Miracles News

January-April, 2024

From Facilitator to Friend to Hermana!

by Rev. Barbara Adams, Ordained Ministerial Counselor

I met Rev. Maria Felipe in NYC at an ACIM conference produced and presented by Community Miracles Center of San Francisco. Maria was, and continues to be a powerful speaker. At her presentation, Maria made a statement that caught my attention which ultimately helped me to heal. “We did the best we could with the awareness we had at the time.” POW!

That one sentence uttered by Rev. Maria hit me hard. But in a positive way. Not only did it help me to understand my own parents’ motivations and actions better, but it helped me heal the pain that I had been carrying for too long about coming out to my children. As a gay woman who hid in a closet for more than half of my life, the coming-out process was a journey filled with relief and remorse. My children were devastated by the break-up of our little family. My guilt consumed me. But Maria’s statement helped bridge the divide. I did the best I could with the awareness I had at the time.

After her talk at the conference, I introduced myself to Rev. Maria. Her warmth and understanding demonstrated her truth. This was a lovely woman both physically and spiritually who had a mission to help guide others toward healing. This former model embraced me. From that moment, I have not let her out of my life.

Once I decided to pursue ministry, I discerned that Pathways of Light was the best fit. The coursework lined up with my spiritual path, and it reinforced the content of ACIM, which I had been studying for a number of years. I could set my own pace and there was help available just a click away. The final question, “Whom would I like to facilitate my studies?” Yep, Rev. Maria.

Ours was a joyful journey of learning and laughter. Maria’s commitment to my goal was professional as she was always prepared for our sessions, and allowed me to set the pace based on my life’s responsibilities. I determined that I wanted to move right along, so within about a year from when I began the ministerial program, I was ordained.

The Pathways ordination was lovely, yet I wanted to be able to include friends and family at an in-person ordination. I invited Maria to officiate and flew her to Upstate NY.  At a lovely park lodge, Rev. Maria conducted a warm and spirit-filled ceremony. I couldn’t have asked for a more personal and intimate ritual.

The story doesn’t end here.

Maria married Christian and they had a beautiful baby boy, Ari. They invited me to fly to Miami to christen their son. So, along with our mutual friend, Rev. Cathy Silva, we participated in a beautiful family celebration where we spiritually blessed Ari and welcomed this perfect child of God into the world.

Over the years, the relationship between Maria and I has evolved. We went from facilitator-student… to friends… to sisters. I now refer to my beautiful Cuban sister as mi hermana!

Rev. Barb Adams is currently the minister and spiritual director of Unity Rochester Spiritual Center at 55 Prince St. Rochester, NY. 14607. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  Website: https://unityrochester.org/

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