- Other 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.
- Unwanted Change
- It is with some
sadness that I no longer work at Unity Church of Christianity
- After 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.
- I 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
- Same Path, New
- Which 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
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 storage.
- New Opportunity
- As for employment,
I now work at American
Commerce Insurance Company
as of July, 2010)
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.
- This 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 be better.
- (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
- From 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 ACIC.
- And Music?
- My 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.
- Our minister recorded
her first meditation CD in the studio called "In My Solitude."
- This 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.
- LA & NY
in 2 ½ weeks!
- I 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!
- For 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 Set."
My role comes in the last minute of the 5 minute webisode.
- And of course,
there were out-takes...
- It 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 live.
- 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 York!
- What a thrill!
I was allowed on the set for the entire show and on the
show for the closing shot. (They said, "
members please join the hosts for the closing
" so why not?)
- This was my first
time in New York City.
- I experienced riding
subways for the first time.
- On the streets
- The view from our
hotel room was magnificent.
- We went to the
sight of the 9-11-01 World Trade Center Tragedy
- Central Park in
- Needless to say,
both coasts, back-to-back, was another first for me and I thoroughly
enjoyed every minute.
- A Monumental
- 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 the first
man walking on the moon,
of John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King,
Invasion" of the Beatles,
attempts of Gov. George Wallace of Alabama and President Ronald
attacks at the Olympics,
the beginning of Medicare,
and second terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the
Roe v Wade,
Shuttle Challenger tragedy,
War, the first
IBM PC, the
Bay of Pigs,
from Selma to Montgomery,
Court ordering desegregation nationwide,
Military Draft Lottery since WWII,
the Kent State
1972 Miami Dolphins,
the US torturing
prisoners of war for the first time,
of Richard Nixon,
24/7 news network,
female on the Supreme Court,
of the AIDS virus,
of the Berlin Wall,
the fall of
the Soviet Union,
the Iraq War,
the L.A. Riots,
Andrew & Katrina,
of the first planet outside our solar system,
the Waco Tragedy,
the OJ trial,
and the Clinton
- Even 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.
- In 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
- Next year will
undoubtedly prove to be very exciting for us political junkies.
- Thanks for taking
the time to read my 2007 page.