Northeast Wisdom is governed by a eight-member Wisdom Council presently consisting of Marcella Kraybill-Greggo (President and Co-chair); Cynthia Bourgeault; Matthew Wright (Vice President and Co-chair); Mary Ellen Jernigan; Laura Ruth; Jeanine Siler-Jones (Secretar); Benjamin Thomas; Bob Sabath. All council members are active participants in the Wisdom work.
Cynthia Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader. She is the original creator of the Wisdom School and has been organizing and teaching schools since 1999. Founding director of Northeast Wisdom/ Wisdom Waypoints, The Contemplative Society and The Aspen Wisdom School, Cynthia is also a core faculty member with James Finley and Richard Rohr of the Living School of the Center for Action and Contemplation. Cynthia divides her time between Wisdom teaching, writing, and solitude, both at her home in Stonington and her remote hermitage on Eagle Island, Maine.
Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest, writer, and retreat leader working to renew the Christian Wisdom tradition in a wider interspiritual framework. He serves as priest-in-charge at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY and is a teacher for Wisdom Waypoints and The Contemplative Society as well as being a founding member and co-chairperson of the Northeast Wisdom Council. Matthew is also a student of the Mevlevi Sufi tradition under the guidance of Shaikh Kabir and Camille Helminski. He lives with his wife, Yanick, alongside the brothers of Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY.
For more information about Matthew check out his website: A Waking Heart: Reflections on the Spiritual Life.
Marcella Kraybill-Greggo offers her time as a Seminary Director of Spirituality Programming, a local Wisdom Community facilitator, a Spiritual Director and a mom. She lives in Bethlehem, PA with her husband, daughter, and their Westie, Kiwi. She has been an active participant in the Wisdom community since 2013, both as student and teacher, assisted in facilitating multiple Wisdom schools, regularly offers an 8 month ‘Training in the Practices of Wisdom’, facilitates Law of Three midwife groups, and loves all things embodied (trained as an InterPlay facilitator). She joined the Wisdom Waypoints Council in 2017.
Jeanine Siler Jones
Jeanine Siler Jones works primarily as a private practice therapist, spiritual director and Enneagram teacher. She lives in the country outside of Asheville, NC with her husband and next door to her parents and brother’s family. She has been an active participant in the Wisdom community since 2009, both as student and teacher, and assisted in facilitating multiple Wisdom Schools in the Southeast. Jeanine’s steady hand has helped co-create a number of Wisdom Waypoints and Wisdom Community projects and ongoing groups, supporting newcomers and leaders. She joined the Wisdom Waypoints Council in 2020.
Bob initiated Cynthia’s Fourth Way Wisdom Retreats at the Claymont Center in West Virginia in 2010, having been part of a Fourth Way community since 2006. He worked with Richard Rohr to host ongoing wilderness based men’s retreats and is a Convener carrying on that work locally through Illuman. He has lived most of his life in community, as a founding member of Sojourners, Circle Community Church, Rolling Ridge Study Retreat Center and Shepherd Village. Web master at Sojourners, Friends of Silence and Wisdom Waypoints, Bob has brought his technical expertise and experience to bear creating the new Wisdom Waypoints website.
Bob lives in Mt. Rainier Maryland with wife Jackie, and has two children and six grandchildren; being Grandpa is the delight of his life; read more about Bob here in Calling the Helpers.
Mary Ellen Jernigan
A committed Catholic laywoman, Mary Ellen has devoted her life to the Jernigan Institute and National Federation of the Blind as Policy Advisor and administrator par excellence for over 35 years. She continues her work at the National Center for the Blind, which was established in 1978 by her beloved, husband Kenneth Jernigan, who blind himself, was for many decades, the principal leader of the organized blind movement until his death in 1998. Mary Ellen has brought her skillful means to the Wisdom Waypoints Council as Treasurer since 2017, serving on the website committee and taking the lead on all things legal and structural. Mary Ellen was an early participant, beginning in 2009 in Cynthia’s Wisdom Schools, including her six-month course, 2011-2012.
Mary Ellen lives in Baltimore where she and Eileen Clark, also an early Wisdom student, share a home and daily contemplative practices, and have led Wisdom book study and practice groups for many years.
A lifetime of spiritual study and practice led Laura to Cynthia, and the co-facilitating of retreats at Hallelujah Farm for five years. Trained in Steiner biography therapy and human development, dream work, and a former Waldorf teacher, Laura worships with a Quaker community, practices and co-leads Wisdom with Rock Point, and prays with healers grounded in ancient Taoist medicine in a Sufi tradition of mystical love. Laura became Community Program Coordination and Publishing staff at Northeast Wisdom in 2017, joining the Council later that year. She is dedicated to an embodied, practical Wisdom, awake and alive in our daily lives.
Laura lives in Vermont with her husband, near their sons and two grandchildren, blessed by animals, gardens, and weekly family dinners with four generations.
Benjamin is a life-long seeker, Benedictine Oblate, Episcopal Priest & Wisdom Teacher in the Christian Contemplative path and Inter-spiritual Mysticism. Primarily a student of Jesus, G.I. Gurdjieff, and Cynthia Bourgeault, he seeks to facilitate the transformation of others and our planet by living the Fruits of the Spirit through the conscious work of a meditative and surrendered heart. And he believes this work can happen within the Church. Ben takes Wisdom Students through spiritual practices, retreats, and book studies by some of the great spiritual masters. He serves as Associate Rector at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Boca Raton, Florida with which this Wisdom School is in partnership. He and his wife, Anna, have five beautifully wild children and enjoy laughter and life by the sea. you can find Ben at Benjamin Thomas. Read more about Benjamin in this interview in community forums.
Wisdom Council Highlights
Wisdom Waypoints Website!
We are deeply grateful to Bob Sabath for his countless hours of work on our new Wisdom Waypoints website! It has been a priceless labor of love and we are thrilled with the value this website will be to our community. And, thank you Cynthia for all your efforts to bring this project to completion! This has been our Council’s greatest endeavor this year as we transitioned from Northeast Wisdom to Wisdom Waypoints: to offer a website that embodies the height, breadth and depth reflected in our growing global Wisdom Community.
New Board Member
We welcomed Benjamin Thomas on to our Board/Council in June.
Wisdom Book Practice Circle
In August we will launch our fourth Wisdom Book Practice Circle focusing on Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening. Six new facilitators will join our current 9 person book Circle Facilitator team – New leaders: Al Krema, Benjamin Thomas, Henri Lock, Becky McDaniel, Kirsten Crop and Nina Lanctot. Ongoing leaders: Jeanine Siler Jones, Marcella Kraybill-Greggo, Heather Ruce, Heather Vesey, Susan Latimer, Susan Cooper, Nan DeLach, Elizabeth Combs, Eilen Deverteuil. This is our fourth and final foundational Wisdom book circle in our 2 year cycle. We will begin again with The Wisdom Way of Knowing in January 2022.
Bi-Annual Community Wisdom Practice Day
We are sponsoring a new Bi-annual Community Wisdom Practice Day on Saturday August 28 (10 – 4:00 ET). All are welcome! Our next Wisdom Practice day is scheduled for April 2022.
Directory of Wisdom Companions
We have compiled a Directory of seasoned Wisdom companions for one-on-one Spiritual Companioning, available upon request.
Spiritual Companioning Groups
We initiated four pilot Living Wisdom monthly Spiritual Companioning groups from April through July, 2021. New Living Wisdom Spiritual Companioning groups will begin again in September.
Grateful for Laura Ruth
We are deeply grateful to Laura Ruth for her careful tending and loving on all things Northeast Wisdom, particularly the website. As Laura transitions out of her administrative role for Northeast Wisdom, we are grateful for her ongoing presence on our Council and excited about the new ways her tending and love will manifest in our Wisdom community!