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.
Mary Anne Dinning
bringing ancient wisdom into a contemporary and accessible form.
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
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