I hope you had a wonderful, restful Labor Day weekend!It’s been a great summer! I really wanted to update my webpage more often, but by now I’ve learned that seminary takes a lot of my time. For 10 weeks, I was doing my church internship at Unity of Washington, DC. It was an amazing experience to shadow my mentoring minister, Rev. Sylvia Sumter, a visionary, who has had over 30 years experience in ministry to share with me. Rev. Sylvia opened the door and let me come right on in! Anything can arise on a given day that call upon her pastoral skills, administrative and financial, or community interfacing. The church is about to celebrate its 95th anniversary as well as Rev. Sylvia’s 30 years in ministry.
It was so valuable seeing their Love-In-Action teams, ministerial support, media team, usher/greeters, music ministry, bookstore operations, youth education, Next Generation Unity, Board of Trustees, and hospitality teams in action. There is truly a sense of community that is woven into the culture of this vibrant, giving community. I could feel their loving, prosperous, joyous, and spirit-filled passion and their belief in their mission. I had the opportunity to hold sacred space and participate in memorials, christenings, prayer and healing services, and give the Sunday morning message on July 12. I also got a chance to sing a couple of times. I will always treasure their warm, welcoming embrace and the encouragement they gave me all along the way! Unity of Washington, DC – you rock!!! Thank you for the flowers, and THANK YOU, AGAIN and AGAIN!
Greetings from Tulsa, Oklahoma – Church Internship – April 28, 2015
This is a long overdue update! I am happy to report that I arrived in Tulsa on March 21 for a 10-week church internship as part of my required course work toward my Masters of Divinity. My host church is Unity Church of Christianity (UCoC) where Rev. Mary Anne Harris is the spiritual leader. I had the pleasure of traveling to Italy with Rev. Mary Anne and several of her congregants in October 2012. But we go further back than that! I became acquainted with her in 2001 in northern California at Tri-Valley Unity. So we’ve both moved around a bit but stayed connected. It has been a great learning experience here and I’m sure this stay in Tulsa will serve me well in the years ahead as I launch my own ministry.
The first few months of this year have flown by. Not only was I busy in January with co-chairing the Martin Luther King, Jr. event at Unity Institute and Seminary, but I also went through a series of interviews for the Licensing and Ordination (L&O) process in late January. I am two/thirds of the way to completion of the educational and ordination process. My anticipated graduated date is June 2016 (next year). It was two years ago that I left my corporate job and drove to Unity Village, Missouri, to start the ministerial program. I am still happy with my decision!
I did a little singing for Rev. Sandra Campbell at Unity Temple on the Plaza, in Kansas City, MO on February 15, for her Black History Month sermon. Rev. Sandra did an excellent job describing the history of gospel music, and I had a chance to bring out my gospel roots on “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” The fine musical staff, Jerome Johnson, and the choir at Unity Temple of the Plaza rounded out the morning of jubilant musical renditions. I was also invited to be the guest speaker at Unity Spiritual Center in Springfield, MO, on February 22. For the most part, seminary has kept me very busy!
So far during my church internship, I have been greeted and surrounded by this warm, generous, loving faith community at UCoC who’s had my back and is loving me right where I am. I sang on Easter Sunday, gave the Sunday morning talk on April 19, and was worship leader on April 26. They’re keeping me hoppin’. I love it! I am so very grateful to be staying with one of the congregants in a comfy little room overlooking a pond with a fountain (ducks and all); yay for my room, my bed, and my own little desk to study. (Thank you to my gracious host – Ms. Diane Pinsart and her dog Bailey…for sharing their space with me.)
I do miss singing – – so, every now and then when I feel a song coming on, I just let it come on out (LOL). By trusting the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, I am finding the right and perfect balance of my gifts in ministry. THANK YOU GOD!
ALSO, THANK YOU for your love, support, encouragement, and prayers as I continue to shape, hone, and cultivate the ministry to which I believe I have been called. I am in high gratitude! Have a blessed day all day!
Love & blessings,
Wherever you are, please know that I am wishing you the very best throughout Thanksgiving Day and the weekend and sending you love and peace.
Thank you for being a magnificent part of my life’s journey! May you live well, enjoy laughter, and be fulfilled with your heart’s your most earnest desires and dreams. Be blessed. If you are traveling, safe journey!
In deep appreciation and love,
I’m excited to be singing again:
Women’s Empowerment Body & Soul Conference, Sat. July 26, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Unity Southeast in Kansas City, 3421 East Meyer Blvd., Kansas City, MO (816) 841-1402 – Donation 12.00 – Brunch, Free Health Screenings, Chair Massages, Natural Hair Care – How to be fabulous at any age and much more! Program honoring Dr. Maya Angelou.
Glad to be part of the program (I’m singing).
There have been some exciting happenings!
– I attended the Unity Convention in Overland Park June 9 – 12
– Fun Family Time at my sister’s retirement party (Congratulations, Ruth!) in California
– Enjoyed speaking and singing at Unity of San Leandro and Unity of the Valley (Vacaville, CA)
– Taking one summer class – Ministry Development – online
– Catching up and connecting with friends and family
– Summer leisure reading – Embracing Cultural Competency (St. Onge et al), The Seat of the Soul (Zukav), The Heart of a Woman, Singin’ & Swingin’ & Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (Angelou)
– Just ordered my Greek English Interlinear New Testament! (becoming a Bible geek)
– Working on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee for UISA (student body) for January 2015 events.
I hope you’re enjoying your summer, too! Stay cool and easy breezy.
Blessings & Love,
It’s been a great school year…another year of seminary under my belt. I did my first chapel service on April 30, 2014. I am looking forward to doing another one in about a year. I will keep you posted. I am off for some summer fun now! Enjoy your summer, too!
Well, after 4 months, I think I’ve adjusted to the life of being a “student.” We’re all students of life, yes. But I mean, REALLY being a student, like taking classes, doing homework, terms papers (oh my!). For many years, I thought I’d never go back to ANY kind of school. However, it began to dawn on me that if I ever did, it would be something along a spiritual nature. This is where I’ve found the most fulfillment, joy, and valuable tools for life.
I’ve completed some great coursework already during the spring term – – History of Christianity, Pastoral Counseling, Spiritual Intelligence, and Homiletics – – and two courses just completed during the first summer session: The Peace Seminar with Dr. Sharif Abdullah, author of Creating a World That Works for All and global peace negotiator; and Advanced Homiletics with Dr. Robert Fish (who I had known years ago when I sang at Unity of Fremont).
So, HERE I AM, loving it! I’ve finished my second term and I’m now taking summer courses. Oh, and yes, I have had a chance to sing here at a Vespers service in the Fillmore Chapel for the graduating S.E.E. class back in April. I sang “Touching the Stillness” from my CD. They liked it so much they invited me back to sing for their graduation ceremony on Thursday evening! Their theme was “Welcome to Your Awakening.” It was beautiful. So, things are moving along nicely.
It’s funny, in the mid- or late-80s, I had considered getting a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) when my brother was pursuing his M.Div. at Howard University, but I dismissed it, thinking…now, what would I do with that? At the time, I guess I was mostly concerned with “survival.” Following 11 years of marriage and then a divorce, I went on to carve out a career in Information Technology in the 90s to support myself; but simultaneously, I continued my passion of singing and connecting in a spiritual community so that I could continue to grow and evolve spiritually. I spent many years trying to put my life back together again, that is trying to put together a life – – period. Taking several baby steps in personal transformation, I grew and found a spiritual path that worked for my life, which helped me get back on track and be on my way to expressing more of myself and trusting myself. So, really I have come full circle with an idea that was dropped into my mind over 20 years ago.
Well, it’s been 4 months since I’ve landed at Unity Institute and Seminary. My life took yet another exciting turn when I finally answered the call to ministry. I’ve always believed we are all called; however, it is up to us to answer and determine what that means for us and how we can best express it. I believed I had answered “the call” in various ways throughout my life, or so I thought, by being more dedicated to my church, or being more loving and serving in my community and family, even by singing. I understood my calling was to accept, live, and be all that Jesus taught us to be… and to be about my purpose. Many of us spend a lifetime figuring out and finding a way to articulate exactly what that is all about. I know it’s a very personal thing.
It was so easy for me to sit back in a conditioned, pre-conceived, packaged form of what my role was supposed to be…afraid to live out loud. But now I’ve come to realize even more of what I sing in my song “Greater Things.” We WILL do greater things when we awaken to our true spiritual identity. We all must find a way to release the imprisoned splendor inside and bring to the world our own unique gifts, which will awaken everyone around us to their divine purpose.
This summer, may you have all the fun and excitement, joy and relaxation that brings a smile to your face and satisfaction to your soul…as your spirit continues to soar!
Love & infinite blessings,
Greetings! I’m happy to report I have arrived in Lee’s Summit, MO, to attend seminary! Yes, I’m entering THE ministry. I have been singing all my life and will continue to sing. There’s just been this “slight” shift. I left California on March 19 and began my 4-day road trip traveling east with my oldest sister Bertha Young. It was quite an adventure!! We stopped at the Grand Canyon (the South Rim). We had great weather all the way through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oaklahoma. Upon our arrival in Missouri, however, there was snow (very funny!). It felt a little weird to be scraping snow off the car again. It’s all melted and gone away now.
I MUST thank everyone who came to my send-off party at Unity of San Leandro on March 17th or sent me good wishes before I left California. Thank you, Rev. Diana McDaniel and Rev. Ken Murdock for being my mentors. It was a little sad leaving Kaiser (my old job) and the many friends I made there, but I know that I am following my heart. Please feel free to keep in contact with me – – I am so “findable” on Facebook and Twitter. Also, you may enter your email address in the subscription box on this webpage and keep up with my travels and progress through ministerial school.
Have a wonderful SPRING!!!
Love and infinite blessings,
Just wanted to share this email from Ann from Walnut Creek. My cup truly runneth over! Thank you all for supporting me in my music with love, your sharing, your gifts, genuine heart-felt expressions of joy, and affirmative prayer! Bless you!
I heard Dinah’s music at Unity Church in Walnut Creek a few months ago, when I was seeking comfort, inspiration and the courage to make changes in my life. She inspired me! So I bought her CD, River of Living Waters.
Dinah’s voice, the words in her songs, and her heartfelt delivery have moved me tremendously in my journey over the last 3 months. Her love and faith come through loud and clear in her voice and through her lyrics.
Last Sunday, I heard her again at Unity. When she sang Faithful, I cried, as I realized that God had indeed been faithful to me and answered my prayers.
Her music has transformed me and I am grateful to Dinah for this gift she has to touch, to heal and to inspire.
Her song Touching the Stillness allowed me to begin to meditate and pray. Her song Find a Song became my song, in those moments of difficulty. Her song Brand New was exactly the way I felt as I was undergoing my transformation and healing. And her song Beloved is something I have sung many times when I think I am all alone.
Keep singing Dinah! Your ministry will be blessed by your loving intention and your incredible talent!
Ann from Unity, Walnut Creek, California
I know it’s been quiet on my blog lately, but that’s going to turnaround soon! This is why…..
I am pleased to announced I have completed all requirements for becoming a Licensed Unity Teacher! My spiritual journey has been full of surprises, and I have met many new friends along the way. It has been very rewarding to explore and deepen my spiritual experience, awakening to my divine purpose and calling more and more each day. I look forward to teaching workshops and classes in the Bay Area and beyond as well as singing. What an exciting time! I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now! Thank you all for your prayers and for supporting me through this process with your love and encouragement. Blessings, peace, and love always,