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About Our Minister

Rev. Carol at Kevins weddingDear Friends,

For those who are curious, here is a brief synopsis of who your minister is and how we got to where we are. Like many life roads, mine has been one of interesting turns, ultimately leading me to founding Abundant Life Spiritual Center in 2010.

My educational background is in engineering. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and worked for 20 years in the energy business in Houston, Texas. I always admired the perfection of mathematics and the discovery of science, but the engineering field didn’t entirely suit me. As a young adult I found myself exploring all sorts of interesting endeavors on my own including the Landmark Forum Curriculum for Living and A Course in Miracles. I eventually awakened to the Unity movement in 1997.

With Unity I discovered a theological framework that matched what I knew to be true within me. So it felt right to plunge into serving and giving to my new community, and to fully participate and engage in Unity classes. I completed my Unity Spiritual Education and Enrichment and Leadership Development classes over a ten-year period and earned my licensing as a Unity leader in 2008. In that same year I was also blessed with the opportunity to lead Unity Church on the North Shore in Evanston, Illinois when it was between ministers. During that time, the church experienced a tremendous surge in energy and prosperity, and so did I. God was clearly calling me lead a spiritual community. After spending months listening in prayerful contemplation and meditation, I saw what was mine to do. Abundant Life Spiritual Center was born in Deerfield, Illinois on September 26, 2010.

At the same time I pursued an ordination path through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City. While in that program, I immersed myself academically and experientially in the major world faith traditions. That experience gave me greater clarity on my own faith, exposed me to the importance of ritual and ceremony, and enhanced my understanding of the unity of the many paths to God. While we may be traveling different roads with different equipment, we are all on the path to Self-realization.

As for my personal life, I have three main passions:

First, I am passionate about my family. I have been married to my husband, Greg Harbaugh since 1981 and together we have three adult daughters – Kelly, Dana and Madeline. Greg has supported me fully in every one of my life endeavors, from getting my pilot's license to bringing home puppies and stray cats to starting this spiritual community. He has been my partner on our many amazing life adventures. Our family is very close and we love being together.

Second, I am passionate about animals. I am an advocate and voice for animals - all of them - and I include them in my circle of Love and Compassion. When I was 15 years old I realized that I wanted to live in closer alignment with my values, so I choose to become a vegetarian. I am now vegan. While I understand we all have reasons for our own life choices, I fundamentally believe (along with Unity co-founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore) that to demonstrate Universal Love and to manifest our vision of World Peace, we must extend Compassion and refrain from being violent toward all sentient beings, not just humans. The Fillmores taught this with great passion in the early 1900’s. For me it makes metaphysical sense and keeps me grounded in and aligned with our teachings of Non-violence, Compassion and Oneness.

Third, I am passionate about personality systems. I am qualified to administer the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and I also teach Enneagram workshops. Knowing one's self is a key part of the spiritual path. The Enneagram and MBTI are just two personality systems that can help us see ourselves and understand others. With these tools we can learn what we are and what we are not, and discover a path to Wholeness and authentic living.

Since our community first began I have grown beyond measure. I have experienced the joy of authentic creativity and the honor of making a profound difference in people’s lives. I have also experienced the humanity of heartbreak. I have learned over and over to release my attachment to outcomes. I have learned to love and forgive myself, to trust Spirit, and to look for the Good always as I venture toward the complete unfoldment of my humanity and divinity, and lay the path for others. That’s what we do here. We provide a safe place to act on our inspiration, to deepen ourselves spiritually and expand ourselves personally. I am grateful to be traveling with you on this amazing journey.

With Abundant Blessings,

Rev. Carol

Silent Unity

UnityFM

Abundant Life Spiritual Center, affiliated with Unity Worldwide Ministries, is a non-profit corporation. All donations are tax-deductible.