FEATURED SPEAKERS – 2017
This distinguished pioneer in integrative medicine is a world-renowned expert in the mind/body connection. Her work has been foundational in an international health-care revolution that recognizes the role of meaning, and the spiritual dimensions of life, as an integral part of health and healing. Eloquent and inspiring in settings that range from hospitals to hospices, from theaters to conference venues, and from boardrooms to houses of worship, she is a credible bridge between faith and reason. Her brilliance, humor, and authenticity—in combination with the latest research—make her a compelling and inspiring speaker and writer.
After graduating magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College in 1967, Dr. Borysenko earned her doctorate in Medical Sciences from the Harvard Medical School, where she completed post-doctoral training in cancer cell biology. Her first faculty position was at the Tufts University College of Medicine in Boston. But after the death of her father from cancer, she became more interested in the person with the illness than in the disease itself, and returned to Harvard Medical School to complete a second postdoctoral fellowship, this time in the new field of behavioral medicine. Under the tutelage of Herbert Benson, M.D., who first identified the relaxation response and brought meditation into medicine, she was awarded a Medical Foundation Fellowship and completed her third post-doctoral fellowship in psychoneuroimmunology.
In the early 1980’s Dr. Borysenko co-founded a Mind/Body clinic with Dr. Benson and Dr. Ilan Kutz, became licensed as a psychologist, and was appointed instructor in medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Her years of clinical experience and research culminated in the 1987 publication of the New York Times best seller, Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, which sold over 400,000 copies. The 20th anniversary edition, newly revised, was published in 2007. Author or co-author of 13 other books and numerous audio and video programs, including the Public Television special Inner Peace for Busy People, she is the Founding Partner of Mind/Body Health Sciences, LLC located in Boulder, Colorado and the Director of The Claritas Institute Interspiritual Mentor Training Program.
Dr. Borysenko’s warmth and credibility—plus her lively sense of humor—create a compelling presence. Her inspirational reflections are featured frequently on Hallmark Channel’s New Morning program, and she also hosts a weekly Internet radio show, Your Soul’s Compass, for Hay House. One of the most popular and sought after speakers in the field of health, healing, and spirituality, her engaging and well researched presentations are perfect both for professionals and for the general public.
International speaker, best-selling author, CEO consultant, visionary, and empowerment specialist for over four decades, Mary Morrissey’s transformational talks and seminars have made her one of the elite teachers in personal development. As a sought after expert on the “Spiritual Side of Success”, Mary has spoken three times at the United Nations, facilitated three different week-long meetings with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and met with Nelson Mandela in Cape Town, South Africa, to address the most significant issues our world is facing. Mary has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters and is the author of two best-selling books, No Less Than Greatness and Building Your Field of Dreams, which became a PBS special. She is the founder and owner of Life Mastery Institute: The Premier Transformational Training Company in the world. She is also the creator of Prosperity Plus, a dynamic 10-week program that teaches a new way of living, centered on the spiritual practices of an abundant life! Mary positively impacts lives in ways that allow participants to move from fear, scarcity, and limited thinking to a life full of possibility, prosperity and promise. As a world-class inspirational speaker, executive coach, and corporate consultant, Mary has 40 years of experience empowering individuals in achieving new heights of spiritual aliveness, wealth, and authentic success. As a motivator and life coach, Mary wants to be a part of people’s quest to build structure, confidence, and success by helping them learn the principles for dynamic dream building to transform possibilities into realities. Among all her achievements and degrees in higher learning, Mary’s favorites are the two black belts she has earned: one in Success and the other in Failure. To learn more about Mary Morrissey visit www.MaryMorrissey.com.
Rev. Howard Caesar
Rev. Howard Caesar (Board Member) has served Unity and the New Thought movement for almost 40 years, with 31 years at Unity of Houston as Senior Minister and CEO of a ministry reaching thousands. A founding member of the Leadership Council of the Association for Global New Thought (AGNT), Rev. Caesar is recognized as one of the foremost leaders and speakers in New Thought traveling the world to meet with religious leaders such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 2000, he was inducted into the prestigious Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College. Howard is an active leader and member of Unity Worldwide Ministries, having served two three-year terms on the Board of Trustees and on numerous committees. Recognized with the Voice of Unity Award for Excellence for more than 25 years of broadcasting work in radio and television, he is also the recipient of the Light of God Expressing Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award; accolades given by his peers for his dedication, commitment, and leadership. He recently completed two terms on the Board at Unity World Headquarters, three years of which he was elected to be Chairperson. Howard first attended the Big Sky Retreat in 1985, and has served on the Board since 1986.
Dr. Sheldon Deal
Dr. Sheldon Deal (Board Member) is the owner-director of the Swan Clinic of Natural Healing in Tucson, Arizona, and has written several popular books on nutrition and natural methods of healing. His innovative views of healing are widely quoted. Sheldon always brings new and fresh ideas on the way we look at our bodies and how we learn to live in them. His knowledge of Applied Kinesiology and his ability to teach new techniques makes him world renowned. He has lectured throughout Europe, Russia, and Australia for twenty-two years. With his wife, Cindy, Sheldon has been a staunch supporter of the Retreat since 1981. He joined the Retreat Board in 1999.
Joe Dickey (President) has had a lengthy, successful career in the entertainment industry. He says he’s just like everybody else in Southern California — singer, actor, writer, producer, and, oh yeah, a Retreat President. His performances in nightclubs, studios, stadiums, theaters, and churches throughout the country have placed him in front of almost 7,000,000 people. He has written for PBS stations, penned speeches and special material for live shows and telethons, composed many songs, and produced highly commended motivational listening programs. He has written two books: Stories I’ve Told More Than Once and The Funeral Singer. He has a degree in Business Administration from Emory University. He resides in Simi Valley, California, with his wife, Mary Morrissey. Between the two of them, they have seven children and ten grandchildren. Joe has attended the Retreat every year since 1982, serving as Music Director from 1983 through 2014, as a Board member since 1984, and as President since 1999.
Very few people can say that they have been a singing mermaid, a singing casket, and was literally “elevator music” when she was hired to sing and play piano in a moving elevator. Meet Karen Drucker. Karen has recorded 19 CDs of her original inspirational music, and is the author of an inspirational book, “Let Go of the Shore: Stories and Songs That Set the Spirit Free.” Among her many accomplishments, she has been a professional comedienne, led her own band for corporate events, and has been the music director of New Thought Churches, as well as music director and “music weaver” for many spiritual conferences and retreats. Karen has been honored with an Honorary Doctorate of Music for her work within the Religious Science Community, and a “Grace Note” award for her work within the Unity Movement.
In following her passion, Karen sings, speaks and leads workshops at women’s retreats, mind-body & health conferences, and various churches around the country, as well as working with authors like Joan Borysenko, Alan Cohen, and many others. Karen Drucker has been called “a master of communicating presence and spirituality through music.” She loves making music, making a difference, and touching hearts.
Dr. Charles Geddes
Dr. Charles Geddes is a founding member and currently serves as Treasurer of the Big Sky Retreat. He has 44 years of ministry and served on the Board of Directors of International Centers for Spiritual Living. He was awarded an honorary doctorate for his years of contributions and in 2004 he was voted Minister of the Year. He now resides in Ft. Lauderdale and is the Founder and Spiritual Director of Bridges of Wellness, a non-profit organization. He serves on the Leadership Committee for Focus Ministries with Centers for Spiritual Living – creating new paradigms of ministry reaching Spiritual Explorers from many pathways. Bridges of Wellness has as its ultimate goal: for all to realize that the inner work we do ripples out to the world for healing and transformation.
Rev. Sharon Hudson
Rev. Sharon Hudson (Ministry of Prayer Coordinator) was the Founding Minister of Light of Life Church in Rancho Bernardo, California, where she served for more than 10 years. She is the Regional Support Coordinator for Centers for Spiritual Living. In this capacity she supports churches and ministries in Southern California and Hawaii. Her passion is teaching interpersonal communications and conﬂict transformation, as well as the wonderful philosophy and principles of Science of Mind. She has a background in business and technology. She has served as a chaplain at San Diego Childrenʼs Hospital and as a hospice chaplain. She attended her ﬁrst Big Sky Retreat in 2003.
John Moore was guided to attend his first Big Sky Retreat in 2014. He thought he was going as an attendee, but due to unforeseen circumstances, some last minute schedule changes, and a few miracles, two weeks before the retreat, he was asked to facilitate a workshop. His decision to say yes turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in his life. After a warm welcome into the Big Sky family, and facilitating two more Family Constellations workshops the following year, John was honored to accept the invitation to join the Board in 2015. To say John brings a diverse background to this Board might be an understatement. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Acting and Advertising Design, John worked in theater administration at Syracuse Stage in Syracuse, NY and Arena Stage in Washington, DC. In 1992, he left the cold climate behind to be part of the magic at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL where he was a puppeteer and parade performer for seven years. After Disney, John moved to South Florida to be closer to the ocean and to answer the call to become a healer. He graduated at the top of his class from Educating Hands School of Massage in Miami, and had a successful career as a Licensed Massage Therapist for thirteen years. The year he studied massage was also the year he started attending church services at Unity on the Bay. Those two healing places changed the course of Johnʼs life forever. Since then, he has been dedicated to his spiritual path and committed to helping others on their own path of healing and wholeness. Life continued to unfold in miraculous ways for John, bringing him the perfect teachers and life experiences and leading to the work he feels he was born to do today as a Life Coach, Minister, Family Constellations Facilitator, and A Course in Miracles Teacher. John teaches classes and facilitates workshops at home in Fort Lauderdale, FL as well as all over the U.S.
Dr. Joan Rosenberg
Best-selling author, consultant, media host and master clinician, Dr. Joan I. Rosenberg is a cutting-edge psychologist who is known as an innovative thinker and acclaimed speaker and trainer. As a TEDx speaker and member of the Association of Transformational Leaders, she is recognized for her thought leadership and influence in personal development. A California-licensed psychologist, Dr. Rosenberg speaks on how to build confidence, self-esteem, core emotional strength and resilience; emotional, conversational and relational mastery; neuroscience and psychotherapy; and suicide prevention.
Dr. Rosenberg was featured in the critically acclaimed documentaries I Am, The Miracle Mindset, Pursuing Happiness, and The Hidden Epidemic. She has been on CNN’s American Morning, the OWN network and PBS, as well as appearances and radio interviews in major metropolitan media markets. She hosts The MindStream Podcast, an influential and thought-provoking iTunes podcast. Dr. Rosenberg is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Ease Your Anxiety and of the forthcoming 90 Seconds to a Life You Love. She is a blogger for ThriveGlobal/Medium and The Huffington Post; has penned several articles for professional and trade journals; and is the co-author of Mean Girls, Meaner Women.
To download an excerpt from Ease Your Anxiety – “What You Say to Yourself, Matters: How to Change What You Say to Relieve Anxiety, Diminish Doubt and Experience Confidence and Inner Peace”, visit DrJoanRosenberg/anxiety-reset/
Rev. Christian Sorensen, D.D.
Reverend Christian Sorensen, D.D., is the eminent Spiritual Leader of the Seaside Center for Spiritual Living and a past president and community Spiritual Leader of the United Church of Religious Science (UCRS) worldwide (now United Centers for Spiritual Living). He is also the Director of The United Centers for Spiritual Living School of Ministry, an accredited master’s degree program in consciousness studies with campuses in San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington.
Sorensen was born into Religious Science and has been a lifelong student of metaphysics. Both his father and mother were ordained into the ministry on the same day as Dr. Sorensen in 1985—the only triple family ordination in the history of the movement. His credentials include a Doctorate of Religious Studies earned from Emerson Theological Institute, a Doctor of Divinity and a Doctor of Religious Science received from UCRS. He served as Senior Minister of the Ventura County Church in California from 1983-1988, Co-founder of the Costa Mesa Church in California in 1982, and Co-Creator of the Oahu Church in Hawaii in 1988.
A gifted and eloquent speaker with a unique and engaging style, Dr. Sorensen lights up audiences with his expansive vision, passion, and heartfelt enthusiasm. His impassioned visionary talks on spirituality, New Thought, Religious Science, practical matters, and Universal love continue to thrill listeners in all venues. His new talks are now being seen by thousands every week on webcasts which can be viewed globally on-demand at seasidecenter.org. He is in high demand as a speaker for corporate business and social engagements and is a sought-after facilitator of conferences, workshops, and seminars internationally.
Sorensen is a world traveler, speaking to groups in Tibet, India, China, Russia, North Africa, Scandinavia, Australia, and New Zealand. Raising global consciousness is of great importance to Dr. Sorensen. To that end, he has strengthened international ties by helping orphanages and schools in Mexico and Africa through direct giving and hands-on building.
Sorensen has authored ten books. He has most recently published Living from The Mountaintop – Be the Mystic You Were Born to Be. His other books include Joyous Living (a Series of 3 books), Catch the Spirit; Riding the Waves of Life and its sequel Flying through Life; A Book of Prayers; Good Cents; Free Your Own Tibet and Soar – Spiritual Guidance for Overcoming Life’s Turbulence. He is presently working on a new book on Mysticism.
A distinguished representative within a multitude of religious traditions, Dr. Sorensen addressed the United Nations General Assembly as part of its annual World Interfaith Harmony Week. As a leadership council member of the Association for Global New Thought, Dr. Sorensen is involved in the worldwide grass roots movements of the Season For Non-Violence. As a member of the Evolutionary Leaders, whose mission is to collectively inspire, support and serve conscious evolution, Dr. Sorensen and nearly 40 other evolutionary leaders are forging a movement towards the conscious evolution of humanity. He was privileged to be a participant of the Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet and a repeat speaker at the Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne Australia and South Africa.
Sorensen is an avid sportsman who loves surfing, skiing, tennis, and flying. He shares his love for travel and the outdoors with his wife, Kalli Holmes-Sorensen, and their teenage son, Trevor. His family resides in Encinitas, California.