J. Dana Trent
The Rev. J. Dana Trent is an ordained Baptist minister and the author of For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community and Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk. She has worked with nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, educational institutions, and hospitals—holding positions at Duke University, UNC Health Care, and the Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church.
Dana is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, where she teaches World Religion, English, and Public Speaking. She also offers “Writing as a Spiritual Practice” workshops for churches, community groups, and universities. Dana specializes in writing and spiritual direction surrounding interfaith topics, spiritual practices, death, and grief. Her work has appeared on Patheos, Time.com, The Christian Century, The Huffington Post, and Sojourners.
Dana is married to Fred Eaker, a devout Hindu and former monk. They love to cook vegetarian cuisine, travel, and be outdoors.
Whitney R. Simpson
After a life-changing health crisis, Whitney R. Simpson embraced a journey toward healing and wholeness, using her breath, body, and spirit. Her new lifestyle included time on a yoga mat and regular sessions with a spiritual director, which set the foundation for her path to recovery. Whitney later pursued professional certification in spiritual formation from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She now serves as a retreat facilitator, spiritual director, and yoga instructor. She seeks to experience and share the gifts of God’s peace. Connect with Whitney at ExploringPeace.com.
Sharon Seyfarth Garner
Sharon Seyfarth Garner is an ordained United Methodist pastor, a spiritual director, and a retreat leader. She founded Belly of the Whale Spiritual Direction & Retreat Ministries in 2014. Sharon finds great joy in sharing the journey of spiritual discovery with others. She also enjoys spending time with her family, kayaking, making pottery, singing loudly, and taking long walks with her husband and dog. Sharon is the author of Praying with Mandalas: A Colorful, Contemplative Practice.
Patricia Wilson has written ten Upper Room Books, including Quiet Spaces: Prayer Interludes for Women. She writes on a wide variety of subjects, including books for business use, motivational audio programs, corporate training programs, short stories, mysteries, and children’s activity books.
Formerly a motivational speaker, Pat traveled throughout Canada, the United States, Great Britain, and the Philippines, bringing her seminars to thousands of people. She is known for her down-to-earth style, humorous delivery, and remarkable candor. Pat has put away her suitcase and passport but continues to speak at various retreats, conferences, and meetings for both secular and church audiences. A lay minister for many years, she conducts services wherever she is called. Now retired, Wilson and her husband, Gerald, live in Victoria, British Columbia.
Read Pat’s blog here.
Kristen E. Vincent
Award-winning author Kristen E. Vincent is owner and principal artisan of Prayerworks Studio, which specializes in making handcrafted prayer beads and other prayer tools. She speaks widely on prayer and prayer beads and enjoys leading retreats.
Kristen is a freelance writer and author of A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner’s Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads and Beads of Healing: Prayer, Trauma, and Spiritual Wholeness, and coauthor of Another Bead, Another Prayer: Devotions for Protestant Prayer Beads. A graduate of the two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation (Academy #34), she blogs at PrayerWorksStudio.com.
A native Texan, Kristen lives in Georgia with her husband, Max, a Methodist minister, and their son, Matthew. She loves dark chocolate, the Texas Hill Country, and gadgets. She remains committed to her lifelong quest for the perfect chocolate mousse.
Originally from Colorado, Jo Kadlecek is a writer, teacher and storyteller whose pursuit of a passionate life has included many adventures, lessons and surprises. A former soccer coach, waitress and college professor, she is the author of 16 books, including memoirs, novels, bible studies and non fiction. Jo currently lives on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, where she and her husband regularly walk their dog Clark Kent on the beach.
The Rev. Jane Herring is an author and ordained Presbyterian pastor. She taught college literature courses for many years until answering a call to ministry in 2008. Jane is the author of One Day I Wrote Back: Interacting with Scripture through Creative Writing.
Jane is currently the solo pastor of a small church in Tennessee where she lives with her husband and daughter, near her grown stepchildren and grandchildren. She also leads contemplative retreats on prayer, meditation, and using writing in prayer and spiritual formation. Jane and her family enjoy creating art, walking in the Tennessee hills, and listening to all sorts of music.
Beth A. Richardson
Beth A. Richardson is Director of Prayer and Upper Room Worship Life. She serves as a deacon at Edgehill United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee.
A native Oklahoman, she enjoys liturgy, music, and photography. Beth is the author of two Advent books—Child of the Light and The Uncluttered Heart. Her latest book is Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.