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
A Presbyterian pastor, conference center chaplain and retreat leader for more than 30 years, Deadra Ashton joined the Gateways staff in 2016. She has served congregations of all sizes and settings in New England, New York and the Mid-Atlantic, including a federated church that put her back in touch with her Methodist roots and led her to the Gateways I program in which she was trained as a spiritual director. She is currently pastor of Christ Church, Presbyterian in Burlington, Vermont.
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.
Barbara R. Bodengraven, MTS, Weston Jesuit School of Theology, is the author of the spiritual memoir and eco-spirituality manifesto, The Sacred Shed on the Edge of the Ravine. As a spiritual writing program facilitator and communications professional, she is dedicated to advancing matters of spirituality in a secular world.
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
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
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.
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, and life-long artist whose passion is exploring the relationship between creativity and spirituality. She has also led classes to introduce the practice of integrating photographic image and journal keeping, to focus, to commemorate, heal, and celebrate. She has presented her personal photographic work, “Mourning Journal”, to professional, academic and religious groups, to encourage the use of art for processing loss.
Ingrid lives in Newburyport with her husband. She is mother of two adult children.
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.
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.
Mr Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Steve Garnaas-Holmes is a poet, songwriter and retired pastor of St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Acton, MA. 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 has been a featured presenter at Rolling Ridge and is a member of the Ridge’s Board of Directors.
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."
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.
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 and from the Shalem Institute in Contemplative Leadership. He leads paddling retreats for a variety of groups: Recovery, environmental, interfaith. For 20 years he pastored a church in Oregon where he kayaked both flat and white water. He now serves on the staff of First Baptist Church in Beverly, with a focus on nurturing the contemplative life of the congregation. He enjoys exploring the ocean, rivers and lakes of Massachusetts and New England.
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 now living in Niantic, CT and 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, Lawrence 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. An ordained American Baptist pastor, he is a graduate of UCLA, Golden Gate Seminary, Franciscan School of Theology, and American Baptist Seminary of the West. 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.
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
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.
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