Governing Board of Contemplative Outreach
The Governing Board of Contemplative Outreach is humbly entrusted with keeping the vision and mission of Contemplative Outreach as guided by the Holy Spirit. It seeks to uphold the spiritual and service aspects of Contemplative Outreach in harmony with the Contemplative Outreach Vision, Theological Principles and Guidelines for Contemplative Outreach Service.
The Governing Board fulfills this purpose through careful consideration of topics that affect the community of Contemplative Outreach and aims to make its decisions with prayerful discernment and consensus. It serves with the assistance of the Administrator. The Governing Board meets in-person three times per year and twice monthly on teleconferences. Beginning January 2018, minutes of these meetings are available upon request.
If you wish to be in touch with the Governing Board, which actively seeks input, please direct your inquiries to the Contemplative Outreach Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “Governing Board” or call 973.838.3384. Or you may contact any one of the board members individually using their contact information below.
Phil is a commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer and former coordinator for Contemplative Outreach of Chicago. He has attended Thomas Keating’s two Advanced Studies, 16 and 10 days each in an invitation-only monastic setting, spending other weeks in Snowmass as well. He is also a member of Richard Rohr’s Men as Learners and Elders (MALEs), a spiritual director and graduate of Catholic Theological Union. Phil is a father of four. His hobbies include backpacking where he has spent weeks in the wilderness.
Jim McElroy has been practicing Centering Prayer since 1996 and has been a commissioned presenter since 2002. Jim has been on the leadership team of 12-Step Outreach since its formation in 2005 and is especially interested in teaching contemplative practices to the recovery community. He is a former coordinator of St. Louis (USA), is on the Welcoming Prayer Service Team, and is a member of the Living Flame teaching team. Jim spent his career in the insurance industry as an Account Executive. He is passionate about spreading the gift of Contemplative Prayer. He currently lives in St. Louis with his husband, Tim, of 25 years.
Diane Ryan is a commissioned presenter of both the Introductory Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina workshops. She is a Centering Prayer group facilitator and has led one day silent retreats for her group. Diane is a retired physician living in Breckenridge, Colorado, USA. She, her husband and their Great Dane, Bhakti, love outdoor activities . They have three adult children. One of Diane’s passions is learning to play cello since retiring. She has a special interest in the contemplative dimension of other religions and in exploring interspiritual activities.
Patricia Johnson is currently serving on the Board of CO, Ltd. She previously served as a Board member twice before. Recently she served as an interim administrator for Contemplative Outreach for two years, retiring from that position at the end of 2018.
She and her husband, Bob, moved to the Lama Foundation in 1982 and were only there two months before meeting Fr. Thomas Keating who became her teacher. She was the Lama liaison for two Intensive retreats that TK led at Lama in August of 1983 and August of 1984. She also had the privilege and honor in January and February of 1984 to leave the Lama Foundation for three weeks to serve an experimental retreat of nine weeks at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, CO. This extended in-depth time at the monastery led to Bob and her and children Sarah and Matthew moving to Snowmass, CO in the fall of 1984. That began the Snowmass retreats. From 1984 until 2018, Pat was serving and administrating retreats at the monastery and elsewhere. Pat retired from serving retreats in 2019 though she still does “sits and talks” for retreatants at Snowmass. Term expires in 20 20 but can be renewed for 3 years.
Carol is a retired high school teacher living in St. Paul, Minnesota who began practicing Centering Prayer in 1993. She is a Centering Prayer group facilitator and a commissioned presenter of the Centering Prayer Introductory Program. As past co-coordinator of the Minnesota Contemplative Outreach chapter, she continues as a member of the chapter coordinating team. She volunteers with a team offering Centering Prayer at a Minnesota state prison. She has served on the Centering Prayer Introductory Program Service Team and currently is a member of the Chapter Support Service Team. In 2019 she was part or the Contemplative Outreach International Conference Planning Team.
Tom Carr has been practicing Centering Prayer since 1998. He was one of the founding members of the Centering Prayer Group at St. Patrick’s Church in Miami Beach, Florida and he is very active in the various ministries of the parish. He is a corporate attorney with experience in the structured finance industry. Tom has lived all across the US in New York, Tennessee, Connecticut, Michigan, California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He currently resides with his wife and three children in Florida. Tom’s hobbies include CrossFit training and reading about history, spirituality, and management.
As an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) Sharon has served in churches, hospitals, and engaged in reconciliation work as a cross-cultural worker. She has been practicing Centering Prayer since 2012 and has taught and facilitated Centering Prayer at churches. Sharon is a member of the Atlanta Contemplative Outreach Chapter and the chapter coordinating team; currently in the process to be commissioned as a presenter of the introductory Centering Prayer workshop. Sharon co-founded SumTeo with an aim to utilize her training as a spiritual director and an Enneagram teacher to accompany others on their journeys to cultivate unitive and integrate consciousness. Sharon is the Associate Director of Spirituality Programs at the Center Lifelong Learning of Columbia Theological Seminary.
Leslie Geer is a retired career executive admin living in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She is a commissioned presenter of the Introductory Centering Prayer workshop, and group facilitator. As one of the coordinating team members with the Atlanta chapter, she is a contributor to their “Big Sits”, a monthly Centering Prayer event hosting attendees via Zoom. She has also participated in collaboration events with the Chicago, Colorado and the South African Chapters. Leslie is passionate about her “Handbag for Christmas” giving program, which she established in 2015. The program provides gently used handbags and toiletries to local Atlanta agencies and ministries who support women in need.