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45 South West Street, Carlisle PA 17013

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Center Faculty

Laura Beach1

Laura Baber -


Laura is an ordained deacon in the Susquehanna Conference-UMC. She is the Director and Founder of Equipping Lydia, where she guides individuals and groups through the process of spiritual formation. She journeys with others as they explore their understanding of God’s love, healing and restoration.


She received her M.Div. from  Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky; a B.A in English Literature from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and completed the Ministry of Spiritual Direction Program through the Center for Spiritual Formation.


She is a member of the Susquehanna Conference and an Affiliate Member of the Kentucky Conference-UMC.

Alison Grove

Alison Grove - 


Alison is an ordained elder in the Susquehanna Conference-UMC, currently serving in Hancock NY. Previously, she served churches in Hemlock Grove/ Greentown/Sterling, Hallam, Curwensville, Millersburg and Sugar Creek, all in the Susquehanna Conference.


Alison is passionate about helping people grow in their spiritual journey of faith and the connection between church and community. Her philosophy for ministry follows the model found in Acts 6: being devout in prayer, engaging in service for the proclamation of the Word, equipping the congregation for ministry, and developing leadership through guidance and service.


Alison received her M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore KY in 2000, her Instructional I Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education from Lycoming College, and a B.A in Speech Communications and Broadcasting from Mansfield University in 1984.

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Barbara Lemmel -


Barbara is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.  She the coordinator of the New England Conference Parish Consultants, and works with corporate clients through the Coaching Center of Vermont.


Barbara studied conflict mediation and family systems theory with the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center in Chicago and with the Center for Pastoral Effectiveness in New Orleans. In 2003, she developed Tending the Fire, reaching more than 300 pastors, five judicatories and several churches. She has served congregations in Vermont and upstate New York. As Troy Conference Minister, she facilitated conference re-structuring and offered programming and spiritual guidance to churches and pastors.


Barbara lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. She is committed to learning that is transformational and fun.

Barb Lemmel

Kimberly Preske -


Kimberly received her Master of Social Work (MSW) from Temple University(2014) and a B.S. in Environmental Forest Biology from the State University of New York (1992). She is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW).


She blends her personal experience as an adult school shooting survivor with her professional training as a social worker and spiritual director.  In 2008 she completed the Center for Spiritual Formation’s Ministry for Spiritual Direction. Increasing awareness and providing pre education about school disaster planning, trauma, self-care and mental health are her primary focus.


Kimberly has practiced as an outpatient and school based outpatient therapist. She is the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Pennsylvania York County.

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Lois Shellrude -


Lois Shellrude serves as pastor of Community Life at Bedford Community Church, Bedford Hills, NY where she oversees all Adult Ministries including Bible and Spiritual Formation electives, recovery programs, small groups, retreats and seminars, and outreach projects.


Lois’ studies include Music Education, Music Therapy, Crisis and Abuse Counseling, Biblical Studies, Spiritual Direction, and the MBTI. She has taught K-12 vocal and instrumental music in the public schools, and has served throughout her adult life in pastoral or music ministry on the staff of churches in Colorado, Scotland, the Philippines, and NY.


Lois’ eclectic nature includes love of family, music, travel, animals, nature, reading, poetry, and studying people and personality.  Since 2000, Lois and her husband, Glen, have lived in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley surrounded by Glen's rose garden.

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Bill Stewart -


Bill has served as a District Lay Speaker and is an Associate of Holy Cross Monastery in West Park NY.


Bill is a 1979 graduate of the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park NY and for many years worked in  Business Dining. Since 1997 has worked in full time food service ministry at The Tuscarora Inn, a large Christian conference center in Mt Bethel PA, that is owned by the Lutheran Brethren Church.


Bill grew up with his wife Peggy, attending grade school , church and confirmation together. They were married in the church where they grew up in 1986,and moved to the Poconos. They  have three grown children.

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Bob Stoudt -


Bob retired from pastoral ministry  in the United Church of Christ in 2014. He served as Pastor of the Penbrook United Church of Christ, Harrisburg for over 40 years.


Bob received a B.S. in Secondary Education with a Major in English from Bloomsburg University (1970); an M. Div. from Lancaster Theological Seminary (1973); a D.Min. from Lancaster Theological Seminary (1979), with an emphasis in the area of spirituality. His doctoral project was the development and testing of an original retreat model by which to foster spiritual growth; M.S. in Community Counseling, Shippensburg University (1997).


He also served private clients as a Board certified and licensed Professional Counselor in the State of PA; and completed a Jungian-oriented training program for Spiritual Guides (1993), at the Guild for Spiritual Guidance, Rye, New York.

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Cynthia Willis -


Cynthia oversees and coordinates visitation for limited activity members of Wesley UMC, Bloomsburg PA.  She maintains accurate listings of home bound members; initiates personal contact with members as needed; coordinates ministry or regular visitation; recruits, trains, schedules volunteers; provides continual updates to pastors on emerging needs; and coordinates lay/clergy shared home communion ministry.


She also directs choirs ranging in age from 3 through teen, and prepares two worship services for local nursing home residents each month.


She has completed training for NODA (No One Dies Alone), a volunteer program at Geisinger Hospital in Danville, PA and has worked in this position as a volunteer. Cynthia is also a certified Safe Sanctuary Trainer for SUSUMC.


Cynthia  studied at Western Michigan University, Goshen College, and Drake University in Florence, Italy. She has worked as a graphic artist, portrait photographer, manager, and district training manager.

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Russell Hart, Center Director Emeritus -


Russell has been a ministerial member of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church for over fifty years, having served parishes in Three Springs, Altoona, Harrisburg and Red Lion, PA.  In 1995 he became Center Director of the Center For Spiritual Formation, retiring in 2017.


He received a Ph. B. from the University of North Dakota in 1966, an M. Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary, in 1970 and a D. Min. from United Theological Seminary in 1979. In 1984 he received a call to become an iconographer and in 1991 received instruction at l’Ecole Russe de St. Georges in Meudon, France.

His publications include The Icon Through Western Eyes, Crossing The Border:  An Introduction to the Practice of Christian Mysticism, and Communing With The Saints, from Templegate Publishers, and the Spanish language edition of the latter entitled En Comunion Con Los Santos,  from Neo Person Publishers.  He also co-authored Reclaiming Your Calling:  A Guide for Managers And Supervisors In The Health & Human Service Field, Open Minds Publishers.  He is a contributor to The Upper Room Dictionary of Christian Spiritual Formation, and A Guide to Prayer For All Who Seek God, also by the Upper Room.


Russell directs the Center’s two-year Ministry of Spiritual Direction program, edits The Center Quarterly, and leads retreats and seminars on sustainability and the life of prayer.


Kathy Milans -


Kathy has experience as an elementary educator, teacher trainer, adjunct professor, and has served as Family Resource Director for a major hospital. Along with a B.A. and M.A. in Education, she holds an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary.


Kathy is licensed by the state of Kentucky to provide pastoral counseling and is credentialed as a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor by the American Association of Play Therapy.


Tammy L. Young -


Tammy is a Drug & Alcohol Therapist at CenClear Child Services, Clearfield PA and also a Healthy Relationship Program Coordinator at Children’s Aid Society, Clearfield. She was Corrections Unit Manager at SCI Albion PA for 20 years before retiring in 2010.


Tammy received her B.A. in Psychology (Religion Minor) from Lycoming College, Williamsport, in 1980, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Slippery Rock University of PA in 1983, and an M.A. in Counseling Ministries from Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Delaware OH in 2010.



Ed Zeiders -


Ed retired in 2014 after 50 years of active ministry. In addition to serving several churches in the Susquehanna Conference-UMC, he was a District Superintendent (Wellsboro) and Council Director of the former Central PA Conference; President of United Theological Seminary, Dayton OH; Principal, Dimensions4 LLC: Coaching and Consulting Services;  Stewardship Foundation Consulting Specialist, The Stewardship Foundation of Pennsylvania; and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council, United Theological Seminary. Most recently he was the Principle Preacher at Grace UMC, Hanover, from 2016 to 2017.


He has also served on several General and Jurisdictional agencies, and many ecumenical and community organizations.


He received a BA (Sociology) from Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, in 1970; an M. Div. (Pastoral Theology) from United Theological Seminary, Dayton OH, in 1973; and a D. Min (Religion and Psychology) from Boston University School of Theology, Boston MA, in 1983.


Ed lives in Stewartstown with his son, Eddie, near daughter Chris and her family. Daughter Jody and her family live in Concord NH. He remains active in the Stewartstown United Methodist Church.


Pat Woolever -


Pat spent 32 years as pastor, five of those as a District Superintendent (State College).  In retirement, she served as Harrisburg District's assisting elder and is a graduate  of  The Center's Ministry of Spiritual Direction course.  Pat has offered Pastor's Day Apart for two years, and she is eager to continue to do that work on Orchard Hill.


A lover of God, Pat enjoys partnering with others on their journeys with Him.

John Konieczny (ka-nez'knee)


John currently serves a Conference Lay Leader for the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church and as chair of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Association of Conference Lay Leaders.


He retired in 2016 after nearly 40 years in nonprofit corporation executive and management positions (the majority of which in human resources).  Certified as an MBTI Practitioner, he has been consulting with individuals, work teams and companies on individual and organizational development issues since 2011.


Born in Pittsburgh, PA, John achieved undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.  John recently relocated from the Williamsport, PA area to the Mechanicsburg area with Diane, his wife.  They attend Aldersgate UMC,  Mechanicsburg.

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