A Message from Rev. Teri Embum and her husband, Rev. Clark Embum
I'm Teri Embum, owner of Muzik For U, and a minister. It seems like when people find out both I and my husband are ministers, there are dozens of questions running through peoples minds: How did a disc jockey become a minister? What beliefs do I hold dear? What religion am I? What denomination? Isn't it strange to have someone who encourages fun to be a minister also? Aren't the two mutually exclusive? Do I have a congregation? Do my husband and I have a church?
I believe by telling others about my journey, they may find hope that their own spiritual search will yield incredible results.
My story is a simple one. I've always wanted to teach and help others. I thought educating the young was the way to help, so I enrolled in classes to get my teaching certificate. I was so incredibly shy, I couldn't possibly get up in front of anyone to talk, much less teach. One of my professors suggested I enroll in the college's radio course. He reasoned I would be able to talk into a microphone, since in the radio booth I'd be alone and not in front of others.
Finally feeling like I found my niche, I was taking more communications, radio, and TV classes. My quiet reserved shell was slowly cracking. Soon, I was disc jockeying college dances, friends' parties, and weddings to supplement my meager income. College became a part-time endeavor, as I could not make ends meet as a full time student. It's during this time I met Clark, my soulmate and husband, and I formed Muzik For U Mobile DJs. Forsaking my burger-flipping job and making a foray into the communications field, I landed a job at a local small town radio station. My dream of teaching and helping was not lost, although I seemed to be far off track. Little did I know what was in store for me.
Many of my friends and family just couldn't understand how a person with their financial head just barely above water could continually be donating food and money to local charities. Or, how Clark and I could be volunteering all of our spare time at local community events. A co-worker of mine was a lay minister at a local church. He saw how I was always volunteering for one group or another, always helping people. He could see I enjoyed helping people, but he also knew I wasn't a member of any church. He asked me on several occasions to join his group in worship, but I'd always decline. He finally asked me straight out what I believed. After all, someone who works so hard to help others must believe, right?
His simple question caught me off guard and made me think. What did I believe? Did I believe as I had been raised? That Jesus died for our sins? That there was a loving God above? I started searching my soul, and didn't like the answer I found. I wasn't sure about anything. My education had taught me not to accept answers without proof, but my upbringing had taught me to accept what I was told. My young mind reeled at the contradiction.
That's when I started my search. Like most Christians, my studies took me first to the Bible. Upon reading the Bible, I realized I needed a historical context to help my understanding of the times, places, and social structure surrounding the text. This took me on a multi-year search of religious history, theories and beliefs of different Christian denominations, beliefs of different world religions, the sociology and psychology of religion, and more.
During this time, I felt more and more compelled to tell others what I had found, and in the process, learn from them what they believed. Sharing and teaching what I have learned seemed natural and right. Allowing them the freedom to discuss what they believe without telling them that they are right or wrong, I'd ask friends how they felt about God. Most looked at me like I'd grown another head. But, after these friends would stop and think about the question I had asked, they would confide that they believed in a higher Creator, but not necessarily in the doctrines of their chosen denomination.
This is when I decided there needed to be a place where all could come together to share their journey toward God. A place where all were accepted, regardless of their beliefs.. I became ordained, and have continued teaching, talking, listening, and helping.
Questions I'm Asked
Did I attend a seminary? No, not in the tradition sense. I already had most of my 'basic' coursework covered while I was attending community college working my way through life. I did most of my seminary courses online, even writing my thesis on comparative religions and various religions' influences on the sociological development of countries. Do I feel I "cheated" by receiving my ordination this way? No, I have searched out answers to the question of the Divine for over ten years. I felt the call to teach and help for many years, and I believe this is the way that has been chosen for me to serve. Was it a roundabout way to get there? Most definitely, but most people's journey to reach enlightenment is long and winding.
I've run across many personalities in my work. I've had people who have thought I'm crazy. Others have given me nothing but encouragement. There are even a few I know who think I'm being sacreligious by being a disc jockey and a minister. They feel by encouraging people to have fun at weddings and other events, I'm encouraging them to be sinful. I believe celebrating the union of two people in holy matrimony to be righteous. After all, we're celebrating their commitment to each other before God.
What about other events that I DJ? I disc jockeyed a pre-teen dance once a month at a local gym for over 10 years before moving to Skagit Valley. The program was designed to give the children something to do besides get into trouble. I don't see where anyone can interpret keeping kids off of the streets and out of trouble as sinful. The high school dances that Clark and I do also give the teens something to do. Once again, I see nothing unethical or wrong.
One of the goals that Clark and I would like to attain in the future is an actual, physical church. At this time, it's not financially feasible. In the meantime, we're happy to teach, to listen, and to share.
If you're in need of some prayers sent your way, I do have a group that does prayer sessions on a weekly basis. Please feel free to use the "Contact Us" link to email us, and please put "prayer request" in the subject line (like most email accounts, we get a ton of spam... the message in the subject line will ensure that we don't accidently erase your message.)
About Our Ministry
Let me preface this by saying this is Teri and Clark's personal belief system, and just because yours may differ does not mean that we would not be accepting of your beliefs...
We believe that all religions and denominations have parts of the truth in them, but that each is just a shard of the full TRUTH of the Divine. Because no one person sees or understands the entirety of God, no one person can claim to have the "one true way".
We believe that we're all here to help each other get through the trials and tribulations of life.
We believe that evil should be fought in all its forms, and that we should support those who fight and protect us from the evil in the world.
We believe that whether you follow The Ten Commandments, The Five Pillars of Islam, The Wiccan Rule of Three, or The Tao Te King, each path has been made to teach its followers to live the best life that the follower can. Each path is a valid path. Not everyone is comfortable taking a difficult, lonely road; and for them, a pleasant walk with friend is the correct path. Others strive to challenge themselves, and they may feel the need to take a tough journey. To each his own.
Contact Muzik For U by giving us a call at 360.269.7632 or by emailing us at Teri@muzikforu.com