Bio: My Spiritual Path
I grew up as an Episcopalian in Shreveport, Louisiana, baptized as an infant and confirmed as a 12-year old. I began to have questions about the theology that was mostly found in creed. How could there be a virgin birth? How could the son of God be both human and divine? Who could explain resurrection? I was unable to see the words as metaphor, so none of it made sense to me.
As a young adult I became a Unitarian Universalist, where doubts were welcomed. I could change my mind about matters of religion without being less spiritual. “UU” members are interested in theology, but are more focused on how we as humans treat one another and the world around us. Justice, equity, and compassion for others is one way to express both our inherent worth as human beings and as part of an interdependent web of existence.
Outside the church I was a wife and mother while I finished a Bachelor’s degree at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Over time, I held jobs in retail, banking, and as a resident advocate at a shelter for battered women and their children. These taught me so much about relationships and communication.
I became more and more involved in the UU Church, teaching children and youth in Missouri, and serving as Membership Chair, Secretary, and Board President in Texas. I learned about the nuts and bolts of church life while exploring matters of theology and spirituality. When I discovered the term “panentheism,” I said, “That’s it! That’s who I am!” Panentheism, in brief, is a belief that the spirit of God flows within us and among all beings and also transcends the cosmos. God is far more present to me now than any creed could convey.
Nurtured by Unitarian Universalism, I made it my vocation and studied for the ministry at Perkins School of Theology, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. In 1993 I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.), passed my denominational examinations, and was ordained at Northwoods UU Church in The Woodland, Texas. For 25 years I served Texas congregations in Waco, College Station, Austin, and Houston. Denominational work as a consultant took me to Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Florida. I have mentored 3 ministerial interns and 4 ministers during their first three years of ministry.
After retiring from parish ministry I took up a focused ministry of helping others deepen their spiritual lives. They may be devout believers or confirmed atheists, but they have a curiosity, a hunger, or a longing to spend some time in reflection. To prepare for this specialty, I attended a three year program to become a Spiritual Director. This year I became a graduate of Formation in Direction, a program offered by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas to train individuals in the art and practice of spiritual formation and spiritual direction for individuals or small groups.
My intention is to serve people “as they are” while helping them pay attention to the spiritual side of life.