IN PROFILE: JANE SACKLER, DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN'S MINISTRIES AND ALL CHURCH EVENTS AT GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH, BOCA RATON
INFORMATIONAL BOX: Jane Sackler Other job experience: Dental hygienist in San Diego and Gulfport, Miss., for five years. Education: Bachelor's degree in dental hygiene, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson. Personal: Age 48. Born in Gulfport. Boca Raton resident for 20 years. Family: Married to Craig, 49, an attorney. Children: Derek, 20; Jeremy, 16; Georgia, 14.
How did you get into your vocation?
When I first moved here and started coming to this church, I taught Sunday school and became very involved. A previous director (of children's ministries) asked me to apply when she moved away, but I was raising my children and wasn't ready for full-time work yet. I worked closely with the subsequent director, and when she left, I applied for the job. I knew the position already and was comfortable with it and felt called to it.
What's the one most mistaken impression about your faith?
That it's boring. People think you can't have a good time or there can't be great joy in your life if you're a Christian, but you can. Religion and theology can tend to get very complex, but basically, what God wants from us is simple -- to love, worship and obey him and to love others as we love ourselves.
If you couldn't be a minister, what would you be?
I might be doing dental hygiene work. I've done some dental exams at an orphanage in Namibia, and I feel like I haven't forgotten anything.
Favorite part of your work?
I have two favorite parts. I love when I do pre-school chapel during the school year. Their questions are precious. One child asked, "Who made God?" I also love going into Sunday school classrooms. Our teachers are so creative, and I really enjoy seeing what they're doing.
When parents feel that they are not doing a good job with their children. That makes me feel sad for them, but I try to be encouraging and point them toward some help for whatever their situation might need. Often parents are doing the best they can, but just need some encouraging words or a little guidance.
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy writing poetry, mostly spiritual stuff. I also like spending time with my family and friends.
When I watch movies, I like light-hearted, romantic comedy types. I love I.Q. with Walter Matthau and Meg Ryan.
Favorite music? Favorite performer(s)?
I like everything except rap. We've been fortunate to have a lot of up-and-coming artists perform here at the church. Carl Cartee and M. Filmore are two of them, and they are really great. I also like Jaci Velasquez and Michael W. Smith.
What person in history would you like most to meet?
I would like to have met Mary, and see what was so special about her that God chose her to be the mother of his only son. And then ask her questions, like what was it like to hold the Savior of the world in your arms as an infant, and how intimidating is it to be a parent to God in a human body. It's mind-boggling to think about that.
What would you do if you had a year off?
Once my kids are grown, I would like to go back to Africa and work at the orphanage there. The trips I've made there have been amazing. I'm going for the third time in September.
Your most memorable spiritual experience?
About six years ago, when I was writing one day, I was overwhelmed, and it was like God was moving my pen. I looked at what I had written, and I thought, "There's no way I wrote that." The writing turned out to be about gratitude, about the things I wanted to thank God for. I still feel like I didn't write it, God wrote it.
What's the most important thing you've ever learned?
It's OK to make mistakes. We can't beat ourselves up over the past. What's done is done. And no matter how much we mess up, God will still love us and forgive us, and we can move past anything.
-- Lisa Goddard
Do you know someone we should profile? Tell Religion Editor James D. Davis at 954-356-4730 or jdavis @SunSentinel.com.