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I was sitting in a Finance Committee meeting wrapping my brain around some fairly complex financial dealings New Thought Center is currently involved in: a new way of budgeting where we will bring the operating budget into sync with the pledge year; the disposition of a legacy gift in which we must bring into alignment the testator’s wishes and our current needs; a Capital Campaign budget which seeks to balance our repair and refurbishing needs with our mortgage obligations. President Andrea was conducting the meeting and at one point she looked at me and silently mouthed “Will you come be on the Board?”
I’ve been serving on the Finance Committee continuously since July, 2008 when as a Board member I succeeded Rev. Andrea to the position of Treasurer. I was aware of the current Board vacancy, but I was not sure I was ready to jump back in. Serving on the NTCSL Board is so much more than attending one evening meeting a month –it is an assumption of stewardship responsibility for the wellbeing of NTCSL; the finances, the ministries, the administration, the community. The only way this can happen is as a joint effort –with ministry, with administration, with other members of the Board, with our wonderful volunteers, with the community and, most importantly, with the input and guidance of Spirit.
Then Rev. Andrea shared with me her vision for a new governance model for NTCSL . It involves passing responsibility for operations from the Board and committees to the professional staff. We have started implementing this model on the Finance Committee. I’m excited to participate in moving the Board from micromanagement to policy setting.
So here I am, back on the Board for another stint. I conveyed my acceptance to Andrea at the service that Sunday. By Monday evening she had approval of the appointment from a majority of the Board. Now that’s leadership. I am humbled, honored, and blessed to have this opportunity to serve.
David Alexander is a life-long student of spiritual principles, having been born and raised in the New Thought tradition. Called to the ministry at age thirteen, Rev. David has made the study and application of universal spiritual principles his life devotion. Rev. David became a Licensed Religious Science Practitioner in 1999, received his ministerial license in 2004 and was ordained in 2006, and affiliated with United Centers for Spiritual Living in 2007. Rev. David serves on the Board of Directors for the Community of Welcoming Congregations. Rev. David writes the monthly column "Philosophy in Action" for Science of Mind magazine. Rev. David has a deep passion for New Thought history and manages the site www.newthoughthistory.org In April of 2009 Rev. David was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College. As one of the youngest and most dynamic ministers in the New Thought movement, his messages are inspiring, humorous and relevant to today's world. Rev. David serves as the co-founding and Senior Minister of New Thought Center for Spiritual Living (2004-Present). In 2012 Rev. David was elected to the first Leadership Council of the newly formed Centers for Spiritual Living organization and is currently the Chairman of the Council. Rev. David also serves as director of Strategic Alliances for Centers for Spiritual Living and on the governing board of the Association for Global New Thought with Dr. Michael Beckwith. Rev. David received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Centers for Spiritual Living in October 2014.
Rev. Dr. Sally Rutis a former Registered Nurse, was ordained in 1988 and received her Doctorate in Religious Studies in 2003. In Rev. Sally's ministry, she has provided spiritual and administrative leadership as Teen Director and as a visionary and co-founder of several ministerial training programs. Highly sought for the warm and comfortable wedding ceremonies she helps create, Rev. Sally brings years of experience, a dynamic teaching style, and a deep healing consciousness to all aspects of her ministry. Rev. Rutis retired from active ministry in July of 2011.
Rev. Cheri Unger enthusiastically brings her professional skills of deep listening, caring and compassion into her ministry as an Associated Minister of New Thought Center for Spiritual Living, a Religious Science Licensed Practitioner, Director of the Sacred Silver Sages, and founding choir member. She was ordained in December 2001 and served at Living Enrichment Center. In 2004 as part of the founding team of Ministers, Rev. Cheri sponsored the Sacred Silver Sages, bringing them under the umbrella of New Thought Ministries of Oregon. She initiated, implemented and coordinates the Sunday meditation. Rev. Cheri's background includes a BA in Nursing and a Masters in Counseling. Rev. Cheri serves the New Thought Center for Spiritual Living community with joy, dedication and commitment as called.
Rev. Noel was a member of NTCSL's founding Interim Board, and has ever since served as NTCSL's Board Chaplain, attending nearly 300 meetings since the summer of 2004. He participates in teaching NTCSL's "Foundations" course and regularly offers self-transformational seminars on the Tao of New Thought, self-dominion, and global transformation.
Rev. Noel is a doctorate minister of Religious Science, ordained in 1989. He has immersed himself in ongoing studies of consciousness, spiritual metaphysics, contemporary cosmology, systems theory, ecology, transpersonal psychology and psychotherapy, subtle energetics, and other integral perspectives, while sharing and applying his learning in a variety of college, university, editorial and ministerial settings. He has authored or co-authored several books on the bridging of science and spirit. He is currently co-authoring a book entitled The Science of Causing Outcomes.
From 1985-2002 Rev. Noel was the senior pastor of several churches of Religious Science. He is a former columnist for Science of Mind magazine, and from 1979 to 1996 was a faculty member of the School of Ministry (now Ernest Holmes Institute) for the United Centers of Spiritual Living (UCSL), teaching New Thought related courses in science, mysticism, philosophy, and ethics on its campuses in Los Angeles, Huntington Beach, San Diego, San Jose, Denver and Seattle.
Rev. Barbara Wuest graduated from Western Oregon University in 1982 with a teaching degree in Mathematics & Physical Education, along with a minor in Psychology. After working as a teacher for 3 years, she changed focus to work in a computer company in Beaverton.
1989 was the “new beginning” for Barbara. Her father had just died, she was going through a divorce becoming a single parent of a 4-year old, and then an amazing God moment occurred! “It is amazing how there was a door open for me, that I never saw until I decided to begin walking again on this Spiritual path.” Walking through this door, Barbara began taking numerous classes at her Spiritual church, becoming more and more comfortable with New Thought and how perfectly it fit into her life.
After two years of classes, Barbara went to a new spiritual community to be in leadership on the board, and then created/gave Sunday sermons during the ministers’ vacations. Naturally this led Barbara into the desire to further her studies and in 2000/2001 she became a licensed and ordained minister.
Rev. Barb began volunteering at NTCSL in 2010 and was then hired as the assistant minister by the end of that year. In addition to her work at NTCSL, Rev. Barb is fortunate to have the opportunity to speak in a variety of churches in Oregon, mainly on the coast. “I love meeting people from many different denominations and sharing our stories of spiritual growth! I am truly blessed.”
“Joy is the way it is! I love to have fun, laugh and share the many things I have learned from my life experience AND I enjoy hearing about how others have come to their own spiritual awareness in their lives.
Come into my life and live JOY! Let’s laugh, cry and BE together. That’s what I truly want!”
After a six month absence from Portland and NTCSL, I returned in February 2013. The gift of that "separation" is knowing that this is right where I belong. I will do what is mine to do to support this community that has supported me and all of us in our Divine Unfolding.
My service experience ranges from being a member of The Northwest Academy Development Committee, and serving as Board Chair of the school's art gallery, The Angry Pigeon. Other service commitments include personal, local, and world service for 12 Step Fellowships, including serving as the national representative to an upcoming World Service Conference.
Recently, I started a Wednesday night Life Group: New Thought 12 Steps. I have taken two NTCSL courses, Foundations and Financial Freedom.
I attended Muskingum College and the University of Cincinnati majoring in Philosophy. I am currently the owner of several small businesses, that include the Buffalo Wings Clothing Co. located in Portland, in the Pearl.