Interfaith Ordination Ceremony - Fall 2014


On Saturday, September 20, 2014, The ChI Interfaith Community ordained 5 new ministers at Northbrae Community Church:

Father Tom Bonacci, Director of The Interfaith Peace Project and ChI Guest Faculty, delivered an inspiring invocation and message. The service also included music from Core Faculty members Rev. Dr. John Mabry and Pollyanna Bush. John, accompanied by his ukulele, led us in a rousing chorus of "May All Beings".  Pollyanna led the congregation in a song that wove together the ordination statements of each person being ordained. Rev. Dr. Megan Wagner, Rev. Jim Larkin, Rev. Jurgen Schwing and Rev. Scott Quinn also led various components of the service and the ordination rituals. The service concluded with a Benediction from Rabbi Tsvi Bar-David, who is a member of ChI's Guest Faculty.

The ChI Interfaith Community welcomes our newest Clergy in Good Standing and holds each of them in our prayers with joy and hope. 

Please visit to see many more pictures of this wonderful event.


Rev. Naomi-Hema Elmore  (Mulina, OR)

Naomi’s desire to serve patients in hospice, the elderly, the disadvantaged, the vulnerable stemmed  from her mother’s death thirteen years ago. Since then she has befriended, uplifted and served countless people in nursing homes, in their homes and in hospitals. For nine years Naomi served Providence Hospice in Oregon as a volunteer serving the patients by providing vigils for them, respite work, massaging them, and befriending them. Naomi earned her MDiv in June 2013. In May 2013 Providence Hospice hired her as a Licensed Massage Therapist and she massaged an average of 8-14 hospice people a week in their homes. In May 2013 she began her chaplain intern for two units of CPE (continuing pastoral education) at The Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR and in September 2014 completed her CPE as a chaplain resident (another two units) at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, CA. Naomi loves the philosophy, practicality, and the rich river of love that The Chaplaincy Institute is; she feels so graced to have been led to this path and to be an ordained Interfaith Minister by a truly credible and excellent institute. In the near future Naomi will be a board certified chaplain and work as a  hospice and/or palliative care chaplain.

Read Rev. Naomi-Hema Elmore's sermon "The Gift of Being with Suffering" 


Rev. Pamela Dawn deForest Hancock (Crestline, CA)

My spiritual life is tattooed across my body—telling the story of Gods and Goddesses, totems, familiars, relations, poems, symbols, loves, and the cycles of life, death and rebirth that have crafted me into the being that stands before you today.   Inside this artistic landscape I embody my calling as Interfaith Minister, Chaplain, Druid, Christian Mystic, Artist, Poet, Ritualist, Herbalist, Gardener, Yogini, Friend, Daughter, Wife, and Step-Mom. 

I was born and raised in Southern California where I currently reside with my partner and his children.  As a child I found the Divine at the lake near my parents' cabin. The big pine trees surrounding it were my sacred space—my church.  It was there that I began to understand that we are all part of the Divine Web of All Creation.  At the age of twelve I sought comprehension of that Web, beginning my study of the World's Religions.  While obtaining my B.A. from the University of Redlands, Johnston Center, I delved into Goddess Spirituality, Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism.  I moved in and out of different spiritual practices after College—becoming dedicated to the Blue Medicine Buddha when one of my kidneys calcified. In 2011 in ritual with the group I led, I heard the call:  Nourish others' understanding of their connection to the Divine Web!  So off I went to Starr King for my Master's and ChI for Ordination!

Read Rev. Pamela Dawn deForest Hancock's sermon "We Are All Enough"

Rev. Katie LeCount (Fairfax, CA)

I, Katie LeCount, am currently working at Our Lady of Lourdes Convent (Dominican Sisters of San Rafael) as Director of Pastoral Care.  In October 2013, I completed 4 units of CPE through Pacific Institute for Clinical Pastoral Training and Consultation, in Berkeley, CA.   In May 2013, I graduated from the College of Marin with a degree in psychology.   I have been a Licensed Spiritual Practitioner with the Centers of Spiritual Living (Religious Science) since 2008.  At my Center I serve on the Board of Trustees as Secretary, I have served as Ministry of Prayer (7 years), I Co-facilitate credited classes (6 years) , I Co-coordinate our Annual Northern California Practitioner Retreat, I facilitate workshops and support groups.  I have worked at Marin General Hospital as a Resident Chaplain and Kaiser in Vallejo and Vacaville as an Intern Chaplain.  I opened the doors to my housekeeping company, Count on LeCount, 28 years ago.  I support others as we all travel through the end of life issues and grief.  I facilitate grief support groups.  I am an advocate for women and children and a “keeper of unlived souls”.

Read Rev. Katie LeCount's sermon "Be the Way By Walking It"

Rev. Laura Rolen (Richmond, CA)

After living most of my life in an idyllic Southwest Virginia mountain town, I moved to the Bay Area in 2008, along with my son Jordan, now age 21, and a few critters.  I enjoy reading, traveling, and writing. My favorite trip was a 2006 Europe tour with my son.  Current writing projects include a book about challenging experiences that ultimately led to a cross-country move and an ongoing spiritual journey, in addition to children’s books inspired by memories of simple everyday moments of riding my grandfather’s bread truck, sleigh riding on a slick blanket with neighbors in the summer, and experiencing the wonders of nature with my son. I have master’s degrees in psychology and theology, an EdS in school psychology, and a PhD in family and child development.  A former school psychologist, I am currently an online professor.  I am completing clinical pastoral education with the San Francisco Night Ministry and have interests in hospital chaplaincy, resulting from my husband’s 2003 cancer death, and in prison ministry, including advocating for systemic change.  I have trained with the Alternatives to Violence Project to facilitate prison workshops and have interests in restorative justice and a more humane legal system.

Read Rev. Laura Rolen's sermon "Way Leads on to Way: A Paradox in the Labryinth"


Chaplain Bill Sewall (Richmond, CA)

I entered college with the expectation I would major in Religion and pursue a path to become an Episcopalian minister. Four years later I graduated as a History major lost within a spiritual crisis and disillusioned with Christianity. After that I spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness of corporate America and raising a family, all the while looking half-heartedly for my spiritual path. Then late one night in October, 2011, I received my calling. It was a simple question from the Spirits - continue my aimless drifting or turn my life over to the Divine. I chose the latter and it has been an amazing adventure ever since. My spiritual path lead me to ChI in January, 2013. Four months later I was walking the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. Eight months after that I entered a one year intensive Clinical Pastoral Education program as a chaplain intern at Kaiser-Permanente Hospital in Vallejo. These have been the most profound, transformative and rewarding experiences in my life.

Read Chaplain Bill Sewall's sermon "Simple"

Category: News

blog comments powered by Disqus
Sitemap  |  Privacy  |  Disclaimer
Website Design by VR Creative  |  ©1999-2018 The Chaplaincy Institute