SOAR 2019 Community Session Speakers
Thursday, August 22
Evening Community Session
DR. MICHELLE MEDRANO
Rev. Dr. Michelle Medrano found Religious Science at age 15. Upon walking into the Mile Hi Church of Religious Science in Denver, Colorado, she knew she was “home.” Michelle started volunteering at that church and eventually joined its administrative staff where she worked for six years. She continued her studies, became a practitioner, and in 1991, after receiving her degree from Ernest Holmes College, became a minister.
She then went on to be an Assistant Minister at the Huntington Beach Church of Religious Science for 4 years, the Senior Minister at New Vision Center for Spiritual Living in Phoenix for 17 years, and returned to Mile Hi in 2013 as an Associate Minister. In early 2019, with the retirement of the long time Senior Minister, Michelle accepted the role of Co-Lead minister at Mile Hi Church, along with Rev. Joshua Reeves.
DR. DAVID BRUNER
Dr. David Bruner is the Spiritual Director at Center for Spiritual Living, San José. He has an “everyday kind of guy” style combined with an irreverent sense of humor and is known and loved for his practical, often unorthodox approach to spirituality. One Sunday he is excitedly pursuing the path of forgiveness following a four-hour experience at the California DMV, and the next week he is relaying his escapades in a trapeze class or on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada.
Being raised with two brothers, seven sisters and one bathroom helped him master the art of effective communication at an early age. Formerly a supermarket checker at a Southern California supermarket, David learned early on the impact one could make on people. He made it his mission to bring happiness to others whilst standing in a check stand in a polyester apron and clip-on tie.
David lives his ministry and walks his talk. He is always looking for ways to improve himself and, thus, help his congregants improve themselves. He is a visionary leader: creative, passionate, authentic, and above all, a people person.
David’s current growth edge is the conjugation of Spanish verbs without the use of translation software.
Friday, August 23
Morning Community Session
REV. RAFE A. ELLIS
Rev. Rafe A. Ellis has been an active member of Centers for Spiritual Living since 2003. He became a Licensed Practitioner in 2008 and served the CSL – Santa Rosa, CA; Center for Spiritual Awareness – West Sacramento, CA; and First Church of Religious Science – Vallejo, CA. communities as a Practitioner before licensing as a CSL Minister in 2017. As a minister, Rev. Rafe served as the Senior Minister at Mountainside Center for Spiritual Living – Placerville, CA. and is currently the Senior Minister of Sierra Center for Spiritual Living – Grass Valley, CA.
He serves the CSL organization as a member of the CSL Nominating Council and as a Commissioner on the CSL Diversity Inclusion Commission.
Rev. Rafe is a Virginia native, though he claims Asheville, NC as his hometown. He brings a wealth of experience to his ministry from his years as a Social Worker, Fire Fighter, Emergency Medical Technician, Deputy Sheriff, business owner, lapidary artist, as well as, his 36 years in recovery from heroin addiction. He holds a B.A. in Social Work from Warren Wilson College, an MBA-OD from American InterContinental University, an MA from Holmes Institute and a Certificate in Ministerial Education from CSL School of Spiritual Leadership. Rev. Rafe shares his life with Debra Ellis; his best friend, soulmate and bride of 12 years and their two fur children, Taz & Thor. In his spare time, you can usually find him in the woods, at a body of water with a fishing pole.
REV. CONNIE PHELPS
Connie is an enthusiastic and principled minister with twenty-five years experience in the Science of Mind teaching. She has specific skills as a leader, public speaker, and workshop facilitator with emphasis on identifying the spiritual component in everyday life. She calls herself a spiritual gypsy and her journey as a minister has taken her to various Centres across Canada –, until she was called to ministry in Kenya, Africa. She passionately embraces the vision of touching and transforming 100 million lives with this magnificent teaching; and she believes that in order to achieve this goal that we need to go where the people are, to reach out to them where they live, to teach them that thoughts are things and that there is a power for good and that they can use it… to create a life that works for them and ultimately for everyone.
DR. CAROL CARNES
Dr. Carol Carnes comes from a varied background in service and Global Ministry. Her career has spanned three decades and has taken her around the world. In the company of some of the great minds on the planet; scientists, religious leaders and cultural icons, she has participated in three Synthesis Dialogues with HH the Dalai Lama and other world leaders in Italy and India. She helped plan the 2014 Awakened World Film Festival in Santa Barbara, the Gandhi King Peace Train and several New Thought conferences. Her service to the international Centers for Spiritual Living included being the Director of Education and Member of the Board of Directors.
She has written for Creative Thought and Science of Mind magazines. Morehouse College, the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King inducted her into the MLK International Board of Preachers in 2000.
She has spoken at two of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, in Cape Town South Africa and Melbourne Australia.
Author of two books, she has a daily blog “Living Consciously” which serves as inspiration for thousands of people around the world. You can receive Living Consciously by signing up on her website www.carolcarnes.com
In her own words “I believe the world is awakening to its spiritual roots, relieving itself of the superstition and dogma of Religion. To be spiritual is a way of living and thinking, not an institutionalized set of rules and regulations to follow. Spirituality ought to set us free to be authentically who we are and fully present wherever we are. Learning to honor and respect the creative nature of our own mind, seeing how we are one with the universal intelligence, can change lives dramatically. From physical healings to financial prosperity and all manner of healthy relationships, we can direct our own destiny with the right use of mind.”
Evening Community Session
REV. SUNSHINE DAYE
Rev. Sunshine is a gifted speaker and author who transforms lives and helps people live their genuine life through spiritual practice. She is an ordained minister with a Master’s degree and author of "Begin Within - A Playbook for Living Your Genuine Life.". She studied under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith.
Sunshine lives a life in action; She has served as a professor at Holmes Institute, on the Events Planning Team for over 10 years, Strategic Events Planning Team, Minister Council and now the Leadership Council. She brings spiritual tools and practices to thousands of people in 12 step recovery. In recognition of her generous heart she was awarded the Gene Lentzner Human Relations Awards from the California Conference for Equality and Justice, and honored by Long Beach Pride as the Female Community Grand Marshal for the Long Beach Pride Parade.
Growing up in a diverse part of the Bronx, Sunshine learned to appreciate each individual’s humanness and divinity. Rev. Sunshine has pursued spiritual ways since childhood. She studied Catholicism, Buddhism, Eastern traditions and was a practicing member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses for 8 years.
Rev. Sunshine’s depth and breadth of spiritual study, 32 years of sobriety and life experience gives her a unique ability to meet people where they are and to appreciate the beauty in everyone, everywhere.
When you experience her energy and the joy that radiates from her you will understand why Rev. Sunshine’s motto is: “BY MEANS OF YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE YOU LIVE YOUR GENUINE LIFE.”
DR. ANDREA ASEBEDO
Dr. Andrea began her studies in the Science of Mind in 1975 under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Charles Geddes, in Tucson, Arizona. In 1984 she graduated from ministerial training and soon became a minister and served the Redding Center for twenty-four years before taking a two-year sabbatical to practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She served for twenty-five years as the International Director of Youth for our organization, running the youth camps around the United States and Canada and working closely with youth leaders and adult advisors. In 1999 she received a Doctorate of Divinity. She has been the Senior Minister in the Bellingham, Washington Center for the past eight years. She serves on the Phoenix bridge program assisting ministers needing support in transition and on the Ethics committee.
Her life-long love of creativity has led Dr. Andrea to own a catering company, a children’s clothing consignment store, to become a Soul Collage Facilitator and very recently, to begin leading sacred tours to Ireland.
ELISHA CHRISTOPHER, RSCP
Elisha Christopher has been Religious Science Practitioner since 2010 and is on the verge of licensing as a SOM Minister. He was one of the first recipients of the Re-Generation scholarship. For most of the last decade Elisha served the Launching Pad community, most notably he was the founder and Spiritual Director of the LP in St. George, UT for 3 years. He is a Social Artist who combines storytelling, public speaking, song, self-development, and group facilitation.
In 2013 Elisha started working closely with Dr. Jean Houston, developing training materials for the Jean Houston Foundation's Emerging Leaders Initiative, Training of Trainers and online teaching programs.
Currently located in Santa Cruz, CA Elisha continues to teach and speak regularly, traveling the west coast facilitating workshops and retreats.
Saturday, August 24
Morning Community Session
REV. ANGELICA TAGGERT
Rev Angelica Jayne Taggart has been a Religious Science minister since 1986. She founded the East Hawai’i Center for Spiritual Living on the Big Island of Hawaii where she served until 2000. Following a Call from Spirit, she moved to Vancouver, BC where she served for 10 years. Again in 2010 her vocation took her to become the Spiritual director for the Center for Spiritual Living Baltimore, MD. In August, 2014 she became the Spiritual Director for the Eureka, Calif. Center.
Rev. Angelica has served our organization as the chair of the Online Practitioner Team, a new minister’s mentor, a member of the publishing team, sacred practices team and various other committees. She now serves as the RSC for 31 Centers in Northern California, Oregon, Montana and Alaska.
Rev. Angelica is an animal lover and an avid reader and writer. Her first book And So It Is … a Book of Uncommon Prayer was published in 2013 and is available through Amazon.
Rev. Angelica is also a world traveler who has been to 10 countries visiting ancient sacred spaces. In 2013 she co-led a spiritual tour to Ireland with Rev. Kathleen McKern Verigin of Anam Cara tours, for 13 powerful women.
Rev. Angelica considers her whole life to be a Grand Spiritual Adventure and is so proud to be a CSL minister and part of this global spiritual community.
REV. MICHAEL MCMORROW
Rev Michael McMorrow is the Spiritual Director for CSL Granada Hills where he has served since September 2009. His path to ministry had been a circuitous one until stumbling upon Religious Science. He joined the Board of Trustees of CSLGH in 2002 and has served continuously since. During this time, Mike was a successful building contractor in SoCal area which he made the laboratory in which he proved the principles of Religious Science. He is often used by members in his community for treatment work around business and career concerns as he is effective in this arena.
In September 2009 he stepped into the position of Spiritual Director of Granada Hills. He loves building spiritual community that is inclusive, respectful, and SUSTAINABLE!
Rev. Michael feels that Joy is a natural expression of the Divine as Spiritual Living. For this year’s SOAR experience, let us explore ways to experience the Joy of Spirit in everyday living!
DR. PATRICK HARBULA
Reverend Dr. Patrick Harbula has been a leader and teacher in the human potential movement, minister, meditation trainer, and life coach for over 30 years, and coach trainer for over 15 years. He is author of the acclaimed book, The Magic of the Soul: Applying Spiritual Power to Daily Living (Curriculum 219 with ICSL). Patrick continues to reach hundreds of thousands through his writing and media appearances including Inside Edition, ABC, NBC, and UPN News, to name a few. Patrick is founder of the Living Purpose Institute, past president of the Spiritual Unity Movement, founding editor of Meditation Magazine and formerly a director for Sage Publications, a world-renowned social science publisher. He was first ordained by the late Dr. Earl Barnum in 1986 and trained in Spiritual Psychology under the late Dr. Vivian King at Highpoint Foundation. Patrick’s latest book, which is being published by St. Martin’s Press, will be released in early August of 2019, entitled: Meditation: The Simple and Practical Way.
All in love and joy!
Evening Community Session & Concert
DR. KENN GORDON
Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon is currently the Spiritual Leader for Centers for Spiritual Living internationally.
In 1993 he founded the Centre for Spiritual Living, in Kelowna British Columbia, Canada.
Dr. Kenn has been involved in leadership in the Centers for Spiritual Living and Religious Science since 1999. He has held most leadership positions on the International Centers Board of Directors including five years as President.
He currently is seated on several councils and boards, including the Leadership Council of Centres for Spiritual Living, The Science of Mind Archives, SOMark Inc. and The Science of Mind Foundation. He is an active participant in the leadership of The Associated Global New Thought.
Dr. Kenn is a monthly contributor to Science of Mind magazine and previously was also a monthly contributor to Creative Thought magazine. He is the author of the book, Mind and Manifestation.
He is well known for his extraordinary vision and leadership. He is a catalyst for evolution and change in every area of human development.