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Something About Me, John Gaffney...
A Short Bio                                                                                                                                                                                         
      My life has been filled with many twists and turns. Many of my ideas have changed as I have grown and matured and have had new and very varied experiences. I have always tried to be open to life. 
       I grew up in Philadelphia. At age 18, I entered the Catholic seminary and subsequently was ordained a Franciscan priest. After a year of pastoral training in Boston, I volunteered for the missions and was sent to Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in the world, where I worked among the Indians for three years. Then I served in the border town of Arica, Chile. I returned to the United States where I was pastor of a large suburban parish in New Jersey.
      After 10 years in the priesthood, I changed careers – first I became the director of a social work agency on the East Side of New York City, and then director of a small YMCA near Times Square – all the while working with teenagers in trouble. Becoming frustrated with the work and ready for a new experience, I drove a cab for one year in New York City where I had my first taste of the difficult life of the blue-collar worker. Shortly after arriving in New York City, I met Beverly, the woman who was to become my wife. 
     After our first daughter, Juliette, was born in New York Hospital, I needed more steady and lucrative employment. Through a newspaper ad, I found a job two hours north in New York State as an administrator in a residential program for abused and neglected children. After four years there, I accepted employment at a boarding school as a Latin and Spanish teacher, track and basketball coach, and dorm master. After our second daughter, Rachel, was born, my wife, Beverly and I wanted to move closer to a city where there was more diversity. 
     At first I taught Latin in a private girls’ school in Bethesda, and then I sold educational products in the D.C. area. At the age of 55, I re-entered the ministry as a Unitarian Universalist and served congregations in Cumberland, Hagerstown and Bowie, Maryland. Now retired, I devote my time to officiating at weddings as well as some child dedications, memorial services, and occasional preaching. As you can see, my life has been varied and I have grown with each new experience.
  My Training and Experience
    I have been trained in traditional theology yet my view has become much more expansive as I have traveled the many roads of life. As a Unitarian Universalist minister, I try to live in the present moment. We speak of “deeds, not creeds.” What one believes is very personal but we will be judged by what we do. You may want to check out our denomination’s website which is UUA.org.Our members have included such diverse people as Ralph Waldo Emerson,Thomas Jefferson, Christopher Reeve, Paul Newman, Clara Barton, Florence Nightengale. and Louisa May Alcott to name only a few. Because of my inclusive view of religion I have performed weddings between Christian and Jews, as well as weddings for Muslims and those who simply want a humanist wedding. There is a common thread that runs through all these weddings, with hopes and aspirations that are so similar. 
   My Qualifications 
I have an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Theology. I also have a Master’s degree in Counseling, and I am certified for the pre-marital program, “Prepare/ Enrich.” I have a wonderful family. 
   My Family
My wife, Beverly, and I were married in a garden in New York City some 32 years ago. Our daughter, Juliette, lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Pete, and their 2- year-old son; our other daughter, Rachel, lives in Orlando, Florida. 
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