Unity of Palmyra Council Members
We are so grateful for the commitment and enthusiasm of our leadership!
Linda Raber, President
I found Unity of Palmyra in 2014, quite by accident. After leaving the United Methodist Church, I was looking for a more positive and inclusive place to worship. I attended my first Unity service and never left. I was drawn to this loving and accepting congregation right away. I taught for 35 years in the Palmyra area School District and have been retired for the last 10 years. I volunteer at the local food bank, The Caring Cupboard, and enjoy working with people of all ages. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, outdoor activities, watching sports on TV, and spending time with my dog Maddie.
Gwen Ward, Vice President
Born and raised a Buckeye in Darke County, Ohio, I lived just miles from where the great Annie Oakley roamed as a young woman. I learned many things from this woman’s mission, always aim high. I graduated with honors from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Directly from Ohio I moved to Washington, D.C. to begin my teaching career. At the same time, my mother guided me to take a Foot Reflexology course. After 7 years in Washington, D.C. I longed for a smaller town atmosphere and had camped several times in Jonestown, PA. I found a job serving the Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council as the Lebanon County Field Executive and moved to Lebanon in February 1990. I love Lebanon County! I found my wife in this county. Becky and I have been together since 1994. During the time I worked for the Girl Scouts I amassed a large number of certifications and a Ph.D. as a Naturopathic Doctor all while working my reflexology business part-time. In 2007, I was part of a council staff downsize and it was one of the best things life handed me. I took my part-time business to a full-time business in less than 6 months. I now teach and certify people in Foot Reflexology and Full Body Reflexology. Both courses are nationally certified.
In 2014 Becky and I became foster parents. First to Samantha, who is still one of our greatest teachers, even though she left our home in 2015. Then in September 2016, we met the love of our lives, Cheyane. We adopted Cheyane in August 2017. We are still licensed foster parents, but are not active at this time.
Unity Church has been a part of my life since I was in high school, even though I was unaware at the time. My Mom subscribed to The Daily Word and I began to read it. Later, after moving to Lebanon County, I was surprised and delighted to find a Unity Church so close. I love the worship space here, the people, and of course the Unity Principles.
Linda Longenecker, Treasurer
Returning to Unity of Palmyra, after a long absence, has given me the spiritual home and community that I had been missing in my life. I consider it a blessing to be here and look forward to serving in any way that I am able.
Stephanie Dobroski, Secretary
Stephanie lives in the city of Lebanon, and grew up in Lebanon County. She has worked in mental health for many years and currently has her own private practice, Mindful Counseling Services, located in Cornwall.
Stephanie has one son who lives in Philadelphia with his girlfriend, they are both some of her favorite people. Her parents live close by in a retirement community. Stephanie has a lifelong passion for social justice, spiritual growth and music. Unity is the spiritual home she has been seeking forever. Stephanie shares her home with two rescue dogs and one love bird, who is “the good child.”
I found Unity many years ago and was attracted to the principles. When I visited Unity of Palmyra I felt a connection to this congregation. I was honored to be selected to fill a position on the co creation council and am happy to have an opportunity to serve my church family. I enjoy working on building maintenance and improvement projects and I work on a family Christmas tree farm.
My wife and former council member Elaine and I found Unity when we moved to Palmyra in 2012. I was
born and raised in Palmyra and moved to New York for four years to live with Elaine and our 3
daughters. We were both on a new spiritual path and the Unity principles appealed to us.
I owned and operated, along with my sister Laura, a retail store called Pastimes, located in Palmyra until
moving on from that in 2019 a)er 30 years. I still sell miniature scenery products online and attend
miniature gaming conventions to sell product that I make. I am an avid sports fan and enjoy playing various board and role playing games with my friends. I also enjoy working out and exploring my world with our dog Vinny, my family or alone.