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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Reverend’s Spiritual Road 
Led to Light of Grace

Nov 30, 2017 06:59PM ● By Sheila Julson

Rev. Kris Nelsen

Sometimes the road to spirituality meanders before leading to a clearly defined path. That was the case for Reverend Kris Nelsen, who wasn’t sure where her journey was leading until she became ordained in 2015, and formed Light of Grace: A Miracles Center with Pastor Tom Sherbrook and his wife, Rosemarie Berres.

Nelsen, who grew up in Wauwatosa, remembers always having spiritual awareness, despite being raised in a primarily secular household. Earlier in her life, she worked at her dad’s insurance business, where she says she enjoyed the variety of the work as well as the interaction with the public. However, despite the benefit of having a good job while raising her daughter as a single mom—Nelsen was widowed while pregnant—the insurance industry wasn’t completely fulfilling, so she continued to seek spiritual enlightenment. “I always felt alone in my beliefs, but the only thing around at that time was traditional church, and certain traditional  teachings don’t resonate with me,” Nelsen relates.

Eventually, the pieces of Nelsen’s spiritual puzzle started coming together. She met a life coach that taught her the practice of intentionally connecting with the deeper inner wisdom of another. Coaching affirmed Nelson’s spiritual beliefs, and she knew that this was the path for her. She left the insurance industry and started Still Rivers, a mind-and-body coaching business, which fit well with her long-time reiki practice.

Unfortunately, Still Rivers didn’t pan out. At a crossroads, Nelsen sought a higher message and received a sign to attend a non-denominational church in Wauwatosa where she met Sherbrook, who was volunteering as an interim pastor after retiring from another church. The meeting completely changed her life.

“As I was talking with him, I felt an immediate connection and affirmation. He is the closest to pure love that I have ever experienced,” Nelsen says. She became motivated to assist Sherbrook and his wife Berres in helping the church to grow. Sherbrook later ordained Nelsen, and after ending their volunteer services at the church, Nelsen, Sherbrook and Berres decided to form a new spiritual center based on the teachings of A Course In Miracles—lessons that teach love, peace and forgiveness. To Nelsen, the formation of Light of Grace is literally the result of miracle after miracle: first meeting Sherbrook, and then having the opportunity to purchase the original buildings that housed Cosmic Coffee House and St. Ann’s Inn of the Seventh Ray bookstore.

Light of Grace is the only Milwaukee area center that teaches A Course in Miracles as its foundation, Nelson believes. “The interpretation of A Course In Miracles is that we should not judge, as we have no idea what’s going on with other people,” she explains. “The world is dualistic, as in ‘this one is good and this one is bad’, but that’s our perception and how we were trained. Instead, the Course teaches us to connect with the inner love that we all share in order to shift our perception. It is always our choice of how we are going to perceive a situation. The journey is inward. We as humans always make everything about the outside, but it’s actually the mind inside of us making the choice.” Beginning in January, Light of Grace will be joining with A School for A Course in Miracles to offer a six-month Course In Miracles immersion class.

In addition to workshops, Light of Grace opened a Healing and Education Center this past April. Services include reiki, a BEMER healing mat that increases oxygen, therapeutic massage, craniosacral work, crystal bowls, healing touch therapy, ayurvedic breath work, tai chi, yoga, drum circles, food-as-medicine classes, meditation and dream interpretation.

Given the close proximity of their location to the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Nelsen says that the congregation wants to expand the center’s offerings to veterans. They currently partner with a group of healers to offer a free energy healing clinic for veterans on the second Saturday of every other month. They also hold youth spiritual programs.

Now cruising down her own spiritual road, Nelsen is eager to help others. “I love helping people find a path out of pain and suffering. We can have internal peace.”

Light of Grace is located at 5806 W. National Ave., with the Healing and Education Center down the street at 5900, in West Allis. For more information, call 414-258-5555 or visit

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines.

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