Bio: This personal biography of mine was submitted to the Centers for Spiritual Living, as part of my application for the formation of my Slatersville, Rhode Island, Center for Spiritual Living Teaching Chapter here in Northern Rhode Island, where I have lived since 1952.
I am Natalia Gloria Rodrigues deRezendes, first generation American, daughter of Portuguese/Brazilian parents having immigrated to this nation in 1930. Portuguese was my first language.
Born in Rhode Island in 1947, I might begin by saying that I think I have been a teacher/performer nearly all of my life.
While living in NYC as a young aspiring musician, I first encountered Religious Science in the days of Rev Dr. Raymond Charles Barker. Having been raised as an ethnic Roman Catholic, this was quite a significant influential change in direction of my spiritual journey.
Educationally I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in a double major of Spanish and Music from Rhode Island College '74. I chose to take a major in Spanish, as I found it so so very close to my native language of Portuguese
In the early 70's I taught music in Blackstone/Millville, Massachusetts for eight years where I did general music classes and directed an elementary chorus for grades 3-6. I think the diversity chord struck me very early on whereby I had young children singing in many a foreign language at Holiday concerts. It was my thing about teaching "Oneness" and Diversity even way back then.
In 1978, I received a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, having majored in classical voice.
I then taught applied voice in the music theater department at Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts from about 1980-1995.
I was also on the applied vocal faculty at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island teaching voice in the music theater department from about 1990 to 2003.
I have sung as soloist and chorally directed for just about every denomination one might think of ... Roman Catholicism, all kinds of Protestantism, Judaism (.Orthodox, Conservative, and Reformed and Reconstrutionist) ; Christian Science, Religious Science, Unity....and at great length with Unitarian Universalist Association as I was the mezzo soloist at First Unitarian on Benefit and Benevolent in Providence, Rhode Island in the late 70's into the early '80's.
One of my greatest treats in my career of years past was to have been the Coral director of a group called "Coral Heranca Portuguesa", a choral group that was founded in the year of the bicentennial, 1976, and funded by the Portuguese government. The group was made up of mostly native Portuguese speakers and it was an awesome experience to have had the privilege of being the musical director as we toured to Portugal, California and Canada. It was an avenue through which I learned very much of my roots from a musical and cultural perspective.
I have owned and operated my own "One Voice" teaching studio here in Slatersville from 1979 to just this past year 2018... where I and several young apprentice teachers taught the "art of voice' to folks from ages six to senior citizenhood....as I so billed us. Throughout these 40 plus years of teaching, One Voice Studio embarked upon many a fundraising cause. Rhode Island Task Force, Project Haiti, in raising scholarships for young children as well as earthquake relief. Other charities we raised monies for were our local Milk Fund here in Woonsocket, Rhode Island and Alan Shawn Feinstein's Crossroads Shelter for the Homeless in 2003.
In 2009, I graduated from The New Seminary, an Interfaith Seminary in NYC founded by Rabbi Joseph Gelberman, Jon Mundy, Father Giles Spoonhour and Swami Satchidananda. These two years spent at The New Seminary were absolutely enlightening for me as I had always been an enthusiastic student of a variety of World Religions and traditions.
After graduating from the New Seminary I embarked upon creating my wedding ministry and providing elegant and personalized ceremony, many of which have been bi-lingual and tri-lingual ceremony, performed in Spanish, Portuguese and English. I am joyous to say that I was one of the first officiants to have performed same sex marriage in the state of Rhode Island when we finally became the last New England state to legalize.
Somewhere in the '80's I took SOM(Science of Mind) courses with Religious Science of Boston, under Rev. John Gould. I had also taken a number of courses with Unity of RI. So, my sojourn in and out of New Thought study took somewhat of a 40 plus year journey and is still ongoing.
It was in 2009, when I after I graduated from The New Seminary, that I decided that I would return to my studies of Religious Science at Concordia CSL with Rev. Ian Taylor. And so I began once again taking all of the prerequisite courses necessary before practitioner training.
In 2010, Rev. Ian Taylor strongly encouraged me to finish my SOM training on line and to pursue doing it in Spanish with Rev. Rebekah Pina and Rev. Ogla Silva, that upon completion I might begin my ministry in service to my community. It took nearly eight years and it finally came to fruition as I was licensed in Lake Chapala, Mexico in July of 2016 and then installed once again as RScP at Concordia CSL in Warwick, RI where Rev Ian Taylor is senior minister.
Rev. Dr. Rebeka Pina invited me to be the musical director for the the CSL Conference of the Americas in Lake Chapala, Mexico. I was musical director 2013-2015. In preparation for this event, Rev. Rebeka and I translated a number of New Thought songs into Spanish and created Sacred Circle Dance presented at the conference for three consecutive years.
In the year 2017, we produced four Concordia CSL Trilingual Celebrations of Love and light using music and movement in our ceremony and singing in Spanish, Portuguese and of course English. Rev. Ogla Silva came to Concordia CSL in June of 2017 to present service and workshop.
Over this last year I have continued "on line" assistance teaching with my sponsoring minister, Rev. Ogla Silva with our Spanish International community.
The Toltec Wisdom has become a personal passion of my Spiritual unfoldment having made several spiritual pilgrimages 2007 and 2008 to Teotihuacan with the master Don Miguel Ruiz, Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr, and Don Jose Ruiz.
More recently I have studied with them in week long workshops at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. In 2019, I made still another spiritual pilgrimage to Teotihuacan with Michele Laub, Toltec Wisdom Teacher.
I have also studied and worked with Rev. Michael Beckwith of Agape International in online workshop of Visioning for Forties, Fifties and Beyond and was most grateful to be a part of a weekend long workshop with Rev. Michael at Omega Institute in the fall of 2019.
Over this past year, 2020, I returned to the New Seminary for continued studies in my Masters in Interfaith Studies ... and this fall I am most delighted to say that I will complete my studies at All Faiths Seminary, toward my Masters and expectfully my Doctoral Studies with a concentration in A Course in Miracles.
Over this past spring I have resumed on line workshop studies in A Course in Miracles with Rev. Jon Mundy and I have had the utmost pleasure of taking my first elective course with All Faiths Seminary, a Wedding Intensive with Rev Susanna Stefanachi Macomb.
As a now septogenarian of more than seemingly ongoing zest for truth and teaching, I am most enthusiastic about joining your wonderful new organization of World Awake, that I might continue to be of service to humanity in Truth, Beauty, Peace and Love ...