly 16 months to the day from when we ran into each other at that comedy show. That doesn’t sound like much time and it isn’t, but time isn’t just objectively measured; the experience of time is vastly different, as you know. It can move quickly and be brief, and yet feel like so much has transpired. In our short time there has been a lot – it’s been intense and wonderful, sad and hard, amazing and real. In no time at all, I knew I wanted to marry you, and in even less time I realized you were the love of my life. As the poem in the frame we got in Ogunquit described it, “It only took a moment to decide to love you wildly with my whole heart & the thing that amazes me again and again is that it really is as simple as that. “
As we round this next bend in our relationship… into marriage, I don’t know what time will give us, but I do know how I hope we will live it.
To start, I will do my best to honor the relationship, love and presence of your robin, and support you in your memories and heartache for not only your robin, but your blue jay and your cardinal, as well.
I will continue to love what I see as your strengths – your attunement to people, your thoughtfulness and empathy, your amazing ability to be intensely present when it matters, your perseverance and strength to push through in the face of immense pain (maybe not always gracefully) but moving through all the same, your commitment, your responsible and planning nature, your love of biking and running, your independence, and your belief in love and how you love. I believe that many of our strengths are also our weaknesses, so I will endeavor to help you limit the extent to which your strengths become your weaknesses – whether it is in taking care of others, including me, at the expense of yourself; or in not saying no; or in being too responsible or too hard of a worker sacrificing your much-needed balance; or in not asking for what you need; or in not taking risks that you deserve to take.
I hope you will continue to do the same for me – love my strengths and have patience for my weaknesses and support me in chipping away at them. I would also ask that you ensure three things – make sure I get to nature in every season – whether it’s capes or islands; oceans or ponds; mountains or hills; creeks or rivers; forests or woods – make sure I hike, bike, ski, snowshoe, and kayak. Second, make sure I can swim in nature, as much as is reasonably possible. Third, please allow me to delight in Christmas every year.
I don't know what lies around our bend, but I do believe it will be as beautiful as that bend in PEI that took your breath away and caused you to fall off your bike into the middle of the road…and I believe we will do everything within our control to make that so. I will work tirelessly to ensure we love and support one another in thickness and thin. To be honest and communicate. To work through our problems and struggles and not let them fester. To build our family – whatever that may be – on a young, yes, but solid foundation of love and commitment and shrouded in the love and support of our friends and family. To build our own traditions and rekindle ones that we’ve missed. To prioritize experiences over the material. To make time for nature, which grounds us both. To be cautious not to sacrifice our needs or let them get too far gone. To make time for us as a couple and ourselves individually. And to continually reflect on what we need to do for us, our family, our friends, our families, and our community.
I promise to be a true partner in life in all that time will deliver us.
So, Stephanie Anne Hunt, of Suffern and Canastota NY, of the Hunt family of NY, of the clan MacKearin and the clan MacLeod – you matter to me, you are my home, my unicorn, my double sunrise shell, and the love of my life – so as I wrote in twigs under that conifer tree when I proposed…
…I give you my whole heart for my whole life.
Stephanie and Sarah: their vows (Sarah Weaver and Kearin Hunt invited forward)
Sarah and Stephanie, in each other’s presence you have found a home, a sanctuary where love is offered and where trust is given and received. I invite you now to declare your commitment to a marriage of eternal love.
Sarah, you have chosen Stephanie to be your wife.
Will you love and respect Stephanie? Answer: I will. Will you be honest with her always? And will you stand by her through whatever comes?
Stephanie, you have chosen Sarah to be your wife.
Will you love and respect Sarah? Will you be honest with her always? And will you stand by her through whatever comes?
Do you both promise to make the necessary adjustments in your personal lives in order that you may enjoy a harmonious and loving relationship together?
Sarah and Stephanie, will you love, honor and cherish each other for now and forever?
Ring Exchange: with Sarah Weaver and Kearin Hunt
It is symbolic that we are here in the midst of ocean water where the endless cycle of life begins. And we stand beneath the guiding light of Long Point Light House that has guided mariners and lovers alike.
In that spirit, it is fitting, that you both offer a symbol of the loving, living and guidance you will share with each other.
Sarah: Repeat after me I give you this ring as a symbol ---- of my commitment and enduring love for you. Place ring
Stephanie: Repeat after me I give you this ring as a symbol ----- of my commitment and enduring love you. Place ring
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to announce to you and to the world, the marriage of these beautiful women as Partners for Life
Kiss and celebrate
You may now kiss your spouse!!!!!!!