For 35 years, I have been serving in a variety of ministries in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, as a campus minister, in prison ministry and in the local church, both rural, suburban and small town. Ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church in 1983 and elder in 1986, I received standing in the United Church of Christ in 1999.
Geology was my college major and I’m still an avid rock collector. What does geology have to do with the church, you might ask? It is a simple step to move from studying the ages of rocks to the Rock of Ages. While at Boston University School of Theology for seminary, I fell in love with Bruce Taylor, Massachusetts, and the Red Sox. All three are part of my life even to this day.
In 2004, I received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Hartford Seminary, focusing on conflict transformation and trauma healing. My other part-time work with the Brookfield Institute (www.brookfieldinstitute.org), allows me to use my learning to help military families and veterans in their trauma healing journey. I also travel to Latin America to teach congregations about how faith heals us to heal from trauma.
My husband, Bruce Prestwood-Taylor, is a pastor at the Second Congregational Church in Palmer and a faithful partner in ministry since our marriage in 1981. We have been blessed with two children Jesse and Carrie. Our son Jesse works as a data scientist for Insureon in Chicago and our daughter Carrie lives 5 blocks from her brother in Chicago, as a project engineer for Gilbane Construction. As you can imagine, we are regular visitors to our Midwestern family.
We have two rescue dogs as pets that keep us on our toes, Tango, a Chinook and Annie, a Shepherd/husky/collie mix. Annie takes me out running everyday, and Tango pulls Bruce along, like the sled dog he is.
Music is vital to my ministry, and I sing all the time and play the piano occasionally, having studied piano and voice in my teenage and college years. I am learning to play the guitar, but, believe me, I am not yet ready for prime time. My heart soars to the music of the classics, and I have learned to love country music, gospel music, praise music, pop music, rap music, even hip hop. Through variety of music in worship, we touch the hearts of our diverse community.
Developing our spiritual life is dear to me. I seek to read the Bible everyday, to pray and meditate, to ask Jesus for help and to look and listen for the Spirit’s living presence in the bird’s songs, the wild animals I meet running, the magnificent trees, flowers, snow, rain, rainbows, in the stillness of the morning, in the presence of wise people all around me and in our corporate worship and prayer. I have personally experience Jesus’ healing in my life and I have a deep faith in God’s power in our lives right now. GOD IS STILL SPEAKING TO US!!