The Coastal Star

Religion Notes: Longtime Unity minister has retired

After 25 years of service as the senior minister and CEO for Unity of Delray Beach, the Rev. Nancy Norman, the face of Unity and a resident of Boynton Beach, retired on Aug. 20.
Norman came from California to serve the spiritual community in Delray Beach as an associate minister at Unity in 1992. She built the Unity congregation and its reputation through her devotion, hard work and with the help of ministers, counselors, board members and volunteers.
Now, change is coming.
“It’s going on 26 years, and it’s been a wonderful time for me and it’s been fabulous to serve Delray, but I tell people it’s time for me to be a minister at large,” Norman laughs. “I’ll continue writing and teaching.”
The Rev. Cathy Norman, her daughter, will serve as interim minister.
    For most of her tenure at Unity, Norman rose extra-early every Thursday so she could host her 7 a.m. Prosperity Coffee. She especially loved the group and will greatly miss it.
    “I loved it because it’s a time of sharing ideas and what’s happening in the world and what we can do from a practical perspective,” she said. “I’m convinced that God wants us to live our lives to the fullest and we teach ways of empowering people so they can live happy successful lives.”
    The morning meeting is casual and relaxed so people can arrive and leave when they have to. Some members have been coming to the meetings for nearly 20 years to hear the positive message, which they say sustained them through the challenges of building a life worth living.  
    “I’m honored to have been of service here and I’m so optimistic about where the church is going. My daughter will come from California to spend six months as interim minister and she’s looking forward to it. She started out here and she’s coming full circle,” Norman said.
    “Eventually I plan to sell the house and move to Mount Dora, which is such a charming community. It’s full of creative people, artists and writers and musicians, and it has magnificent restaurants. And I just learned it’s called ‘The City of Festivals’ because they have so many.”
 Norman says she’ll miss Delray and its people, “but I’m looking forward to my next chapter with zeal and gusto.”
    You can still experience Norman’s wisdom and her message of “vibrancy, love, and hope for a greater expression of life” on her website, www.nancynorman.net.

New arrivals
    Rabbi Shmuli Biston has joined Chabad of East Delray and is eager to serve east Delray and the beach communities. The rabbi wants to share the events, activities and programs Chabad offers.
For more information, visit www.jewisheastdelray.com.


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Congregation B’nai Israel announced the appointment of two new rabbis. Allison Cohen and Rony Keller have joined the synagogue’s rabbinical leadership at the Boca Raton-based, inclusive reform congregation. B’nai Israel has a membership of almost 1,000 families whom Keller will serve as senior associate rabbi and Cohen will serve as assistant rabbi, joining senior Rabbi Robert Silvers.
    Congregation B’nai Israel is at 2200 Yamato Road, Boca Raton. For more information, visit www.cbiboca.org or call 241-8118.


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The Rev. Benjamin A. Thomas Jr. has accepted St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church’s call to serve as its new assistant rector. Thomas graduated in May from the School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn. Prior to seminary, he had a successful career in nonprofit finance and international development. He and his wife, Anna, have five children.
St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church is at 100 NE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton. For more information, call 395-8285 or visit www.stgregorysepiscopal.org

Happenings
    The 24th annual Unity World Day of Prayer takes place Sept. 14, and Unity of Delray Beach will unite in global affirmative prayer during a 24-hour vigil held in the Silent Unity Chapel at 101 NW 22nd St., Delray Beach.
    Unity employees, ministers and students invite guests to be part of the annual tradition and gather to bless thousands of names submitted to Silent Unity for prayer.
    The theme is “Peace in the Midst,” which echoes prayers of the first men who ever offered a prayer for peace in the midst of chaos. To share a name for the prayer list, call 800-669-7729 or visit www.silentunity.org org.

Meetings in September
    Pub Theology: Beer, Conversation & God meets at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Biergarten, 309 Via de Palmas, No. 90, Boca Raton, and 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Barrel of Monks, 1141 S. Rogers Circle, No. 5, Boca Raton. Conversation, fellowship, open discussion. 395-1244; www.fumcbocaraton.org.



    The Interfaith Café meets from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 21 at South County Civic Center, 16700 Jog Road, Delray Beach. Light refreshments are served. The meeting is free, but donations are appreciated.
    The Interfaith Café meets the third Thursday of the month, and volunteers are needed to assist with a variety of duties to keep this program going. For information or to volunteer, email Jane@Aurorasvoice.org.


Send religion notes to Janis Fontaine at janisfontaine@outlook.com.

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