I was born on the day John F. Kennedy was elected president (November 8, 1960) to a young couple, Peter and Virginia Berg. I lived with them and my two younger brothers, Michael and Matthew, in what was then the quiet hamlet of Holbrook and is now a busy and crowded suburb of New York City. We witnessed its metamorphosis. As the town grew and expanded, so did we. I graduated from Sachem High School in 1978. I learned a lot from my teachers there, but it is from my parents that I received my most treasured gifts … a deep love of God … a sense of calling to serve, both in the church and in the community … and a never ending love and commitment to my family. Thank you Mom … Thank you Dad …
Dwayne and I met at Allegheny College (Meadville, Pennsylvania) during our freshman year. We were married less than a year later (August 26, 1979) in the midst of gasoline rationing lines and a major recession at the tender age of 18. We set up house in Jamestown, New York, a few miles (about 20) north of Dwayne’s parents, Art and Diane Bailey, who lived in Warren, Pennsylvania. Dwayne worked a factory job, and we both attended Jamestown Community College. We defeated the odds against us; we’ve been married now for over thirtysix years. How did we do it? Well, we’ve been blessed … with a strong sense of family … with the support and encouragement of our parents … … and with a feisty streak of stubbornness. Thank God!
It was while living in Jamestown and worshiping with the First Presbyterian Church in Jamestown that I discerned my call to ministry. After graduating from SUNY Fredonia in 1983, we sold everything we owned and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where I did my graduate work at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. We moved again in 1985 to Canton, Ohio, where I did an internship at Calvary Presbyterian Church. Then in 1987, after completing seminary, we moved to Allen Park, Michigan, where I was ordained and installed as Associate Pastor of the Allen Park Presbyterian Church.
Graduation, Marriage, Ordination … none of that compares to what was still ahead … after years of tears over infertility and prayers of hope that one day I may know the joy of motherhood … it happened! … Thanks to the prayers and support of my family, friends and the members of the Allen Park church, Kate was born on Tuesday, October 3, 1989.
Since then, we’ve moved a few times … my second call took us to Livonia, Michigan, where I served as Associate Pastor of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church(1991-1998). While there, living in Redford, Michigan, I ran for the South Redford school board. I only served a little more than a year, before moving to Baytown, Texas. Wanting our, then 8 year old, daughter to experience a whole different culture, I accepted a call as Pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church (1998-2004). Baytown was home for 13 years. Even after accepting a call as Associate General Presbyter in the Presbytery of New Covenant in Houston (2005-2011), we resided in Baytown. It was the Baytown Little Theater that really made us feel at home in Baytown. I acted, directed, ran the box office, and served on the Board of Directors until my current call took us back to the east coast. In September 2011 we moved to Hamilton Township, New Jersey to be the Regional Presbyter of both Monmouth Presbytery and the Presbytery of New Brunswick. After serving both presbyteries for the full three year term, I decided that the job was too big for one person. I am currently the General Presbytery of Monmouth Presbytery half-time and working as a writer/consultant.
I am truly blessed! A few years after Kate was born I wrote my philosophy of parenting … what I promise and most want to pass on to my daughter … As I read it over now, I realize that it could very well be my statement on what I strive for as I live each day …
- to value life as a gift from God
- to live a life of balance and integrity
- to love fully and to be fully loved
… even today … on this lazy afternoon. Well, glad you stopped in today and had a chance to get to know me better … drop me a line and let me know you were here.
revised September 8, 2015