People of CSL
Rev. Mike Irwin – Spiritual Director
After 20 years as Chief Financial Officer for four telecommunications companies, Rev. Mike Irwin left the corporate world in 2005 to follow the call to ministry he felt as a boy. In 2006 he received his practitioner license, in 2010 became a licensed minister, and in 2013, Rev. Mike was ordained by the Centers for Spiritual Living. He is now the Senior Minister at Center for Spiritual Living in Kansas City, MO.
Rev. Mike’s passion is teaching and living a practical spirituality that can heal and transform any condition. He believes we are not present on the planet at this time merely for our own evolution, but to make a positive change for good in the world in which we live everyday.
Besides speaking and teaching at his Center in Kansas City, Rev. Mike is active in a number of local and national organizations that speak for those who need an advocate. He is a member of Speaking up for Racial Justice, an active supporter of Transformation Youth Group, which provides spiritual and emotional support for transgendered teenagers, he is an Ambassador for the Midwest Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and a member of The Charter for Compassion. He also volunteers with members of his Center in a number of local non-profits in the Kansas City area.
Rev. Mike lives with his husband, Mark Hayes. They will celebrate their 20-year anniversary in 2018. Mike’s two grandchildren live in Kansas City and are the love of his life. They are what keep him grounded and in balance.
Dr. Chris Michaels – Emeritus
Mark Cabrera – Office Director/Financial Assistant
Mark Cabrera came into the Center in 2003 and has been a member since 2004. Originally from Southeast Arizona, he moved all over the Midwest for school and work until he landed in Kansas City in 1983 working for local electronics company for 22 years in sales and management.
Upon finding us, Mark immediately began volunteering at the Center as usher /greeter. His 40-years in retail management made him a natural fit for the book store, too, and he took on buying and merchandising. Eventually, Mark took the bookstore to its next level as Entheos Gift Shop and Bookstore.
Mark has been involved in almost every area of the Center throughout the years. In 2005, he was hired as a contractor in support of the Capital Campaign. In 2006, he was officially hired as staff becoming the office manager, event coordinator, facility management, and “other duties as assigned” which means he did everything.
As if that wasn’t enough, Mark continued to volunteer as Spirit In Action Coordinator and provided support for Community Outreach until 2007. And, when we started renovation for our new facilities, he became Project Manager for the renovation and move.
Mark is the go-to guy for much of what happens at the Center, and we are researching cloning him. In the meantime, you’ll find Mark hard at work somewhere around the Center, and it’s likely that his dog, Nelson, will be right beside him. Contact Mark: email@example.com
Lorna Dempster – Youth Director
Lorna Dempster began attending The Center for Spiritual Living in 2011 and began serving in the youth department soon after. In 2013, she joined the staff as Youth Director.
Her path began as a storyteller and in acting at Illinois State University as well as serving as a business consultant and manager for several major corporations. Lorna has worked in training, youth programming, and advertising sales for over 30 years.
Lorna also has a heart for service, and it shows. As a volunteer, she has developed youth programs for libraries and served as a marketing consultant for the Wylliams-Henry Contemporary Dance Company. She currently volunteers through her employer, Grantham University, in support of veterans, Toys for Tots, and Della Lamb Food Pantry.
Lorna has a Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies and is pursuing her Masters in Human Resources: Performance Improvement. Contact Lorna: firstname.lastname@example.org
PROFESSIONAL PRAYER PRACTITIONERS.
The word “Practitioner” may be new to you, and it simply means that these designated people are high-level “practicers” of the Science of Mind principles.
A Practitioner works to assist you in solving problems and experiencing greater good in your life. They work to help you understand your challenge and its cause, and then, through Affirmative Prayer, the spiritual laws are set in motion to resolve your issue.
Having participated in extensive training to develop themselves into being Consciousness On Demand, practitioners are licensed and skilled in using Science of Mind principles and especially Affirmative Prayer. This requires a minimum of three years of class work and practice and passing a written exam and paneling before licensed ministers and Practitioners.
You will see our Practitioners onstage at the end of services or standing by the side walls between services and wearing a white stole around their necks. They are available at these times free of charge to assist you with your prayer needs or at other times by appointment on a fee basis. Feel free to contact any of our Practitioners for more information.
Melynda Little, RScP
Carol Whalen, RScP
Judy Whitcraft, RScP
Lee Langston – Music Director/Vocals
Lee has been with the Center for Spiritual Living music team since 2005. He may be seen in various venues throughout Kansas City as Lee Langston and Prototype – a neo-soul ensemble offering “real music, not to mention good music.” With roots in Oklahoma and Kansas City, Lee is a 1995 graduate of the Paseo Academy of Performing Arts.
Mark is an internationally known composer, arranger, concert pianist and clinician who has written over 800 published pieces. He travels extensively giving piano concerts and conducting choral workshops, but loves coming home to Center for Spiritual Living in Kansas City.
To read more about Mark, see his concert schedule, or visit his online store, go to www.markhayes.com
Doug Auwarter – Percussion
Doug Auwarter is a much sought-after drum-set artist for performances, clinics, and private teaching. He is currently an adjunct-faculty member at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Johnson County Community College, and Missouri Western State Universtiy. He has maintained a private studio at Explorers Percussion for over 15 years.
In the last two decades, he has become known as a source for information on Cuban and Brazilian music, performed in numerous festivals across the world and is the author of two method books. Doug is a Paiste Cymbal artist, and in Kansas City, he performs regularly with the Sons of Brasil as well as many local jazz notables.
For more information visit his personal website at www.dougauwarter.com
Misha Roberts – Singer
Diamonds are made by precise time and pressure. Misha is Kansas City’s own diamond in the rough. A native Texan with a background deeply rooted in gospel, jazz and blues, Misha listened intently to the sounds of Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey to form her own unique soulful sound.
Misha has shared her talent and brought excitement to venues all around the Kansas City area to include 18th and Vine’s Blue Room, Danny’s, and The Juke House. Knucklehead’s and The Phoenix are blues venues Misha regularly visits. Kansas City’s Midland and Starlight Theater are also venues where she has graced the stage.
Pal Roberts – Pianist
Composer/arranger/performer Paul Roberts has been working in the KC music scene since the 80s. He holds a bachelors degree in Music Composition from the Conservatory of Music at UMKC. Paul served in the Marines with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing band and later with the Army Ground Forces Band. He currently serves as the bass trombonist and staff arranger for the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra and a number of other big bands and plays keyboards for the J Love band, BMW, Max Berry band and many others.
Ben Leifer – Musician
Ben was born in Topeka, KS to a musical family. He began his study of music early in life and began playing the electric bass at age 14. He studied rigorously throughout high school and eventually picked up the upright bass at age 17. Ben studied the bass and composition at the UMKC conservatory of music under the tutelage of Bobby Watson. He has worked locally and across the world as part of the group Diverse which was formed at UMKC with peers Hermon Mehari and Ryan Lee. Ben has studied intensively with bassist Curtis Lundy and has studied and performed with master drummer Michael Carvin. After spending a year in New York, Ben moved back to Kansas City and refocused his efforts at studying and composing music and devoting himself to the thriving local scene. He is also pursuing a career in medicine and hopes to be able to have a dual career with these two diverse interests.
Born and raised in the greater Kansas City area, Hailee recently returned to the Midwest eager to contribute to a community focused on entrepreneurs pursuing their passions. She spent eight years in the San Francisco area honing her fitness and business acumen and upon her return to Kansas City, took her passion, drive, and expertise to the next level with the opening of City Gym KC (www.citygymkc.com ) in 2011.
In addition to City Gym, Hailee is the Owner of HBW Consulting (www.haileebwalsh.com), entrepreneurial career and business coaching. Hailee uses a blend of Science of Mind principles, business consulting, and a holistic approach to increase her client’s personal and professional capacity. She focuses on removing blocks and developing a clear vision resulting in real life, measurable outcomes for whole person leadership.
Hailee has been a member of CSL since 2013. While spirituality has always been a life path for her, the Science of Mind principles have given her a framework for practical application to design her best life.
When she is not training clients, coaching leaders, teaching fitness classes, or running the day-to-day operations of City Gym KC, Hailee can be found enjoying many of her favorite activities – running, cycling, traveling, and spending time with her partner, Tiffany, and their family and friends. Contact Hailee: email@example.com
HEALTH EDUCATOR ~ ENTREPENUER
Ms. Harper is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from Paseo High School and attended Central Missouri State University and majored in Biology. She was the Founder/Owner of Harper’s Restaurant in Kansas City’s famous Historic Jazz District at 18th and Vine. She is the mother of two wonderful and accomplished daughters and grandmother to Liam Gregory Stegall who inspired the title of her first book.
Myra is passionate about people’s ability to live healthy and long lives and thus the motivation and inspiration for her first book titled, “Hey, Granny, are you ready for Deep Future?” a Journey to Optimum Health, Longevity and Spiritual Fulfillment…. The Essential Workbook.
Myra has attended Centers for Spiritual Living since 2006 and has been a member since 2010. Prior to attending CSL she was a member of Unity Temple on the Plaza for over 25 years and served as a Board Member.
Myra has spent the last two (2) decades of her life creating wholesome and delicious recipes that provide a creative and artistic approach to healthy eating. She conducts healthy living workshops and personal/motivation education sessions for women, couples and groups. For over 20 years, Myra has catered hundreds of events throughout Kansas City for all types of organizations, business groups, both public and private and has catered state events for distinguished Kansas and Missouri dignitaries.
Myra’s accomplishments include:
1999 Completed the New York Marathon
2002 Founder, Owner and Operator Strangefrut Catering Company
2005 Founder, Owner, Operator of Harper’s Restaurant in Historic 18th and Vine District
Contact Myra at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Fortin is a long-time student of our teaching becoming a member of the Center in 1995 on his arrival in Kansas City. Before moving here, he was a member of the West Nyack, NY and Morristown, NJ Religious Science Churches for several years. Mark has volunteered in many capacities at the Center throughout its growth, including using his many construction and plumbing skills at our new church home. Mark and his family members created their company, Individual Expressions, to serve the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Jackson County area. He has been an avid scuba diver and skier in the past although now he spends more time as an entrepreneur and enjoys a happy life with his wife, Lois, a Center member since 1993, at their home in Raytown. Mark’s daughter, Ashley, also a member, has been in our teaching since birth. Mark sees the Center as a dynamic spiritual community, part of something special in the Mind of God, and wants to foster, facilitate and be a sounding board for spiritual growth in collaboration with our members. Contact Mark: email@example.com
Tom is a native of Atchison, Kansas and has considered Kansas City his home since 1990. Tom began attending the Center for Spiritual Living in 2004 and serves the spiritual community as a Sunday Presider, presenter at Wednesday Night Wisdom, and on the Core Council. Tom values spiritual practices as the key to changing your life and your path. He’s a story-teller, recording artist, musician, retreat facilitator, massage therapist, spiritual coach, yoga instructor, motivational speaker, and officiates and sings for weddings and funerals. Tom and his wife, Beth, are co-executive directors of the newly opened Timber Creek Retreat House (45 minutes south of KCMO – near Drexel, MO), which sits on 80 acres of Missouri timberland, offering an 11,000 square foot guesthouse with 7 overnight accommodations, massage therapy, yoga, walking trails, meditation chapel, and healthy organic meals. www.timbercreekretreat.org Contact Tom J: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica is a board certified Behavioral Analyst and has worked with children with autism, their families, and schools for over 30 years. She also helped found and build Partners in Behavioral Milestones, an organization dedicated to creating meaningful change for individuals with disabilities and their families.
It’s typical for Jessica to see a problem or need and then get to work finding a way to solve it. That’s how her newest venture, a mobile grocery store for the urban core of Kansas City, came into existence. This store on wheels gets fresh foods and goods to areas that don’t have stores or access to healthy food choices. The “Rollin’ Grocer” will be on the streets in November.
Jessica came to CSL in 2011 and quickly found ways to be of service. She has been part of the Hospitality Team and co-coordinated the Kansas City initiative of the CSL Global Food Service Project. Jessica then took on the Youth Leader for the teens and develops their lesson plans, events, summer camps, and helps teach, too.
Family goes beyond her daughter Diana; it also includes 4 housemates, 4 dogs, 1 cat, a bunny, a guinea pig, and a fish. If you ask her to help, it is most likely she will say, “Let’s figure out a way!” And then she will start chanting, “Om Shanti.”
Jessica loves the Law of Circulation. Her life is a perfect example of this- what Jess puts out is love and generosity, light, and laughter. And when you’re around her, you want to give it right back.
Rev. Diana Taylor
Diana is an ordained and licensed Unity minister and certified chaplain. She serves Crossroads Hospice’s patients, families, and the Crossroads staff and loves her ministry! Prior to completing her seminary studies and chaplaincy internship, Diana was an Administrative Projects Consultant, providing extensive services for start-up businesses in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas and is a former Account Manager for Union Carbide Corporation. She has experience in industrial marketing and sales, administrative operations, event planning and production, and adult training and group facilitation.
Diana holds Unity Theological Studies Certificate (equivalent to Master of Divinity) and Bachelor of Music degrees and has completed extensive certificate-level training for her career-related business skills. In her personal time, Diana enjoys being involved with the expressive arts (music is her special “muse”), hiking, sharing with friends/family, serving in her community, and Insight Meditation. Contact Diana: email@example.com
MINDFUL SERVICE LEADERS.
Rev. Mike Irwin
Spirit In Action Leader – Donna Gonzales
Spirit In Action Team Lead – Kate Guimbellot
Spirit In Action Team Lead – Craig Shupe
Spirit In Action Team Lead- Robbie Meyer
Spirit In Action Team Lead — Mark Medlin
Spirit In Action Team Lead – Michael Voccio
Media Booth Leader – Mark Cabrera
Videographer – Ken Stinnett
Sound Booth Coordinator – Mark Cabrera
Youth Team Leaders – Jessica Royer
Community Service Director – Chuck Romero
Facility Setup Coordinator – Barry Morse
Love, Care, and Comfort Coordinator – Rev. Mike Irwin
Gift of Love Coordinator – Myra Harper