Arthur A. Weiner was born in Flushing NY in 1961. Art grew up in the Hicksville/Syosset area of Long Island. His parents, Jason and Ona Weiner, faithfully brought him up in a traditional Jewish way. He attended Hebrew School at an Orthodox Synagogue and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in 1974. Though his parents did not attended synagogue ever Saturday, Art continued to attend Shabbat services regularly until he was about 14 or 15 years old.
During his college years Art was challenged by “born-again” believers in Jesus. Their conviction regarding Jesus and the scriptures helped propel Art on a spiritual journey. After reading some Eastern Philosophy, Art began to read the scriptures. The reading of the scriptures transformed Art’s life. Reading the New Testament (after having reading the Hebrew Scriptures) convinced him that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. This new life with Jesus began in 1984.
In 1985 while attending graduate school at the University of Chicago Art came in contact with Jews for Jesus. He became involved as a volunteer spending time distributing tracts and engaging other students in conversations. In 1987, Art and Sandy Scherer were married at a messianic congregation in Chicago Heights IL. Art and Sandy studied at Moody Bible Institute and were both involved with Jews for Jesus, including summer witnessing campaigns in New York City. They served with Jews for Jesus in a full-time capacity in Boston MA through 1991.
In 1991 Art and Sandy moved to Zion IL with their infant daughter Ruthe. They spent the next four years in ministerial training at the Zion Faith Homes. This 100 year old ministry helps develop an individual’s personal walk with Jesus. It was during these years that Art had a “gentle” encounter with the Book of Galatians. As Art likes to say, “the Holy Spirit banged him over the head with the Book of Galatians”. It was a needed bang, one that continues to influence Art to this day.
The next part of Art’s journey was to pastor in Oshkosh WI for ten years. Though Art was happy to minister in central WI, those years were to be quite difficult. In 1999 Sandy suffered a massive heart attack and passed away. Art was left with their two children, Ruthe, age 8, and Caleb, age, 5. In addition to grieving, Art struggled with some painful, though non-life threatening, ailments. The years after Sandy’s death were a tremendous challenge. In them Art found the incredibleness of God’s faithfulness and the certainty of God’s grace. Grace became more and more a favorite topic.
After moving the family back to Zion IL in 2005 Art began to write The Smiling Maven a bi-monthly newsletter focusing on the wonder of God grace. In 2006 and 2008 Art took his first two trips to Israel.
In 2011 Art married Debra Novak. Deb was also a widow with five children and ten grandchildren. Art became an “instant” grandpa with their marriage. Art and Deb share in their love for Messiah Jesus and the wonder of His incredible grace. They have a dual desire to be a blessing to the Jewish people as well as to the body of Messiah.