Family is very important to me. After studying at the University of Michigan and Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA, I returned to New England. I love to travel and experience new places, but Cambridge is my home where I grew up and now reside.
Robert J. Freedman, my father, holds a special place in my heart. He was a man of intelligence, compassion, and good humor. Separate from his work in Cambridge, my father was an artist. He created sculptures, prints, and was an avid photographer. From him I learned a love of the arts and people. His slow decline into dementia was heartbreaking. My mother’s love and steadfast care for him at home until his death in 2008 was inspirational.
Josephine Freedman, my mother, is a smart, kind, and dedicated woman. From her I learned a love of entertaining and a model for organized and empowering leadership. She served in many roles in my home church including Board President for two terms. My mother and I are very close, and enjoy traveling together. My only sibling Michael died when I was in seminary. I will always miss his generous spirit and big heart.
I met the love of my life, Peter Bowden, in 2002 and we married in 2004. Our wedding was held at Channing Memorial Church in Newport, RI where I served as the minister. Our guest list included Peter’s large family, both our home congregations, the previous congregation I served, and all of Channing Church, which is why we quickly dubbed it our Big Fat UU Wedding!
Peter and I are truly best friends and collaborators sharing a love of education, creative arts, and our liberal religious movement. Today we collaborate in many ways, including co-founding Leading Congregations, our consulting practice dedicated to helping religious leaders develop the skills and strategies needed to thrive in today’s world.
When our daughter was born, so many people told me to savor her childhood because “They grow-up so fast!” I took that advice to heart. After completing a decade as minister of Channing Church (2000-2010) I decided to care for my daughter full-time until she entered preschool. In 2010 we moved to my family home in Cambridge, MA across the street from Harvard Law School.
The time we have spent together exploring, going to the library, singing, and creating has been so special. My daughter keeps me in touch with the wonders of life. Now that she is attending school, it is exciting to return to professional life and ministry.