Steve is a husband, father, minister, musician, and writer from North Alabama. As a pastor, music is his way of "praying twice”, and he leads worship in retreat and conference settings. He studied at Candler School of Theology, where he met Rev. Sandy West. They married and have two wonderful children. He served on leadership teams of a number of Five Day Academies in Alabama and Florida, Two-Year Academies in Wisconsin and Indiana, and a Five-Day in Singapore. He produced the Songs for Morning Prayer CD for the Academy and has music, hymns, and liturgy published by Cokesbury, Discipleship Ministries, Worship and Song, and the Celebrating Grace hymnal. He has columns and devotional articles published in Alive Now, The Huntsville Times, and The Arab Tribune. His blog, “Musings of a Musical Preacher,” is at www.stevewestsmusings.blogspot.com. He is presently finishing a Doctor of Ministry at Sewanee focusing on communion and spiritual formation, and he looks forward to sharing his thoughts with us.
Kathryn Damiano is a Quaker and lifelong contemplative. As a teacher of in-depth spiritual life studies and retreat leader, she sees her ministry as working for peace and justice through spiritual formation. Kathryn has been a spiritual director for 35 years and has served in this capacity at Pendle Hill, a Quaker center for study and contemplation. She co-founded The School of the Spirit, a two –year offering, similar to the Academy for Spiritual Formation in which she has taught for several years. Her formal training consists of a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary (United Methodist), a Masters in counseling psychology, an internship in spiritual direction at the Jesuit Renewal Center, and a Ph.D. in spiritual theology. Kathryn moved from Philadelphia to Wichita, Kansas, 17 years ago to join the Friends of Jesus Community. Their ministry was living in a low-income area of the city to be a presence to promote interracial reconciliation. Kathryn also seeks deeper solitude and prayer in her new off the grid tiny house, located on a wind and bison ranch.
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin L King Jr Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011