About Faith

December 19, 2011

Faith Gibson, husband Richard Mathews & our 3 adult children

May 17th, 2011 ~ 50th Wedding Anniversary:

Church & Synagogue Affiliations:  I am a life-time student of world religions, including the Christian faith of my ancestors and relatives (Swiss & Canadian Mennonites) and a variety of different  of Judeo-Christian traditions as well as a study of Taoism.

At 17 I exempted myself from the religious traditions of my family by studying and eventually being an Episcopalian. About a ten years later I began attending and soon became a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) meetings in Winter Park, Fla and later Palo Alto, Ca. I attended Quaker Meeting (infrequently) and the Vineyard Christian Fellowship (VCFP) regularly until 2013. At that time I began to attending Congregation Etz Chayim  (Jewish) and Spark (Christian). These two congregations share the same facility in Palo Alt0. I am currently studying Judaism.

As a Judeo-Christian in the Mennonite tradition, my inner relationship to religion is that of a contemplative. This includes regular exposure to historical and contemporary “wisdom” literature religious poetry and spiritual practices such as the Tao de Ching  and  Zen Buddhism. The writing and especially the poetry of the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton and a spiritual anthology “Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood” are two of my personal favorites for contemplative reading.

Personal Background: I began life as a daughter and student. As an adult I trained as a nurse, and after marriage, a housewife, mother of three, and grandmother of two.  Professionally I am a former ER nurse and a domestic Peace Corps volunteer (VISTA). I cross-trained into community midwifery in the 1980s.

Work Life: I am currently a professional midwife (California Licensed Midwife). In 2007 I was appointed to the Midwifery Advisory Council of the California Medical Board, served 3 years as it’s first chair and continue to be a seated member of  the Council.

Family History:

My maternal ancestors (Shantz) are Mennonites going back to the 16th century in the area of Bern, Switzerland. They  immigrated to Montgomery Country, Pennsylvania in 1759. In 1806 they were one of five ‘pioneer’ families that immigrated by in a Conestogo wagon train to Ontario, Canada. After negotiating a treatie to buy land from the native indian inhabitants (First Nation) for what is now Waterloo township, they settle the farming area around the modern-day city of Kitchner (called Berlin until the WWI) and Waterloo. Our Canadian Mennonite relatives have lived in that of Ontario.

My paternal ancestors (Boone) immigrated from England in to the US in the mid-1700s. My great-grandfater (Charles Wesley Boone) was a direct descendent of Daniel Boone’s brother Charles. In the late 1800s, they lived in the Maysville area of Kentucky. In 1899 my great-grandmother, Frances Martha Boone, was suddenly widowed while pregnant with her 5th child. She found herself penniless and so she and immigrated to Detroit, Michigan with her children.  Shortly before  my grandmother’s birth in 1900, her mother attended a presidential campaign appearance by Teddy Roosevelt and was very impressed. She named my grandmother ‘Roosevelt’ but like the president, she also was always called Teddy.