We have guest speakers almost every Sunday. Here are some –
Rev. Sandi Cooper is an ordained minister with the Centers for Spiritual Living, an international religious science organization. She was first licensed in 1991 and ordained in 2014. She served as minister of the Columbia Church of Religious Science for a number of years before she moved back to North Florida with her new husband where she served as Youth Minister at the St. Augustine Center for Spiritual Living for a few years. Her focus is on connecting with other souls and illuminating practical spiritual principles that can be used by all people. She enjoys speaking and teaching about spiritual living whenever possible. She credits her teacher, the late Rev. Jewell Kutzer, with inspiring her warm, sometimes provocative and always uplifting style. She has often been a guest speaker at our All Souls Sunday services for several years now.
After training in various traditional Buddhist practices, Sekiyo-Sensei felt he could better meet the spiritual needs of a growing area Buddhist community if he took a more nonsectarian approach as a dharma teacher. This belief led him to enroll in the lay minister program of the Bright Dawn Institute for American Buddhism which is rooted in the Japanese Mahayana tradition. Bright Dawn emphasizes the universal teachings of the historic Gautama Buddha, focusing on individual spiritual growth rather than any sectarian dogma or ritual. Sekiyo-sensei was inducted as a Bright Dawn minister in spring 2010. He produces his own podcast available at https://anchor.fm/morris-sullivan.
Pia Kyri-yo Donovan is Buddhist Seminary Student at The Bright Dawn Center for Oneness based in Coresgold, CA and will be ordained next year. She is also a student of Sensei Morris Sekio Sullilvan who has spoken here many times. Pia is originally from New York and currently lives in Mount Dora where she is an author, mother, and wife. Pia’s work focuses primarily on a Buddhist approach to addiction recovery, she also writes creative non-fiction.
We lost our beloved Rev. Liz Teal in the early morning hours of June 15, 2020. She had stage 4 non-smokers lung cancer believed to be caused by her volunteer service work in NYC at the twin towers after the attack.
Reverend Teal specializes in eco-theology, the human-animal bond and all their healing aspects. She is the Spiritual Director for The Ministry of Animals and the Educational Director for Giving Paws, specializing in animal assisted therapies and chaplaincies.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude in Behavioral Science from Mercy College in New York, with additional concentration and studies in animal-assisted therapies. She holds a certificate in Interfaith, Inter-spiritual Counseling. Her ordination is from and held by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. Rev. Teal has taken the vows and is a member of The Community of the Mystic Heart. She is a mystic, a minister, a chaplain, an artist and a storyteller as well as being a third generation Unitarian Universalist.
Reverend Schmidt is a Unitarian Universalist Minister and is currently the half time minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Augustine. He has been giving All Souls monthly sermons since the summer of 2015.
Dr. Yount has degrees in Philosophy from William and Mary (BA), Villanova (MA), and the University of Colorado at Boulder (Ph.D.). He taught philosophy at Trinity College (Hartford), St. Joseph’s (Philadelphia), and Jacksonville University. Mark now works with Mental Health America helping homeless and at-risk people with mental health challenges apply for disability benefits. Since joining Jacksonville’s Buckman Bridge UUC in 1997, he has given over a hundred sermons – and Mark enjoys our pulpit and our group as a second UU home. Mark is drawing on those sermons to write Wisdom on the Way: Pointing Philosophy in a New Direction for Spirited Minds to Explore.
Born and raised in Macon, Georgia, Fred Howard is an ordained minister by the Christian Universalist Association. He graduated in 2006 from Candler School of Theology at Emory in Atlanta and spent a year in the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Emory Hospital. Prior to that, he attended Valdosta State College and the Medical College of Georgia, and practiced medicine for twenty years. Fred has recently published a book entitled “Transforming Faith“. The book’s website is here.