Spiritual Autobiography (A)

 I bring forward in time and space the faith of my native ancestors although Jesus is my Master and my faith is Christian.  I was christened on May 12, 1963, in Wyatt Park Christian Church in St. Joseph, MO.  After that, I entered into the sacred circle of my traditional Oglala Native American tribe when I was five years old in 1968. My ancestors adore their chief Pawnee Killer and put me on a mystical path at a young age.  When I was a teenager, a Pentacostal preacher, led by the Holy Spirit, claimed my path for Jesus and there was no going back afterwards. I don’t think anyone at that church understood what had happened.  For the three or four years, Pentacostals approached me and witnessed to me about Jesus, telling me that I needed to be saved.  I finally committed in covenant to Jesus on Christmas Eve in 1984.  I was baptized a month later in nondenominational Christian church.  I did not join the Pentacostal church because of fundamentalism, and the church’s national platform for the leadership of young girls in 1981 posited that the only social value of females was in their role as wife and mother.  I was told this by an Assembly of God Youth Minister in Emporia, KS in 1981 when I attended a speech given my Mike Warnke, author of the book, The Satan Seller.  Following that event, I joined a bible study and fellowship of young women on campus at Emporia State University.  I only attended that college for one year and returned to the Kansas City area.  The Assembly of God in Grandview, MO had a worship service on Sunday evenings with an invited speaker or entertainer.  I remember the piano performance I saw there by Dino in 1982.  I had played the piano since I was 7, giving a final piano performance of Rhapsody in Blue on May 22, 1981 at Evangeline College at UMKC.  They kept the recording which is in some digital archive at UMKC.  After I was saved and baptized, I began a year of intense growth in my Christian faith followed by years of watching Jimmy Swaggart Ministries on TV.  Jimmy Swaggart is a great pianist.  The church that I had joined in 1984 has smaller services.  The service on Wednesday night was usually contemporary and spirit-led.  I loved spirit-led singing in that small group because the singing became praying and praise.

     My father’s brother, Louis, was a Benedictine monk who had been ordained a priest and became Father Hugh in the late 1960’s at Saint Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, KS.  He visited our family often in St. Joseph, MO.  After I left Kansas City in 1987 and moved to Denver, CO, I spent a year recovering my health, quit drinking and smoking and lost weight.  I began cycling because Denver has great bike trails where you don’t have to deal with much traffic.  I began to do volunteer work at Colorado AIDS Project as an intake and education volunteer and 4 hours on Saturday mornings I was a booth volunteer at Denver General Hospital Admissions.  A year later, I worked four hours a week as an office volunteer at the ACLU Colorado in Denver.  In 1992, I was hired by the City & County of Denver as a Senior Clerk in the Stapleton Airport’s Paging & Information Center.  I enrolled in a community college where I earned an A.A.S. degree in Human Services.  My uncle Father Hugh came to visit me in 1993 for World Youth Day in Denver.  He brought his mother, my grandmother, to visit.  We went to Mass together at Most Precious Blood Church.  Then, I became an Airport Passenger Services Representative and Stapleton Airport closed.  I moved with Denver’s Aviation Division to DIA in 1995 when the new airport opened.  I enrolled at the University of Colorado at Boulder, CO where I took classes in Women’s Studies and Political Science until I graduated with a BA in Women’s Studies in 2003.  My volunteer and Human Services internships prepared me for social change and social justice action, yet I returned to business after I left my airport employment.  I don’t have the money for what I’m called to do which is enter a Master’s degree program in theology at Iliff’s School of Theology.  God has given me much to write about yet I need to credentials to sell nonfiction to a book market.  The Native American prophecies from my family when I was a child say that the money will come from an outside source, from philanthropy.  Someone at that school specializes in Native or Indigineous Belief Systems and graduate school will separate these belief systems because of culture.  The Army had served a cease-and-desist order on my grandfather when he opposed my adoption by my father’s second wife, Doris in 1967.  He felt he had no choice but have his daughter Jane, my mother’s sister, put me on this mystical path to Jesus.

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