International recording artist Karie Hillery has traveled the globe spending the majority of her life creating community and promoting peace thru her original conscious pop music. She’s a familiar voice in the spiritual, women’s empowerment and environmental communities. Her Earth Day birthday seems the perfect precursor to her deep connection and love for Mother Earth. Karie’s original music reflects this respect and devotion for the interconnectedness of ALL living things. She has been a guest musician, music director and/or speaker at over 260 spiritual centers and enjoys hosting a monthly Gather The Women circle.
Always a “seeker,” Karie feels most at home in spiritual community, finding and sharing the common thread that weaves together the diverse paths that have brought her strength and peace through life’s challenges. Drawing from the Course in Miracles, Ernest Holmes to the Dalai Lama, Adyshanti, and many other current New Thought teachers, Karie’s authenticity and humor in sharing her life’s journey, lessons learned and tools mastered is always captivating and moving.
Karie has recorded and produced 9 CDs of her uplifting, inspirational, empowering original music. Supported by world class musicians, her rich, powerful voice, keyboard artistry and moving messages open hearts, and connects souls. Karie is the owner/operator of One World Records, Singing Creek Studio and Dancing Trees Music Publishing BMI. Her lifelong goal is to use her music and message to co create a world that works for everyone…NO exceptions!
Rev. Brian Diggs has over 20 years of experience leading United Methodist congregations and non-profit organizations into deeper action and commitment to mission.
He was the director at UMCOR (The United Methodist Committee on Relief) West Office and Depot in Salt Lake City since it opened in 2009. Prior to working with UMCOR, Diggs served as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City for 10 years.
Since arriving in Salt Lake City in 1997, Rev. Brian has supported the work and mission of Family Promise and is excited to help lead Family Promise in our continued effort to provide housing and sustainable independence for homeless families.
Rev. Brian is an ordained clergy person in the Mountain Sky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and received his M. Div. from the Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. His focus was on liturgy as ethical formation.
Rev. Nicole Merges uses a light-hearted yet deeply spiritual approach to live the principles and practices that Science of Mind teaches. She believes that everyone has a unique gift to give the world, and that by exploring and living a spiritual life, we create a fulfilling and purposeful life for ourselves.
She is an Ordained CSL Minister and is currently the Spiritual Development Education Manager at CSL Home Office.
Her responsibilities include Certificated and Practitioner Education, Spiritual Living Circles, and managing CSL Online Education..
Robert L Eckman is a native Utahn and has been a part of the Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living community since 1997.
He learned about Religious Science in 1989 in Huntington Beach, Ca. while managing a hotel that happened to be hosting a Jean Houston seminar at the time.
Educated at Utah State University in Logan, Utah with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture (a fancy name for garden designer), Rob spends most of his free time in his garden near downtown Salt Lake City. He enjoys reading and hiking and anything to do with trains.
He works as the Marketing Manager at The King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, where he is responsible for more than 500 literary events a year.
Rob is married to Steve Mathews, and together they are dads to one very grown-up son and lucky grandfathers to a sweet seven-year-old girl and a new baby grandson.
Randall H. Scott is an author, speaker, mentor, and the founder of Zenpowerment. With a degree in marketing, Randy spent a 25-year corporate career in international sales and marketing, while living in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
After nearly dying in a motorcycle accident at the age of 33, he realized that he had a second chance to live, so went in search of what really matters in life. His passion for the fusion of science and spirituality led him to compile the principles and tools of Zenpowerment. He's found a way to enjoy more peace, power, and purpose in life, as well as discover authenticity by uncovering who we are not in order to find out who we really are.
Today, Randy is an executive mentor, speaker, and author.
Rabbi Alan serves as the Assistant Rabbi at Spirit of the Desert (Ruach Hamidbar) Synagog in Scottsdale, Arizona, and as the Chair of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN). He previously chaired Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable, and Sacred Music Night for the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions. He has served as a chaplain at St. Marks hospital and has organized many interfaith music events in our region.
Rabbi Alan is a long-time friend of the Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living. When he first moved to Utah in 1985, he sought out Science of Mind. He had previously been introduced to New Thought by the Living Enrichment Center while living in Oregon. When he first came to the Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living (then called the Salt Lake Church of Religious Science) he met Raj Harrous (our audio-visual genius) who became his first friend in Utah and has remained a close friend ever since.
It wasn't long before Alan was serving on the Board Church of Religious Science (CORS). On a humorous note, while on the Board, he made a motion to change the name of CORS to a "Spiritual Living Center." No one supported his motion! Then CORS ended up moving to a location that was the "Center" bookstore. And finally, CORS officially changed its name to the Center for Spiritual Living. So, something was obviously put out there into the universe!
Rabbi Alan's rabbinical journey began 25 years ago when he was called as a musician to perform for a Jewish Renewal Community, Spirit of the Desert, related to his Kabbalah Shekhinah CD.
Rabbi Alan emerges from his rabbinical training with a depth of knowledge and experience in the traditions of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, Rabbi David Wolfe-blank, Rabbi Sarah Leah Grafstein, and Rabbi Leah Novick.
Music has been part of Rabbi Alan's life since the very beginning. As a baby, he would cry if the radio was not on. While growing up in Rochester, New York, he studied at Eastman School of Music.
Much of the music he currently composes and performs with his band, Desert Wind, includes New Thought principles, especially as elucidated by Ernest Holmes.
He has spoken at "Science of Mind" locations in Nevada, Northern and Southern California, Utah, and Arizona.
In addition to music and spirituality, Rabbi Alan has also expressed his passion for making the world a better place through his study and practice of law.
After earning a BS in Special Education from Syracuse University, at the age of 20 he went on to law school to pursue his interest in the legal rights of disabled people. His first job as an attorney focused on land use and environmental law. He also worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Utah before going into private practice.
He is married to his soulmate, Andalin Shekhinah Bachman. Between the two of them, they have three children and nine grandchildren.
Because of his commitment to personal growth, he is always honored to be among the wonderful, like-minded people at the Center for Spiritual Living.
Rev. Ali Benjamin is an ordained minister, Conscious Living Coach, and spiritually inspired artist.
Rev. Ali founded the Satya Center for Conscious Living in Ogden, Utah in 2009 and serves as the Spiritual Director. She serves the New Thought movement in several capacities to include Vice President of the Affiliated New Thought Network and member of the Big Sky Retreat Board of Directors.
Ali and her husband Michael Benjamin RScP, work together and support New Thought centers and communities around the country. The main focus is their mobile ministry, Life on a Joyride! They travel in OM Shanti hOMe (camper van) visiting communities to facilitate spiritual deep dive experiences, workshops, classes, and share their empowering message of overcoming life’s challenges, healing from trauma and loss, living unconditional joy, and activating authentic power.
Chaplain Wes Wilde is a health care chaplain at IMC, Murray. A graduate of the Theology program at Sewanee: The University of the South, he previously worked as a hospice chaplain for 13 years.
Prior to his move to chaplaincy, he worked at a California newspaper for 23 years in a variety of newsroom positions, concluding his career as an online editor.
Wes has been a student of theology for over 30 years seeking to understand the nature of God as understood by different religions. He then sought a deeper, more personal connection with the essence of God.
He is proud to call himself a 'freelance Christian' in that he is happy to accept that which brings grace and hope from all traditions and finds it easy to "let the rest go." He has attended Christ United Methodist Church in Holladay for about 15 years where he occasionally preaches, teaches adult and children Sunday school and is involved with the multi-faith homeless ministry of Family Promise.
Wes sees love as the singular purpose of our human lives and hopes to inspire others to make such a journey in their own way.
Melissa Montana discovered the New Thought philosophy in 1999 when she wandered into a little Unity church surrounded by cornfields in Fairfield Iowa. This unusual small town of 10,000 was home to 2000 Transcendental Meditators and many other lesser-known spiritual groups. The Unity church pulpit was shared by the local Rabbi, a Christian Minister, and a Unity Teacher, all of whom had taught and practiced TM for over 30 years. This church was disbanded and a new one formed around Vedic (TM), Mystic Christian, and New Thought ideas.
Melissa had been singing professionally since high school, and so was quickly recruited into church music, which became the love of her life. When she moved to Austin, TX to pursue music, she was busy every Sunday as a Special Music guest at various New Thought and Christian churches.
Having been raised a staunch atheist, Melissa brought all the fervor of a new convert to her church life, which was authentically and richly interfaith from the beginning. She has taken classes in Judaism, Esoteric Christianity, Science of Mind, Music Ministry and Church Leadership, and has spent a great deal of time reading about Sikhism, Kaballa, Sufism and other traditions. Attempting to map out the "golden threads" that run through them all has been a primary passion in her life, along with creating music-and-spoken-word services in various sacred contexts.
Currently, Melissa shares her gifts at the Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living, serving on the Music Team, as a Speaker, Service Host and the Ministry Council as its Secretary.
Megan Sillito has inspired thousands of people to create meaningful, creative, and lucrative lives and businesses. She organically ignites people’s talents and genius and helps them see where these gifts can engage the world in a profitable way, doing it their way, based on their unique skill set! Using universal principles and her own magic, she playfully introduces you to your “own” map to successful creation and then catalyzes you to turn up the potency required to follow it.
She runs her own global transformation based company. Her signature event Live Your Magic has been in 8 cities and 4 countries. Her favorite pastime is having deep conversations with world changers. She has created hundreds of live and online programs on a wide range of topics, leadership, happiness, prosperity, creativity, organic work flow, and creating conscious business your way!
Rev. Myrna Hirst discovered the Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living in 1998, became a practitioner in 2002, and an ordained minister in 2017. She has served in many capacities at the Salt Lake Center. After graduation she was the founding minister at the Layton Center for Spiritual Living, then returned to the Salt Lake Center in 2021,where she speaks occasionally, teaches classes, and is the Visioning Coordinator. Visioning is a process that connects us with the Higher Wisdom as we seek answers to life’s questions. The Visioning Core meets regularly to consider the Highest Vision for the Center and share this information with Leadership. Rev. Myrna has been centered in the Science of Mind philosophy for more than 25 years. The philosophy and its practice has changed her life, and the people at the Center are her family.
Rev. Claire Summerhill
After several full and exciting careers, in insurance claims, as a licensed attorney, and as a college instructor, Rev. Claire Summerhill became an ordained minister with Centers for Spiritual Living in 2019. Since that time, she has filled many roles as a staff minister at Center for Spiritual Living Greater Las Vegas.
Claire’s book, Walking on Water, provides a step-by-step guide for accomplishing things that seem impossible, as it explores the balance and harmony between taking action and waiting in the stillness for possibilities to unfold.
When asked about what’s hers to do, Rev. Claire says: I am called to live simply and with joy, as I discover and share my own unique gifts and talents, and encourage and support others in doing the same. It is my life’s work to awaken, to inspire, and to serve, as we grow together as a human family into a greater experience of our oneness with all that is.
Lanna Cairns has been a student and teacher of spiritual practices in New Thought and Buddhist communities throughout the country for over twenty years. Cairns has studied with Jack Kornfield, Greg Mullen, Ruth Dennison, and Genpo Roshi, founder of Big Mind meditation. She has a master’s degree in Religious Studies, has written three books, Organizing for Your Brain Type, Every Child Has a Thinking Style, and A Mindful Life and was a licensed spiritual counselor for 12 years with the United Centers for Spiritual Living. Currently she is an educator at Granite School District and founder of “Joan Rosa Productions,” focusing on media that celebrates inspiration and application.
Cairns work, as an organizer, began in 1998 when she created Organized World, a consulting firm specializing in all aspects of professional organization. Lecturing for T.E.C. – a company that educates CEOs around the world and many other Fortune 500 companies (see www.vistage.com), her clients have included: BMW, Kaiser Permanente, Sylvan Learning Centers, Canyon Ranch, MOFO, Harcourt-Brace, Mondavi Winery, Huntsman Cancer Institute, and The Salt Lake City Library.
She has been featured in The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Parenting, Self, Cosmo, Science of Mind, Wasatch Woman, andChild have published Cairns’ articles and from 2005–2007 she contributed a biweekly column, “Lanna Cairns’ Organized World,” to the Napa Valley Register.
Cairns has extensive experience in front of audiences. She’s been a speaker at several national conferences, including those held by NAPO (The National Association of Professional Organizers), NSGCD (The National Study Group for the Chronically Disorganized), at colleges, and at several United Centers for Spiritual Living around the country. She has appeared on ABC, CBC, and CTV.
A native of Canada, Cairns earned her Masters degree from McMaster University. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two sons and two dogs, Hoodoo and Nina, a rescue dog from Romania!
Rev. Linda Brewer was ordained for a Counseling Ministry in 1975 in North Carolina. She founded the Kindred Center there in 1980 with a mission to create a supportive environment in which people together could transform their lives. She was a member of the Unity Church for 19 years before moving to Utah and joining the Center in 2002. She was licensed as a Practitioner in 2007.
She had a full-time ministry for fifteen years as a hospital and hospice Chaplain until she retired in January of 2019. She has been a regular speaker at the Center since retiring and also serves on the Ministry Council as the Sunday Service Coordinator.
Christiane Turner is the perfect mentor for Visionaries, who think outside of the box, challenge the status quo, and want to make a big difference in the world. You are either already living your vision and just need some extra resources or you are deeply motivated to find your mission because you know that you have a special purpose for being here. Either way, with Christiane’s guidance you will take quantum leaps on your journey.
Always exploring the next possible threshold of human consciousness, Christiane, being the typical German perfectionist, easily navigates the constantly shifting landscape of Training, Coaching and Consulting, moving between ancient wisdom and modern technology, basing her teachings on the models and skills of the many cultures she has encountered in her global traveling, as well as the basic principles of Quantum Physics and the newest scientific discoveries, related to consciousness.
Christiane has been perfecting her training and coaching skills for over two decades and is an international Quantum NLP Trainer, Coach and Consultant. Her books are available globally in bookstores and online stores. She is the founder of Quantum NLP LLC, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, which offers high integrity Quantum NLP based Training, Coaching, and Consulting.
She is a natural teacher – her dynamic combination of strength and gentleness helps her to lead clients and groups to break-through change. Christiane is a leader who highly values community building and has initiated and organized community projects, as for example the annual “New Consciousness EXPO” in Salt Lake City since 2005, and the “Law of Attraction Club”, which started in 2006.
You can connect with her on her website: https://learnquantumnlp.com/
Aaron Neal is founder of the Emergence, a spiritual conference designed to support humanity in this time of great change. He has a background in business and marketing. He was formerly our Office Manager here at Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living, and has also worked for the Gaia Sagrada Retreat Center in Ecuador. He is currently working on a book and developing a workshop to further fulfull his mission of supporting humanity in a significant shift in consciousness.