Founder of Sophia Center – Rev. Anna Kendall
Multi-talented, ingenious, and humorous are the keywords most often used to describe Rev. Anna Kendall. She is a dynamic speaker, a marketing expert and designer, an education administrator, a teacher, and a spiritual counselor. Her passion is to share her joy for living by showing love, compassion, and acceptance to each person she meets. Her motto is “We are all united by the same breath, the one mind and therefore, each person is to be honored as a divine creation.”
Rev. Kendall has had 36 years of experience as a workshop Coordinator, Moderator, and Presenter. She became a Science of Mind Professional Practitioner in 1997 and was ordained in 2001. She was also ordained as a Metaphysical Science Minister in 2002. From 2001 to 2007 she served on the ministerial staff in many capacities – Executive Director of Education, Prayer Team Member, and Special Projects Coordinator — at the City of Angeles Church of Religious Science in Los Angeles, CA. After moving to Las Vegas in 2007, she served on the ministerial staff in many capacities – Ministry of Prayer Coordinator, Director of Education, Office Manager, Teacher and Counselor — at the Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living, until she resigned to spearhead the founding of the Sophia Center for Goddess Study (Sophia Center) in Las Vegas, NV in 2013.
Currently, Rev. Anna Kendall is the President of Sophia Center, where she is also a Founding Member and Sustaining Associate. In this capacity, she coordinates and often facilitates, the various activities at Sophia Center. Sophia Center is designed to be the destination of distinction meeting place in Las Vegas where women and men gather to study the many attributes of the Goddess in Her many depictions. The desired outcome is to enhance each participant’s Goddess knowledge and thereby empower women and men to cherish each other and our Mother – The Earth/Gaia.
Madeline Shockley – Secretary
Madeline is no newbie to her spirituality as she began exploring Goddess worship early in her life. She moved to Las Vegas in 2002 after retiring. Shortly after, she began attending the Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living where she met Reverand Anna who was an Associate Pastor. “I was a student in several of her classes,” Madeline said. She soon started to attend the Full Moon Potluck gatherings at Sophia Center in 2006. Being one of the original bunch, the evolution to board member was only natural. Now Madeline is not only the Secretary and glue that keeps the organization together, but she has become the resident Goddess Cafina! “I enjoy presenting the Goddesses once a month at our Saturday morning gatherings. I make the coffee.”
Dr. Candace Kant – Director of Education
Candace Kant. Ph.D. is one of the founders and a current Board member for the Sophia Center for Goddess Study in Las Vegas, Nevada. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in U.S. history (1974) and Master’s Degree in U.S Colonial Social and Intellectual History from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (1976). She earned a Ph.D. in history from Northern Arizona University (1984), with areas in the history of the U.S. West, Colonial America, Women’s History and Political Theory.
Her dissertation, Zane Grey’s Arizona was published in 1984 by Northland Press. She also wrote Letters from a Marriage: Dolly and Zane Grey (2008) which was published by the University of Nevada Press. Letters chronicle the unconventional relationship between Zane Grey and his wife Dolly, illuminating Dolly’s intriguing and accomplished life. She was also one of the editors for Heart of the Sun: An Anthology in Exaltation of Sekhmet (2011) and Stepping Into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses (2014). She has taught U.S. history, Nevada history, European history, Women’s Studies, and Religious Studies at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) since 1976 including such classes as the History of Witchcraft, Goddess Traditions, Introduction to Modern Paganism, and Modern Pagan Thought all of which she developed. She also developed Wives, Warriors, Witches, and Wenches: Women in Western Culture I, and Housewives, Hussies, Heretics, and Harlots: Women in Western Culture II, both of which were quite popular.
After 32 years of full-time teaching, she retired and was awarded the title Emerita. She continues to offer two or three courses at CSN each year. She has developed and taught courses in Goddess Spirituality at the Temple of Goddess Spirituality dedicated to Sekhmet in Cactus Springs, Nevada, and through CSN continuing education. A devotee of Sekhmet, she was initiated by Patricia Pearlman of the Temple of Goddess Spirituality in 2001 and ordained by Patricia Pearlman in 2003. She serves as a priestess there and participates in creating and leading rituals. She also serves as the Dean of Students for Cherry Hill Seminary, the leading provider of education and training in leadership, ministry and personal growth in Pagan and Nature-Based spiritualities, and she serves on the Board of the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada.
Cindy Torres – Treasurer
Cindy has a corporate background and uses her talents to help Sophia Center be an active pillar in the Goddess community. Deep in her spiritual exploration, Cindy found Sophia Center for Goddess Study after moving from San Francisco to the Las Vegas area. After attending events for nearly three years, she joined the board in 2016. “Reverend Anna embraces everyone, male, female, and child, “she says. Cindy believes that Sophia Center is a place where you can always find someone to talk to; someone who comes from a place of love. She adds, “We need more places like that.”
Jeannie Pavey-Epstien – Vice President, Operations
Pam Noonan – Director, Organizational Advancement