Heather Norby became our Spiritual Life Director in 2018. She has been a member of this church for 11 years and was the Director of Religious Exploration for 8 of those years. During those years as DRE, the calling to ministry grew strong within her heart and soul. She attended many trainings and workshops which taught her about Unitarian Universalism and congregational leadership. She knew that ministry was THE thing that she wanted to do. Of course, life is complicated and sometimes the path we choose leads us to meander in unexpected ways. While she still hears seminary calling her name, there was a more immediate call to serve unfolding itself before her. She is so blessed that the opportunity to serve this congregation as the Spiritual Life Director opened up for her this year. She will be providing the congregation with ministerial services in the areas of Worship and Programming, Faith Development, Pastoral Care, and Leadership and Administration.

Heather’s educational and work experiences are many and varied. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1995 with a BA in Anthropology. She then went to graduate school at Florida Atlantic University and focused on Caribbean Archaeology. Although she did do work in the field as an archaeologist for a short time, she also worked in retail management, floral design, substitute teaching, started her own green cleaning business, and is a vendor at a local antique mall. Additionally, somewhere in the midst of all this, she obtained her teaching certificate in Elementary Education and taught Kindergarten in Polk County schools for 5 years.

Heather clearly remembers an assignment she was given in the 5th grade in which we had to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up. She said she was undecided but was thinking about archaeologist, teacher, and minister. She has certainly meandered down the paths to all three of these, as if she needed to try it all out before figuring it all out. Thirty-five years later, she has found the path that her heart truly yearns to travel down, and it was this UU congregation that helped her get there. She doesn’t regret taking the long, complicated way to get here. She traveled through light and through storms, and certainly it has all put her exactly where she should be.