I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and studied Nursing Science at The University of Western Ontario. After graduation I worked in a variety of nursing positions, married, became a mother, and lived in a small Ontario town for seven years. All sounds simple; it wasn’t!
Turning thirty, I followed my heart and returned to school in Toronto, studying spiritual care, counselling, and theology, through the seven colleges in the Toronto School of Theology. Graduating with a Masters of Divinity from Trinity College, University of Toronto, I used this ecumenical education to offer Spiritual Support at a downtown Toronto teaching hospital, where I became Director of Chaplaincy Services.
Professional experience with the dying and their families, both as nurse and spiritual care provider, led me to further study and research through the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Toronto School of Theology. The title of my doctoral thesis is: “Reflections on Life and Death in a Technological Society: Experiences of Doctors and Nurses with Dying Patients in Intensive Care.”
My extensive work with the dying has given me a passion for encouraging people to cherish life in all its fullness, the pain as well as the joy. I am passionate about caring for individual health as well as the health of the planet. When I left hospital work, my desire was to bring the lessons learned from the land of the dying, to the land of the living. Why wait until your life is threatened to ask the deeper questions around meaning and purpose?
I was ordained as clergy in the United Church of Canada in 1987. Since 1997, while developing my independent work with individuals and groups, I served in two Toronto congregations, Rosedale United and Metropolitan United. I am now an Honorary Pastoral Associate at Rosedale United.
In 2007 as Adjunct Faculty at Emmanuel College (Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto), I began teaching in Masters of Divinity and Masters of Pastoral Studies Programmes. This included a course on Spiritual Care to the Dying and Grieving, (from 2007-2019); a course in Prayer (2010-2017); I also taught in their Continuing Education (since 1997 to present) and Parish Nursing Programmes (since 2000 – 2017).
In 2019 I was honoured with the 2018 Emmanuel College Distinguished Alumni/ae Award.
I am compelled to remain a full-time student in the workshop of life, with my experiences of separation, divorce, single parenting, re-marriage, step-family, grand-parenting, pandemic and, in 2020, the sudden death of my 5-year-old granddaughter. Life continues to give me a rich awareness of the complexity of family relationships and an appreciation of the opportunities for growth presented in the challenges of ordinary life. My own extensive experience in therapeutic analysis and on-going learning provides an integrated framework for my work.
I have a particular interest in recognizing the oneness of mind, body and spirit.
I am interested in encouraging people to reflect on their soul-life, and their unique personal journey. These can be supported by easily learned spiritual practices. To do this I offer workshops, (in person and on-line), retreats, individual spiritual mentoring (in person or through a technical link), and preaching.
Finally, after years of believing I had no artistic ability, I again listened to my heart and began to explore drawing and painting. I have completed requirements for the Diploma in Art through the Toronto School of Art. If I can do this, anyone can bring to life their artistic potential! I regularly practice yoga and meditation. I ride my bike for transportation and pleasure, and cross-country ski. I am an avid reader and continually challenge myself with new areas of learning which take me deeper into the heart of life.