We were fortunate to share our lunch hour with Karen on Monday, September 29. A native of Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, MI, Karen was fortunate enough to have had Lake Michigan as her backyard. Long walks on the beach are still her favorite form of relaxing. The oldest of four children born to a college professor father and high school teacher mother (both WWII Navy veterans), Karen and her family enjoyed many camping trips across the U.S. and Canada. Those family vacations helped her develop a lifelong love and respect of the great outdoors. She supports many environmental groups and charities to help safeguard the future of our planet. Karen graduated from St. John Catholic High School and attended Michigan State University (on two academic scholarships), but left after two years, unsure what road she wanted to take. A circuitous route brought her to Charlotte, NC, where she now resides with her husband, Tony Scioscia. She is a proud mother and grandmother and active member of her church. Karen is a novelist. Her book, “Kidnapped by the Cartel,” was published in 2013. Karen writes a weekly column for The Charlotte Observer, has had articles published in various magazines and is a contributor to Yahoo.com. She is a corporate speech writer and editor. A member of SAG-AFTRA, Karen has acted in film, television and industrial/promotional videos. She has also voiced radio commercials. Karen is a member of the Women’s National Book Association (Charlotte Chapter), the North Carolina Writer’s Network and the Society of Professional Journalists. When not writing, Karen enjoys traveling, reading, working out, supporting her favorite sports teams, and spending time with family and friends. www.KarenDScioscia.com
Located on the Eastside of Charlotte, One7 Ministries was founded in 2008. The vision of One7 Ministries is to reach and transform inner city communities and families by intentionally forming cross cultural youth ministry teams while focusing on holistic change and spiritual growth. One7 has kids from over 15 different countries. The ministry has a strong volunteer staff that works along side David and Mary Catherine, our founder and his wife, to provide mentoring, tutoring, coaching, and discipleship to all of the kids. David has followed his passion and lived this dream for the past 15 years. www.one7.org
On Monday, August 25 we hosted Congressman Robert Pittenger. Mr. Pittenger is serving his first term in the United States Congress, representing the citizens of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. Congressman Pittenger’s district encompasses portions of Iredell, Mecklenburg, and Union counties. Born and raised in Texas, Robert was the youngest of four children. His dad was a small businessman, and his mother raised the children. Their guidance provided a solid foundation for honesty, hard work, and dedication. Upon graduating from the University of Texas, Congressman Pittenger began his career in service to his faith. He worked for 10 years as Assistant to the President of Campus Crusade for Christ, and helped bring the work of the organization to over 170 countries. In 1985, Congressman Pittenger and his family moved to Charlotte, where he built a national real estate investment company from scratch. Congressman Pittenger and his wife Suzanne live in Charlotte, North Carolina, and have four grown children and eight grandchildren. They attend Central Church of God.
Monday, August 18 The Rev. Dr. James L. Doss has served as pastor of Peace Moravian Church, Charlotte NC for the past eleven and a half years. He has also served as a Navy Chaplain (retiring in the rank of Captain, 0-6). He is a graduate of Davidson College, and earned his Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, where he studied under Dr. Wayne Oates. His post-graduate studies include work with Dr. John Westerhoff at Duke University that led to a Master of Theology, and at Drew University, where he earned his Doctorate of Ministries in Pastoral Psychology and Spiritual Formation. In addition to his pastoral duties, Dr. Doss currently serves as the Endorser of Military Chaplains for the Moravian Church in America and as the Denominational Representative to the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces. He also is a member of the Commission on Unity and Ecumenical Affairs for the Southern Province of the Moravian Church in America. To lean more, please visit: http://www.peacemoravian.com/
(Kilimanjaro, Tanzania- July 24, 2014) North Carolina native, Macon Dunnagan, continues to prove that age is not a factor as he plans his 35th climb to the “Roof of Africa”, Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain at 19,341 feet. Recently, he broke a record for making the most Kilimanjaro summits in one month when he climbed four times in 28 days. At 54 years old, he serves as an inspiration for others as he still has climbs scheduled through 2017. Dunnagan made his first ascent in February 1999 with little hiking and no mountain climbing experience and has yet to look back. He has since become a Kilimanjaro specialist and Expedition Director for Zara Tanzania Adventures, a Tanzanian tour company based in Moshi, in 2013. In 2013, the Tanzania Tourist Board named Dunnagan as a Goodwill Ambassador of Tourism for Tanzania. When asked why Dunnagan climbs the same mountain over and over again, he replied “I enjoy taking other people up Kilimanjaro and giving them an appreciation for the mountain, what it is, the environment and the people of Tanzania.” In 2005, his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and she succumbed to the disease in August, 2007. He has since dedicated a number of his climbs to raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research and treatments by partnering with Ovarian Cancer Canada’s “Expedition of Hope.” Macon Dunnagan has also “tackled” polio, bringing new awareness through his summits, in collaboration with Rotary District 7680’s “End Polio Now.” Though only a few countries still feel the effects of polio, Dunnagan believes it’s important to continue with eradication efforts until the disease is extinct. He has helped raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for both causes and will continue to do so for as long as possible. In addition to his mountain climbing skills, Dunnagan is also a published author. Sons of Kilimanjaro is his debut novel and it details the summit of four men up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the individual reasons they have for climbing it and the lessons they learned along the way.