Rev. Sydney Steen, Assistant Minister
Our newest team member here at NHCRS, is actually a returning member of the NHCRS family. Our new Assistant Minister, Rev. Sydney Lehman Steen, first attended and served the North Hollywood Church of Religious Science community beginning in 1994. Licensed here at NHCRS as a practitioner in 2000, Rev Sydney also served on our Board of Trustees as member, Vice-President, and President. She even spent time as our Music Director before moving to Newberg, Oregon with her husband, Charles, and son, Forrest, in 2004.
Rev Sydney grew up in Religious Science. Her early influencers and teachers were students of Ernest Holmes, and her love for this teaching is deep.
“Life is Principle, and we are the way God shows up in the world. God always has a bigger idea, and that idea is continually unfolding in creative possibility, wholeness, and love—we are here to say ‘yes’ to all of it, and to be the Power and Presence of God in all that we think, say and do.”
Ordained in Religious Science as well as Interfaith traditions, Rev Sydney’s life prior to ministry was all about music.
In the “non-church” world, Sydney was and is well known as a fierce jazz pianist, keyboardist, composer, and conductor. She has worked with artists ranging from, Dizzy Gillespie, the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and Shirley MacLaine, to the Pointer Sisters, Sarah Brightman, Robert Goulet, and even the Oregon Symphony. Additionally, she has spent literally thousands of hours playing keyboard in the orchestra pits of Broadway shows such as: Les Miserable, CATS, Aida, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, Spamalot, Beauty and The Beast, and Legally Blonde.
Rev Sydney describes herself as a Spiritual Activist. She has worked with both CSL and Unity to educate and raise awareness about LGBTQIA+ issues, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the areas of social justice, equity, equal access, climate justice, homelessness, and minority rights.
Sydney lives with her husband of 23 years, Charles, who is an accomplished and masterful musician in his own right. Charlie plays guitar and sings, and he also has a long resume of work with the Hazelden/Betty Ford Centers, as a drug and alcohol counselor. These days, their family also includes Carlos the Cat, and Bella the Wonderdog. Both are rescue animals, and are, as Sydney says, spoiled beyond imagination. Sydney and Charlie’s son, Forrest, is 22, and lives in Portland where he is working and pursuing a career as a pilot.