Rev Linda Finley
I received my early spiritual education in the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. My memories are pleasant, and I felt supported – yet began to question some of the doctrine we were asked to take as literal.
Leaving high school, I knew mainstream “church” was not for me, though I hungered for spiritual food. I did a lot of independent reading, and spent a lot of time away from spiritual community. My relationship with God and Jesus were way different from everyone I knew.
I was in my forties when I happened upon Deepak Chopra and metaphysics, which led me to the Spiritual Awareness Center in Visalia, California. I felt as if I had “come home.” It was wonderful discovering there were all kinds of people who believed as I did. The concepts of unity and wholeness resonated to the depths of my being.
In addition to attending services each week, I began taking every class I could, usually taking two at a time, while volunteering for any service I could do for the Center. I knew this was something big!
I became a Practitioner in 1997, a minister in 1999, when I founded the Center for Spiritual Living in Petaluma, California. I was hired as the Spiritual Director of the Eugene Center at the end of 2006.
Rev Shirley Foster
I think I first entertained the idea of being a practitioner in the 1950’s when my husband’s aunt, who was a practitioner in one of the Religious Science International churches in the Los Angeles area, used affirmative prayer, or treatment, for healing the bursitis in my upper left arm. Until the treatment work was done I had experienced excruciating pain in my arm. No other type of treatment had helped.
Soon after this healing, my family and I joined the Redondo Beach, California, Church of Religious Science, and I started taking accredited classes. I found that the teachings gave me such a wonderful feeling of peace, and helped me be a better parent for our children. I also noticed other church members were leading more fulfilling lives. I wanted to bring all of this to others.
I continued taking classes until I became a licensed practitioner in 1967, and then went on to become a minister in 1980. Somewhere along the line Religious Science International awarded me my Lifetime Practitioner License. I am glad I can be an active practitioner in our Center for Spiritual Living(™) and help others live happier, healthier lives.