2017 Arts, Recreation, & Worship Leaders
Hugh Donnelly grew up in Prince Edward Island, on Canada’s east coast. While enjoying some live music one night in an Irish pub during his university years, Hugh made the decision to teach himself how to play the guitar. He has a passion for congregational singing, and has been invited to lead music at a variety of conferences in Canada and the US, including APCE, Montreat Youth Conference, ARW, Peacemaking, Big Tent, and Canada Youth. Hugh serves as the minister at Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church in Toronto. Important activities in Hugh’s life include long distance running, flying small airplanes and playing with his band, Lost Pilgrims.
Lisle Gwynn Garrity is an artist, retreat leader, and worship consultant working within the PC(USA). Through her ministry, A Sanctified Art, she uses visual art to help communities explore and express faith. She holds master's degrees in divinity and practical theology from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. Originally from Black Mountain, NC, Lisle currently lives in Pine Lake, GA, a small lake community just east of the hustle and bustle of Atlanta. Lisle is passionate about creative worship, the interplay of words and images, yoga, and long walks with her pup, Max.
Deb Guess is a full-time jewelry and mixed media artist, producing artwork for galleries and teaching in the Soul Whispers Arts studio and other venues throughout the southeast. Her passion is helping folks make connections between creativity and personal spirituality. Deb also loves to garden, cook, travel, and hang out with her very fun adult children. She lives in Laurinburg, NC with husband, Deck, and her poorly behaved but lovable dog, Schnitzel.
Beth Gunn is a recreation leader from Western North Carolina. She is the Associate for Youth for the Presbytery of Western North Carolina with a particular emphasis in the field of Recreation Ministry. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband and two dogs. Their 3 daughters are all out of the nest and while she and Bruce miss them a lot they are enjoying being “GG” and Grumps to their 2 granddaughters! Time with family to play together has been a life long priority and made for a richer and stronger bond.
Cliff Haddox is usually one of the weirdest ones in the room and is quite comfortable in that role. The path to ministry had a stop as a Morning Show DJ, He keeps some of those skills alive in a podcast he hosts and produces. He has been an ordained pastor since 2005 and is currently head pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in Dayton Ohio. He is married to Emily Haddox who is currently serving as pastor of Bath Presbyterian Church also in Dayton. He has a daughter Madeline, 7 who is already singing in church and son Jonah who is 2 and is sometimes VERY 2. Cliff enjoys woodworking and other art crafts and is passionate about games and movies.
Michael Harper has been as a Presbyterian youth worker for over twenty-five years. Over the years, he has served as a full-time youth ministry director, youth and young adult curriculum editor for the PC(USA), and national registrar for the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. He currently serves as the director of the Presbyterian Youth Workers’ Association and is the owner/lead facilitator at Teamworx Talent Development, where he plays youth group games with business teams to improve their teamwork and communication. Because he can’t get enough of the church, he preaches at a small country church on Sunday mornings and leads team building for a local youth group on Sunday nights. Michael loves to talk around a big campfire, wants to eat Tex-Mex as much as possible, and has a passion for connecting young people with the triune God’s radical, transformational love.
Emily Kienker is the Assistant Director of Outdoor Ministries and Church Relations for Trinity Presbytery. She is a native of Blythewood, South Carolina and a graduate of Clemson University. She enjoys all things camp, graphic design, and corny jokes.
Ann Laird Jones commutes between Montreat where she serves as the year round Arts Ministry Director, and Greenville, Mississippi, where she serves two small churches as Stated Supply Pastor. She is a very active member of St. Andrew Presbytery when she is not teaching pottery at Montreat, or making liturgical art for worship! She loves her husband, Mike Caulfield, her children Sally and Doug, all creatures big and small, planting trees, anything messy from mud to clay to paint, the feel of holding a good book, playing the violin, and the ongoing conversations friendship offers. She admits to hoarding bulletins, and helping turtles cross Mississippi roads on warm Sunday mornings.
Brian Maness has worked in sports, recreation, or as a stained glass artisan for 20 years. He is renowned well-beyond these workshops for his creativity and expertise with both fused and traditional glass.
Roger Maness, although officially "retired" from church ministry, is anything but retired. He has shifted his time and energy to a large non-profit youth sports ministry. In his limited spare time, he continues to enjoy teaching others the "how-to" of creating with stained glass.
Sophie Maness is the Director of Children's Ministries at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. She thoroughly enjoys laughing, learning and playing with children of all ages.
Jason McDougall is the Executive Director at Camp Grier in Old Fort, NC. Jason has been involved in the outdoor industry since he was a kid working in his father's outdoor store. Jason has been a guide for ClimbMax Mountain Guides since 1999 and served for eight years as the Educational Coordinator for a therapeutic wilderness program before coming to Camp Grier. Jason lives in Asheville with his wife and three children and enjoys climbing, paddling, running, mountain biking and generally playing in the woods.
Darci McKinnon is a musician, artist, recreation/workshop leader and mother of two, daughter Aidan (14) and son Ian (5). She recently moved to Edmond, Oklahoma when her husband accepted a call to First Presbyterian Church, Oklahoma City. Darci spent most of her professional career working with youth and adults as a Camp and Conference center director and as a Christian Educator/Youth Minister for the Presbyterian Church (USA). She enjoys camping, playing games, sewing, knitting, reading, creating art and having fun with family and friends.
Howard Moore is a graduate of The University of South Carolina in mathematics and retired from Sonoco Products Company as Director of
Corporate Compensation and Benefits. He has been a woodcarver for over 60 years and enjoys puzzles, origami, photography and making dulcimers and ukuleles. Howard has taught wood-working classes at ARW with Dick Porter for over 30 years.
Andrew Morgan is originally from Richmond, VA, and now lives in Anderson, SC with his wife Kari and son Lanning (4). He has been participating in ARW conferences since he was a youth. Andrew found a passion for woodworking at ARW 16 years ago taking a dulcimer making class and has been an avid hobbyist ever since, specializing in jewelry and wood burning.
Kari Morgan is currently serving as the Director of Youth & Recreation Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Anderson, SC. Kari has served I churches for over 12 years and loves working alongside teenagers on their faith journey and teaching them how art and recreation can play a huge part in their relationship with Christ. ARW is a huge part of her family because this is where she met her husband Andrew in 2007, since then they have been married and had their son Lanning who in 2017 will going to his 5th conference.
Neil Myer is a husband, father, sports enthusiast and a child of God. He currently serves as UKirk Presbyterian Campus Minister for students at Michigan State University and as Director of Discipleship at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in East Lansing.
Teri Peterson has been pastor at The Presbyterian Church of Palatine since January 2013, having previously served six years at the Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church and one year as a Young Adult Volunteer in Cairo, Egypt. She holds a degree in clarinet performance from DePaul University and an MDiv from Columbia Theological Seminary. She enjoys exploring new cities, being a bit of a music snob, writing, and coming up with creative ideas for worship. Teri co-founded and contributes to LiturgyLink.net, as well as her own blog, CleverTitleHere.blogspot.com, and is a contributing author to the Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual 2014 and 2015. Teri and her best friend Amy Fetterman wrote Who's Got Time: Spirituality for a Busy Generation (Chalice, 2013). Teri is a great lover of farmer’s markets, reading, Doctor Who, snuggling with kitties, and any TV show made by Joss Whedon. If she had to choose just one favorite chapter each from the Old Testament and the New Testament, she would choose Isaiah 55 and Mark 2.
Dick Porter is a retired pantyhose maker from Sara Hosiery Corporation. He has taught at ARW with Howard Moore for over 30 years. In the past several years, they have taught classes where they made dulcimers, shaker boxes, folk toys, kites and the list goes on. Dick and wife, Brenda, are involved in Living Waters for the World projects in the Dominican Republic.
Martin Pruitt is the Director of Youth and Family Ministries at Sharon Presbyterian Church in Charlotte North Carolina. Growing up in Anderson, South Carolina; Martin’s dream was to become President of Space. Being impossible, because of the physical limitations of astronauts; Martin attended Presbyterian College where he majored in Christian Education and Playground Sports and minored in being the mascot. Martin currently attends Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte where he shares a small house with his best friend and a stray cat. Martin enjoys long walks through obstacle courses, traveling, flying his drone, and making things with his hands when he is not busy taking youth on adventures.
Jessica Tate is the Director of NEXT Church. Prior to coming on board with NEXT, Jessica served as Associate Pastor of Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Northern Virginia. Jessica is a lifelong Presbyterian, in fact, a joyful preacher’s kid. Upon graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jessica served as a Young Adult Intern for the PC(USA) at the denomination’s Washington Office. From there she went on to seminary at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, where she received a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Christian Education. Jessica and her husband John live in Washington, DC with their rescued chocolate lab, GiGi, who constantly pulls them outdoors to walk and hike and keeps them humble with her antics and gregarious affection.
BethThaxton is a 2005 graduate of Presbyterian College and serves as Director of Youth Ministries and Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC. She loves music, photography, and spending time with her husband and two small children
Lynn Turnage is Director of Children & Family Ministries, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Greensboro, NC. Lynn LOVES (in no particular order!) ARW, Montreat, chocolate, dancing, Pinterest, being outside, fresh ways to worship and pray, children's ministry, intersections of worship, work, and play, and most of all: playing with her daughters!
Tish Westman and her husband, Greg moved to WV in 1990 from Denver, Colorado., leaving behind careers in Architecture and Printing to find a more relaxed lifestyle. To make a long story short, it didn't take long for them to fall in love with the music of the mountains. First came the Bowed Psaltery, playing and building, then the Mountain Dulcimer. Tish has won awards including Mid-east Regional Mountain Dulcimer Champion, 2007. They have been Resident Artists at Tamarack in Beckley, WV since 2001 where you will find them most of the time making instruments in Studio E. Tish teaches at several music events across the country for several instruments such as., bowed psaltery, mtn dulcimer, ukulele, clawhammer banjo and the basics of music theory to get you started. They have written and produced many music books and Cd's.
Marilyn Werst came to ARW as an Episcopal youth worker looking for new games, dances and activities. Late in life, she began attending art workshops and landed in the world of three dimensional found object art(assemblage). Marilyn loves sharing her passion for art with others--epecially those who say “I am not artistic”—and see them discover joy of creating.