Program Leaders & Proposals
Our purpose is to change the world by calling forth leaders who behold the Sacred Presence of God in all people and all things, and who help their communities draw near to the Holy by living in compassion, restoring balance, healing wounds, and promoting understanding. We seek to transform lives by connecting all people, God, and creation.
If you are a Program/Retreat Leader and wish to submit a proposal for a Rolling Ridge Day Apart or expanded retreat, click here for a Proposal Application .
If your proposal has been accepted and you have yet to submit references, please find the reference form here.
RETREAT LEADERS HERE AT THE RIDGE:
Rabbi Katy Allen is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long, and the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Jewish Climate Action Network-MA. She is a board certified chaplain and a former hospital and hospice chaplain and now considers herself an eco-chaplain. She received her ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in Yonkers, NY in 2005 and lives in Wayland, MA with her spouse, Gabi Mezger, who leads the singing at Ma'yan Tikvah.
Kelly Arrendell received a Master of Religious Education from Oklahoma City University and completed the Two Year Academy for Spiritual Formation through the Upper Room Ministries of the UMC. She currently serves in ministry with the homeless, persons recovering from drug addiction, and in church and neighborhood spiritual
Rev. Deadra Bachorik Ashton, MDiv, BCC, is a chaplain at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, spiritual director, and retreat leader. A PC(USA) Minister of Word and Sacrament, she is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. Deadra served as a parish minister for 20 years, and prior to that as a summer chaplain at a conference center. Her areas of special interest include spiritual formation in the second half of life, the effects of culture and life context on the soul, spiritual support for caregivers, and spiritual care amid loss and grief.
John Bell, a dharma teacher who has practiced with ThichNhat Hanh for more than 30 years. In addition to guiding the Mountain BellSangha, near Boston, and leading mindfulness retreats across the US, John was a founding staff member of Youth Build USA (www.youthbuild.org) in 1988 and, until his recent retirement, helped guide its development into an integrated program that offers education, construction training, and leadership development to low-income young people in 260 communities across the U.S., and in105 communities in 15 other countries.
Judith Black, one of America’s foremost storytellers, retells history from new perspectives, tickles familial dysfunction, offers ironic explorations of aging, and most recently has turned her skills towards our disrupted climate. As a Wheelock College graduate and former teacher she is able to draw storytelling through the educational landscape, showing its profound uses in cognitive, emotional, and social learning. Her work for adults has been featured twelve times at the National Storytelling Festival and on stages from the Montreal Comedy Festival to the Art Museum of Cape Town, SA to Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is the winner of the Oracle Award, storytelling’s most coveted laurel, and was recently given the Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award, served on the faculty of Lesley University for almost 30 years, and is now faculty with the Maggid Institute, an arm of Reclaiming Judaism. Locally she originated and ran Bridging Live for 16 years, sings with Calla Lilly, is an active member of the Marblehead Harbor Rotary Club, 350.org, and a founding member of Sustainable Marblehead. Presently, she is trying to figure out how to live without burning fossil fuels, teaches two classes annually, organic gardens and planed a giant sustainability fair.
For more info: www.storiesalive.com
Andrea Bliss-Lerman is a graduate of Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation and has been active in facilitating and teaching in the Gateways to God Spiritual Direction Training Program at Rolling Ridge, as well as being involved in Days Apart, Drawing Nearer to God, and individual and group spiritual direction. She has served as the Minister of Spiritual Direction at Free Christian Church in Andover, Massachusetts since 1990. In addition to teaching in a variety of spiritual direction training programs and leading numerous retreats and workshops, she has also served in reaching out to inner city youth and young adults through skateboarding events, writing projects, and community development.
Retreat Creator & Facilitator Barbara R. Bodengraven holds a Master of Theological Studies from Weston Jesuit School of Theology and a certificate in Youth & Young Adult Ministry from the Boston Theological Institute. Her passion is in helping people develop a deeper appreciation of their rich - yet too often ignored or dismissed - spiritual identity. She is the author of the spiritual memoir, The Sacred Shed on the Edge of the Ravine.
Who is this guy who is North Andover’s Poet Laureate? I’m guessing I’m not the typical person for such an office. I’m not an English major. I’m an engineer by schooling and trade. I was born in Pennsylvania. I studied computers and electrical engineering in college. After college, I took a short detour as a disc jockey in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. After deciding that really wasn’t the best way to make a living, I moved to New England and returned to my college skills to work as a software engineer, and later, engineering project manager. Engineering has been my career, now going on four decades.
I wrote some poetry in my 20’s and early 30’s, and paid some attention to it for a few years, but then it stopped coming. I was active in the UU church in Billerica, and through this church I met my wife. As a lay leader in the church community, I helped organize lay led services, and wrote and gave some sermons. So I guess in addition to appreciating poetry, I also appreciated the connections of the spirit and the importance of the spoken word.
In 1997, my wife Debbie and I moved to North Andover. We have two kids, a daughter and a son who are both in college. We’re active at South Church UCC in Andover. I’m an environmental activist, and I work for action on climate change with other members on the Green Team at South Church. My wife and I put a super-insulated “green” addition on our house in 2007, with solar panels for electricity and solar hot water. I had some health problems in my early 50’s, and then as I recovered, as my health came back, somehow I was suddenly writing poetry. It just started to come. That was in the spring of 2014. Since I had written poetry before, I was tuned in enough to write it down as it came to me. A strange experience, but one that I grabbed onto. Or again, one that grabbed onto me. Since then, I’ve been writing continuously. Where it comes from, I have no idea. I’ve published a couple of short chapbooks - High Tide On The Other
Side Of The Earth and A Crowd Of Joy At The Door, A Good Inland Town (poems about North Andover and
New England), and another with new and collected poems (Almost Whole) that I published in 2019. The four chapbooks are available on Amazon.com. Holy cow! Since 2014, I’ve been active in the North Andover and Merrimack Valley poetry scene. I’ve been on the North Andover Poet Laureate committee for a few years, and I enjoy the company and comradery of this friendly group, these lovers of the spoken word. I’m grateful to live in a town that celebrates its history as the birthplace of America’s first poet, Anne Bradstreet. I’m also grateful that the town created a position to encourage the sharing of poetry and the performance of the spoken word in the life of our town. Who are the poets that inspire me? Besides Anne Bradstreet, here are a few: Bob Dylan, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, A.E. Stallings, Billy Collins, Ross Gay, Matt W. Miller, Maya Angelou, Brandi Carlile, Jane Hirshfield, Johnny Cash, Robert Frost, Mary Oliver, Leonard Cohen, Marianne Moore, many more!
I finish with a haiku:
a suitcase of words
packed with brain, heart, and soul
ready for travel
Nicole's love for the environment and being outdoors began as a child, as she worked side-by-side in the gardens with her grandmother and mother. She followed her passion throughout her education at UMass Amherst, focusing on environmental sustainability and the green movement.
Before she came to Rolling Ridge to work with the land, Nicole worked at Flatbread Company in Bedford, where she co-pioneered the herbal and floral gardens. As a steward of the Earth, she believes composting can help heal our planet!
Rooted in Christianity, and open and curious about all faith traditions, Tricia values the contemplative spiritual path which winds through all religions. Her ministry aims to build up courageous people and communities who see the world as it is, in its brokenness and beauty, and work to heal the pain and delight in the good. She is a graduate of the Shalem Institute’s Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership Program’s Going Deep year long program and has led retreats, taught classes and facilitated numerous small groups. For the past decade she has been a spiritual reflector to many volunteers in the Ignatian Volunteer Corp. Tricia has a BA in English from Holy Cross College, a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and a Masters in Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School.
Ruth Anne Brighton
Cantor Vera Broekhuysen is the spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El of Haverhill, MA, where she has served as Cantor since June of 2016. She was ordained by Hebrew College in June of 2016, when she also earned her Masters Degree in Jewish Education.
Cantor Broekhuysen is a member and former secretary of the New England Board of Cantors (NEBC). In March of 2018, she helped organize, and performed in, “From Out of the Storm: Cantors Respond to Devastation,” a successful benefit concert on behalf of the Jewish communities in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who were impacted by Hurricanes Maria and Jose. This event was cosponsored by NEBC and Temple Beth Zion of Brookline, MA. Cantor Broekhuysen has been a member of the Zamir Chorale of Boston since 2012; she also performs with Kol Arev, Hebrew College’s vocal ensemble, in their Klezmer Kabbalat Shabbat service.
Judie Bryant is a Certified Facilitator of Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT). She firmly believes that compassion as well as integrity are values and skills that are deeply needed if we are to enhance our own and other’s well being. An ordained United Church of Christ pastor, she earned a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, MA, and has served two UCC churches in the last twenty four years. A Massachusetts native since birth, she is married to Geoff and they have three adult children, two grandchildren and two goofy dogs. Gardening is her latest obsession and reading is her passion. She is also a volunteer with Thrive Communities in Lowell, a community based response to the challenges faced by adults transitioning from incarceration.
Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas serves as Missioner for Creation Care in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the United Church of Christ, Christ, Massachusetts Conference. An experienced retreat leader and spiritual director, she is a long-time climate activist dedicated to inspiring a wave of religious activism to address the climate crisis. Her most recent book, Joy of Heaven, To Earth Come Down (2016), is a collection of daily Advent-Christmas meditations on the sacredness of the natural world.
Jean Chandler is a retired college teacher of cognitive psychology and second language acquisition. She has long done lots of reading about theology and has had a regular meditation practice for more than a dozen years. The Old Cambridge Baptist church has encouraged lay leadership since the 1970s, and she has led many Bible studies there, some with her late husband who was an ordained minister. She has been fortunate to have been exposed to many different meditation traditions from Buddhist to Sufi to centering prayer. Because of her panentheistic theology and love of the natural world, she is active in advocacy for creation justice.
Leslie Ann Chatfield
Leslie Ann Chatfield holds an M. Div. and is ordained in the United Church of Christ. She holds an MS in Special Education and holds current state certifications and endorsements. She has completed all but her dissertation towards a PhD in Existential Psychology. In addition, she served for over a decade as a licensed social worker as part of a multi-systemic therapy team with families and adolescents who are identified to be ‘at risk.’ Leslie has been working in a variety of combinations of education and ministry for thirty years as a professional and as a consultant. Throughout her career the reflection on the existential meaning of one’s path and story has become central to her professional contributions.
Mary Childs is a Creative Arts Specialist whose extensive background working with artist to foster their creativity has led her to the understanding that creative activities stimulate and support the brain and soul in surprising, unconventional, and gratifying ways.
While accompanying her parents through their journeys with Dementia and Alzheimer's, Mary recognized the value in using the arts and creative experiences to enhance the lives of people suffering from these disabilities, as well those of their care partners. By providing alternative avenues of expression and connection, Mary believes that we are able to have continued access to the integral parts of ourselves, no matter what our challenges.
She has provided her services through Memory Cafes, Respite Programs on dementia friendly cruises with Holland America, and as a Facilitator through Revive and Thrive retreat programs.
Mary resides in Florida and Western Massachusetts.
Mike Clark has an affinity for The Gospel of Thomas that is contagious. He is a retired pastor living in Northampton MA. For the last 17 years (2002-2019) of his active ministry, he spent much of his time learning from those who were battling addiction and seeking transformed lives. His first book, Loitering with Intent, published in 2021, describes these years. For the last dozen years, actively engaging with Thomas -- teaching classes, utilizing it in counseling and spiritual direction, and leading many retreats for individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, Mike has come to believe that a heart connection with this gospel can change the way we view ourselves, our relationship to our Higher Power and indeed our understanding of Jesus.
Rev Norman Comtois
Rev. Norman Comtois, OMI, MA is a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. His experience in Pastoral Counseling, Intentional Eucharistic Communities, and Renewal programs for women religious continues to inform his ministry as a current retreat director. In the year 2000, Norman completed an Earth Literacy program at Genesis Farm, Blairstown, New Jersey. Since then he has devoted his interest and education toward developing retreats and courses that bring the Universe Story to life in a spiritually meaningful way. He also serves as team member and consultant for La Vista Ecological Learning Center.
Father Norm encourages those attending his presentations and retreats to ponder the wisdom of their religious traditions in the context of the Story of the Universe.
Ingrid Cyros is a workshop and retreat facilitator, whose passion is exploring the relationship between creativity and spirituality. As a spiritual director, she leads groups and individuals to introduce the practice of integrating photographic image and journal keeping, to listen deeply and to connect with what is sacred.
Ingrid earned a Master of Divinity Degree and Cert. in Spiritual and Pastoral Care, at Andover Newton Theological School, and Spiritual Direction training at Gateways to God. She lives with her husband, Michael, in Newburyport, MA and frequently travels to Nova Scotia and Vermont, to spend time with her children, and family.
Jim David, M.Div has served as a spiritual director and retreat director and presenter for over thirty years. He has conducted retreats based on the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, including an introduction to Ignatian Spiritual Retreats. He has also used a Franciscan approach to silent retreat, as well as a variety of meditation based retreats. A priest of the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of New England, Jim serves as its Bishop, and is also the co-pastor of St. Mary of Magdala Church in Harwich, MA.
Sister Ilia Delio
A Franciscan sister, Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, holds the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University. A native of Newark, NJ, she earned doctorates in pharmacology from Rutgers University School of Healthcare and Biomedical Sciences and in Historical Theology from Fordham University. She is the recipient of a Templeton Course in Science and Religion award and the author of 22 books, including The Unbearable Wholeness of Being, Care for Creation (Catholic Press Book Award 2010), The Emergent Christ (Catholic Press Book Award 2013) and Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness.
Alan Dillingham received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University and has been an avid reader of Christian contemplatives for over forty years. A former professor at Villanova University, he has also written for a US Senator, Congressmen and their personal and committee staff, non-profit organizations, technology startups, entrepreneurs and financial advisory firms. He currently makes his living helping people with their spiritual memoirs. You can follow him at alandillingham.com.
bringing ancient wisdom into a contemporary and accessible form.
Jackie is founder and president of Paraclete Place. A nonprofit that provides spiritual companionship, emotional and meditative sacred space, education awareness, and short-term residency to Breast Cancer and other cancer survivors and their families as they journey through treatment and recovery. As retired clergy from the New England Conference of The United Methodist Church, Jackie received her training as a Spiritual Director/Companion from Gateways at Rolling Ridge and Boston University and is a member of Spiritual Directors International. Jackie attended Howard University, Boston University, Hood Theological Seminary (MDiv) and is a current Doctoral Candidate with a dissertation on providing spiritual support to Millennials who were raised in the church but are no longer associated with a community of faith. Currently residing at Paraclete Place on beautiful Lake Gaston in North Carolina, she is committed to the New England Conference and the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center ministry.
Karen Edwards PhD was a Professor of Psychology for 40 years and taught Theories of Counseling, Group Psychotherapy, Cultural Psychology, and Psychology of Spirituality among others. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Hayes Scholarship to China. Dr. Edwards was also a licensed individual and Family Therapist for 26 years. She was a co-creator for the Becoming Women of Wisdom Curriculum.
Dorothy Emerson is a semi-retired Unitarian Universalist minister and author, currently writing a memoir on her experiences of culture change in California during the 1960s.
Lisa Fagerstrom is a life-long United Methodist (currently “taking a sabbatical from the UMC” and attending a Unitarian Universalist Church). Lisa has over thirty years of experience in volunteer and paid positions within church leadership. She is the past Chair of the New England Annual Conference Commission on Religion and Race and an active member and supporter of the Reconciling Ministries Network. Lisa has a B.E. from Vanderbilt University and has pursued studies at Andover Newton Theological School. She is a graduate of the Gateways to God spiritual direction training program at Rolling Ridge.
Rich is President of Fitzpatrick Consulting which offers strategy and organizational development services to the broad health care industry. He has a PhD as a Clinical Psychologist and was on the teaching faculty of the Harvard Medical School for
seventeen years, specializing in advancing the development of Residents in Internal Medicine. He was also Chief of Behavioral Health at Harvard Community Health Plan and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates for many years. He served as Board Chair of
the North Shore United Way and is now a Board Director at Lifebridge of the North Shore. He and his wife, Caroline, have raised three children and live in Rockport, MA.
Mr Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Steve Garnaas-Holmes is a poet, songwriter and retired pastor. He writes daily reflections at unfoldinglight.net. From 1973 to 2012 he wrote and performed with the Montana Logging and Ballet Company, a quartet that performed music and comedy around the country and occasionally on NPR’s Weekend Edition.
Kris Girrell is an author, speaker and leadership coach who has presented a TEDx talk and has written two books on the dark night experience (Wrestling the Angel and Stations in the Night). He holds a Master’s degree in Theological Research from Andover Newton and advanced degrees in Psychology and Counselling from Penn State University. He and his wife Sarah founded and operate a charity, Operation ELF, for the past 22 years, where he still serves as the event manager and as a member of the Board of Directors. Kris has been a program presenter at Rolling Ridge and is a member of the Ridge’s Board of Directors, co-chair of the Program Subcommittee and the Faculty Liaison for the outside presenters of the Ridge’s Day Apart series.
Rev. Todd Glacy is a Sacred Sound musician, counselor, Interfaith Minister, teacher, and facilitator. He shares his passion for supporting life’s journey through his work and ministry of Sacred Sound and Living. He has been interested in labyrinths and their use in contemplative practice for many years, and recently began offering this workshop as a way to deepen peoples understanding & practices towards using them as a tool in their own life.
Eliza Goodell has studied art and psychology. She learned how to make Ukrainian Easter eggs about 25 years ago and has been giving workshops ever since. A photo of one of Eliza's decorated eggs is in the July 2013 issue of Northshore Magazine in an article on bees, "Hive Talkin."
Sister Linda Greenwood is presently semi-retired and has been on a private renewal in this time of transition from full time ministries. She was the director of the Sisters of St. Francis House of Prayer in Lowell, MA for 20 years from 1999 – 2019 while at the same time working one day a week at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, MA in their Franciscan Center for Spiritual Direction. She has also taught elementary school and religious education in middle school. She was Director of Religious Education (Faith Formation) for 26 years in several different parishes. She served as a retreat staff member at St. Francis Retreat Center in Burlington, Wisconsin for ten summers and served as director of a regional adult education center, Nashua Deanery Christian Life Center for five years.
Lisa Gwiazda discovered the magic and health benefits of Shinrun Yuko (Forest Bathing) when working on her certification in Mind, Body, Spirit through Massachusetts General Hospital. She is a Registered Nurse, Board Certified Holistic Nurse, Certified Forest Therapy Guide from the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs and Wilderness First Responder. She believes the practice of forest therapy deepens and broadens our relationship with the world around us and has definitive healing properties.
Chelan Harkin is a 33 year old ecstatic, mystical poet. Poetry has been pouring through her since age 21 and she writes it down in exactly the form it comes through with almost no content editing. This last year she has published two books, Susceptible to Light and Let Us Dance! The Stumble and Whirl with The Beloved, and the process has been transformational in every way. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two young kids.
Kent Harrop is an avid outdoorsman and ordained American Baptist minister. He was introduced to contemplative paddling on a Zen meditation kayak trip to the Tongass Wilderness in Alaska in 2002. Since that time Kent has enjoyed introducing both novice and experienced kayakers and canoeists to the joy of ‘listening on the water’. A favorite verse is “Listen and your soul will live”. ~ Isaiah 55:3 Kent is a graduate of Andover Newton Theological School, Shalem Institute in Contemplative Leadership and Franciscan Spiritual Direction Certification Program. For 40 years he pastored congregations in Montana, California, Ohio, Oregon and Massachusetts. He leads paddling retreats for a variety of groups: Recovery, environmental, congregatons, interfaith. Kent currently serves as a Spiritual Director and leads Pray and Paddle events for Rolling Ridge. Kent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev Ron Hindelang
Rev. Ron Hindelang was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on July 12, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan as a member of the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers). He holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and Doctor in Philosophy in Pastoral Psychology from Boston University. Licensed as a Mental Health Counselor, Ron is a Board Certified Chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains, Clinical Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and a Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor in the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. Ron has ministered for thirty years as a hospice and hospital chaplain, tending to patients and families. His primary responsibility now is educating and supervising students preparing to become spiritual care-givers, priests, ministers and rabbis. After spending many years preaching and directing retreats, ministering as a spiritual director, and pastoral counselor for individuals and couples, Ron has served as a parish priest and pastor and as a seminary director.
Rev Lee Ireland
Rev. Lee A. Ireland is a long-time Interim Pastor having served in many churches in CT and most recently in Rowley, MA. She is currently serving as the Designated Term Pastor at the Groton Congregational Church in CT. She lives in Niantic, CT and is listening during this time of the pandemic. She received her M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School, and trained as a Spiritual Director at Mercy Center, Madison, CT. She has served in 12 different congregational settings as well as working in a women's prison and as a per diem hospital chaplain. Since 1990, she has had the joy of leading retreats. She is well aware of how life throws us curve balls and we can become distracted from our soul's journey because we focus on those things that lead us down dead-ends. We begin to regain wonder and gratitude as we chose to take retreats and learn how to listen within so we can stay on our faith journeys, receive guidance from God and hear our hearts and souls singing in unexpected moments. We then make new life choices that bring us greater peace within and fulfillment as we live, love and serve from that knowing.
Rev Dr Lawrence Jay
As the Executive Director of Rolling Ridge, Rev. Dr. Lawrence Jay works in partnership with the staff to ensure that the guest experience at the Ridge is top quality. He also partners with retreat leaders to provide excellent programming at the Ridge, and is available to speak about the ongoing ministry and historic mission of Rolling Ridge as a place of rest, retreat, and transformation. A trained spiritual director and ordained American Baptist pastor, Larry (as he is known by friends) is a graduate of UCLA, Golden Gate Seminary, Franciscan School of Theology, American Baptist Seminary of the West, and the Gateways to God Missional Spiritual Direction Program. He is also Adjunct Faculty at Merrimack College in the Masters of Spirituality and Spiritual Direction programs. Eco-spirituality is his passion (and was his doctoral dissertation), encouraging everyone to live into the fullness of our connection with nature, God, and all people.
Grace Ji-Sun Kim
For additional information on Grace, click here
Edward (Ted) Jones
Ted Jones has been practicing Insight Meditation for over forty years, and he has been serving as a meditation instructor at IMCN since 2011. His spiritual journey has also been profoundly influenced by his late uncle, Father Thomas Keating, the founder of the Centering Prayer movement.
Andrea Kastner, is from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, and is a founding member of the SoulStream community of dispersed contemplative companions. A seasoned adult educator, spiritual director and retreat facilitator, Andrea consistently has invested heart and time to become more and more attuned with God’s deep desire for our freedom to love as God loves. Significant influences have been her engagement in feminist, peace and economic justice movements, liberation theology, the experience of God alive in prairie, rivers and ocean, and her time as a novice in a contemplative Anglican religious community. Andrea cherishes living in a quiet place surrounded by pastures and huge fir trees, getting together with her daughters and their families, cooking, and reading Japanese mysteries in translation.
Emily Kearns, is the Founder of Balik Kampung, which began as a mixed media installation, shown at Merrimack College’s, Thagaste Gallery, last summer. More than an installation, however, Balik Kampung aims to create and facilitate opportunities for cross-cultural sharing and understanding, cultivating cross-cultural heart. Emily was an American Field Service (AFS) foreign exchange student in 1977 and spent the year with her beloved Muslim Malay host family in a Malaysian Muslim village, Kampung Melayu Majidi, Johor Bahru. During the year she attended Lower Form Six at English College. She has returned five times to the same kampung to visit host family and friends and continues her relationship through social media. Recently, Emily joined her Malay family celebrating the end of Ramadan with the holiday, Eid. Through a cross-cultural family ZOOM session, bringing together family from the Malay village, Andover, California, and Virginia, she participated as their “eldest daughter,” in their important ritual of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is truly her heart’s home. Emily is a sociologist with a life-
long interest in culture, ritual, and identity. She earned her PhD at Boston College and her Executive MBA at Northeastern. She is an installation artist, Reiki Master, and dementia specialist. For more information, visit www.balikkampung.org
Emily’s personal experience caregiving/care partnering with her parents, who both lived with dementia, was life-changing, catapulting her into what is now her first love—reframing dementia and supporting care partners journeying with it. Emily is committed to change-making, including innovative programming and community education, so that individuals living with memory and other challenges may continue to live well, experiencing joy and meaningful engagement in communities that support and celebrate them and the life they choose. Emily facilitates memory cafes, Dementia Dialogues, and caregiver/care partner support groups. She also offers caregiving/care partnering counseling and coaching through the Dementia Resource Network. Emily was formerly Project Manager for Dementia Friendly Massachusetts and Consultant with the Massachusetts Lifespan Respite Coalition, evaluating innovative respite programs and hosting a TV show called, Caring for Others, Caring for Ourselves.
Emily earned a doctorate in sociology from Boston College and an MBA from Northeastern University's Executive MBA program. She is Founder and Practitioner at the Dementia Resource Network and Revive and Thrive Programs. Visit www.reviveandthriveprograms.org.
Ellen has been a student of Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox for almost 30 years. His teachings on Creation Spirituality and The Four Paths burn bright in her heart. She is an Art as Mediation faculty member in the Creation Spirituality Movement. In collaboration with Fox, Ellen has led Sacred Circle Dance at seven Creation Spirituality retreats and the Spiral Dance at the Cosmic Mass; Parliament of World Religions, Toronto. She serves on the design team for Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox http://dailymeditationswithmatthewfox.org
As an International Peace Activist, Ellen has led Sacred Circle Dances for peace at the Syrian Border, Jerusalem, the banks of the Dead Sea, the US Naval Base Gangjeong, S. Korea, Imagine Peace Tower, Iceland and the John Lennon Park, Havana Cuba offering a grandmother’s love and compassion. She lives in Newbury and delights in her five grandchildren. email@example.com
Cris received her training in spiritual direction through Tending the Soul and Advanced Gateways to God. Her current work as a spiritual director takes place primarily in nontraditional settings including grocery stores and parking lots, hospital rooms, spiritual formation gatherings, and the online classroom. After a first career as a high school chemistry teacher, Cris earned an MDiv from Northeastern Seminary and completed two units of CPE as a hospital chaplain. She currently enjoys serving as an adjunct professor in spiritual direction at NES and a peer group supervisor for Tending the Soul.
Janet Kessenich, M.M. leads thoughtful, interactive, experiential workshops and retreats that connect participants with what brings meaning, purpose, satisfaction and empowerment into their lives. A holistic sound and energy healer, Janet uses the essence of music – calibrated vibration – with clients and workshop participants to in a sense, tune them to their most aligned way of being. Her Tune Up Your Spirit workshops are based on her book, Music Lessons for the Spirit, a collection of essays drawn from the spiritual/life lessons she learned as a pianist. www.spiralenergies.com
John Kiemele is a wellbeing educator and spiritual director who currently companions individuals, teaches various seminars and lifestyle classes, leads contemplative retreats, and also serves as Program Director at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center. With a focus on contemplative soul care, John gratefully walks alongside individuals, small groups, classrooms and congregations. Recognizing how intentional pausing and listening unlocks life, John strives to engage the whole person – body, mind, soul – in the lifelong process of living well. John received his PhD in education/spirituality from Talbot School of Theology, with post-doctoral emphases in Spiritual Direction, Mindful Self-Compassion, the Enneagram Spectrum, and Wellness Coaching.
Karen is a spiritual director, retreat and yoga leader and faith formation educator. She has a great passion for nurturing the awareness of God’s love, presence and promise in peoples lives.
As the Director of Children’s Ministries at Old North Church of Marblehead, Karen shares sacred stories, scripture, reading, creative play and art to lead the youngest of us to God’s grace.
Karen has enjoyed planning Eco Adventure and looks forward to exploring God’s Creation this summer at Rolling Ridge.
As a graduate of Gateways to God, Spiritual Direction Program and Congregational Formation at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center and the Soul of Leadership program, through Excutive Soul and the Shalem Institute, Karen has deepened her understanding of body, mind and spirit, offering this to those seeking a companion on their walk in faith.
Douglas T. Koch, B.D., M.Mus., taught music performance, philosophy, religion, world musics and sound healing at Curry College in Milton, MA for 35 years. A lifelong performer/composer of liturgical jazz and Third Stream, he continues to explore the gorgeous pallets of sacred sound within world spiritualities, and particularly the sounds of Himalayan singing bowls for their potential for awakening and supporting deepened dimensions of healing, spiritual listening and transformation. Doug has incorporated the bowls into the regular liturgical prayer life of his spiritual community in Cambridge, MA.
Ms Pam Kristan
Pam Kristan, author of Awakening in Time: Practical Time Management for Those on a Spiritual Path, has been teaching and consulting in spiritually oriented time-management since the late 80s. She moderated speak-outs for National Take Back your Time Day. In the early 90s she ran the adult spiritual education program at The Paulist Center in downtown Boston where she produced such series as Sunday/Monday: Integrating Work and the Spiritual Life. She practices an eclectic spirituality drawing on text-based and earth-centered traditions. Contact her at www.pamelakristan.com.
Dorothy Landry, a Diamond Approach teacher, retired psychotherapist, and experienced retreat director, has been teaching the Enneagram for 30 years. Her great love and appreciation of this wisdom tool of understanding oneself and others led her to the Diamond Approach of the Ridhwan School, a psycho-spiritual path of transformation, inner freedom, and realization, where she currently works with private students, small groups, and online groups.
Sandra LaPerche is retired from a career in health care. She is a volunteer for English at Large and a Stephen Minister.
Brian Bayer-Larson is a Massachusetts-based musician who has led Taize-style worship services for nearly 20 years. Brian first visited the Taize community in the spring of 2003 where he worked in the kitchen, helped lead his small group Bible study, and was lucky enough to be invited to dine with the brothers of the community. Brian even got to meet Brother Roger, Taize’s founder, before he tragically died in 2005. In addition to leading worship services Brian is an active songwriter and performer who regularly plays music at cafes and events around Boston’s north shore. In 2017 he released his first album of original music, Time to Go Home, which can be found on all streaming services. He is also an 8th grade social studies teacher, a happily married husband, and father to 3 active and beautiful children.
Christina Leano serves as the Associate Director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, an international network of over 650 Catholic institutions and thousands of individuals turning Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical into action for climate justice. Christina is also a retreat leader and meditation teacher who facilitates programs as a Colleague at Bethany House of Prayer and through the Genesis School for Contemplative Living. She holds degrees from Yale University and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
Melody Lee is an author, teacher, and storyteller currently designing and teaching courses in world literature.
Margaret is a certified Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry practitioner/instructor and certified Clinical Aromatherapist with 25 years experience as a School Psychologist.
Since 1996, she has been coordinating Healing Touch, Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry and Clinical Aromatherapy classes in the Knoxville area.
Throughout her life she has been active in her church and involved in the Order of St.Luke. For several years, she has maintained a private practice in Knoxville and
Dandridge, TN. Bountiful Health Magazine published her article on Healing Touch in the treatment of breast cancer.
As President of ISHA and Director of HTSM, Margaret specializes her teaching in the Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry program. She volunteers to teach this work in third
world countries and shares in the Healing Ministry of her church.
Paula Lozano Roa
Cathy MacGovern is a retired Diaconal Minister in the United Methodist Church. She completed her training in Spiritual Direction through Tending the Soul with The Rev. Wendy Miller and is also a graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance. Having served on the staff for Gateways to God 3 she looks forward to Gateways to God 4 under Dr. Heidi Miller’s leadership.
Rev Jean Marchant
Rev. Jean Marchant, a member of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement, was ordained a priest on July 25, 2005 in a ceremony that took place on the St. Lawrence Seaway. She holds a Masters of Divinity Degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology and the Doctor of Ministry Degree in Pastoral Counseling from the Graduate Theological Foundation. Licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Jean is a Certified Chaplain and holds a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is the former Director of Health Care Ministry for the Archdiocese of Boston, and as an ordained Catholic priest in the Roman Catholic Womanpriest movement, her ministry of pastoral care and counseling is now enriched by her sacramental ministry. The mother of two adult daughters, and grandmother of five, Jean's personal experience as a bereaved parent is the grounding of her ministry to persons who are dying or bereaved. Jean has a passion for justice and for empowering women and men in their search for wholeness and holy-ness in their lives, and she brings this to bear in her ministry as chaplain, spiritual director and pastor.
Ms Bonnie Marden
Bonnie I. Marden, MYTE Ministries Founder, Stewardship Practitioner, Campaign Coordinator (INM). She has twenty-five years of experience in congregational leadership and stewardship development and partners with other experienced fundraisers and development specialists. Author of Church Finances for Missional Leaders: Best Practices in Financial Stewardship (2019). Read the reviews on her website.
Samantha McCune is an accomplished graduate student whose passion for spirituality started when she was a young high school student. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious and Theological Studies from Merrimack College in 2018, and is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at Boston University’s School of Theology. Samantha enjoys focusing her lens on paying attention to the details and little things in life. Samantha first came across the name of Hildegard of Bingen when she studied at Merrimack College. A writing of Hildegard’s filled up about half a page of a textbook that she was reading and it was enough to draw Samantha in. She has continued to love and study Hildegard ever since.
Claire McGarry is the author of Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary and “With our Savior,” a family devotional for Lent. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, she endeavors to fish for more people to bring to God through her retreats, women’s groups, and writing. Her freelance work has appeared in Living Faith, Mornings with Jesus, These Days, The Secret Place, Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Keys for Kids, CatholicMom.com, and her own weekly blog, ShiftingMyPerspective.com A former lay missionary in Guatemala, she now lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.
Through my MOSAIC of Faith ministry, I presented my first retreat on Martha and Mary five times over the course of a year. Based on the positive feedback I received from the participants, I pursued and secured a contract to convert the retreat into a book entitled Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary. Through writing and refining my manuscript, I developed the G-I-F-T method, one that prompts us to seek God’s help to transform tension into grace. This retreat will focus on that method, along with the other lessons Jesus, Martha, and Mary teach us.
With more than 20 years in academic and non-profit settings, Heidi A Miller, Ph.D., serves as Associate Professor of Spirituality and Christian Ministry at Mercer University in Atlanta. Her areas of teaching, research, and writing focus on transformative leadership, spirituality, transition and trauma, justice, and worship. Heidi designs and facilitates curriculum in spiritual direction and soul tending in one-on-one, small group, community, congregational, and organizational contexts.
Rev Wendy Miller
A noted teacher and practitioner of spiritual direction, Rev. Wendy Miller is the author of Learning to Listen: A Guide for Spiritual Friends, Invitation to Presence, and Jesus, Our Spiritual Director. She is Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Formation at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Virginia where she taught for the past twenty years. In addition to her seminary degree, Wendy holds a post graduate degree in spiritual theology and spiritual direction from General Theological Seminary. She guides several training programs in spiritual direction around the U.S. and in Canada. A native of England, Wendy and her husband Ed are the parents of five children and delight in their eleven grandchildren.
Rev Paul Millin
Paul Millin is an experienced spiritual director at Christ Church United in Lowell, who has led Day Apart retreats, including labyrinth walks, Celtic Christianity, and Julian of Norwich.
Steve Mills is an artist, writer, songwriter, and scientist, and has worked on many space cameras imaging the Earth and the universe.
Steve believes that science can and should be just as creative as the arts. In his paintings he prefers classical archetypes drawn from stories in the bible or mythology. He projects these stories into the modern world, with today’s social issues—race, gender and economics.
Donna Mills holds several coaching certifications — Kaizen-Muse™, ARTbundance©, and FranklinCovey©. She is also a certified hand analyst. Donna provides a safe space for her clients to explore their purpose and work through their creative blocks. She believes that beauty and creativity are part of our spiritual blueprint, and seeks to express those gifts in her own life through painting, sewing, writing, and connecting with others in meaningful ways.
Rev Carroll Moore
Carroll Moore is certified in Spiritual Formation by the United Methodist Church, trained as Spiritual Director and in work with Peer Groups for Directors, one of the leaders for the past two years with Insight and pastor for over 50 years.
Monique Morimoto MS, CPCC, supports her clients to discover, embrace and manifest the deepest truth of who they really are. Her clients learn to love themselves more completely and bring the powerful potential of that love more fully into their personal and professional lives. www.soulworkscoaching.com
Rev. Dr. Steven Notis has been serving churches in New England since 1984 as a pastor, with a strong interest in spiritual practice. He is currently the pastor of the Hampton United Methodist Church. Steve has been practicing Insight Meditation since 2012.
Diarmuid O'Murchu, MSC, is a member of the Sacred Heart Missionary Order, and a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. He is a social psychologist most of whose working life has been in social ministry, predominantly in London, UK. In that capacity he has worked as a couple's counsellor, in bereavement work, AIDS-HIV counselling, and, in more recent times, with homeless people and refugees. As a workshop leader and group facilitator he has worked in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, The Philippines, Thailand, India, Peru and in several African countries, facilitating programmes on Adult Faith Development. His best known books include Quantum Theology (1996 - revised in 2004), Ancestral Grace (2008), Jesus in the Power of Poetry (2009), Christianity's Dangerous Memory (2011), In the Beginning was the Spirit (2012), God in the Midst of Change (2013) and On Being a Postcolonial Christian (2014). He now lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Mary Pandiani, D.Min., MA, C.S.D., from the Pacific Northwest, is a spiritual director, personal/professional development coach, and an instructor for adult basic education. As a wife, mother, grandmother and friend, she seeks to offer hospitality by way of the heart. Completing her doctorate on research in graceful aging, she also provides leadership to the Selah Center, an organization that intentionally pauses and nurtures the contemplative life. Over the years, she has led a number of Selah Seminars ranging from Discernment to Contemplative-in-Action, along with the year-long course, “Living From The Heart.” She values the fresh expressions of God’s presence that help her integrate a heart-soul-mind for greater freedom in relationship with others, herself, and God.
Anita Pandolfe Ruchman RN, MSN, has been a healing arts practitioner for over 40 years. She has a private practice in Rockport, Ma. called A Tender Place ~ mind, body, spirit therapy Anita is a psychotherapist, midwife, body and breath-worker and bereaved parent. As the retreat facilitator, Anita will guide the group, providing wisdom, experience and compassionate support.
Herb Pearce, M.Ed. in Counseling, from Arlington, MA is an individual, couples and family therapist and life coach, and an Enneagram and Myers-Briggs workshop leader. With 40 years of experience working with clients and organizations, he has helped thousands of people have better relationships by understanding personality differences. He is a leading expert on the Enneagram, having taught over 2000 workshops on the topic. Herb also teaches workshops on the Myers-Briggs, relationship and communication skills, self-esteem, and personal development. Herb is the author of 6 books, Enneagram Basics, Enneagram Beyond the Basics, The Caregiver's Enneagram, Lessons from the River, Herb's Tips for Living, and his new book, Washington to Trump: 44 Presidential Personalities Using the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs. www.herbpearce.com
Elisa Pearmain M.A., M.Ed, LMHC has been telling stories professionally and leading storytelling workshops for over 35 years. She is the author of award-winning books including Doorways to the Soul: 52 Wisdom Tales from around the World, and the award-winning CD Forgiveness: Telling our Stories in New Ways. Elisa is a licensed psychotherapist working in private practice in Concord, MA.
As a yoga practitioner for the past twenty years, the profound link between skillful movement and well being has become increasingly vivid and created the curiosity to be trained initially in Integrative Yoga Therapy (RYT200) and Yoga of Energy Flow (RYT500) with multiple certifications that include Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Yoga for Arthritis, Yoga for Cancer. The sheer effort of living successfully brought me to my Buddhist practice back in 1972 and continues to inform my life and work.
Kate has a degree in Music Education with endorsement in Elementary Education and is a certified Montessori Directress. Her 28 years of teaching covered everything from preschool to college. In 2002, she became a Licensed Massage Therapist and discovered Healing Touch.
She became a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist and an Advanced Practitioner of HTSM in 2007, and a Certified Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry Practitioner and Instructor in 2008. Kate has a great deal of knowledge of essential oils and their benefits from her previous experience as a Pharmacy Tech. This has enabled her to make the chemistry of the oils understandable to her students, and they are greatly appreciative of this.
She has a private practice in Knoxville and Oak Ridge. Kate blends massage, HTSM techniques, aromatherapy and music for the highest good of her clients. Her memberships include National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, Healing Touch Professional Association and Healing Touch East TN.
She is active in her church as a Pastoral Care Minister and has developed an HTSM outreach program there. Taking HTSM to other countries is her dream.
Denise K. Pouliot is the Sag8moskwa (Female Head Speaker) of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People and traditional artist. She currently serves on the New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs, is a Federal Religious Advisor, and a founding member of the Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective. Denise is also an Affiliate Faculty member of the UNH Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor and is the treasurer for COWASS North America and the Abenaki Nation of Vermont.
Paul W. Pouliot has been the Sag8mo or Chief Speaker for the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook and Abenaki People and president of COWASS North America and the Abenaki Nation of Vermont since 1990. Paul is an Indigenous historian, lecturer, Federal Religious Advisor, and a founding member of the Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective. He is also an Affiliate Faculty member of the UNH Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor and a founding member of the New Hampshire Commission of Native American Affairs.
Jenny Rankin is a Unitarian Universalist minister. Born in Boston and raised as a Unitarian Universalist, she was ordained in 1988 and has served as a parish minister and college chaplain. Currently, she serves the First Parish in Lincoln as interim minister. During her years as Minister at First Parish in Concord, Jenny became a student of Transcendentalism, and has taught classes, lectured, and led walking tours and travel seminars on this strand of American spirituality. More recently, Jenny has been drawn to explore Celtic spirituality, reading widely, travelling and beginning to teach and lead groups on this topic. She led a pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland in 2018 and again in 2019 with long-time friend, Tricia Brennan, as co-leader. They hope to again lead pilgrimages in 2020 and 2021. Jenny has an undergraduate degree in history and literature from Princeton University and is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School.
Beth Reiter Blanchard
Beth Reiter Blanchard, who has always lived by the motto ‘take another look,’ began taking snapshots at the age of eight. She waited thirty years before beginning to study the craft of photography. Her images are mostly collected from around her neighborhood, nearby towns and cities, and local natural areas. For her, they are natural, scenic portraits that enrich her connections with her everyday surroundings.
Jennifer Revill is owner and principal of The Mobile Mystic, a consultancy whose mission is to create opportunities for dialogue and engagement around personal spirituality in the contemporary world. After a long career in public administration, she earned a Master of Arts in Spirituality and Spiritual Direction from Merrimack College, and continues her association with her alma mater as an academic development consultant specializing in the spirituality of work. Jennifer has a long affiliation with the Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church in Danvers as a congregational facilitator. She also has a one-on-one spiritual companioning practice.
Ruth Richards has served ministerial positions at two Lowell churches, most recently as interim Minister of Christian Education and the Arts at Christ Church United. She is trained in spiritual direction, has led creative bible study, a writer’s retreat and took teen youth to volunteer at Pine Ridge Native American Reservation, South Dakota.
We have been intrigued and made curious by recent writings about Mary Magdalene, which inspired us to explore how she can relate to faith and life in a time of much institutional change.
Ngozi Temitope Robinson is an ordained Baptist minister, conflict resolution specialist, and impassioned writer. She has devoted her life to pastoral care, living zestfully, and the written word. Ngozi enjoys watching vintage Hollywood movies, visiting friends around the world, and following obscure sports—including bull riding, sumo wrestling, and curling. She has published numerous books by others under her imprint, I AM Publications.
Marie has been studying, practicing and living mindfully for over 10 years. She has helped many people with MS, and runs mindfulness programs at Lake Quanapowitt in Wakefield, MA and surrounding areas. As a retreat facilitator, Marie will guide the group providing wisdom, experience and compassionate support.
She is also qualified to teach the MBSR (Mind, Body Stress Reduction) program and trained with the UMass Center for Mindfulness Medical School.
Dr Stephanie Rutt
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Rutt was founding Minister of the Tree of Life Interfaith Temple in Milford, NH, director of the Tree of Life School for Sacred Living and creator of the Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary. Through the School for Sacred Living she has offered numerous sacred studies courses, classes and workshops locally as well as to national conferences sponsored by World AWAKE (formally The World Alliance of Interfaith Clergy) and the Haden Institute. She has appeared on the TEDx stage and is the author of five books including, Living the Prayer of Jesus: A Study of the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic released by Wipf and Stock Publishers. All of her work seeks to embody unity within diversity, reveal how the great spiritual truths show up everywhere in daily experience, and to awaken an unchecked ecstatic cry for the One called by many names.
To learn more, please visit the following.
George Sawin is the Convenor of the New England Men of Illuman. He is a devoted seeker whose life is enriched by helping others. George is an experienced, licensed Mental Health Professional based in Wellesley, MA. He specializes in relationship issues, parenting, and
substance abuse. As Husband, Dad and Grandpa, he employs his professional training, and life's lessons, to help people discover what they want out of life.
Henry Schoenfield is a trained Spiritual Director and ICF Professional Certified Coach. He is passionate about working with faith leaders and institutions in times of change, transition, and transformation. Drawing on the spiritual wisdom of the Contemplative Christian tradition as well as other spiritual traditions, he helps people cultivate a space of deep listening for how God is calling them to meet the present moment with an open heart. He is an ordained United Church of Christ pastor and is currently serving in interim ministry in the Southern New England Conference.
A zoophilist since birth, Jenne Sindoni's love for animals has remained constant throughout her life. A union ironworker and gymnastic coach by profession, she has been an advocate for animals through the Humane Society of the US, MSPCA, Animal Rescue League Boston, ASPCA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, WWF, and Friends of the Earth. She has also testified at the State House and ran political campaigns to advocate for humane treatment of animals. While suffering through trauma and abuse, having dogs by her side was a powerful palliative and strengthens Jenne's current fight against animal abuse and inspires her to help the helpless. Being a steward of animals is strongly intertwined into her spirituality. A vegan, she currently lives in East Boston with her pitbull Stella who has been her constant companion for 12 years.
Karen Skalla is a bi-vocational ordained Deacon in the Methodist Church. She came to ministry via a career as a Nurse Practitioner and she continues to listen deeply to patients, as well as groups, after completing the Gateways to God program in Missional Spiritual Direction. From her home in Vermont, Karen has a particular love for the created world and enjoys expressing it through the written word and art. She has a passion for pastoral care in Street Ministry and partnering with her Therapy Dog. She completed a Masters Degree in Nursing, four units of Clinical Pastoral Education, and a Masters Degree in Theology from Boston University. Her primary Diaconal appointment is Kendal at Hanover as a Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and she serves as a faith leader for an online ecumenical church, “Faithwaze.”
Hailed by Pete Seeger as "one of America's best songwriters," Fred Small sings songs of conscience in the tradition of Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, and Holly Near. Powerful, affecting, and inviting, Fred's songs illuminate the goodness and courage of all kinds of people and have been interpreted by many singers around the world. With 8 albums, the National Organization of Men against Sexism (NOMAS) honored Fred for his contributions to gender justice in 2010, and in 2017, UU Mass Action presented him with the Ruth Rowan Award for his musical contributions to social justice movements. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Yale, Fred earned a law degree and a masters in natural resources policy at the University of Michigan. He wrote his first song in 1974 on the morning of his first law school examination. In 1980 Fred left his position as staff attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation to pursue his career in music full time. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, Fred Small now currently serves as Minister for Climate Justice at Arlington Street Church, Boston.
During a long career as a a nurse, I learned about the ancient Japanese healing art of Jin Shin Jyutsu. It is a form of energy work, using gentle touch over clothing to bring harmony and healing to the body, mind and spirit. It is a valuable complement to Western Medicine and can be used safely in conjunction with other therapies and medications. Jin Shin Jyutsu identifies numerous “safety energy locks” on the body where energy pathways become blocked. The practitioner’s hands act as “jumper cables” to help release the blockages along the energy pathways.
More about Jin Shin Jyutsu
Jim Belmont & Steve Pierce
Jim Belmont and Steve Pierce were married on November 16, 2013. They both have an abiding love for The Source of All Life, which they have come to know through Jesus. Their marriage vows were made in a church service with many family and friends witnessing. Jim and Steve live in Fitchburg, MA, where Bessie, their cat, allows them to share the condo unit which she thinks she owns even though she does not offer a dime for the mortgage. Jim and Steve are members of the Leominster United Methodist Church, having joined the church in August of 2020, and they are slowly wading-in, ever deeply, into the fabric of the many embodiments of The United Methodist Church: locally, regionally, and nationally. Both Steve and Jim had earlier independent experiences with the UMC, but then left to settle into another denomination. So, the sojourn back to the LUMC was like a return “home” in many ways, despite the continuing struggle around LGBTQIA+ issues. Jim is retired and quite active in the local genealogical society, dabbles in art and photography, and is a food pantry volunteer at LUMC. Steve is semi-retired. He is the part-time administrator for a Boston area non-profit, offers spiritual accompaniment to interested parties, and is a Candidate for the Office of Home Missioner in The United Methodist Church. As they share their story, you will hear lots more about how their life experiences have blended with their faith connection.
Emily is the Lead Gardener of the Giving Garden at Rolling Ridge, which brings together volunteers of all ages and faiths to grow fresh, healthy vegetables for food pantries in the Greater Lawrence area. The Giving Garden is coordinated by South Church in Andover. Emily's work at the Giving Garden includes teaching kids and new gardeners about organic, sustainable methods, the importance of soil health, and protecting the diversity of pollinators and beneficial insects. She also designs and installs perennial and native plant gardens n the community. Emily has a Masters degree in Public Health and an interest in promoting the connection between healthy people and healthy ecosystems. When not gardening, she is often coaching youth soccer, camping with her family, or just shuttling her 3 kids around town.
Dr. Suetta Tenney has practiced Internal Medicine and Integrative Medicine for 33 years.
She has facilitated Mind-Body groups and formed communities of leaning and healing, which create a confidential group and teach simple, enjoyable skills that increase our opportunities for self-insight and allow us to work through and transform some beliefs and emotions which have previously kept us stuck. She is certified and has completed an Internship with the Center for Mind Body Medicine.
Rev. Dr. Judith Thurlow is a retired United Church of Christ pastor having served a church in MA. She has been an adjunct professor in the Graduate Studies Department teaching Social Psychology in a Diverse Society at Plymouth State University, NH. She taught in the Seattle, WA and Chelmsford, MA school systems. She recently completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training and is now a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. Julian of Norwich continues to speak to Judith in surprising ways!
Rev Julie Todd
Julie Todd lives in Lawrence, MA. Her business JustJulie connects plants with people through her all-natural, handmade herbal & aromatherapy products. She conducts rituals & workshops on herbal practice, justice-seeking, and the spiritual life. She is also the John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Justice & Peace Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO, teaching all online. A published author, her latest book, 50: thorns & blossoms, explores how sharing our emotional and spiritual terrain in community generates creativity, vulnerability, and social change.
Denise Turcotte, csc is a Sister of Holy Cross and resides in Manchester, NH. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from Antioch New England. She taught Environmental Science and Intro to Earth Science at Notre Dame College, worked as a naturalist in Franconica Notch State Park for two summers, was Director of New Dawn Earth Center in Cumberland RI for 6 years. She has worked in varying capacities at NH Audubon offering programs to school children of various ages. My passion is sharing my love of nature with others.
Although his primary focus is painting, Chris has been leading painting and written word workshops for nearly 30 years. He taught mythology, art history, and comparative religion at the former Chester College of New England in Chester, New Hampshire for several years before teaching art history and writing at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. He now teaches independently and paints full time. His website is www.christophervolpe.com .
Sarah Vulgamore M.A., M.S., NCC is a nationally certified counselor, spiritual director and integrative sound practitioner shares immersive modalities, such as sound journeying and contemplative art-making, for developing a deep relationship with the sacred in personal, communal and ecological healing.
Sarah has been a student of Dr. Matthew Fox for several years, and integrates the practices of the Four Paths into both her personal and professional life. The rich lens of Creation Spirituality not only confirms the experience of the sacred she has known since childhood, but affirms her academic and professional journey of 30 years. (B.A. Religious Studies, NYU; M.A. Art History, Columbia; M.S. Pastoral Counseling, Loyola Maryland; Inaugural class, D.Min. program, Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality)
Formerly the Director of Spiritual Wellness at Canyon Ranch, Sarah happily divides her time between her private practice, Well for the Soul, and working for social justice issues in her community of Troy, New York. She is most grateful that "The Well" draws many young adults, seeking to develop their spiritual health as part of a healthy and meaningful life! www.wellforthesoul.com
Patricia Wild holds a CGS (Certificate of Graduate Study) in The Professional Applications of the Expressive and Creative Arts from Salve Regina University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Art Education and a Doctoral degree in Education from the University of Cincinnati, and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Washington University. She has more than thirty years of teaching experience at all levels, from pre-school through graduate school, and in a variety of settings, including public and private schools and museum settings. Patricia is also an exhibiting artist, a published writer, and an inveterate seeker and learner. www.spiralartsforlife.com
Wanda Winnicki attended Symmetry Yoga Vinyasa Flow 200+ hour teacher training, so she can teach yoga safely. She came to yoga to relieve some health issues ten years ago. She continues yoga to maintain a healthy life style. The spiritual element of yoga is a powerful part of her life both on and off the mat. She hopes to bring the joy of both God and Yoga to anyone who’s willing. God called Wanda to teach “God in Yoga” many years ago. She was asked to teach yoga at a women’s retreat and was well received in all cases. She used some of the breath prayers and one of the scripture with poses. She began teaching “God in Yoga” classes after completing yoga teacher. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance.
Dr. Elizabeth Woodard is a unity hopeful; her ministry is focused on healing the divisions that exist among Christians, between humans and God, and within ourselves. She is a lay Catholic theologian and spiritual director. She holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America as well as a Master of Sacred Music and Master of Divinity from Boston University. She is the author of Cruciform Ecumenism: The Intersection of Ecclesiology, Episcopacy, and Apostolicity from a Catholic Perspective. Her writing, as well as information about meeting one-on-one with her as a spiritual director or hiring her to speak at your parish, can be found at unityhopeful.com. She is also a sacred musician, composing liturgical music and serving as the director of the Regis College Alumni Chorus. She is a Massachusetts native and, with her husband, is preparing to welcome her first child, a daughter, this May.
Dorothy Wright-Irwin was introduced to labyrinths by one of her professors at North Shore Community College, while at a five day convention in Vermont. There were three temporary labyrinths set up on the grounds for the attendees to explore. Dorothy found them to be both fascinating and energizing and walked them daily and oftentimes more. By the end of the convention she was determined to learn more about them. The following year she took several workshops on labyrinths, including how to build them. In her undergraduate studies at Lesley University, off site at Rolling Ridge, she completed several studies: The History of Labyrinths and The Process and Actual Building of a Labyrinth, which was finished in October 2002. Since then Dorothy has built several more including at a Senior Community Center in Atkinson, NH; Deer Isle, ME [private]; and Enfield, VT [private]. Dorothy also mentored a young man in No. Andover to build a labyrinth in order to earn his Eagle Scout badge. She also provides paper copies of the Cretan style to students as tools for de-stressing, especially during exams and finals.
Dorothy earned her Bachelors Degree in the Healing Arts and her Masters Degree in Education from Lesley University. She is a Reiki Master Teacher, Compassionate Touch: for Those in Late Life Stages Practitioner/Teacher, and maintains her Care with Compassion private practice. In addition, she is a seascape, landscape and nature Artist.
A member of the Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, Laura is a Deaconess appointed to Reconciling Ministries Network as an organizer. She’s an advocate for biblical scholarship and theological education for laity and is deeply committed to LGBTQ affirmation in The UMC. When asked why she’s called to Reconciling work Laura shares, “Because the Church I love is hurting people I love.” Laura values the rich relationships within the Reconciling family, loves connecting RUMs, and believes that personal stories can change the Church. She’s been a delegate to Jurisdictional Conference and has helped connect and resource General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates since 2008.