The Numina Center for Spirituality and the Arts is directed and advised by a multi-faceted group of Sonoma County artists, health care practitioners, business owners, spiritual practitioners, theologians, teachers, musicians, and singers.
Our Steering Committee:
- Liza Weaver Brickey, MA
- Bill Fritz
- Kristina Ibarra
- Jon Jackson, M.D.
- Devi Mathieu
- Julie Perkins
- Diane Schoenrock
- The Rev. Judith Stone
- Jade May
Liza Weaver Brickey, MA
Liza Weaver Brickey is the founder of the Sunrise Walkers and host of the Feldenkrais Happy Hour on KOWS-FM, which can be heard on the second and forth Monday of each month at www.kows.fm. Liza has a lifelong dedication to the arts, to the body, and to spirituality. Liza has trained and practiced as a masters level Dance Therapist (1979), and as a Feldenkrais Practitioner (1983), and is now currently on the North American Training Accreditation Board (NATAB) of the Feldenkrais® Guild, and has an ongoing Feldenkrais practice in the Sebastopol area.
Liza has been a member of the Numina Board since 2005. She has studied a variety of different religious traditions, and believes that the body can open doors of deep understanding regarding the common thread between all major spiritual traditions. Over the last 10 years, Liza has served on the Vestry of the Church of the Incarnation, and is a past chair of Numina. She is an experienced and award-winning painter. She currently spearheads the Numina program “Sacred Yoga—Sacred Space” at the Church of the Incarnation.
William (Bill) Fritz
William (Bill) Fritz is originally from a Midwestern farming village of 300 people located on the banks of the Kaskaskia River in Southern Illinois where he attended a 2 room schoolhouse and enjoyed a boyhood, much of which is best described in Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer.” After moving twice to successively larger towns in the same county, he attended high school at Belleville West Township High School in Belleville, IL, where he received various honors and awards for public speaking and debate competitions in the Chicago and St. Louis areas; before attending college for four years at the University of Chicago. There, he studied history and economics and graduated in 1982 with honors, upon completing a senior thesis on Ancient Roman legal history. After traveling the Alaskan Highway and then touring Alaska from Juneau to the Arctic Circle by jeep, before clerking for a law firm to pay for more travel, and then backpacking through France, Germany, Italy and Greece; all while completing a year of graduate business school studies at Arizona State University within the same year; he then earned his law degree from UCLA School of Law in 1986 and in that same year, married Theresa Rodriguez, a fellow law school student who had been born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.
After Theresa graduated in 1987, and after realizing that neither Brooklyn nor a southern Illinois farm would fit both of them together, they explored California and settled upon Santa Rosa for no reason other than wanting to live in Sonoma County, which offered the kind of diverse population, solid mix of both rural and urban, and vibrant arts community that they wanted to share with each other, along with a big variety of family businesses that offered a lot of prospects for future growth and new industries. They each started out as completely inexperienced attorneys, saddled with student loans, in a place where they knew no one. After five years with a local firm, they started their own law office together in 1993, and in 1999, renovated and moved into their own office building, from which they have represented clients from all of the Bay Area counties and beyond. The emphasis of Bill’s law practice has been Business Law, both Transactional and Litigation, Appeals, Business Successor Planning, Unfair Competition, Construction Law, Real Estate, and General Civil Litigation; with a substantial number of bench and jury trials and appellate arguments, and numerous Mediations, and Arbitrations. He has served as a Small Claims Court Judge in Sonoma County and continues to serve as a discovery facilitator for the local Superior Court and as an Arbitrator, Mediator, and Fee Arbitrator for the Sonoma County Bar Association. After practicing law for 29 years, and raising two daughters, who each recently graduated from college in artistic/creative fields; the arts have increasingly become a focal point for him.
His civic involvement includes having served on a variety of volunteer boards, including the Board of Directors for the North Bay Regional Center. He has also served as a president of the Young Lawyers Association, a tutor at the Burbank Elementary School and as a member of the Vestry for the Church of the Incarnation.
His current passions are hydroponic, and, eventually aquaponics farming; new communication technologies; hiking, and, most especially both fiction and non-fiction writing.
Skills: Dramatic, philosophical prose. Technical, legal argument, both written and oral. Positive, win-win style negotiation and mediation skills. Various related software and the internet of things. Years of interest and study of architecture, theater, design and tech applications, outdoors, yoga, future trends and enjoying being around creative people.
Kristina Michelle Ibarra is currently working on her degree in Music at Santa Rosa Junior College. She has been singing for as long as she can remember. Kristina's vocal studies are focused in the Bel-Canto Italian technique and she currently teaches classical voice to teenagers while encouraging body awareness, breath work, self love, and a joy of singing.
While she is a classically trained singer and teacher, she also loves singing jazz, gospel, and anything else that opens the heart and moves the spirit. Kristina believes that music is a beautiful gift to be experienced and shared, to help people to connect, heal, and thrive.
Jon Jackson, M.D.
Dr. Jackson grew up barefoot in Kailua, Hawaii, before it was a State, and likes to say that where he is from is Olomana Mountain. He is a retired physician, with a background in Philosophy, Western Religion, and Jungian Psychology. He is an intuitive introvert who has learned to extrovert in the “real” world. Dr. Jackson believes in developing “spiritual depth” in oneself. He is a great lover of literature, film, radio dramas, old comic books, and a very broad range of music. He has a radio show called “Sound Mind” on KOWS-lp 107.3FM. He and his partner, Liza Brickey, hold a monthly study group in their Sebastopol home focusing on depth psychology.
Devi Mathieu sings medieval, contemporary, and traditional music in the US and Europe. She coaches singers, leads song circles, directs ensembles, and helps those who think they cannot sing discover their voice. She regularly collaborates with her husband, composer and author Allaudin Mathieu, and with string virtuoso and singer Shira Kammen in Trio Ephemeros. Their work is recorded on the Cold Mountain Music label (www.coldmountainmusic.com). Devi also sings with Gradina, a California-based ensemble specializing in traditional Eastern European song and dance.
Devi and Shira have co-directed several programs of medieval music under the auspices of Numina Center for Spirituality and the Arts, including Fresh Water from an Ancient Well, the Music of Hildegard von Bingen, Music for the Black Madonna, Music from the Time of St. Francis, and The Soul’s Flame: Music from Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Devi has been singing and teaching the music of St. Hildegard of Bingen for more than 20 years. She uses the same methods of oral transmission Hildegard used – relaxing, nourishing techniques that lift the spirit and bring out the best in every voice. She guides song gatherings, workshops, and retreats that give singers of all levels the opportunity to sing Hildegard's music as contemplative practice. These evenings, called Through the Ear to the Heart, are sponsored by Numina and take place at Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa CA and Santa Sabina Center in San Rafael CA.
Julie Ann Perkins, Comparative Religion (BA,1980), Psychology (MA, 2012), brings a sense of wonder and curiosity to the kaleidoscope of deep human expereince and artistic expression of the immanent and transcendent Divine. How may we as individuals, businesses and community build a receptive and responsive body, heart and mind, so as to contribute to the spiritual evolution and physical well-being of our humanity and the health of our planet?
Julie is the founder of Empowered-Imagination, a consulting service that offers creative business development strategies from the inside-out. Methods from depth psychology, integral transformative practice and leadership embodiment, blended with years of expereince in corporate and small business development, non-profit marketing, fine art sales and management, are woven to help a person reconnect with the original spark or vision that initiated their business or creative endeavor and bring this forward in new fruitful ways to their clients or prospects.
The insight, solace and inspiration in the metaphor and imagery, song and celebration of the Holy that I have experienced in The Church of the Incarnation, and the many soul-stirring film, music and song events of Numina, started with the gravitas and deep joy in the Easter Vigil Jazz Service and continue to deepen my relationship with Spirit and community. From the John Coltrane opening to the dark vigil in the Easter Service: '"No road is an easy one, but they all go back to God," as Coltrane says in A Love Supreme. "God breathes through us so completely , so gently we hardly feel it . . . yet, it is our everything."
Diane has been a member of The Church of the Incarnation for the past 19 years and has recently begun serving her third term on the vestry. She was privileged to be a member of the group that founded Numina under the leadership of the Rev. Patricia Moore and served on the board for many years.
Professionally Diane was a registered nurse and worked with her husband in his private practice in Santa Rosa. She holds both a Bachelors and Master's degree and has experience in hospital administration.
Diane is an artist who has specialized in wildlife photography and painting and has had one woman shows, with 18 paintings presently hung at the Ancient Oak Cellars in Santa Rosa. Her interest in wildlife has led her on world adventures exploring wild places including seven countries in Africa, Antarctica, and the Arctic.
Diane's other visual art interests include needlepoint and quilting. She has designed and executed various banners and installations to enhance worship at Incarnation. Some of the projects have included group participation. Music is an important part of her life and she has worked to enhance music education in this area through the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Santa Rosa Children's Chorus.
Diane looks forward to once again serving on the Numina Board.
The Rev. Judith Stone
Rev. Judith Stone is Numina's resident theologian. Pastor at Sebastopol United Methodist Church, Judith holds a BA in Art from UC Berkeley, and has been on the arts and spirituality path for quite a long time. She travels extensively, most recently to Bhutan, and is a published poet.
Our Advisory Committee:
- Shepherd Bliss
- The Rev. Terri Hobart
- The Rev. Christy Laborda-Harris
- Benjamin Mertz
- The Rev. Patricia Moore
- Kate Munger
- Angela Pryor
- Larry Robinson
- Justine Toms
- Dickson Yeager
Shepherd Bliss (D.Min.) University of Chicago Divinity School is Numina's poet laureate. He loves the oral tradition of recited poetry and has performed selections for our East Meets West and The Poetry of Rilke events, where he shared the stages with Doug von Koss and Joanna Macy. He is also a former United Methodist minister and recently retired from college teaching. He has contributed to two-dozen books, including translating poetry from Spanish and a theology book, and is a member of the Veterans Writing Group. He has operated a farm for twenty years and explores farming as spiritual practice. He hosts A Better World IS Possible on KOWS-FM, which can be heard the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday of each month at www.kows.fm.
The Rev. Terri Hobart
The Rev. Terri Hobart is the rector of St Luke's Episcopal Church in Woodland. She has a Masters of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley and a Bachelor degree from Baylor University in Business Administration and Accounting. Terri is passionate about life-giving worship, preaching and engaging our neighbors and the surrounding community in new and transformational ways. In her free time, she loves to garden, forage for mushrooms, cook and share meals with others.
The Rev. Christy Laborda-Harris
The Rev. Christy Laborda Harris is an Episcopal Priest. She has been serving as the rector of St. Stephen’s in Sebastopol since 2011. She was ordained to the priesthood in 2007 after graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary with her Masters in Divinity. In her first two positions, she served at Spanish-speaking congregations.
She lives in Sebastopol with her husband Kai and their baby. She enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, and eating!
Benjamin Mertz is the director of the Numina sponsored Taize service on the third Friday of the month in Sebastopol. He is Music Director at the Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa, California, and founder and director of Joyful Noise! Gospel Singers. This choir is a group focused on singing traditional African folk music, American spirituals, gospel, and worship music across a range of styles and languages. Benjamin was the choir director at St. Stephen’s Episcopal in Sebastopol, CA for eight years.
Benjamin believes all music is an expression of the soul. He seeks to use the arts to empower youth, promote social justice, nurture spiritual growth, and serve the community.
Benjamin received his early training in a multilingual worship environment. He is also a jazz pianist, band leader, and composer, musical director in theater, private instructor, and music educator. Visit his website to learn more. http://www.joyfulnoisegospelsingers.org/
The Rev. Patricia Moore
Rev. Patricia Moore is the founder of Numina. She is an Episcopal priest who has served in the church for more than 30 years. Some of her formative experiences include: growing up in Latin America, serving in the Peace Corps in Chile, teaching English as a Second Language in southern California, working collaboratively with a group of women to start and operate a transitional housing program for homeless women and children.
Patricia has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico where her dissertation research on Santos de Santa Fe focused on Hispanic devotional folk art. Now she serves as Chaplain at The Bishop’s Ranch, a beautiful retreat, camp, and conference center in Healdsburg, CA. She also is a spiritual director and retreat leader. A gifted spiritual writer, Patricia blogs on Tell It Slant.
Kate Munger has been passionate about community singing since she was 8 years old at Girl Scout Camp and has led community singing now for over 35 years. In 2000 at age 50 she founded the first of now 130 Threshold Choirs around the world. Today at 65 she has retired from running the Threshold Choirs and has returned to her passion of singing at the bedsides of people who are dying, in coma and with folks who are incarcerated.
She is a popular speaker among palliative care and prison reform professionals at conferences and is a gracious, skillful musical host and choral director whose joy is reminding us that we are singing beings, bringing community singing back to "the community."
A composer of hauntingly beautiful melodies and harmonies, Kate compiled the moving, widely sourced and immense Threshold Choir repertoire, and produced all three Threshold Choir CDs, "Listening at the Threshold" (2003), "Tenderly Rain" (2006) and "Walking Each Other Home" (2014). Kate knows that this work is deep and serious and she offers a fresh, lively, sometimes irreverent, always relevant perspective.
Before emerging into his new life as a potter and a poet, Larry Robinson practiced psychotherapy for many years, specializing in ecopsychology. He is still recovering from 12 years on the Sebastopol City Council. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Meridian University and a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Climate Protection. He is the founder and producer or Rumi’s Caravan and the author of the new poetry collection Roll Away the Stone.
Justine Willis Toms is the co-founder and host of New Dimensions Radio. She has over four decades of experience hosting a radio series for public radio. She is the co-author with Michael Toms of True Work: Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do and author of Small Pleasures: Finding Grace in a Chaotic World. www.newdimensions.org