The Rev. Br. Mark Gregory D’Alessio
The Rev. Br. Mark Gregory D’Alessio, CFC is a Franciscan friar in the new religious society of the Companions of Francis and Clare. He’s also an interspiritual Christian priest, spiritual director, chaplain, retreat leader, author, and past President and Executive Director of the Psychotherapy & Spirituality Institute, which draws together the inspiration of the church with the wisdom of psychological care.
A graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance, he is now a leader, lifetime colleague, and faculty member. He’s also a faculty member at All Faiths Seminary International for the training of interfaith ministers. As a Franciscan, he’s committed to serving those who are sidelined and at risk. A long-time seeker and practitioner of spiritual wisdom, he’s initiated into multiple spiritual lineages, both East (Buddhist) and West (Christian); does his best to affirm the Christian Wisdom tradition within a wider inter-spiritual framework; and, looks to God’s science and spiritual heroes (such as Thích Nhat Hanh and Francis and Clare of Assisi) as sources of inspiration and hope.
Currently, Br. Mark lives on Long Island and serves as a crisis counselor and program coordinator at a shelter for men and women who are homeless and as a chaplain at a residential treatment center and school for children with learning and emotional disabilities. Moving to Long Island, he founded the Franciscan Circle, a progressive, interfaith gathering of clergy and lay people who seek to journey in mind and heart with the witness and wisdom of the Saints of Assisi, Francis and Clare. The Circle is dedicated to developing leaders for thoughtful social action and spiritual care.
The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless awarded Br. Mark with their “Unsung Hero” Award last year.
Rev. Dr. Nancy L. Davis LMSW, DD
As a Psychotherapist, Nancy Davis, has been deeply engaged in the transformative process of empowering individuals and couples, to create the life they are inspired to experience, for four decades. As a young dedicated Christian, she worked for Child Evangelism her senior year in High School and attended Moody Bible Institute her first year of college (where she discovered Jesus Christ was more liberal than she was). Her second year of college she attended a teacher’s college, where she became the women’s leader of Campus Crusade for Christ. After college, she worked in the inner city of Chicago, as the Director of Casework and Family Services, for the Salvation Army, where she had a case load of 3000 people. After earning enough money to return to graduate school, she was graduated from Michigan State University with a Master’s in Clinical Social Work. She experienced a ‘dark night of the soul’ when she realized she was a lesbian. Eventually, she came to realize the gift of this realization, as she released the condemnation of fundamentalism and embraced the loving inclusion of God’s Love for all.
After working in Community Mental Health, she established a private practice in Ann Arbor, MI. Because of her love for working with groups, she was given the opportunity to teach group process and gender issues in the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Michigan. She was also invited to work with the Michigan branch of the International Quaker Organization called the American Friends Service Committee, which focused on justice issues. Eventually she was also selected to work with the American Friends Great Lake Region Program Committee, which oversees the programs in the Great Lakes Region of the mid-west. Finally, she was asked to become the Chair of the Inclusive Justice Program in Michigan, which worked together with faith communities to provide training and advocacy for justice issues for the LGBTQ communities.
Eventually, she was brought back to a focus on spiritual growth through A Course in Miracles. She entered All Faiths Seminary International with a focus on A Course in Miracles. Her doctoral dissertation was, ‘The Anatomy and Alchemy of Awareness, The Inner Journey to Remembering the Mind of God According to A Course in Miracles. She received her Doctor of Divinity in 2018. She facilitates several Course classes on-line and in her church. She also gives presentations on the teachings of the Course.
Nancy contributes a column to Miracles Magazine called ‘Notes from Nancy’ as well as writing for her church’s publication called Spirit and Truth. She is the author of ‘True Love 101 Guide to Discovering, Creating and Sustaining True Love’ which can be purchased through www.amazon.com. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Henry Grayson, Ph.D.
Dr. Grayson did a graduate degree in theology at Emory University before doing his doctoral work in psychology at Boston University to become a psychologist. He then did four years of postgraduate training in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in New York City while teaching in the City University of New York as a tenured professor. He resigned from the university to found and direct the National Institute for the Psychotherapies, now a leading postgraduate training institute for psychotherapists in New York. He founded the Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy and put on several of the first conferences on the east coast on spirituality and psychotherapy. He has studied most of the major psychotherapies and teaching his form of psychotherapy integration widely across the U.S. and abroad. He is the author of: Mindful Loving; The New Physics of Love; Use Your Body to Heal Your Mind; Your Power to Heal (his most recent book); Three Psychotherapies: A Clinical Comparison, Short Term Approaches to Psychotherapy, and Changing Approaches to Psychotherapy.
-Oakland University, M.A.T. Education
-Oakland University, B.A. Education, Education
Volunteer: Education/Diversity/Technology Advisory Committees, N. Oakland County Bd of Realtors; Teacher and Library/Media Specialist/Teacher, 39 years; West Bloomfield Public Schools, W. B. Michigan; Cofounded the Magnet Program for Gifted/Talented Students Gr 3-5; Awarded the “Library/Media Technology of the Year” national recognition by the American Library Association & American Association School Librarians Community Service:
Spiritual Journey: born and raised Christian, Methodist; learned of and became a Baha’i while in college in 1968.
Service projects have included: Race Amity Forum of Detroit Metro, with monthly programs; co-founder; Community Development Teacher/Facilitator with Ruhi curriculum; Assistant to the Auxilliary Board; Independence Township Baha’i Group -Chairman; Area Teaching Committee member, Oakland County, Michigan; Assembly Development Facilitator; Taught Sunday school and summer family camps; Elected to the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Highland Park, Michigan
Favorite Scriptures: “The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship.’
“To be a Baha’i simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood.”
Rev. Dr. John Krysko
Rev. Dr. John Krysko was ordained as an interfaith minister by the Fellowship of the Inner Light in 1981. His interest in cross-tradition, cross-cultural, inter-religious approaches to Truth and Enlightenment began as undergraduate at Trinity College, Hartford. He combined a degree in Psychology with Philosophy and Religion with a comparison of eastern and western approaches to self-actualization. His conclusion is that Eastern transcendent approaches needed to be married to the more practical and scientific and personal approaches of the West. These interests and studies led to teaching in these areas at such venues as Esalen Institute, the Open Center of NYC, Wainwright House, Sand Diego State and more. It also led to his studying at All Faiths Seminary International and receiving both a Masters and Doctorate (2015 and 2016). The final piece of his studies was accomplished in 2018 when he, after 7 years of study and practice, was initiated as a Kriyaban in Kriya Yoga under the aegis of the Self-Realization Fellowship, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda. Rev. John has also been a board member of the Interfaith Center of NY for 15 years, as well as pastor of the All-Faiths Grace Church in Westchester, NY.
Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb
The Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb is a self-described interfaith minister who specializes in officiating weddings from varying backgrounds and religions. Rev. Macomb of New York has published a book on interfaith marriages, and has been featured in more than a dozen TV shows, magazines and radio shows, making her one of the most popular NYC wedding ministers.
Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb has reached out to couples from all walks of life. She is the leading interfaith ministers in NYC. If you’re planning a wedding in NYC, and are looking for a caring individual who has officiated weddings from a wide variety of cultures, religions and backgrounds in the past, then the Rev. Macomb of New York might be exactly what you’re looking for. Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb carefully plans the ceremony to fit you and your partner’s wishes, and helps to make your special day truly yours.
Rev. Janice Matturro
Janice Matturro, a member in good standing with the National Guild of Hypnotists since 1994, is the owner of The Inner Workshop Hypnosis, LLC, specializing in self-directed motivational and success strategies for personal success – serving both adults and children.
Janice has maintained an integrative practice of hypnotism, incorporating many of her certifications in the fields of health and human consciousness, including the following specialties: Certified Consulting Hypnotist and Certified Hypnosis Trainer; Certified NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer; Certified Health Coach; Certified Dream Teacher; Certified Reiki/Master Trainer; Certified Charisma Specialist, and more.
Janice is a graduate of The New Seminary and The International Institute of Integral Human Sciences’ advanced degree program. In association with the International Institute of Integral Human Sciences, The Open International University for Complementary Medicines awarded Janice a Ph.D. for her alternative studies in World Religions, Psychic and Spiritual Sciences, and Pastoral Studies in Therapeutic Counseling and Interfaith Ministries.
You can contact Janice at her website: www.theinnerworkshophypnosis.com
Rev. William McBride
Bill McBride is an interfaith minister ordained for the Catholic priesthood in 1982. He founded the Jewish-Chrisian Dialogue at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin with interfaith pioneer, Sister Marie Stephen “Rabbi Stevie” Reges. In 1994, he received a scholarship to study the rabbinic mind at Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago, Illinois. Along with his brother, Tom, a psychologist, he developed a process of biblical and literary therapy called Primary Concern Therapy. They highlighted a national conference on bibliotherary with a workshop entitled, “Coordinating The Myths We Live By.” In 1996, on his way to a 5 to 10 year mission in Taiwan, he met Jewish Cantor, Irene Failenbogen. Their love story has been creatively told (words by Bill and music by Irene) in the musical, “Oy Father.” Both Bill and Irene were ordained interfaith ministers in 2001 by Rabbi Joseph Gerberman through instruction at All Faiths Seminary. He currently serves as co-director with Irene of the Interfaith Community of Long Island Religious Education Program on the Multi-faith Campus in Brookville.
Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki
Rev. Nakagaki was ordained in 1980 at the Nishi Honganji Temple in Kyoto, Japan. In 1985, he was sent to the US as an overseas minister, serving first with at the Seattle Buddhist Church, (1985-1989), the Parlier Buddhist Church (1989-1994), and the New York Buddhist Church (1994-2010).
Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, D. Min. is a Buddhist priest, ordained in the 750-year-old Jodoshinshu tradition of Japanese Buddhism. He is a President/Founder of newly established non-profit organization, Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York, Ltd. He is an executive officer, and former President of the Buddhist Council of New York. Rev Nakagaki is a Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, Nagasaki Peace Correspondent, & NYC Police Department Clergy Liaison.Since 1994, Rev. Nakagaki has organized an Interfaith Peace event to commemorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. He organized the annual 9-11 WTC Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremony from 2002-2011.
He is the author of (Japanese): “No Worry, No Hurry, Eat Curry: New York Bozu Indo o Aruku” (A Buddhist Monk Walks in India, published by Gendai Shokan, 2003), “Manhattan Bozu Tsurezure Nikki” (Diary of Manhattan Monk, published by Gendai Shokan, June 2010), and “Manji to Hakenkreuz” (Svastika and Hook-Cross, published by Gendai Shokan, June 2013). Now, his English book on “The Buddhist Swastika and Hitler’s Cross.” (April 2017), available on Amazon.
Suzanne B. O’Brien RN, creator of Doulagivers International, has been instrumental in creating the End of Life Doula Movement worldwide since it began building momentum nearly a decade ago. She has developed a free training designed for everyone based on her years of experience working with end of life patients as a hospice nurse, oncology nurse and palliative care professional to help make end of life a more positive experience for us all. Suzanne is a founding member of NHPCO’s End of Life Doula Council and a Founding member and former Vice President of NEDA National End of Life Doula Alliance.
Mitchell J. Rabin, M.A., L.AC. holds B.A. in ancient literature from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Antioch-New England Graduate School, Keene, NH. Mitchell graduated from the Summer Latin Institute with advanced graduate training in Latin upon completing college. He graduated from the Tri-State Institute of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in its second graduating class, marking the very beginning of acupuncture being taught in the U.S. He was among the first group of acupuncturists in New York who were not M.D.’s to sit for the NYS exam and become licensed. Mitchell also holds a Certificate of Completion from Eastern Institute of Neuro-linguistic Programming. He further studied hypnotherapy with Paul Lounsbury and Nancy Winston in NYC who both trained with and were certified by the internationally-renowned founder of hypnotherapy, Dr. Milton Erickson in Tucson, AZ. Mitchell has also been a student of theater at Bard, psychodrama and movement & music therapy at the Institute of Sociotherapy.
Mitchell has also studied live-blood cell microscopy, herbs, nutrition, holistic practices and mind-body practices such as Qi-Gong, Alexander Technique and T’ai-Chi Chuan. In the 1990’s, Mitchell helped to found several companies involved in energy-efficiency technologies and green, social enterprise businesses. He has also been a consultant to CEO’s of several start-up companies.
Mitchell has been in private practice based on NYC since 1980, seeing individuals, couples and families, with a specialty in couples coaching and counseling. He has had clients on several continents, doing consultations via by phone and on skype. In his work in Stress Management, Mitchell uses a bio-feedback software program called The LIFE System to help resolve imbalances in the body and mind, as well as between business partners, marriage partners and families. Mitchell has been leading workshops in Therapeutic Theater, Stress Management, Journaling as a Spiritual Discipline, Qi-Gong & Health, and a teacher running retreats since 2004 in NY, Sedona, AZ., Ashland, OR and Winston-Salem, NC.
In 1989, he founded and was Director of the Center for Creative Well-Being, a popular Stress Reduction Center in NY (1989-1993) using floatation tanks and other relaxation and performance-enhancing modalities. Mitchell was also a pioneer in the use of a sophisticated quantum-level of bio-feedback in the 1990’s, which he uses to this day in stress management sessions with his clients.
An international speaker and workshop leader, Mitchell is also producer and host of A Better World Radio & TV, both based in NYC, which is a forum for education, upliftment and inspiration. Mitchell has given talks in Holland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, moderated panels and MC’d conferences in Holland as well as different parts of the U.S. Mitchell is known and enjoyed by many from his work with them in a consulting capacity, from his teaching over the decades and from his hosting the popular Manhattan-based Cable TV interview show on weekly since 1993 and A Better World Radio originally on Progressive Radio Network and currently on Blog Talk Radio since 2006.
Mitchell has been teaching holistic stress management/conflict resolution and meditation workshops since 1990 with radio celebrity, nutritionist and researcher Dr.Gary Null. He has been an expert speaker in about half dozen of Gary’s PBS documentaries produced since the mid-90’s up to the present. Some of the other experts in these documentaries have been Dr. Bruce Lipton, Debbie Ford, Dr. Henry Grayson, Chris Hedges and many others.
Mitchell facilitates A Better World workshops in NYC, L.I. and Chicago, in which energy and stress management techniques, communications and group process helps its participants clear generationally-held conflicts and let go of issues holding them back for years. Role-play, therapeutic theater and working with the individuals or couples in the group, helps them go forward in their lives.
He has also served or serves on the Advisory Boards of Beneveda Medical Healing Center in Beverly Hills, the Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy, NYC, The Source of Synergy Foundation, Vice-President of the Board of Directors of FIONS, NY (Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences), and the All-Faiths Seminary, NYC.
In the environmental and business worlds, Mitchell is on the Advisory Boards of the World Water Rescue Foundation in NYC and KLD Energy Technologies, Austin, Texas. He is also a consultant and partner in Eco-Opportunity Advisors, Inc., Washington, DC.
A published author, he has written chapters in several books: The Code: Your Access to Fulfillment & Abundance for Everything In Life, Deeksha: Fire From Heaven and more recently, a re-publication of a book originally co-anthologized by Jack Canfield and Jacqueline Miller called Heart at Work. He is now at work completing his own book called Sacred Stewardship: Awakening the Soul to Action. This is largely about the human relationship to the planet, Gaia and eco-psychology & spirituality. Mitchell writes for the Huffington Post, invited by its founder, Arianna Huffington. He also blogs periodically for Natural News and other publications, in addition to writing his own weekly A Better World Newsletter.
In 1993, Mitchell founded A Better World, a media and promotions company whose website is www.abetterworld.tv. Mitchell has been hosting and producing A Better World TV & Radio since 1993 and 2006 respectively. He has founded a non-profit, 501 (c) 3, A Better World Foundation Unlimited, of which he is President and CEO.
Denise Scotto, Esq.
City and NY State on the topic of human trafficking as well as promoting a culture of peace and non-violence.As a UN staff member in NY Headquarters, she worked on issues to reform the internal system of justice, then, in the Department for Economic & Social Affairs formulating policy to advance law, good governance and human rights. Denise has held leadership positions in the UN community including: the UNSRC Enlightenment Society, the Values Caucus at the UN, the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values & Global Concerns, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, the International Federation of Women in Legal Careers, the International Federation of Women Lawyers, the UNA-USA New York City Chapter, Bridges of Hope Project, the Source of Synergy Foundation. Denise developed “mindful social justice” which additionally serves the legal profession through her 20+ years of meditation and her connection with diverse yoga masters & spiritual leaders.
Dr. Brenda Shoshanna
Brenda Eshin Shoshanna is a psychologist, author, speaker and long term Zen practitioner. She is the author of Zen and the Art of Falling in Love, Zen Miracles (Finding Peace In An Insane World), Just Grab The Dust Rag, (Confessions of A Deluded Zen Student Who Never Learned A Thing), and many other books.
Along with teaching at various universities and presenting workshops, Brenda offered a monthly talk for eight years on Zen and Psychology at the Zen Studies Society, NYC, where she trained for over thirty years. The focus of her work has always been on integrating practice with our everyday lives. Presently, Brenda offers on going talks and encouragement for Morningstar Zendo, – Inisfada Zen, led by Kenney Roshi.
Brenda’s work extends an invitation to live and be all that you are. Rather than view life as a problem to be solved, we look at it as an adventure to be lived. Offering many practical guidelines and unique ways of interacting with people and situations, this work opens a doorway into a life of fulfillment, growth and joy. She has offered over five hundred talks and workshops on personal, psychological and spiritual development and experiencing authentic peace of mind.
Rev. Amy Torres
Amy Torres is a well-loved spiritual teacher, author, and retired Gestalt psychotherapist. She has helped countless people regain their lives through a process she terms “unravelization” – safely structuring meltdowns, temper tantrums and nervous breakdowns for repressed and imploding adults desperately in need of release. The idea is that by unraveling and falling apart we encounter new psychological terrain in which fresh realizations and breakthroughs can arise. Unravelization evokes a dynamic process of healing. You are brought to a state that ACIM calls “a clean slate.” Here, transformation occurs. Truths are revealed. Peace and acceptance is possible. Love is felt to be What You Are. Motivation to reclaim one’s life is renewed.
Amy’s background as a Gestalt psychotherapist, with training in Wilhelm Reich’s bodywork, Ruella Frank’s somatic infant development, Puran and Susanna Bair ‘s heart rhythm meditation work, and as a yoga instructor, makes her uniquely qualified to take an experiential approach to A Course in Miracles. This means she can help you experience the Course, actually feeling the results of its practices in your breath, heart, muscles, cells — throughout your entire body. You will walk the world as a Light body, and feel light-hearted and enlightened in the process.
She has also developed the Language of Love, Harmony & Beauty©, which is a form of emotionally responsible communication, conflict negotiation, and a way of “undoing” our identification with the ego. She works with individuals and groups, teaching emotional intelligence and communication skills.
Reverend Torres was guided to formal ministry training and was ordained by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in 2008. She considers herself “an undercover minister” meaning that her work is to embody Love and Light and allow her Presence to heal all within her sphere, often without mentioning God, or even speaking a word.
Amy was led to A Course in Miracles by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1997 and received shaktipat from Jesus in 1998 (see https://facebook.com/ACIMYoga). Her work is a synthesis of many teachings, ancient and contemporary. The result is an exploration and discovery of who you really are, which naturally results in miracles of love, peace, purpose and joy.
Her book, Sweet Dreams of Awakening, is available at www.amazon.com. Her e-course, Workin’ the Workbook, is a rich companion to your ACIM Workbook practice. Amy’s Blog has many essays and articles on A Course in Miracles. She works with people nationally and internationally via phone, Zoom and Skype. To contact her, email email@example.com.