Our spiritual leadership is here to serve you on your journey of awakening. Please feel free to contact us, we look forward to serving you.
Rev. Duchess Dale, Rev. Teri Lerch, Rev. Kathy Fernandes
Rev. Duchess Dale joined the Chico Church of Religious Science as its pastor and Spiritual Director in September of 2008. Her professional ministry journey began when she graduated ministerial training in 1987 at the RSI Glendale Church of Religious Science with Dr. Leo Fishbeck. Prior to graduating Holmes Institute in 1997, she served as a Practitioner at the Agape Church of Religious Science for 10 years. Rev. Duchess was Ordained in September,2000 while serving as the Assistant Minister of the North Hollywood Church of Religious Science. For six years Rev. Duchess was the Senior Minister at Pacific Church of Religious Science in San Diego before launching a UCSL Teaching Chapter called, Open At The Top In addition to writing, speaking and teaching, her proudest spiritual accomplishment is being the founder and Director of the Animal Kinship Ministry; a pastoral care outreach program within UCSL that spiritually supports animals and their companions. Rev. Duchess supported the Best Friends Animal Society on the Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion that she co-authored and helped present to the U.S. Congress in November, 2007. Rev. Duchess loves to write and last year published her first book, How May I Love You, Today? She continues to be a regular contributor for Inner Visions Magazine published by the Agape International Center, while working on her next book; and more frequently writing a blog, Breath Space http://breathspace.blogspot.com/ blog
When she has free time, she spends it with her husband, Don Converse, watching baseball; and playing with their fur-children, Belle, Beau and their adopted puppy, Chai.
Rev. Kathy became an "official minister" in July 2000, however, she has been a minister of sorts all her life. Raised Catholic and educated in Catholic School, Rev. Kathy was deeply spiritual in junior high, playing guitar and singing in the church's folk group. In high school, she found herself "ministering" to friends. As an athlete , she was often called the "team psychologist." People felt comfortable sharing their troubles with Kathy -- she listened well and tried to always give an uplifting message to inspire them to get beyond the current experience they were having.
In college, Kathy took courses in eastern religions, participated in different college religious groups and learned more about who she was outside her parents influence. Feeling that Catholicism was not growing with her, she eventually abandoned all religious practices even though she still had faith in God. Eventually becoming spiritually hungry, Kathy began attending meetings that happened to be held at the Chico Church of Religious Science and started reading the flyers for workshops and classes being held at the church. Eventually, in early 1990, she got the courage to go to a Sunday service. Liking it immediately, she felt she was immediately accepted. "I Am That I Am." There was no judgment, no intermediary needed for my communications with God, and most importantly, they had tools one could use to grow spiritually and bring oneself back to a personal and close spiritual relationship with God. Continuing to attend services on an irregular basis, Kathy decided to take Science of Mind I (SOM I) classes. She learned how to do spiritual mind treatment, had wonderful spiritual teacher, liked the people in this spiritual community and felt an obvious improvement in her life.
Says Rev. Kathy: "We are all ministers in Truth, Spirit, God, or whatever name you wish to give the Source of all Life. It is constantly calling on us to know the Truth of who we really are. We are Divine Spirits, each of us uniquely gifted to offer the world more than it thought it had before. Spirit calls on you and me to offer our gifts and when we do offer them, we are ministering. To me, being a minister is answering the call to learn, know and experience more of my god-self, to express who I am as a unique and individualized expression of God. I am honored to be a Religious Science Minister and to assist the Religious Science International organization to fulfill its mission: To Awaken Humanity to Its Spiritual Magnificence. I am committed to doing this in the most exciting and inspirational way that I know how."
Teri first came to the church in 1994 and began classes because the teaching so resonated with her. She took SOM 1, 2, and 3 in a row and then waited a year before becoming a practitioner. She did not feel ready for this role, so she became a practitioner at the same time that she entered SOM 4 (ministerial training).
Teri's ministry is with our teens, with whom she has worked with for many years. Teri completed Chaplain training at UC Davis, which was a 2080 hour process and is now employed as a chaplain at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Red Bluff. She is on the ministers call list and a hospice chaplain for Enloe Hospital. Both of these are volunteer positions. She also volunteers as a police chaplain for Chico's police department.
Rev. Teri says, "I have changed my life considerably since first coming to the church. Much of the teaching is what I had intuitively believed, but it has given that belief words. I find I am closer to my beliefs and have a Spiritual Practice. I feel empowered in my life. I know that I can do and achieve anything I put my mind to. Life is a blessing and it keeps giving love, lessons, and gifts. It is just waiting for us to happen."