ADL workers on the Earth plane are carefully chosen to be helpers of the Organization of Light.
We are grateful to the dedication of our Board of Trustees, committee members, and all of our volunteers. Without their guidance and service we could not bring the degree of Love and Light to the Earth plane that we currently achieve.
Current ADL Board of Trustees
Rev. Dr. Jo Ann “Elf” Pessagno
Chapel #91, Rockville, MD
Rev. Dr. "Elf" was ordained in 1984 and received her DDMS with ADL in 2003. She has served on ADL's Board of Trustees since 2014 and as President from 2016 to the present.
Her doctoral thesis was the Celebration of Ceremonies, which includes custom wedding ceremonies, remembrances, a Welcome New Soul on Planet Earth ceremony (christening), full-moon gatherings and other cultural traditions and passages.
"Whenever I am asked about ADL, my standard answer is God is Love, and we spread Love wherever we go."
I've based this philosophy on Mother Teresa, who said, "Spread Love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."
My mission as a mentor for ADL is to shine a light where there is a veil of darkness, and to spread love in all areas where needed through embracing ADL's concept of practicing the greatest degree of love.
Rev. Dr. Pessagno is currently employed as General Manager of a Condominium where she uses her ministry every day in working with the owners through active listening, compassion, and understanding.
Rev. Michael Tobolski
Chapel #713, Mt. Airy, MD
I am a Reiki Master and Spiritual Counselor, and I currently am President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ADL. I spent many years in corporate America as an executive in the hospitality industry, and now I work in a global non-profit focused on the empowerment of women around the world. I am also an entrepreneur, and I sit on the Board of Interfaith Voices, an NPR-based radio show heard on over 80 stations in the US.
I was raised in a traditional religion, but I soon began searching for a spiritual home that was not based in fear, and I eventually found ADL.
I work to integrate business and spirituality in all aspects of life, and I find that ADL provides a community of strong spiritual support.
Rev. Michelle “Miche” Restaino
Chapel #1810, Albuquerque, NM
I was ordained on April 16, 2011 by Rev. Dr. Nancy Ash. The early years of my life were strongly influenced by my parents who I affectionately describe as being maverick Christians. As part of my upbringing, they taught me in words and by example to be an enthusiastic spiritual explorer, to find my own answers, and to act from a heart of compassion and joy. This has served me well throughout my life as I have developed a great love of the endless ways in which humanity has strived to regain, maintain, and strengthen its understanding of and connection with the Divine. Through my personal explorations of various religious traditions, as well as, my university education in Communications Through Culture and Religion, I have realized that underneath the apparent differences of most religious perspectives lies the same foundational idea – that of Divine Love.
Additionally, about seven years ago, I began to realize that the only true satisfaction for me would involve helping others on their individual and unique journeys toward healing and awakening to their oneness with the Divine which is, as we all know, Love. When I first learned of Alliance of Divine Love through my friend and neighbor, Rev. Dr. Nancy Ash back in 2010, I immediately resonated with its teachings and quickly realized that being an ADL minister was a natural next step on my path of spiritual growth and of service to the Divine and to humanity. The idea of thinking, speaking and acting from the greatest degree of Love for the greatest good of all, is such a simple yet profound Truth.
The training I have received through the Alliance of Divine Love has reinforced so much of what I already knew within me, and has helped to clarify many powerful ideas within my heart and mind. I am so very grateful for this aspect of my awakening and desire very much to give back to ADL and to be able to insure as many people as possible have the opportunity to discover and explore these teachings for their greatest good. Serving on the Board of Trustees will be a great opportunity allowing me to meet both of these objectives.
Rev. Dr. Carrie Hinson
Chapel #1600, Orlando, FL
Some of my favorite quotes:
- "Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare." ~Angela Duckworth
- "Your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have power, your job is to empower someone else." ~Toni Morrison
- "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become." ~Carl Jung
- "Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall." ~Confucius
- "No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again today." ~Buddha
- "Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are your own fears." ~Rudyard Kipling
- "Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs." ~Henry Ford
- "If you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world." ~Deepak Chopra
Rev. Stacey M. Bourgeois
Chapel 631, Lilburn GA
Being an ADL minister has been the most important decision of my life because it helped me to see life more clearly, live it more honestly and to develop the most important and intimate relationship in my life – my relationship with God, which is essentially my relationship with myself and honoring the Divine within. By doing so, I have also been better able to see the Divine in others and to promote the Greatest Degree of Love in all that I do and with all whom I encounter.
Over the past 30 years, I've worked in public health, mainly in HIV prevention, at the local, community, state, and now the federal level for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I've had to deliver HIV-positive results to about 400 persons early in my career when there was no treatment and very little hope for their survival. I'm sure most of these people have long ago transitioned, but many of those faces I still remember.
I'm blessed now to be a part of averting new HIV infections among disenfranchised populations and promoting the survival and longevity of those who are infected. Due to the current and ever-growing advances in HIV prevention, care, and treatment, I also get to travel all over the country assisting health departments and. community-based organizations enhance their programs to prevent new infections and to get those infected into treatment as soon as possible, in order to improve their health outcomes and quality of their lives. I had an opportunity to work in Ethiopia for 17 weeks at the former Pasteur Institute with the Ministry of Health Agency designated to become “The CDC of Ethiopia,” preparing them to take on this role. I know that what I've done every day for the past 30 years in my professional career has helped to save lives, and I am grateful for this experience and all of the wonderful people whom I've encountered.
My professional areas of expertise include program planning, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. I also have learned to develop, manage, and monitor contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants. I’ve worked with staff development and motivation, and I’ve learned to build strong partnerships with community, state, and national partners, as well as with local, state, and federal government agencies.
Barb Hanshaw continues to be my ministerial mentor. During the most recent ADL National Conference she kept popping in to tell me to get more involved; especially during the business meeting about soliciting nominations for the Board of Trustees. So, I followed up and sent my information to the Board for the upcoming elections. Little did I know that there was an immediate need due to a resignation. I am very grateful and really do want to make a meaningful contribution to ADL in whatever way that I can.
Rev. Dr. Karen Turek
Chapel 1956, Reno, NV
Rev. Dr. Karen was ordained with the Alliance of Divine Love in 2012 and received her D.D.M.S. in 2015. She also holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from New Earth Theological University.
Karen’s message to the world is that, “Love is the sum of all Spiritual Laws.” She believes that the Alliance of Divine Love exemplifies this teaching through its blending of many minds into one heart.
As an “End of Life Educator,” she is the Spiritual Care and Bereavement Director for a hospice in Reno, NV. Rev. Dr. Karen incorporates a unique blend of healing modalities into her teaching platform to include her experience as an ADL Minister, Affirmative Prayer Practitioner, Certified Japanese Restoration Therapist, Kundalini Yoga teacher and Vibrational Healer/Sound Immersion Practitioner. Karen also has an extensive background in law, as a paralegal, and is honored to serve on the ADL National Board of Trustees to promote the expansion of our beloved ministry with the Greatest Degree of Love.
Her contact information is: email@example.com.
Rev. Dr. Peg Gordon
Chapel #537, Windham, ME
I would Like to Participate on the Alliance of Divine Love Board of Trustee’s.
In April 2000, I was ordained into the Alliance of Divine Love by Rev. Dr. Barbara Hanshaw. In September 2011 I received my DDMS. When I took the Oath of the Rose, I fully understood my obligation to the Alliance of Divine Love. I feel we are in a time of transition. My Love, knowledge and experience will help the ministry as we move into our next phase. There is a need for more education, support and guidance for our ministers and mentors. I am dedicated to pursuing these needs.
Barbara was the Secretary from the very beginning and a founder of the Ministry. She had called on me for assistance many times after my Ordination. I served as the Florida Board after being ordained right up to when I moved to Maine. I had the honor of being the Florida board president for many years. I served as Rev. Dr. Hanshaw’s assistant while she was alive. After the death of Barbara, I served as the administrator and Secretary during the beginning transition and stayed in that position for 2 years. I ran several conferences and assisted in many more. Currently I’m a part of the Education committee. I have recently ordained a minister and have 2 Doctoral students. Mentoring for the Alliance of Divine Love and participating with other minister has enriched my life and spirituality. It is my mission to also enrich the lives of others.