Mary Jacob, Ed.D, ARNP, retired in 2013 from being a mental health nurse practitioner serving as a professional counselor at Lutheran Counseling Services in Winter Park, which she had been doing for 20 years…but that hasn’t slowed her down! After 46 years of mental health nursing practice and teaching, “re-firing” as she calls it, came with a call to the ministry of “being Mimi (grandmother)” with a new generation of family. But trained as a parish nurse and a Spiritual Director, Mary continues to be a resource to congregations and communities. “I have a heart for health ministries,” she says, “and I feel called to continue my life’s work in unexpected, new places…guided by God’s loving hand.” “I have a model for service in my mom,” she continues, “who, at the age of 91, volunteers weekly for her congregation’s Respite Care ministry.” “Life’s experiences—professional and personal—are gifts to offer in our faith communities and beyond,” Mary says, reflecting further on what she has learned from her mom.
Mary’s special interests are advocacy for mental health in congregations, working with women’s groups to promote healing and wholeness through spiritual practices, and individual and group spiritual direction/companioning. After retiring in 2013, Mary co-authored the book Christian Concepts for Care: Understanding and Helping People with Mental Health Issues with Dr. David Ludwig (available from Amazon), Lutheran pastor and psychology professor Emeritus at Lenoir Rhyne University. This book is available as a resource for congregations and church staff. In 2017, Mary and her husband, Rev. Dr. Mel Jacob, served as “Scholars in Residence” at St. Armands Key Lutheran Church in Sarasota, where she led a women’s retreat on the theme “Spiritual Practices for Healing and Transformation.” Mary currently lives in Maitland, FL, where she continues to provide spiritual direction to individuals. She and her husband are members of St. John Lutheran Church in Winter Park.
If you are interested in connecting with Mary for spiritual direction, or to invite Mary to share with your congregation or lead a women’s event, please don’t hesitate to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.