MUSIC/CREATIVITY, CO-FOUNDER, TEACHING PASTOR
THRIFT STORE ADDICT / PIANIST WITH GUITAR-ENVY/ HAPPILY OUTNUMBERED WOMAN IN HOUSE OF BOYS / POET WITH A CAUSE
ME IN A NUTSHELL:
I’m married to one of the co-pastors of Watershed (Scott). We were friends for quite a few years before he saw the light and asked me to marry him while we were working together at a church in Michigan. B.S. (before Scott) I was a more of a full-time musician, but since marrying him, we had 2 boys Colsen and Keane. They are the little rays of sunshine and muses in my life…I had no idea being a mom could make my heart feel as though it could burst with love right out of my chest. Most of Scott’s family has relocated to Charlotte as well as my mom and my sister. Some of our good friends we’ve known for years also moved here to help us (and some of them are on staff at Watershed as well) I feel overwhelmed at the blessings of having our family and lifelong friends here in the same zip code. The everyday-ness of deep relationships has been transformational for me and my journey into motherhood and wifedom (is that a word?). Now I help with some of the music/worship leading at Watershed part time as well as helping with planning/writing tasks. Our church is as old as my older son...so I am grateful to look at our community through his fresh to faith eyes. The diversity, eclectic mix, and beauty of our people continue to humble me and drive me to be the kind of Jesus follower who would give anything for the love of people.
POINT OF ORIGIN:
Massachusetts but raised in Connecticut
HOW I COLLIDED WITH WATERSHED:
My husband Scott (Co-Pastor @ Watershed) and I dreamed up starting a church with our good friends Matt (other Co-Pastor) and his wife Donna years ago. We never set out in our life to do something like this, but through our friendships traveling to India together and working in humanitarian aid endeavors, we began realizing it was fun to help other people alongside people you just love to death. Matt and Donna were pretty instrumental in fixing me up with Scott (my husband). Our lives have become pretty interwoven through the years and the common thread that brought us together, justice and community, is the heart with which we started this church. The O’Neils’ are from KY and Scott is from NY and I’m a New Englander, so Charlotte is the perfect mix of the South/North to fit all of our personalities.
Trader Joe's, thrifting, Target, flip flops, homemade hair product concoctions to tame the ‘fro, babies, little boy clothes (not for me, for my boys of course...I’m a sucker for mini-man clothes), running, An Idiot Abroad, Sara Bareilles, conversations with my husband, Pinot Noir, songwriting, vegetarian cooking, my husband's leather creations, time with my mom & sis laughing and digging through antique markets, making lists like this, & seeing people awaken to God's goodness.
mayo, whining, irony-laden country music, Mucinex ads, the traffic on Independence and up-speak. not necessarily in that order.
FAVORITE FACET OF WATERSHED:
Humility & Ethos: the humility of our leaders and the ethos of becoming. No matter where you are in your level of belief/relationship with God, you can be involved, loved, and accepted in our church. That’s revolutionary to me.
CURRENT LIFE LEARNING:
To everything, there is a season. Jesus had 33 years on earth, who knows how many I’ll have. There will be seasons of feeling immensely missional and purposeful and others when just being a carpool driver and errand runner might be my post. I’m trying to learn to ask that, in whatever my season, how can I maximize it to the fullest for Kingdom value? How can I be a kickin' carpool driving, goldfish supplying, mom/wife/musician/friend who loves those around me in this station in life meanwhile not wishing to be anywhere else than in that moment?
My absolute faves: Anne Lamott, Donald Miller, Madeleine L’Engle, Gerard Kelly, Peter Rollins, N.T Wright, Rob Bell, & Dr. Seuss.
As for specific books, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name (Sally Lloyd-Jones) is a fave in my house right now. Watching my son learn the bible from this theologically rich and moving kids’ perspective makes me choked up nightly. Also, Pete & Pickles (by Berkeley Breathed) is one of the sweetest kids’ books I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Too many to name. I'll die a Sting fan. I love classical music and was classically trained in college. Verdi Operas and Satie's Gynompedies are some of my faves. Muse, Civil Twilight, Sara Bareilles, John Mark McMillan, Bon Iver, Ingrid Michealson, Plumb, Sandra McCracken, Imogen Heap, Damian Rice, Jeff Buckley, Marc Cohn, Tom Petty, The White Stripes, The Police, Susan Tedeschi, Macklemore, John Legend, and yes, Coldplay (predictable).
I wear a size 3 ½ ring on my ring finger. I think I could get into circus work on that fact alone. I think my boys had bigger sized ring fingers the days they were born. Also, just the SOUND or THOUGHT of mayo sickens me. Yes, mayo makes a sound. A terrible, terrible creamy disgusting sound.
BET YOU’D NEVER GUESS THAT:
I sang back up for Ted Nugent on one of his albums. If Donna O’Neil (other co-pastor's wife) could tell her Backstreet Boys story, how could I not share this? I wear a chamois on my head like a turban instead of drying it and refer to said chamois as "my precious". That was probably more than you wanted to know.
GRUB & BEVERAGE OF CHOICE:
FERN (veg. place in PlazaMidwood) & a nice Pinot Noir.
PLACES YOU’LL FIND ME IN THE QUEEN CITY:
Plaza Midwood, Chantilly (our hood), Value Village, Clark's Antiques on Central Ave., anywhere a good local food truck might be parked, and the baseball fields with my boys.
I LOVE CHARLOTTE BECAUSE:
It’s an amazing place to raise kids. It's eclectic. The people here are from everywhere which makes me feel at home. It’s a growing place…not a has-been place which is refreshing. There’s an air of anticipation, excitement and expectation here.
OTHER WAYS I SERVE IN OUR WATERSHED COMMUNITY:
I sort of push myself to be our resident "beholder." Taking in what people are dealing with in our city and community, celebrating what joys and goodness are taking place amongst us and setting it to music or video or web or whatever medium might best convey our gratitude for God's goodness and constant provision and presence in our lives. I oversee our mailers (postcards/mass mailings) and planning for our Sunday Gathering Series (help with themes, writing copy, etc). I try to get involved in Blocs when I can attend and helping our new moms at Watershed with coordinating meal/baby showers. Also, I’m married to a pastor…that means hosting people in our home…a lot. I’m no Martha Stewart, but I enjoy filling our abode with food, friends and good conversation. In my book, a full house is a happy one…or one where Uncle Jesse may reside in the basement.
WHAT MAKES MY HEART BEAT FASTER:
That God would be known and felt more deeply because I was on this earth. And finding the perfect pair of jeans & homemade brew to tame the frizz I call my mane. I started out sounding quite profound...what happened?
To be a peacemaker. Jesus seemed to like peacemakers (or at least He called them “blessed”) and He was obviously one Himself. Shalom means to bring completion and wholeness. Since we all are born searching and longing, being a shalom-bringer seems to be the best possible aspiration.