Educator's New Path


 Educator discovers her path in ministry


For Barbara Franco Adams of Penfield, life is synonymous with education. A native of Long Island, she first came to Rochester to earn a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from SUNY Brockport. She went on to earn a master’s in education and a certificate of advanced studies in educational administration.

As a health and physical education teacher, Adams created a welcoming and respectful environment for her students to learn and thrive, which was noticed by the New York State Federation of Health Educators who in 1987 awarded her the New York State Teacher of the Year award. She was guided by the same ethos when serving as an administrator.

After more than 33 years’ experience in educational environments, Adams has found a new audience and new direction to share her talent for story-telling, her message of self-empowerment and emphasis on finding joy and light in living day-to-day.

“The truth of the matter is,” says Adams, “I felt a call to ministry for years.”

However, as a gay Roman Catholic woman, her aspiration to become a minister was diametrically opposed to church teachings.

Adams and her partner eventually found a welcoming spiritual home in Spiritus Christi Church in the city.

It was there that she first heard Patti Fields give a homily based on A Course in Miracles, a self-study curriculum designed to teach people to view one another as inherently innocent, as one with God and each other.

“It was then that I knew I had found my teacher as well as my true spiritual path,” says Adams.

A Course in Miracles particularly resonated with Adams as it emphasizes removing barriers to the awareness of love, of self, others and God.

“I have had the privilege of mentoring Barb for the past 5 years, in her study and practice of A Course in Miracles,” says Patti Fields, A Course in Miracles teacher and minister. “I have witnessed Barb’s willingness to question old patterns of thinking and be open to new understandings. She is dedicated and tenacious when it comes to recognizing and releasing all that blocks her awareness of love and she is equally committed to others, knowing that what she learns benefits everyone around her.”

Her partner, Rosalie (Roz) Pullara admires Adams’ spiritual integrity as well.

“As Barb’s life partner, for the past nineteen years, I have seen her living her spiritual philosophy on a daily basis,” says Pullara. “She lovingly devotes many hours a week caring for her grandchildren, she volunteers at the Special Olympics, at soup kitchens and generously supports charities. While doing all this and much more, she is a loving partner, a best friend and adviser.”

As Adams found herself developing a deeper appreciation for and understanding of A Course in Miracles, she decided to attend a conference in New York City. There, as she listened to many well-known teachers relate their stories, she again felt the call to ministry. “I felt a transformation take place,” Adams says, “a fuller commitment and an acknowledgment that the call to ministry I had so many years before could now become a reality.”

Today, Adams is studying, through the Pathways of Light Ministry, to become an ordained minister.

There is something else from her past that Adams has devoted her energies to.

“While in the classroom, one of the ways I engaged my students was by creating stories that included aspects of the curriculum,” says Adams. She noticed how her students sat with rapt attention as she “gave life to characters and brought humor and emotion to difficult-to-comprehend concepts.” It is not surprising, therefore, that in addition to her A Course in Miracles-based ministerial studies, Adams has written a book for children and their parents/caregivers, titled: The Adventures of the Course Kids: Through Faith and Grace and has written and professionally recorded a song titled: See with Your Heart to accompany the book.

For more information, visit www.ofcoursepublishing.com.

 

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