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Paths to the Present, by Nancy Thayer

Nancy Thayer

Prayer has always played an important part in my life.   One of my earliest memories is of climbing the stairs to the nursery of the Sunday School in one of the largest Christian Science churches in Detroit.  My parents were active members of the church; my dad served as chairman of the board, a teacher in the Sunday School, usher, and my mother serving on many committees.
As a family we attended church every Sunday.   When any of us had a health challenge we called a Christian Science practitioner/healer to pray for us.  When I went to Michigan State University where I majored in Math and minored in Art, I remember calling home when health problems arose, and my parents would pray for me.  Always their prayers proved to be immediately effective.   My Sunday School experience gave me a thorough knowledge of the Bible and also of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
I remember calling my parents one day when our little son, only about a year old, was very ill.  He had a fever and crying and whimpering would reach for his spine.  There seemed to be cases of spinal meningitis in the news and I feared this might be the problem we were facing.  I immediately called my parents to pray for him.  In a very short time he fell asleep and when he awoke several hours later was completely healed.
Although I did not continue attending church during college and for several years after graduating, when it came time to decide if my sons would have a church experience my husband and I agreed that we wanted what we considered to be the best Sunday School training for them, and that was the Christian Science Sunday School.  We had moved to Lathrup Village and began attending the Birmingham Christian Science Church.  After several decades, I am still a member.
After September 11 I read about a group of faith leaders from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities who were meeting regularly to discuss how to overcome challenges facing their communities.  They eventually formed Interfaith Partners, an organization ready to join together to promote education, mutual understanding and respect. I expressed interest in this group and was fortunate to be asked to join.  This group later reorganized and became InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit.  I am honored to have been on the board since its formation.
My love for God and my practice of prayer have been a constant inspiration for my work as a fine artist.  After earning a BA from Michigan State University I earned a MA in painting and completed work on an MFA also in painting in Mexico. I have taught painting and drawing at several colleges and universities including the University of Michigan where I have been on the faculty for over 10 years.  My paintings are included in many museum collections including the Detroit Institute of Arts. I depend on Divine Mind, another name for God, to inspire, enrich, and inform, before, during and after the making of a painting.  I am deeply grateful for the many blessings that God has provided for my family, friends, and for me.
July 11, 2015

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