The Congregational Center for Well-being is offering a morning of “Humor, Hope, and Healing” with Rev. Susan Sparks—author, comedian, lawyer, and minister. Her work with humor, healing, and spirituality has been featured in O (The Oprah) Magazine, The New York Times, and on ABC, CNN, and CBS.
A syndicated columnist for Gate House Media, Sparks also blogs for Psychology Today. Her first book, Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor, was named one of the best spiritual books of 2010 and has sold more than 30,000 copies. As a trial lawyer turned standup comedian and liberal Baptist minister, Sparks is America’s only female comedian with a pulpit. A North Carolina native, Sparks received her B.A. at the University of North Carolina, where she was president of her class, and also received a law degree from Wake Forest University.
After 10 years working as a lawyer and moonlighting as a standup comedian, she left her practice and spent two years on a solo trip around the world, including working with Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and driving the Alaska Highway. Upon returning home, she entered Union Theological Seminary in NYC, where she earned a Master of Divinity and wrote an honors thesis on humor and religion. In May 2007, Sparks was installed as Madison Avenue Baptist Church’s 15th Senior Minister and the first woman in its 170-year history.
Sparks is also a professional comedian, touring nationally with a Rabbi and a Muslim comic in the Laugh in Peace Tour. Sparks is the 20th recipient of the John L. Haber Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts, given by the University of North Carolina; and the Intersections International Award for her interfaith work to promote justice and reconciliation among diverse communities. Most importantly, Sparks and her husband Toby love to fly-fish, ride their Harleys, eat good BBQ and root for Tar Heels Basketball and the Green Bay Packers.
“Humor, Hope, and Healing” is sponsored by The Center for Well-being at The Congregational Church (UCC), located at 1845 Northern Blvd. in Manhasset (directly across from the Apple Store). Let them know you are coming by calling Valerie at the church, 516-627-4911, ext. 103, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Walk-ins are welcome. The presentation is free and open to the public.