Randy Beard is a playwright, journalist, and memoirist who lives in Minneapolis. His play, Beyond the Rainbow, the life story of Judy Garland, has been presented in more than twenty cities. He has written for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, the Mpls St Paul magazine and he is a supporter of Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, Arizona.
Asked why he is so impressed with what is happening at Spirit in the Desert, he said, “It offers everyone radical hospitality that heals the world one person at a time. It is a builder of bridges, connecting people of various backgrounds from all over the U.S. and many countries.”
The foundation of Randy’s commitment to Spirit in the Desert is his friendship and confidence in Richard Andersen, Spirit in the Desert’s Executive Director. Their friendship goes back to 1977 when Randy was a student at Gustavus Adolphus College, and Richard was assisting the college chaplain as a seminary intern. Over the years, they have worked together supporting out reach ministries to people who are marginalized, especially a GLBT ministry, and both have supported the development of the ARC Retreat Center near Minneapolis.
Randy says his motivation for giving to Spirit in the Desert is his desire to be a part of Spirit’s way of touching lives with healing and reconciliation. He also wants to support the retreat center’s vision of expanding the number of interdenominational, religious, and non-religious groups it serves. He said, “The Healing of Memories retreat for veterans is an outstanding example of outreach to people who are suffering psychologically and spiritually and who can be helped.”
In addition to supporting Spirit in the Desert, Randy’s stewardship includes St. Paul – Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul, his church home for thirty-five years where he is currently serving as the congregations’ president. The church in St. Paul and the retreat center in Carefree are beneficiaries of Randy’s values and stewardship.