A native New Yorker and longtime Texan, Jesse Jennings became interested and involved in Religious Science at age 20, in the summer of 1976. Achieving his practitioner’s license in 1983, he then co-founded a study group in suburban Houston that would grow into Creative Life Spiritual Center, which he has served ever since, completing his ministry studies in 1986.
Beyond his Houston ministry, Jesse has served extensively in organizational leadership, chairing conferences and conventions for the New Thought community, and serving on various boards and committees, including the (then) UCRS Board of Trustees, which he chaired for two terms in 1990s, and teaching “Historical Foundations of New Thought” at the Holmes Institute School of Spiritual Leadership.
In his writing life, he created the book, The Essential Ernest Holmes (Tarcher/Putnam, 2002); wrote the preface to Holmes’s reissued The Hidden Power of the Bible (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006); and authored the introduction and author’s biography for the 2010 “Complete Edition” of Holmes’s The Science of Mind textbook, upon which the Centers for Spiritual Living base their teaching, plus two courses offered at most CSL centers.
He now serves as contributing editor for Science of Mind magazine, in which his Questions and Answers: The Way It Works column has run monthly since 1991 and for which he also regularly produces feature articles, and curates an annual October set of Daily Guides by Ernest Holmes. In 1997 he had conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, and in 2019 he received CSL’s highest honor, the Ernest Holmes Award.
Jesse’s passion is celebrating and conveying to others the breadth of human possibility amid the gorgeous mystery that is life. “You never enjoy the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars.” (Thomas Traherne)
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A religious renegade for most of her life, Marsha has been exploring, learning, and living spirituality by way of New Thought and Science of Mind teachings for well over three decades. When Marsha arrived in Texas in 1993, she fell in love with Creative Life and began taking classes immediately. Mentored by Dr. Jesse Jennings, she learned early on to not settle for someone else’s “truth.”
She was ordained as a Religious Science minister at Creative Life in 2008. She loves being a spiritual leader who supports women through the toughest of challenges into the greatest of success–felt living. Marsha is clear that her own spiritual practices, self-care, and love of inner connection with the Divine, with family, with community and others fuel the energy of service that she loves to give.
Marsha has been a gifted educator most of her life, teaching all ages, facilitating practitioner classes, training life coaches at Coach U, writing curriculum for coach training, and leading retreats and workshops for Unity and other Spiritual Living Centers. She has served Centers for Spiritual Living by writing Daily Guides for Science of Mind magazine, creating study questions for small groups, and serving as a Visioning Facilitator for CSL centers. She strives to engage logic while she listens and leads with her heart.
A few women whom she encouraged have nicknamed her “Mama Bear,” due to her fierce, protective nature and gently “pushy” style. Marsha creates and facilitates events at Creative Life according to her readings of the pulse of women in our community and their needs. She is dedicated to empowering heartfelt connections wherever she is. Marsha is aware that she is human after all. And, that helps her understand the humanness in others while remembering the power and presence of the God/Goddess that dwells within.
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Debra is a multi-generational Texan and Houstonian. As a teen, she began questioning her family of origin’s religious beliefs which, for her, did not answer the many questions she had about her own spirituality and her personal relationship with God. This exploration led her to a study of T’ai Chi which in turn led her to Unity of North Houston where she was a member for many years. During her time at Unity, Debra discovered her passion for working in end of life care.
Debra spent 17 years as a volunteer for Vitas Hospice working with patients and their families. In 2003, Debra found Creative Life. She was licensed as a practitioner in 2007 and continues to serve the CLC community today. Still in pursuit of her passion for end-of-life care, Debra made her way to One Spirit Interfaith Seminary where she was ordained in 2011, then continued her studies at One Spirit in the Spiritual Direction program from which she graduated in 2013. This experience at One Spirit exposed her to the many different ways people identify the divine in their lives which, at end of life, is an aspect of the person that must be recognized and honored without judgment.
In 2013 Debra made a commitment to her ministry of chaplaincy by pursuing Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) with Spiritual Living Center for Education and Training (SLCET) under the direction of CSL minister, Rev. Paula Belleggie. Debra completed four units of CPE and was certified by Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation (CSCPF) in 2017 as a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain and Pastoral Counselor.
In 2018, Debra paneled with Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL) and obtained her Ecclesiastical Endorsement for ministry in specialized settings. Also in 2018 Debra received her Board Certified Chaplain designation from the Spiritual Care Association (SCA). Today Debra is retired from a corporate position and is pursuing her passion of end-of-life care working at Bristol Hospice of Texas as a chaplain. Debra also volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Association in order to better serve families dealing with the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s and other related brain diseases.
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After earning an anthropology degree from Auburn University and working her way through all of our classes including practitioner training, Lisa Ryan finally answered the longstanding call to ministry. She went into the Holmes Institute with the calling to help the world be a better place by learning how to change people’s hearts. She graduated with the mission to “brave on” and live up to her own expectations and heart, and not by society’s rules and restrictions.
She loves working with teens and young adults and has been in the Creative Life Sunday school program for years and looks forward too many more. She feels her job is to create a safe place for teens to come talk about what is going on in their lives, and to help them discover all the amazing experiences available in the world so they can find their passions like she has hers. In her last year at Holmes Institute Lisa uncovered her gift for pastoral care as an extension of her love for hearing people’s stories and looks forward to seeing where this gift will lead.
Lisa says, “I am an Air Force brat who has lived all over this country including some time in England before settling in Texas. I found CLC in January of 2005 on the suggestion of a friend after stating that I needed to find God. I became a practitioner in 2010 when I simply ran out of classes to take and answered the call to ministry three years later with a desire to change people’s hearts by helping them remember that they are all children of God.
Among my loves are photography and I can be found taking pictures and videos of the service projects and fun activities that we do in and around the Center, which I use to create inspiring content for our Facebook and Instagram. Conversations about any topic, with world religions and Science of Mind being favorites. I am an avid runner and reader. I always have a book of some sort on me. And finally, music and movies of any kind but especially in honor of the child within me animated Disney movies.”
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David Dewhurst attended Bolton University in his native England from 1968 to 1972 where he graduated with Diplomas in Civil and Structural Engineering, and spent the first 20 years of his career as an engineer in professional and leadership positions with such well-known international companies such as Shell and Aramco. He has always been in service one way or another.
He grew up as a Roman Catholic Christian and gradually, over time, came to value the spiritual, versus the religious, side of his faith. In Atlanta, Georgia, he trained to become a Deacon in the Catholic Church, but his company moved him to Houston before he was ordained. However, just like Emmet Fox in the 20th century, he “evolved beyond it [Catholicism]” when he found Science of Mind. He found freedom when he discovered that there is no sin and punishment, but there is cause and effect. He found CLC in 2008 at the instance of his wife Barbara, who had received the recommendation from a practitioner friend (he had no idea what a practitioner was).
David became a practitioner in 2011 and then joined the Holmes Institute and School of Ministry via the Denver Regional Campus, where he completed his studies in November 2018, and was licensed as a minister in January 2019. His special interests are in serving others via teaching, both at the Center and Academy for Lifelong Learning, pastoral care, including being part of the prayer team and as coordinator of the hospitality and greeter service at the Center. He also represents the Center in the local community, including the Faiths Together Committee comprising representatives from most religious groups in the area.
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