Rev. Tinker Donnelley

with HopeDance/Bob Banner


1. You are currently moving (or have moved) from the spiritual center of creative thought on 13th Street in Grover Beach to a once a week rental at the Grover Beach Town Hall building catty corner from the old center…. Can you speak about your reasons?

Were you called to make such radical changes? Were they basically economic ones? Or a combination thereof?

I entered a complex situation at the Spiritual Center for Creative Thought.
I was hired to bring remedy to a failing organization, and healing to a divided congregation. As much as a minister, I’ve been a “midwife” to birthing newness within a progressive spiritual community seeking greater coherence and relevance. “Radical changes” emerged as we clarified our vision and embraced the means to fulfill it.

Our address relocation was prompted by financial necessity, and resulted in moving to a space much more conducive to our needs. The Grover Beach Community Center is a perfect facility for us – large, versatile, and equipped for producing all types of events. It has a totally different vibe, and we love it!
Part of the growth undertaken by our spiritual community has also involved organizational re-structuring. Along with a new location, we are a new nonprofit corporation with a new name, “HeartWorks”.

Im curious (as well as excited) because I sense that established paradigms are being explosively unveiled and I wouldnt be surprised to see it in the “new thought” foundations as well. And since I see you (however limited that seeing is) to be a pioneer and ground breaking divine being, Id love to hear and read your words about these possible transitions.

“New Thought” says it all 
Life continually evolves into newness – advancing beyond existing paradigms and known parameters. The Science of Mind philosophy arose from the New Thought movement as an omni-faith approach to universal spiritual principles. It is a vibrant synthesis of science, psychology, philosophy, and the wisdom teachings of all cultures. “New thoughts” create new ways to experience growth with meaning, purpose, and inspiration. We’re all “pioneers” in the ever-expanding territory of creative consciousness!

2. Tell us a bit about yourself, your past, why you became “ordained,” what has been your calling and vague as that term “calling” may be, what is your specific gift to give to our community?

I’ve enjoyed an eclectic professional history, and a trajectory of personal adventure that ultimately delivered me to ministry – a surprising, even ironic, byproduct of my ease with others, love of learning, thirst for understanding, and natural philosophic bent.

My sense of “calling” was initially too subtle to hear – an inaudible whisper – while I learned to fill my own spiritual well. Its volume increased over time and personal practices, and eventually became a clear Inner Voice as I unconsciously cultivated an overflow from which to serve. Somewhere along the line, it softened to a Lullaby … a Love Song … an invitation to share my heart.
I feel a mandate to advocate for spiritual healing based on inner congruence and personal authority and authenticity … my “gift” is making it safe and fun.

3. You were amenable to have us show SONG OF THE NEW EARTH and your collaborative spirit that evening with musical instruments, our voices and other people’s instruments in the audience was deeply moving. Is this the type of energy you are tapping into daily and normally? Can you say a few words about Tom Kenyon, the film and your journey as well? Some people have spoken to me about how that, pointing to the film, is “my story” as well….

I loved the film, “Song of the New Earth” and found Tom Kenyon’s story very relatable. Everyone who attended the showing seemed deeply moved, and energetically “available” to what we created together afterward.
Sharing heart-opening experiences … spontaneous creativity … music, poetry … could anything be better??? Those magical moments of organic collaboration have an alchemical effect of harmonizing the eclectic gifts of diversity into experiential unity – a felt-sense of rich, joyful connectedness – with Source, and each other. Woo Hoo!

4. I sense that you have a strong desire for collaboration and can see who can take on what, etc. Can you tell us of a time where it was very memorable of what type of collaborative venture that was both challenging as well as inspirational?

What a great question … I have tons to say about that … more than I can write here!
I could describe numerous experiences with the dual dynamics of “challenge” and “inspiration” – the interplay of intimacy, accountability, and authenticity – among couples, families, groups, and cultures.
The relationship between “challenge” and “inspiration” is at the heart of all creative process … the complement of opposing forces toward unfolding growth. “challenge” necessitates the movement/action that “inspiration” fuels and informs.

You mentioned you will be focusing more on HeartSong. Can you tell us more? and is this the fb site: HYPERLINK “

“HeartWorks”, a ministry I founded in 1997, was recently incorporated in California as the refreshed incarnation of our local Grover Beach spiritual community and my Central Coast outreach.

I see you wrote a piece for the NoHo Pride last year out of Massachusettes. Did you just move to the central coast?

I accepted the Senior Minister position at the Spiritual Center for Creative Thought and returned to California last November.
I’m a native southern Californian but left Long Beach in 2005, relocating to Michigan, Oregon, and then Massachusetts. After years of organizational leadership in the LGBTQI communities of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, it was a natural niche for me to become involved with NoHo Pride (Northampton, Mass.) organizing the first annual Pride event in the U.S. I served the Board as Theme Chair for 6 years, providing the centerpiece themes, presentations, and print articles for each year’s festival and parade

Living in western Massachusetts was a really wonderful experience – it’s a culture of independent, progressive consciousness. It was also the first state to legalize same sex marriage (2004) and the resulting “normalization” and assimilation of same sex couples and their families within the general community is an impressive phenomenon. I spoke at Northampton Equal Rights Rally’s in protest of California Prop. 8 … and although I occasionally returned to California to officiate weddings for other couples, as a lesbian myself, I could not have been married in my home state until just one year ago!

Upon my arrival on the Central Coast, I made a beeline to GALA (Gay And Lesbian Alliance) to offer spiritual resources to the LGBTQI community of SLO County. I was invited to join the Board of Directors and remain serving in that capacity.

What is the best way to reach you, to see what you are up to these days and explain some of the workshops (or playshops) that you are designing for the near future and where you will be doing those, etc… and why…..

Thanks for asking!
I work at all hours and the best way to directly reach me is by email because I can respond even late at night – phone messages might take longer to return.
The best way to find out about current/upcoming programs is to check out the website. Helpful folks are also posting info. on Meetup and Facebook.
We are making every effort to get our social media ducks-in-a-row!


“Thought For Food” ~ Music, Meditation, Message, and More!
Sunday’s … 9:45am … Grover Beach Community Center – 1230 Trouville Ave.
(12th and Trouville)

I’m also seeking other affordable venues throughout the county to provide workshops and seasonal rituals. Suggestions are welcome 
Spiritual support and services include guest speaking, retreats, ceremonies, hospital visitation, and counseling (individuals, families, groups)

added info… this interview was done about ten years ago.. and is now finally being posted.
via Bob Banner