Retreat Leaders

Retreat Leaders

Founder of Healing of Memories

Fr. Michael Lapsley SSM

Father Michael Lapsley is an Anglican missionary priest who was active in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. In 1990, after being ejected from South Africa, he suffered the loss of his hands and the sight in one eye from a letter-bomb that was sent to him in Zimbabwe by a supporter of the pro-apartheid government in South Africa. After a long recovery from the bombing, Father Lapsley decided to dedicate his life to helping victims of emotional, psychological, and…
Retreat Leader

Phyllis Strupp

Phyllis T. Strupp, MBA, is an award-winning author and brain training expert who lives in Carefree, AZ. Her passion is to educate audiences on how brains and lives can get better with age through the power of neuroplasticity. She earned a “Brain Research in Education” Certificate from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2009. She served on the faculty of the Episcopal Church’s CREDO Clergy Wellness Program from 2005-2011. Her background includes an MBA in finance from Columbia University and a 30-year…
Retreat Leader

Tonja Snyder

Tonja Snyder, PhD began Tai Chi and a soft style martial art in 2009 to help her balance and coordination negatively impacted by Multiple Sclerosis. She earned a 1st degree Black Belt and Instructor Certification in Kajukenbo Tum Pai – a soft style kung fu that emphasizes internal energy development. She taught Tai Chi and KJKB Tum Pai before COVID.  She has studied and practiced Qigong since 2017 and is a certified instructor in Wuji Hundun Qigong. Tonja has a Master…
Lead Facilitator, Healing of Memories

Sheila Laughton

Sheila Laughton (USAF, Ret.) was a career Intelligence and Force Management officer who served from the Vietnam Era to 2000. She deployed to Saudi Arabia for the first Gulf War. After her military retirement, Sheila founded Welcome Home for veterans of all eras and their families, at the Loyola Spirituality Center in Minnesota. This unique program addressed challenging reintegration issues such as trauma, moral injury, life purpose, from a spiritual perspective. She has worked with men and women who have experienced or witnessed trauma…
Lead Facilitator, Healing of Memories
Lori Rubenstein is retreat leader for Healing of Memories at Spirit in the Desert

Lori Rubenstein

After starting her career as a successful family law attorney, Lori Rubenstein, JD, PCC, came to the understanding that the well-being of divorced families was clearly not the task of the legal system. She realized that she was like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole as a divorce attorney. Instead, she chose to follow her own mission – empowering people to heal from their relationship wounds, eventually becoming a certified coach. While seeking that goal, she learned…
Retreat Leader

Joyce Rupp

Joyce Rupp, OSM, is world renowned for her work as a writer, spiritual midwife, international retreat leader, and conference speaker. She is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Boundless Compassion, Praying Our Goodbyes, The Door, and Fragments of Your Ancient Name. Her book on aging, Fly While You Still Have Wings, is among her publications earning an award in spirituality from the Catholic Press Association. Joyce is a member of the Servite (Servants of Mary) community, and founder of the Boundless Compassion network of programs, retreats,…
Spirited Book Club, Retreat Facilitator
Sheri Brown

Sheri Brown

Sheri Brown is a retired special education teacher, news reporter, and video producer who has written liturgy, poems, and reflections for nearly 15 years. Her writing has been described as “sometimes raw but always real,” and as a “fresh perspective on old words”. Her writings, when she writes, are distributed to an email group under the heading, From the Edge of the Inside. (The reason for that obtuse self-descriptor became clear when she learned she is a healthy 4 during an…
Retreat Leader
Andrea Arey

Andrea Arey

Andrea Arey is a regional representative for Portico Benefit Services, serving Regions 1 and 2. As a regional representative, Andrea’s position provides sponsors and members with information, education, and support to those who serve in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and other faith based organizations. Andrea encourages wellness in all aspects of the Wholeness Wheel and looks for opportunities to teach and assist those she serves in leading healthy lives and achieving financial security. Andrea has an extensive…
Retreat Leader – Wellness
Tammy Devine is leader of the Leading Well Learning Retreat at Spirit in the Desert

Tammy Devine

Fostering wellness and healing is a passion and call for Tammy Devine, Principal of Devine Coaching. From nursing, to parish nursing, to health and wellness ministry, she has helped foster health, healing, and wholeness in the lives of God’s people. Tammy has a Masters in Leadership from Luther Theological Seminary, and she is a Lutheran Deacon.  She has served as the director of wellness for a long-term care facility, and until recently was the Wellness Manager for Portico Benefit Services,…
Retreat Leader
Gordon Peterson is leader of the Family Systems + Critical Thinking Retreat at Spirit in the Desert

Gordon Peterson

[Rev. Dr.] Gordon Peterson,  a retired ELCA pastor and an Adjunct College Professor, teaches Critical Thinking and Non-Profit Management. Prior to his retirement he served as Assistant to the Bishop in two ELCA synods, was Executive Director of a nonprofit organization, a parish pastor, and a mission developer.  His life-long educational pursuits include certification in the area of Civil and Domestic Mediation, Coaching for Excellence, Nonprofit Fundraising and several years of system’s study at the Center for Family Process in…