Deborah Oosterbaan has participated in (ordained) ministry for more than 25 years, starting in Hospice of Washington,D.C. and then in both large and small Presbyterian congregations in New York and New Jersey. Two core commitments - participation by every congregational member and life long quest for learning - define her ministry.
She embraced mission and education early on and these twin pursuits animate her work and play to this day. A childhood trip to Cuba with her pastor father in 1955 made a strong impression. As a youth, she taught in "at risk" communities, originally, close to home, in Paterson, NJ and Harlem NY, then farther afield, after college in Gallup,NM with two Native American Nations.
A Graduate of Calvin College, she was one of the first women to give a chapel talk there and went on to earn two Masters from Wesley Seminary, one in biblical studies and a second in divinity in the 1980's. She turned to ministry full time after teaching in various high schools, raising a family, instructing piano, directing choirs and introducing the Bible as literature in various Protestant churches in the Washington,
D. C. area.
She has specialized in organizing and leading tailored retreats, conversations and gatherings for church groups, people in transition and individuals seeking discernment or "alternative religious education." She continues to explore what it means to be "in service" and to be a "spriritual guide." Deborah trusts in the wonder of nurture in every aspect of life with many different kinds of people or alone in her garden.
Deborah has been a member of the Sabbath House Discernment Team since 2014.