In Memoriam of our Leader, Friend, and Partner in Ministry…
Friends and family of Spirit In The Desert Retreat Center,
It is with tremendous sadness we share the news that the Reverend Richard E. Andersen, Spirit In The Desert’s Executive Director, passed away on Sunday, June 2, surrounded by friends and family. Richard suffered an acute medical episode several days previous to June 2, and never regained consciousness.
Richard joined Spirit in the fall of 2015 following a national search. He brought an amazing set of experiences and skills to the role including pastoral roles with three Lutheran congregations, his work with the ARC retreat community in Minnesota, management experience with several successful restaurants, and multiple roles leading development and philanthropic efforts. All these skills and experiences were packaged in an individual with boundless energy, unbridled enthusiasm, tremendous gifts for spiritual leadership, and with a passion to be a friend to all. He was to put it simply, the embodiment of the perfect person for the role. Under his leadership, we successfully magnified the mission of Spirit in the Desert to be a holy place where people experience hospitality and renew their calling in the world. He will be sorely missed.
We are blessed with a leadership team and committed staff who are able to continue retreat operations without disruption. We are thankful for their perseverance during this trying and sad time. Richard’s service to the retreat center that so captivated and energized him over the past three years, is now a legacy of hope for Spirit’s future.
In faithful service,
The Board of Directors
Spirit In The Desert Retreat Center