Retreat Leaders

Retreat Leaders

Spiritual Companion, Retreat Leader

Sue Palmer

Sue is a Spiritual Companion/Director, trained and certified through John Carroll University’s Ignatian Spirituality Institute, where she also received training in leading Silent Retreats. She has an MS in Mental Health & Wellness with an emphasis in Grief & Bereavement and has a heart for those experiencing the many griefs and losses that a life well-lived brings. Sue has experience as a Stephen Minister, a hospital Spiritual Care Aid, a divorce support group leader, and a hospice volunteer. Her passions…
Retreat Leader

Mary Delaney, PhD

Mary Delaney, Ph.D. is a licensed Psychologist with over 30 years of experience as a Psychotherapist in private practice. She is a practical intuitive specializing in teaching clients how to listen to and apply their intuition and inner guidance. Mary has taught graduate classes at Arizona State University, been published in the Journal of Psychotherapy, and lectured nationally on a variety of topics which focus on healing the body, mind and spirit. She is co-author of the children’s book “Moose,…
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

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…
Retreat Leader

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 renown for her work as a writer, spiritual midwife, international retreat leader, and conference speaker. She is the author of numerous bestselling books, including 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 the co-director of the Institute of Compassionate Presence (ICP). She lives…
Retreat Leader

Sheri Brown

Sheri Brown is a retired special education teacher, news reporter, and video producer who has written liturgy, poems, and reflections on scripture for over a decade. Her writings, sent to an email distribution list under the heading, “from the edge of the inside,” reflect both intimate realities and universal truths. Building a blog-site is in progress, significantly delayed by her technological shortcomings. She lives in the desert plateau area near Prescott, AZ, with her spouse, ELCA pastor Kirk Anderson (retired),…
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. 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 currently she is the Wellness Manager for Portico Benefits Services, a ministry of the…
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…
Retreat Leader

Diane Jacobson

Dr. Diane Jacobson is professor emerita of Old Testament at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, MN where she taught from 1982-2010.  She also served as director of the Book of Faith Initiative for the ELCA from 2008-2015. She is a rostered deacon of the ELCA. Jacobson has been a frequent speaker throughout the Church, including the 2011 and 2013 Churchwide Assemblies, the LWF 50th Anniversary Assembly in Hong Kong, and numerous synodical assemblies, rostered leaders gatherings, and churchwide consultations. Dr. Jacobson…
Retreat Leader
Michael Kerr is leader of the Family Systems + Critical Thinking Retreat at Spirit in the Desert

Michael Kerr

Michael Kerr is is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA).  He served three installed pastorates and seventeen assignments as an intentional interim pastor. He has been working with Family Systems Theory since the early 1990s. He is a 25-year veteran of the ongoing seminar by the Center for Family Process in Bethesda, MD and a graduate of the 4-year ELCA Systems Academy training program. He is married to Dayna, and together they have two grown sons. Together with Gordon Peterson,…