Welcome to Circle Community

I began this webpage while I was still in seminary, in fact creating this website, one of the ministries I worked on, was a requirement for graduation. Ever since that time in 2009, I’ve experienced many changes, many losses. How about you? Is that the theme in your life too? Changes both for the better and for the worse came into my life, like waves. And, I rode the waves sometimes really well, but often I felt overwhelmed, not sure of what to do next. Prayer and meditation were my anchors in rough waves, but also in gentle ones when I accepted the change easily. Getting older is the change hardest to accept. Perhaps you are not feeling that in your life yet, you may be riding on a high wave with a sense of “I can do this”, but assuredly ageing is inevitable for all of us. The wave that lifts you up may also carry you down, but, you say, not today.  That is what I say too, ”not today”!

Change is the hard to accept. That’s been the overarching lesson in my life.

Today, I acknowledge that I do not want to work the long hours I did just a few months ago. I am staying with my part time job. I am adjusting my life style to the current situation most of us in America are facing; higher prices, new distressing news clamoring for our attention. You are may be facing similar issues. The Serenity Prayer written by the American theologian Comes to mind, http://Reinhold Niebuhr

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
courage to change the things I can, 
and wisdom to know the difference.

For several decades, I attended Al-Anon in there different states. This prayer was and still is like a guiding light at times when I am confused and uncertain about what to do. I pause to examine my life circumstances. As I write in my journal all the things I am grateful for on that day the list of small and big things flow into my pen and unto the page. Being grateful diminishes my fears and apprehensions.  A wave of gratitude lifts me up once again. 

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Gabriella was born in Budapest Hungary. Some of her family still resides in Hungary. After escaping the Communist regime in the aftermath of the 1956 Revolution, Gabriella's family settled in Cleveland OH. She graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and attended college but did not earn a degree. She met her husband in Devon PA, and soon they were married and began family life in PA. Only a few years married, John and Gabriella moved to FL to be with Gabriella's aging parents. Two o their three children were born Florida. After the children began school, Gabriella volunteered in schools and libraries. Her love for swimming drew her into the world of aquatics. Part time coaching jobs evolved into career aquatic management. Her children out of the home, Gabriella worked full time as an aquatic manger, coach and swim instructor. In 2001, John and Gabriella's plans to ease into retirement in Tucson changed drastically when John suffered a heart attack in 2002. John’s amazing recovery after bypass surgery allowed Gabriella to seek a new career. It was a life changing experience for both of them. Gabriella returned to school at the University of AZ and John took over household responsibilities. A shift occurred in their lives. Gabriella felt called to become a spiritual care provider. Preparing for seminary, she chose interdisciplinary program, combining Psychology, Family and Religious Studies. She graduated with honors in 2006. Gabriella and John moved to Berkeley for her to begin seminary at the Pacific School of Religion. Gabriella was accepted on the ordination track in the Swedenborgian Church of North America. Her goal was to becoming a chaplain. John's health crisis necessitated a move from Berkeley back to Tucson in 2008. Gabriella transferred to Earlham School of Religion to complete the Master’s program. In her senior year, working in required Supervised Ministry, Gabriella created a dual ministry; Circle Community, a sharing, praying and studying support group and worked as a crisis advocate in Tucson area hospitals. Most of her family was present in Cincinnati OH when Gabriella was ordained in July 2012. In July of 2011 she was ordained in the Swedeborgian Church and accepted a call to be the pastor of the New Church of Southwest FL. Soon after her ordination Gabriella accepted a call to become the pastor to the New Church of Southwest FL in 2011. John, a VA patient needed comprehensive medical care unavailable in Fort Myers. For Gabriella ministry begins at home. Once again new a health crisis changed their life. They moved back to Tucson AZ. Back in Tucson, Gabriella found ministry opportunities with Circle Community, did workshops and conducted weekly Prayer Meditations at Rincon U.C.C. She completed a course in Spiritual Direction at the Hesychia School for Spiritual Direction. In mid October 2012, Gabriella began to work as a Chaplain for Harmony Hospice. The job all she had expected. She found great satisfaction working with patients and their families. Gabriella left the per diem position with Harmony for a full time job with Valor HospiceCare. Here too, she worked with grieving families, conducted grief support groups and lead Community Memorial services during the same time that her husband's health was spiraling downwards. Gabriella resigned her job to care for John in the last months of his life. John died in April 2014. Life became chaotic. An intense search a chaplain position in Tucson and other parts of the country was unsuccessful. Peers suggested Gabriella look into open churches with the Swedenborgian Church. She candidated in Kansas with two churches. She was called to pastor the Pretty Prairie and Pawnee Rock churches in July 2014. A new life began with the move to rural Kansas. In August 2014, Gabriella began to serve as the Pastor of the two churches.

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