than my family, my car and my residence, just about
everything in my life is different this year. New job,
new church, new music, new friends, etc., etc.. I even
had the opportunity to be on both coasts.
- It is
with some sadness that I no longer work at Unity
Church of Christianity (UCC).
a year and a half of 60-70 hour, 7 day weeks, the
Board of Trustees eliminated the position of
Administrative Assistant, thereby terminating my
employment on June 19th. They complimented my work,
but felt that the church could no longer afford my
salary. Being the bookkeeper (among many other duties)
for the church, I saw the financials every week and
felt the reason for my "termination" was unwarranted,
which I conveyed to both the treasurer and the vice
president of the board on my final working day. Four
days later, they eliminated the position of Senior
Minister - a highly controversial move by any board of
any church. Again, the reason given was lack of funds.
Needless to say, the congregation was in an uproar,
and over half left the church.
researched, at great length, this all-to-common
phenomenon of ministers being removed from their
churches, and found out that it is a very serious
trend in many denominations. Several books and
articles have been published on the subject of how
church boards "take over" the church and feel they can
run a spiritual institution better than a trained,
ordained and experienced minister. In nearly all
cases, the church suffers greatly (many times
collapsing) and those who are responsible for removing
the minister, are not held accountable. As a board
member, if you do not first apply the principles that
guide your faith, any decisions you make about your
church will have very limited, and often detrimental
results, regardless of the denomination.
Path, New Location
takes me to the "new church" portion of my life. Our
minister at UCC made the very bold decision not to go
to another church, but instead, to start her own. This
decision was met with great enthusiasm and support.
Her idea of ministry goes way beyond the traditional
definition of "church" with very progressive ideas,
starting with the name.
with Rev. Linda Poole Kennedy, went from concept to
reality on July 2, 2007. She asked me to be the
bookkeeper/administrator, a position I was very
willing to accept. I am also the pianist/keyboardist
for the "Gatherings" every Sunday morning at 10:30am.
Many from UCC followed her to Inspirational
Gatherings. We were fortunate enough to be given a
space at a local non-profit with a room large enough
to hold our congregation and an area for
for employment, I now work at American
(ACIC) as an Administrative Assistant. My final
paycheck from UCC was on June 29th, and I started
working at ACIC on September 4th.
- I was
without pay for ten weeks, which seemed like an
eternity to me, but after talking with others, I came
to understand that only ten weeks without a paycheck
is not bad at all, in the current economic climate.
Lonna, my wife, was almost sad to see me go back to
work, because while I was at home searching the
internet for employment opportunities, e-mailing,
faxing and mailing my resume to over 150 employers, I
was also able to get some much needed housework done
and spend more time with her. ACIC was my first-ever
"real" interview process - after nearly 40 years in
the music industry - for a position where I knew no
one from within the organization. I was hired. So I
guess my interview skills are okay. I have to thank
Lonna for helping me with my résumé,
which went a long way towards getting me in the door.
I had other interviews after my first of three with
ACIC, but none of the other companies seemed to be as
a good a fit.
position is administrative, but it has also allowed me
to do many different things, including, believe it or
not, video production. (See link below) Go figure!
Although my "office" certainly isn't the beautiful
surroundings that were provided for me at UCC, the
work environment and the people I work with could not
- (The additional
PC seen in the pictures is an extra that is used for
elaborate spreadsheet calculations. It often runs a
single spreadsheet for hours at a time.)
the Senior VPs to the Managers to the Analysts, this
opportunity has been a blessing from day one. As I
write this, I've been working at ACIC for nearly seven
months, and I have yet to meet an unpleasant
for an annual meeting, that will show the ethnic
diversity of the over 175 employees at
latest "gig" is performing every Sunday morning. Using
tracks that I recorded in the studio. I'm singing
songs that would rival any secular tune I used to sing
in my club performances. The "audiences" are far more
lively and responsive. The whole experience is very
uplifting. I'm using much of the same equipment I used
in the clubs, only scaled down for a smaller room. I
am considering recording a new CD of both vocal and
instrumental music that would appeal to this element.
It would not fall under the label of "Christian Music"
as much as it would be part of the bigger musical
movement around the country that involves spiritual
applications in everyday living.
minister recorded her first meditation CD in the
studio called "In My Solitude." Here's
was completed in record time during the holiday season
and was handed out to everyone who attended the
Gathering just before Christmas. It is now being sold
as a fundraiser
for Inspirational Gatherings.
in 2 ½ weeks!
visited Adam in L.A. in February and was fortunate
enough to watch him create his magic for his weekly
webisode for "Living Room Live" on CBS's "The Early
Show." "Adam and The Egos" hosted the talent contest
each week on CBS News' website. He actually wrote a
part for me for the episode!
those who have never seen Adam and the Egos in action,
this is a great way to see what Adam does, and does
very well. Remember: Adam is playing ALL of the
characters. (Some even thought he was playing me, when
we got to CBS New York.) Here's
"Adam and The Egos" on the "Price Is Right
My role comes in the last minute of the 5 minute
of course, there were out-takes...
was great fun and certainly a pleasure to actually be
on the CBS News set in L.A., at Television City, where
shows like "The Price Is Right", "Real-Time with Bill
Maher", "The Craig Ferguson Show" are taped or shown
- As if
that wasn't enough, a week or so later, Adam paid for
me to go to New York to watch him interview the winner
of the contest live on "The Early Show" at CBS New
a thrill! I was allowed on the set for the entire show
and on the show for the closing shot.
(They said, "
all family members please join the
hosts for the closing
" so why not?)
was my first time in New York City.
experienced riding subways for the first time.
the streets of Manhattan.
view from our hotel room was magnificent.
went to the sight of the 9-11-01 World Trade Center
Park in the winter.
to say, both coasts, back-to-back, was another first
for me and I thoroughly enjoyed every
- In a
year full of change for me personally, there is change
happening in this country that goes beyond anything
I've ever lived through in my 50+ years of earthly
existence. Let's review, shall we? I've lived through
man walking on the moon,
of John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther
Invasion" of the Beatles,
attempts of Gov. George Wallace of Alabama and
President Ronald Reagan,
terrorist attacks at the
the beginning of Medicare,
and second terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon,
from Selma to Montgomery,
Court ordering desegregation
Military Draft Lottery since
1972 Miami Dolphins,
torturing prisoners of war for the first
of Richard Nixon,
24/7 news network,
female on the Supreme
of the AIDS virus,
of the Berlin Wall,
of the Soviet Union,
Andrew & Katrina,
of the first planet outside our solar
and the Clinton
with all this history, 2007 (and 2008) will mark an
incredible time in our nation's history like no other
- a HUGE sign of growth in this country.
2007, we have, for the first time ever - among nearly
20 candidates - a woman and an African American male
as very viable candidates for the office of President
of the United States. As irony would have it, they are
both in the same party, and they appear to be equally
qualified, at this point in time (December, 2007). One
is a good tactician, and the other is a visionary. One
is very well connected in Washington D.C., the other
is well connected with the electorate. One has name
recognition throughout the world, the other was
introduced to the nation in 2004, but only known in
one state until 10 months ago. There are very minor
differences between them on the big
year will undoubtedly prove to be very exciting for us
for taking the time to read my 2007 page.