About the Author of Dancing Into Joy
Dancing Into Joy is M. Kathleen Chesnut's first book, but not her first venture into print. As a pastor and an ex-English teacher, Kathleen is no stranger to writing. She has been involved with the printed word since an undergraduate of the College of Mount Saint Vincent where she edited the college paper and also contributed to the literary magazine. She is also a published scholar having won the 1992 Mercersburg Society Prize, with the winning paper published in the New Mercersburg Review.
As a volunteer teacher at Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Kathleen coached the drama club there as it won its district one act play competition. Unfortunately after her car was totaled in an ice storm coming back from Christmas vacation with 3 other volunteers in the car, earning $100 a month was no longer an option. Kathleen then taught at Todd County High School on the neighboring Rosebud Indian Reservation, where she helped the students create their own literary magazine. When the senior class English teacher said that the class she had taught the previous year "didn't know their grammar, but they sure could think", Kathleen considered herself a success as a teacher. She believes that the ability to think for one's self is the greatest asset that a school can give to its students.
After four years as a teacher on Indian reservations, Kathleen was ready for something else and returned to her family home in New Jersey. At this point, she left the Roman Catholic church and joined the local United Methodist church. This is when she heard the call to ministry. While in seminary, she was drawn to the United Church of Christ as this denomination encourages, and in fact needs, its people to think for themselves. She transferred to Lancaster Theological Seminary to learn more about her new denomination, and graduated from there in 1992.
Currently, Kathleen is the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Gloversville, NY. Prior to that, she pastored churches in Rensselaer, New York, Dickinson, North Dakota, as well as Fonda and Pomeroy in Iowa.
Websites of interest:
The National Headquarters of Kathleen's denomination, the United Church of Christ:
The "God is Still Speaking" National Campaign of the United Church of Christ"
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