Lorie Conway is the program director for the Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Spiritual Groups and Retreats Class of 2025. Lorie has a passion for deep listening and accompanying others on their spiritual journeys through spiritual companionship, contemplative small groups, and spiritual retreats. Lorie is a graduate of Shalem’s Living in God and Transforming Community programs. Lorie received her certificate in spiritual direction from the Kairos School of Spiritual Formation and holds a M.A. in Religion from Lancaster Theological Seminary and a M.A.S. in Behavioral Management & Human Resources from Johns Hopkins University. Lorie’s spirituality is rooted in the Christ tradition and welcoming of the many paths and unique journeys enfolded within Divine Mystery.

Sarah Anders is Leader of the Wild Earth Spiritual Community (formerly Church of the Wild DC) in metro DC. Ordained as a UCC minister, she has left the institutional church to be part of a movement in re-wilding spirituality. After she received an MTS from Wesley Theological Seminary, she took Shalem’s Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats in 2006-2007. It was there that she found the readings and contemplation that she didn’t receive but yearned for in seminary. Shalem was a formative experience that led her to return to Wesley for an MDiv and ordination. After serving in two progressive and wonderful churches in the area, she “left the building” and has been outdoors ever since. Embodiment is central as she continues working with Cynthia Bourgeault’s Wisdom Way of Knowing, Gurdjieff, and the Wild Church Network.

Greg Cochran is Executive Director at a spiritual wellness non-profit, Well for the Journey, in Lutherville, Maryland. He also is a program/retreat facilitator and a spiritual companion. Greg was Associate Pastor at Woodbrook Baptist Church serving from 1988-2022. He completed the Shalem Institute’s Spiritual Guidance Program (SGP) in 2009 and is currently a SGP and Transforming Community (TCP) staff member. He is also a mentor for The Stewards of Mystery Spiritual Guidance Program Cottonwood, Idaho. Greg is a graduate of Clemson University and Southern Seminary. Greg and his wife, Carole, live in Baltimore. They have two children (26 and 24). Greg is a hiker, photographer, woodworker, and loves being with family – and is always desiring to be open and listening for the invitation of the Spirit.

Gordon Creamer, creator of the Mission Bridge, currently serves as Program Director at Well For The Journey, a spiritual wellness center in Lutherville, MD. Gordon has held leadership roles in healthcare programming and operations since 2001 at various Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, and Hospice communities. He earned an MA in Spiritual & Pastoral Care from Loyola University and an MA in Theology from the Ecumenical Institute of St. Mary’s Seminary & University. Currently, he is a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Ecumenical Institute. Gordon has facilitated numerous retreats, workshops, and small groups that focus on creating opportunities for participants to explore and enhance their spirituality and well-being through various media, and to deepen their contemplative walk in the world. Uplifting the journey of adults, individuals with memory impairment, and members of the LGBTQ+ community is a passion for him, and in the last several years, he has fostered support groups and programs for caregivers and those who are grieving losses. Trained as a spiritual director/companion, end-of-life doula, and Reiki practitioner, Gordon welcomes all in discovering the spiritual life as a means of healing, expanding, and flourishing.

Ann Dean is on the staff of Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Spiritual Groups and Retreats and on the staff of Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership. A nationally known leader for deepening the life of prayer and for developing new structures committed to Earth care and social justice, she is a minister in the ecumenical Church of the Savior and part of their Dayspring Retreat Mission Group.

Jim Hall shares his passion for the earth and contemplative earth awareness on the staff of the Transforming Community program. For years, Jim practiced medicine at an inner-city health clinic associated with the Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He currently lives on their 200-acre retreat farm and helps preserve and restore the land, tend a permaculture food forest and garden, and lead classes, retreats, outings, and liturgies that link faith and ecology.

Kevin Omi is a spiritual director and leader of contemplative practices at the rich and evocative intersection of Christian and Buddhist practices. Kevin received a diploma in the art of spiritual direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of the Transforming Community program and serves on the staff of that program.

Leah Rampy has a background in corporate management and leadership consulting as well as a deep passion for contemplative living and care of the Earth. She has a PhD in Curriculum from Indiana University and is a graduate of our Living in God: Personal Spiritual Deepening and our Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats Programs. She is currently part of our pilgrimage team and a mentor in our young adult program. She is also on the staff of Transforming Community.

Trish Stefanik is co-director of Heart Longings: An Invitation to the Contemplative Path. A graduate of Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Spiritual Groups and Retreats, she also is a part of that program’s leadership team. In addition, she facilitates small groups as part of Shalem’s Group Spiritual Direction program. Trish delights in opening a way for creativity and contemplation. She is resident manager of Overlook Retreat House at Dayspring Retreat Farm in Germantown, MD, and has a passion for the natural world, social justice, simplicity, and silence.

Ostein Truitt recently retired after 20 amazing years serving as the assistant pastor of St. John Baptist Church in Columbia, MD. Prior to her tenure in church ministry, she taught nursing and other healthcare students as a professor of Clinical Microbiology. She earned a Master of Divinity from Howard University School of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary. Her past experience with Shalem includes graduating from its Spiritual Guidance Program and the Transforming Community Program, and she is a former board member. She currently offers individual and group Spiritual Direction, leads Contemplative Spiritual Groups & Retreats and is dedicated to living the contemplative path.

Judy Walsh-Mellett completed Shalem’s Transforming Community program in 2015 and now serves on the staff of this program. She has a long association with Dayspring Silent Retreat Center assisting and leading retreats and serving on the Ember Day team. She hosts Still Place: An Urban Retreat in her Mt. Rainier, Maryland home and garden. She also accompanies individuals in spiritual guidance and is a graduate of the RUAH School of Spiritual Guidance at Richmond Hill.


Our mission is to nurture contemplative living and leadership.


In 2025, Shalem will be a dynamic and inclusive community, empowered by the Spirit, where seekers engage in transformation of themselves, their communities, and the world through spiritual growth, deep connection, and courageous action.