Weekend of Spirit 2017: “Circles of Healing: Our Selves, Our Communities, Our World”

Friday, All Day --

Weekend of Spirit 2017: “Circles of Healing:
Our Selves, Our Communities, Our World”

Schedule, Workshops, Leaders and Registration!


Friday, October 20th

6:00 – 8:30 pm – Shabbat Dinner with Multi-Faith Voices

Come to welcome the Jewish Sabbath and enter into the Weekend of Spirit with candle-lighting, blessings, singing, storytelling and a potluck vegetarian dinner. Voices of healing from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Ba’hai and unaffililiated traditions will lead us all into the sacred time of Shabbat.  Speakers and singers include: Rabbi Katy Allen, David Blais, Dorene Nemeth, Francis Pollitt, Jo Miller and Lois Francello of the Blue Dove duo, and Gabi Mezger.

Please bring a vegetarian dish to share.

David Blais is the founder of David’s Table. For the past 22 years David has been involved in community awareness programs and social issues. As the “visionary” of Daniel’s Table he brings his creativity and resolve to providing food security to the residents of Framingham while keeping a watchful eye on future challenges and opportunities.

Francis Pollitt  has been a member of the Baha’i Faith since 1982. She volunteered at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, Israel from 1985-1992 then went on to live in Maine until last year when she and her husband relocated to Wayland. She has served in the Peace Corps in Micronesia and holds two Masters degrees, in Library Science and Adult Education. Though now retired, she worked at the Maine Historical Society Library with special collections and digital projects and is presently volunteering at Boston Public Library and Wayland Historical Society with the map collections. She co-hosts two all-faith devotional gatherings at Traditions of Wayland and works with the Solarize Wayland initiative.

Dorene Nemeth retired in 2015, after 13 years as the MetroWest Regional Director of the SHINE program.  SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) is a statewide group of volunteers, who offer free, unbiased, reliable Medicare/MassHealth information and assistance to seniors and individuals with disabilities. In November 2016, she became the Volunteer Coordinator from Temple Israel of Natick for two Syrian Refugee families sponsored by Jewish Family Services of Metro West.  

Blue Dove
Jo Miller and Lois Francello Duo  Lois Francello started playing the harp at age 13 and studied classical music at The Boston Conservatory. In 2013, she stumbled into a whole new world of folk and bluegrass music at a local jam held in Framingham. Since then, she has become a part of the warm and welcoming local music community. She met Jo Miller, fiddler, in 2014 and the two have
decided to explore the possibilities of harp and fiddle music together. Lois and Jo collaborate and play a unique mix of musical genres, drawing from Celtic,
folk, bluegrass and classical traditions to form their own specially blended joyous sound.

This event is supported by a grant from the Combined Jewish Philanthropies Metrowest Jewish Community Grant Fund.



Saturday, October 21st

9:00 – 9:30 am – Registration and Gathering

9:30 – 10:15 am – Opening Presentation

 “Circles of Healing: Intersecting and Overlapping”
We will introduce our theme for the day with an opening panel conversation. Our three panelists devote their energies to healing–through reiki, building community, and environmental activism. We will hear their stories, and together we will explore the connections between individual, community, and global healing.


Speakers include:

Rev. Ian Mevorachian head shot with stole grew up on Long Island, NY, in an interfaith family (Jewish father, Catholic mother); as a child he learned the value of love and acceptance of persons of other faiths, cultures, and backgrounds.  Rev. Dr. Mevorach holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Middlebury College, an M.Div. from Boston University School of Theology (BUSTH), and a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics and Constructive Theology from BUSTH.  His dissertation, in the field of ecological theology and ethics, explored the role of Christian-Muslim dialogue in responding to the ecological crisis.  

Sally Shippee, founder of Nurturing Hands Energy Healing. Sally was educated with a BSN in Nursing and during her clinical experiences her eyes were opened​ to the power of Mind-Body Medicine. This led to further investigation by attending seminars, reading, and using a holistic focus with her patients. As time progressed she began using various learned techniques such as Guided Imagery and Visualization to decrease pain, and Therapeutic Touch for stress and emotional support. Eventually she began having Reiki treatments herself and became certified as a Reiki Master Practitioner working for 7 years with clients.

Christine Fortune Guthery, Executive Director, SPARKkindness. Christine has had a life-long interest in promoting social justice and inclusion.  After earning her law degree, she worked briefly as a civil litigator and then for the Circuit Executive’s Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals on a study of Gender and Racial bias in the courts. In 2010, she co-founded the Natick Parents Against Bullying & Cyberbullying in her hometown of Natick, Massachusetts.  In 2014, SPARK Kindness, Inc. became an official non-profit and Christine assumed the role of President and Executive Director.  SPARK now as over 2,700 members in Metrowest Boston and beyond. For her community work with SPARK, Christine received the 2014 Harriet F. Siegel Shining Light Award from the Natick Education Foundation.  That award is given to individuals who have made a sustained volunteer contribution that has increased the quality of life in Natick.  Also for her work with SPARK, in June 2015, Christine received an Unsung Heroine Award from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. 

Christine is also committed to providing all children globally with access to education through her work as Outreach Coordinator for Hope for Ariang, Inc., a non-profit grass roots organization that builds schools in South Sudan, Africa. 

10:30 – 11:30 am – Morning Workshops

“Qi gong/Tai chi from Ancient China”  – Kathleen SakovitzIMG_1484

In this workshop we will do gentle movements, stretching, breathing, relaxation in opening and moving qi (chi) internal energy flow thru body’s meridians, connecting body, mind and spirit. We will  loosen muscles, help joints, enable qi (chi) energy flow to organs and harmonize brain function. Qi-gong/tai chi helps to improve balance, focus, true relaxation, mood, and wellness.

Kathleen Sakovitz is a qi gong and tai chi instructor, certified with Dr. Kuhn Study. She has practiced for 20 years. Kathleen enjoys teaching many types of dance, tai chi, and qi gong.  Her goal is always to help others with the expression of music, dance, tai chi, tai chi fan, and the healing arts.  She has been a professional ballroom dancer and currently teaches competitive ballroom dance students.  She is a martial arts black belt.  Working with her students brings her great pleasure.

Can consciousness affect the outcome of life threatening illnesses?”

– Fr. Don Pachuta 

Consciousness may or may not affect a cure, although there are examples if it affecting entire populations. Consciousness will definitely affect your healing – becoming whole in body, mind, spirit; and how you manage that illness.

Father Don brings a unique blend to Open Spirit as physician, scripture scholar, and priest, and one of its most popular speakers. He has brought hope and inspiration to hundreds of people with life threatening illnesses, such as AIDS and cancer. At a time when no treatment existed, he created and made manifest the idea of “Living Long and Living Well” with AIDS and HIV infection, as an idea whose time has come; before the discovery of medications to treat it. 

“Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” – Shirley Riga

Time is at hand to take control of your life and define your happiness, joy and peace of mind. With compassion, understanding and humor, you will become more powerful in the face of your fears.

Shirley Riga is an author, speaker and caregiver advocate helps others find the strength to make positive changes in their lives.



“Walking the Labryrinth Path for Healing and Peace” – Karen Gault

Labyrinths are often walked by groups with the intention of healing ourselves and sending healing energy to the world. Karen will facilitate a labyrinth walk experience that will guide participants toward encountering moments of healing and peace through openness to the divine in each of us, using the power of words and music. 

Karen Szklany Gault is a trained Labyrinth Walk Facilitator pursuing certification through Veriditas (www.veriditas.org), an organization founded to revive the labyrinth in all of its forms as a spiritual tool.


“Chess and Mindfulness” – Edward Quintal 

In this workshop an understanding will be offered as to what steps are needed to use chess as stress reduction. By connecting mindfulness to the game and the environment in which it is played, increased meditative state are possible. Introduction and advanced introduction to chess with a hands on component will be made available.

Edward Quintal has more than two decades of chess education experience in Boston and around New England area, served stress challenged veterans with a holistic recovery chess program for seven years. He is a 2016 graduate of Framingham State University, with a BA in Psychology, where for four years he presided as president of the chess club as well as hosted a chess education radio program for the visually challenged.

“Healing through Satsang” – Lisa Davidson

Satsang is “being in the company of truth”.  In yoga class, together we create a healing space to practice, to be, to discover our innate wisdom within the support of each other and our truth.

Join us for an hour of group yoga practice including full circle poses and a full circle of deep healing relaxation called yoga nidra.

Lisa Davidson teaches Kripalu yoga and offers healing sessions in the Metrowest area, since the 1980’s.

11:45 – 1:30pm – Saturday Afternoon
– Lunch, Spa Sessions & Activities

There will be a vegan soup lunch served between 11:45 and 1:30 pm. During this time there will be the opportunity to participate in activities and a healing spa session.

Activities available:

  • Prayer bead bracelet making
  • Make a reusable bag out of a re-purposed t-shirt
  • Play the Race Amity Game (12pm-12:45pm)


11:45 – 1:30 pm Healing Spa Sessions

Receiving a Reiki Treatment

  • Christian Science Treatments Offered by local Christian Science Practitioners. A mental healing method based on the example of Jesus, practiced by early Christians, and rediscovered by Mary Baker Eddy for modern people of all faiths/backgrounds.  Come talk about healing through prayer and receive a free prayer treatment.
  • Reiki  Offered by Carol Knell & Karen Gault A light-touch technique that releases tensions deep in the body. Clients remain fully clothed while the therapist uses gentle techniques to improve the function of the central nervous system. Most clients report feelings of deep relaxation, gentle warmth, or subtle pulsations in the body.
  • Longevitology  Offered by Joanie White the Open Spirit Longevitology Practice Group. An ancient healing modality, Longevitology is the focus of universal energy affecting your body on a cellular level, allowing your body to use the energy to heal itself.
  • Nurturing Hands Energy Healing  Offered by Sally Shippee.  You will have a gentle caring quiet experience with a practitioner who has worked with many complementary therapies, including guided imagery, visualization, reiki, and therapeutic touch. In general a treatment session is a time-out from the regular stressful day. Its a time to relax, rest, be nurtured, and replenished, allowing for healing.
  • Craniosacral Therapy Offered by Carl Shippee.  A gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance.
  • BioSyncronistics  Offered by Nancy Eldridge. Everyone’s structural alignment is challenged each day for a variety of reasons including repetitive motion, a misstep or fall, medical conditions, previous surgery, and stress.  As a response to these challenges, your body compensates by shifting its center of gravity away from its normal optimal position, which can lead to pain, fatigue, strain, muscle spasm, and tightness. These adverse symptoms make it difficult, or even impossible, to carry out the usual activities of home, work, and recreation. This light touch manual therapy technique works in combination with other manual techniques to release soft tissue restrictions in the body. This allows space within the body for bone misalignments to find symmetry and restore whole body equilibrium.  As a result of improved alignment pain decreases and function is restored.
  • Sound Healing Offered by Luke Smith. Sound helps to facilitate shifts in our brainwave state.  This synchronizes our fluctuating brainwaves by providing a stable frequency which the brainwave can attune to. By using rhythm and frequency, we can train our brainwaves and it then becomes possible to down-shift our normal beta state (normal waking consciousness) to alpha (relaxed consciousness), and even reach theta (meditative state) and delta (sleep; where internal healing can occur).

1:45 – 2:45pm – Afternoon Workshops

“Healing Meditations for Mind, Body & Spirit” – Katherine McClean

Please come join our circle of guided healing meditations. These enjoyable meditations will nurture our bodies, calm our minds and uplift our spirits.

Katherine McClean, LDN, CYT, CPT, CMT specializes in Integrative Healing Arts and through yoga, meditation, nutrition counseling, personal training, energy healing and transformational counseling she offers multi-dimensional support for her clients.


“Mindful Drumming Circle” – Patrick St. Pierre

In this workshop we will explore rhythm with hand percussion instruments.  There will be a short lesson on different ways to strike the instruments to create sound and how to find your own rhythm while communicating with the group at large.  Drumming circles are made for people of all different types to come together and make a collective sound.
Patrick St. Pierre is an artist in Framingham MA. He creates paintings and murals using a variety of media including acrylic, watercolor, ink and graphite pencil. Patrick creates sculptures and instruments using mixed media of mostly re-purposed materials.  He is currently working on a community sculpture featuring aluminum cans that will be hung in Open Spirit in October.  Patrick’s interest in drumming circles stems back to his Caribbean upbringing where there was always music and dancing around the house. 

“Community Autumn Mandala Making” – Samela St. Pierre

This workshop will utilize found objects to create a community mandala, a circular patterned design. We will head off with a short hike to collect items from nature to contribute to the final project, then gather to our intended spot and work together to create the design.

Samela St. Pierre is a Framingham based artist and yoga instructor with a passion for expression and commitment to sustainability.


“Plain Talk about Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine”
– Dr. Hua Hai

An introduction on how acupuncture and Chinese medicine work; what are common disorders that respond well to TCM; and what makes TCM unique to the conventional medical system. 

Dr. Hua Hai has full training in both Chinese and Western medicine and four decades of clinical practices. She currently practices in Framingham, MA. 


“Let it Go Yoga” – Donna Warren

In this workshop we will begin to move our body with some gentle yoga and breath work, then move into a session of laughter yoga.  We will then be treated to a session incorporating essential oils and learn several ways they can help us emotionally and physically. There will be sound bowls being played while we relax and release as we feel their amazing vibrations move through our whole bodies. Donna will be accompanied by Julie Mangini and Luke Smith.

Donna Warren has been a hairstylist for forty years, a yoga student and instructor for over 17 years , a shamballa reiki practioner, essential oils and crystals lover, and a laughter yoga leader. She borrows heavily on the principles of Eric Idle and John Cleese to help make it through her everyday life.

3:00 – 3:30pm – Closing Circle and Tea

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