MEET A VOLUNTEER:
You can’t help but enjoy your conversations with Norma. Her quick wit, along with her genuine interest and eagerness to listen, have all the ingredients for an interesting chat.
Norma speaks three languages: English, French and Arabic. However, this world traveler has midwestern roots, being born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.
After Ohio University, she obtained her Masters in Guidance and Group counselling at Purdue University (a relatively new field at the time). She worked on her PhD at Hunter College in New York , taught psychology in Arlington, Virginia, and Washington D.C., and further pursued grant work in New Jersey and Germany. She has lived in almost every state of the Union!
Once married, she visited Beirut, Lebanon for many years, eventually moving there with her husband and two sons. While in Beirut, she taught at the American University and volunteered at the Convent of the Cross. She recalls that students overseas had a deep respect for education and were earnestly committed and dedicated, a strong contrast to what she experienced in the United States when she returned.
The war of 1975 brought her family back to the United States and to Ohio. Norma continued to express her passion for education and was head of the English as a Second Language Program for the Cleveland Public Schools, working with students from other countries.
These experiences combined to forge a deep understanding of how connected we all are. She saw and heard many who, by all appearances had nothing in common, express the same goals and challenges. Norma discovered the foundation of her belief that there is only love and fear. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we grow, she says. When we truly listen, we will discover not our differences, but our similarities.
While in Ohio, a friend recommended she explore Unity, specifically for an interest in biofeedback. Once she did, Unity “made sense” to her and she and her family attended Unity of West Lake, Ohio. Norma moved to Arizona in 1991-1992 to work at The Meadows in Wickenburg. After remarrying in 1994 she moved to Prescott, where she continued to be a devoted Unity member.
She first volunteered in what was then called the Lay Ministry at Unity of Prescott. Her commitment to prayer, belief in the power of prayer and affirmative co-creation have never wavered. Now called the Pastoral Care Team, she is still an active member. Currently she has narrowed her devotion to this team and the Green Team, two areas of which she is deeply committed. With over 25 years of membership in Unity of Prescott, Norma has assisted in many capacities, including serving on the nominating committee and as a Prayer Chaplain.
As a child, and throughout her adulthood, Norma has maintained a physically active life. She is pleased to continue to work out at the YMCA five days a week and would love to do more dancing! She enjoys visiting her son’s and her granddaughter (who lives in England). Unity is Norma’s Prescott family, one she calls “the center of her world”.
We are so grateful for her love, her humor, as well as the tolerance she teaches us all by offering it herself. Norma is one who listens and considers another’s thoughts and feelings. We are very blessed and grateful for her prayerful commitment and deep love.
Written by Bev Majerus. The Meet a Volunteer column will be featured monthly. Nominations were accepted for consideration.
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