1 MINISTER: My most important vocation is my life’s work in the ministry. Although my theological training and background were conservative, I now appreciate the importance and benefits of encouraging Faith-Based Values and Missions. I’ve had the privilege of serving in a number of teaching, counseling and leadership capacities in churches and organizations, in several dstates, over the last nearly five decades.
2 PASTOR - INTERFAITH MINISTRIES: At Church Without Walls, in addition to teaching biblical scholarship, we also explore a number of spiritually-based studies, including major world religions and spiritual literature. This helps people learn about, and grow from, appreciating the similarities of our planet’s shared belief systems. Presently in our Search For A Sacred Science Series, we are exploring the commonalities of the scientific and religious viewpoints; how they support, rather than contradict each other. Our fascinating textbook, a compilation of 50 two-page essays by the world’s leading thinkers in the areas of science and religion, is entitled, God for The 21st Century.
3 WEDDINGS – PREMARITAL COUNELING: Because of the post-denominational nature of Church Without Walls, and due to our work as marriage counselors, we have the privilege to perform lots of weddings. It is such a joy to be able to be part of pre-nuptial counseling and marriage preparation! Here in Naples we get to do lots of barefoot beach weddings!
4 BEST SELF CLINIC DIRECTOR: Established Naples Clinic in 1990. Now expanded to over a dozen therapists in a variety of specialized areas, around the country. Besides private counseling, we and our team of therapists lead a wide spectrum of groups and teach various self-improvement classes and support groups open to the public. We are well-known in South West Florida for the many community and professional seminars we have presented over the years.
5 MARRIAGE AND FAMILY COUNSELOR: One of our most gratifying ministries is our work as family counselors. As pastoral therapists, we appreciate the opportunity to help folks learn how to bring harmony and joy into their lives.
7 ON-LINE THERAPY: Operate an international web counseling service. Internet technology provides clients the anonymity and convenience to get the help they need. This has become a very popular and effective avenue for life skills training for snowbirds, and clients who do not reside in Florida.
8 PROFESSOR of the Pastoral Therapy Training Program, a three year graduate program which prepares counselors to do local and on-line counseling for Best Self USA.
9 RESEARCH on family issues is quoted by world leaders in the field, is translated into several languages, and is available on hundreds of web-sites around the world.
10 PRESIDENT-BONITA SPRINGS MINISTERIAL ASSOCIATION: Privileged to serve as first woman president of Bonita Spring Ministerial Association. This group is supportive of local religious leaders and their congregations. How pleased we are with the spirit of the participants in BSMA. While each congregational leader remains committed to the theology of our particular denominations, we collectively work together to support faith-based values and ministries within our community. For example: All churches in BSMA now have a premarital counseling program. Sam and I, as Family Therapists, were among the first pastors to be registered at the Lee and Collier County Marriage License Departments as Certified Pre-Marriage Counselors.
In solidarity regarding the Parks and Recreation Dept’s policy toward equal access usage for community groups, BSMA recently petitioned and supported the government’s adoption of the new policy, which no longer allows anti-religious bias.
BSMA sponsors yearly Crop Walks in February, a Community Thanksgiving Service, an outdoor, city-wide National Day of Prayer Celebration, as well as providing assistance for needy transients and locals. Presidents of other area ministerial associations attended our recent Installation of Officers Ceremony. Organized SW Fl Ministerial Alliance, bringing consensus of faith-based values among area ministerial associations. We continue to be impressed with the caliber and commitment of the area religious leaders, and their sense of cooperation and unity when it comes to the collective welfare of our community!
11 WIFE, AND MOM to three thirty something adults. A daughter working in computer graphics, a daughter in the health services field, and a videographer son.
12 FITNESS: Eat healthy (mostly raw) foods, including supplementation. Meditate and exercise daily, including walking, gardening, Yoga, Tai Chi and Quarter-Staffing with Sam.
13 MUSIC: Play LOTS of instruments, including piano and organ, guitar and harmonica, soprano and tenor steel drums (pans,) psaltery, marimbas and flutes, ukuleles and violin, string bass and washtub bass, washboard and Kazoo. I experience great pleasure from the experience of “doing” music; that is, singing and playing instruments, for the sheer joy of participating, as opposed to performing. Have been a church music director, played monthly with the Bluegrass Association, (and, OK) did a couple of folk concerts at Cambier Park.
Since our Church Without Walls congregation not large enough to have its own full-time music director, I sing on special occasions in the choir of one of our association churches. At Church Without Walls, we’re apt to sing hymns accompanied by pan music, while congregants may grab a guitar, some tambourines or maracas to participate in spontaneous praise singing.
14 MENSA: Host Mensa TGIF social gathering, open to the public, in our home every Friday evening. Work w Sam as Mensa Gifted-Child Coordinator. Have sponsored Annual Bikers vs Brainers Trivia contests for 13 years, to raise scholarship money for local students. We established an after school mentoring programs in area middle schools. Speak at several State Mensa gatherings. Presenter at MENSA World Gathering. Serve as media coordinator.
15 SWEDEN: Studied three years in Sweden in the 60’s as an exchange student. Am still fluent in Swedish, and correspond regularly with my host families in Sweden. Recently sponsored my exchange sister and her family through United States immigration and citizenship.
16 BONNETS AND BUGGIES: Lived “close to nature” in Amish country during the 70’s. Milked the cow and goat, made yogurt, butter and whole grain bread daily, canned 1500 quarts from my organic garden each year; butchered chickens, knit, quilted, and sewed our clothing on a treadle machine.
17 GARDENING: As a gift for a recent anniversary, I created, and landscaped a Zen garden across the entire length of our home. Getting outside, keeping my hands in the soil from time to time, brings an opportunity for creativity, constant surprises, and a connection with nature, which seems to foster that sense of inner solace. Enjoy and share yearly herbs and produce from our organic garden and fruit from the many now-mature trees we have planted on our property. Organized local food co-oping.
18 WOMENS GROUPS: One of my most gratifying ministries is women’s groups. Over the decades I have nearly always been involved in leading spiritual discussion and inspirational book study groups for women. There is a camaraderie that develops when women of different faiths explore the spiritual constants that bring oneness to all humanity.
19 AUTHOR/EDITOR: Have written and edited several books, articles and publications. Our blogs get thousands of daily hits.
20 NUTRITIONAL COUNSELOR: Over the decades we have been privileged to share what we are learning about healthy living with our circle of acquaintances. We teach local classes and speak nationally on removing toxins from our bodies and our environment, and on living healthier lives in harmony with nature. Much of our research can be found at http://thenaturaladvocate.blogspot.com
21 THEOLOGICAL CENTER OF NAPLES: On the board of of TCN, which, for 13 years, has sponsored Lenten Soup for the Soul, an interfaith assembly of members from over 30 congregations who fellowship together weekly in Lenten preparation. We are working on bringing accredited seminary classes to Naples.
22 BALANCE: Because of my fascination with so many fields, one of my major life’s challenges is to keep balance in my life. My definition of moderation is: WORK some, PLAY some, GIVE some, GROW some. There are so many exciting areas still left unexplored in my life, things to do, languages to learn, places to visit, etc that I have to keep reminding myself to take time out for RandR and sleep. Most of my work is play! Do you know people who are so involved in so many projects that they have piles of materials (organized, of course) all over the place?! :>} For me, people continue to be far more important than things! (Things can wait!)
23 NOT TO MENTION… Made a childhood decision against being best at anything, so as not to give up the joy of exploring a wide range of interests. As a result, have done carpentry and cabinetry, worked as a 4-star chef, taught school, owned a large greenhouse, managed a gift shop, worked as a floral designer, a hotel concierge, butcher, dance instructor, baton teacher, coached soccer, was scout leader, sorority mom, hosted a beauty pageant, enjoyed water and snow skiing, ballroom, tap, ballet, square dancing, Scottish country dancing, established a LaLeche League and a Childbirth Education Association chapter, to name a few.
25 IN SUMMARY: Life is an exciting adventure; what a trip! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings! Cherish the memories! But mostly enjoying being HERE, NOW!