Tuesday, June 17, 2008

board of directors

art by permission

I am pleased...and honored...to announce the founding board of directors for Spirit First. Each member of this board is a gift to my life and a gift to the organization I seek to create. Each one is become a gracious part in the birthing of a place of peace and healing, a sanctuary called Spirit First. I am grateful for so beautiful a gift as these whom I call friends:

Carol Thornton

Carol Thornton has a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. She received clinical training at Valley Community Clinic in Southern California and led substance abuse recovery programs for four years. She has been a student of metaphysics and various spiritual disciplines for 20 years and is a mindfulness practitioner in the tradition of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh and Buddhist nun Pema Chodron.

Steve Caplan

Steve Caplan is a freelance writer in the Washington, D.C., area. The former publisher of Natural Awakenings Magazine, Mr. Caplan has a background that includes many years in media advertising sales. His spiritual beliefs have been informed by a cultural awareness of Judaism and a personal interest in Eastern thought and religion, which began for him as a teenager in the 1960s. His private practices include Buddhist studies, meditation, and sojourns to sites of contemplation such as Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, New York. Mr. Caplan believes tolerance and respect for all people regardless of race, religion, spirituality, gender, sexuality, and age are vital to human harmony and peace.

Stefan Popescu

Stefan Popescu is IT Director at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. Prior to technological work, he served as advisor and speechwriter in the political world. Mr. Popescu has a Bachelor of Science in technological engineering and a Masters Degree in political science.

Mr. Popescu is a member of the Christian Orthodox Church. Within the Orthodox Church he is discovering a truth his grandfather gave him when he was a child, that “once you have tasted the richness of spiritual life, nothing else will satisfy.”

Ervin C. Owens

Ervin Owens is founder and chief executive of the Cabel Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping underserved youth achieve financial literacy. After pursuing a career offering financial advice to businesses and individuals, Mr. Owens began his current work with inner-city youth. By teaching fiscal awareness and financial strategies, he empowers students to invest in their futures, set higher goals for themselves, promote social change, and improve their communities. Ervin Owens is financial advisor for Spirit First.

Heather Woods

Heather Woods earned her Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from McDaniel College and her J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a member of the D.C. Bar. Ms. Woods is legal advisor for Spirit First.

Thomas Maxwell

Tom Maxwell serves as a Eucharistic Minister for the Catholic Church; has been a Sufi Initiate engaged in contemplative practice for over 20 years; and has lived, studied, and practiced with Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Sufis, and Christians. He leads interfaith contemplative spiritual dance groups (Dances of Universal Peace) and contemplative prayer groups for Christians.

Since receiving his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland in 1988, Mr. Maxwell has been engaged in interdisciplinary research focusing on facilitating understanding and wise stewardship of complex evolving earth systems. This program fosters transcendence of disciplinary and cultural boundaries, as well as an integration of scientific and spiritual modes of viewing, understanding, and valuing the world. His technical writings include publications on systems theories of evolution and collaborative modeling of complex ecological economic systems. His philosophical publications focus on interfacing science and spirituality to foster the emergence of an integral worldview that transcends the cultural and religious differences that breed conflict and division. Mr. Maxwell is currently working on his first book publication focusing on integral spirituality as a path to transcending the apparent doctrinal conflicts that divide the world’s great religions.

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