Before we get started, can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up, any siblings, etc?
I was born and raised in northern California wine country (Sonoma County), child number 3 of 4, where we lived on a family farm with milking goats, sheep, chickens, the occasional duck, and more outdoor cats than you could count. There were three large garden spaces and we canned and froze a lot of what we harvested. We had acreage which included old apple, pear and plum trees, and enough space to lose yourself in wonder and play. My younger brother still lives in the family home. My older brother and sister are both still in the area. The Girl Scouts taught me how to be a leader, and I am forever grateful for the energy and effort countless women put into grounding me as the leader I have become.
How did you connect with PC(USA)?
I grew up attending Sunday school, VBS, and the Carol Choir at the Santa Rosa, First Presbyterian Church. My family weren’t members of the church, but that was where we went, when we went. In high school and early college, I worked with the children and youth programs of the church. When I went to southern California for the rest of the college years, I worked in youth ministries at Pasadena Presbyterian, where I was baptized and became a member. (I was looking to go to seminary after all, so I thought it would be good to do that before I went!) I was active in the Synod work of camps and conferences ministry. I received my M.Div from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and a MA (in Christian Education) from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary).
In the 30 years since that time I have been an Associate Pastor in Hollywood, Florida, and Okemos, Michigan, and Pastor/Head of Staff in Carbondale, IL. I’ve served on Staff at most of the Presbyterian Youth Trienniums in that time, as a small group leader and CARE Team member. I’ve been a mentor for new pastors, served on General Council, COM and Leadership Development, as well as taking a few years off of presbytery work during my “bad presbytery” phase.
I come to Hamilton Union as an Interim/Transitional pastor. While completing week one of the training in the spring, I realized how much of the tool chest of Transitional ministry I already use in my ministry, and how much we all might benefit from using those tools more.
Share with us a little about your hobbies?
Ailurophile, genealogist, photographer and hooker. . .all titles I go by, from time to time. Cat lover, my four kitty-boys made the car trip from Southern Illinois with me (and I don’t know who you should feel sorry for more!). For nearly 30 years I have been tracking down the ancestors on both my parent’s families. I also have been working with my BFF to find more about her family. For 30 seconds we actually thought we were related! Come to find out, 350 years ago, we were neighbors, signing official papers for one another. How cool! I come by the photo bug from my father and his father. . .it is in our blood. Hooker. . .tsk, tsk, tsk. . .I play with yarn, specifically, I crochet. . .aka hooking!
I am also a two time volunteer with Marion Medical Mission – which brings safe water sources (shallow wells) to Malawai, Tanzania, and Zambia. I am most passionate about the work, and would be happy to share more about mmmwater.org with you!
Is there anything new you have found yourself enjoying are looking forward to in Capital Region?
Only here for a week, I am still finding the shops I need, and waiting for my furniture and “things” to arrive, but I am looking forward to exploring the countryside, as I have never spent real time in New York state. An added plus is that several of the female lines which married into my father’s family came to this area (!) and went north. I sense some sleuthing coming on! Growing up in the Wine country, I look forward to tasting what New York wines have to offer. I also look forward to exploring LYS – Local Yarn Shops – and spending my cat’s inheritances on marvelous yarn!