Jump to Featured Speakers: David Ault

Jump to Workshop Presenters: John Moore | Kathy Rausch | Ali Benjamin | Melinda Wood Allen

Jump to Additional Speakers: Rev. Cindy Grimes | Rev. Lawrence Palmer


David Ault

David Ault is a prophetic voice in the human development/consciousness studies movement as an unwavering crusader for mindfulness, global literacy and social justice. Through trainings, coaching and keynote offerings, David’s singular intention has always been in bridging our collective forgetfulness into our great collective reawakening. As an award winning author and global humanitarian, David abides by the motto that people would rather ‘see a lesson lived out loud than hear one’.

A former minister, David now coaches associations, business leaders and individuals on the paramount importance of value based living. In Atlanta, he served as dean to a council of multi-generational, multi-faith leaders who assist others in dissolving systemic issues of unworthiness, bias and racism by  building new mental equivalents of equality, character, ethics, spirituality and wellness.

David is also the founder and Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Child Foundation, whose mission is to advance vulnerable children and communities worldwide with sustainable education, life skills and fresh water. Beginning more than 15 years ago, Kaleidoscope now operates schools in Cambodia and India and partners with literacy programs throughout Guatemala and the US, serving more than 1000 children annually.

An adventurer at heart, David has hiked the Inca Trail to the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, trekked across the entire country of Spain on the ancient pilgrimage known as the Camino de Santiago and summited Kilimanjaro in Africa. He regularly takes groups on sacred site journeys and service trips, continuously marveling at the wisdom gained through cultural immersion.

As a respected teacher, writer and columnist, David is the author of the multi-award winning, The Grass Is Greener Right Here.

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John Moore

John MooreJohn Harold Moore is a Life Coach, Family Constellations Facilitator, A Course in Miracles Teacher, Writer, and Speaker. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Acting and Graphic Design, John enjoyed seven magical years performing at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. His spiritual life blossomed in 2002 when he moved to Miami and started attending church services at Unity on the Bay. During that same year, he studied at Educating Hands School of Massage and became a Licensed Massage Therapist. John will forever be grateful to Unity on the Bay and Educating Hands for opening his heart and mind to a whole new way of experiencing the world. Since then, John has studied many different spiritual paths, but the one that speaks most directly to his heart is A Course in Miracles. A classmate from massage school introduced him to the Course in 2006, not coincidentally, right before one of the most challenging periods in his life. Because it helped him find peace during that difficult time, John is passionate about sharing these teachings to help others on their own path of healing and wholeness. To that end, John is also a pioneer in the practice of Family Constellations, a powerful and highly effective healing modality that is based on a philosophy very much in harmony with the principles found in A Course in Miracles. John graduated from the Family Constellations Institute of Miami in 2013, and has been speaking and facilitating workshops online and all over the U.S. since then. He also proudly served on the Board of Directors of the Big Sky Retreat from 2015 – 2020, the last three years as President. For more information about John and his work please visit JohnHaroldMoore.com

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Kathy Rausch. Artist, Author

Kathy RauschAuthor of Activate Divine Creativity: The Life-Changing Magic of the Mandala, Kathy has been painting, drawing, doodling, and creating mandalas of all kinds since 2000.

Kathy studied art at The Milwaukee College of Art and Design, University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Columbus College of Art and Design. Kathy also studied the art of computer graphics, desktop publishing, and website design. In 2000, she was running a tech company in Columbus, Ohio called Interactive Ink, Incorporated. The company was thriving, but it had been years since she allowed herself time to just have fun and do what she loved to do in her childhood and into early adulthood. Draw, color, and paint.

In 2000, her life made a drastic turn.

It was then that Kathy met Merry Norris and Paul Hausestaum, both accomplished mandala artists and started taking classes with them.

Learning to painting draw mandalas changed her life drastically. She vowed at that time to somehow bring the mandala to the masses.

Kathy realized how healing and powerful the mandala is.

In her studies to discover why the mandala has such a spiritual and transformational effect on people, she realized it is the simple yet powerful process that has been used for thousands of years in creating mandalas, and was able to put it into a workshop that has changed over a thousand people to date.

She is a guest speaker and artist at retreats and conferences around the world bringing the magic of community art and mandalas to the attendees.

Kathy has created her signature “community mandalas” of up to 6 feet wide and has brought them to community gatherings for people to color together as they talk and simply have fun.

Teaching others to create mandalas brings Kathy great joy and helps balance her life. Kathy hopes others will get a sense of balance and joy from the process as well.

Contact info:



Phone: 513-417-1632

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Ali joined the Big Sky Retreat family in 2010 and stepped on to the Board of Directors in 2017.  Rev. Ali founded the Satya Center for Conscious Living in Ogden, Utah in 2009 and serves as the Spiritual Director.  Ali received her ordination from the Emerson Theological Institute in 2010.  She serves the New Thought movement in several capacities to include Vice President of the Affiliated New Thought Network.

Ali and her husband Michael Benjamin RScP, work together and support many 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.

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Melinda Wood Allen

Melinda Wood AllenRev. Melinda Wood Allen is Senior Minister at Church of One Love in Dallas, TX—an independent New Thought center.  Her 34+ -year career as student and teacher of Truth Principles began when she signed on as Minister of Music at Unity of Fort Worth, helping to grow that ministry from an original 25 members to well over 800, while her music department grew from 2 participants to 125, recording a CD and performing at Carnegie Hall.  

Upon leaving UFW she began a full-time traveling ministry, sharing music, message, and meditation at New Thought centers around the nation, as well as at conferences, retreats, and to recovery groups and prison programs. 

A multi-award-winning singer/songwriter/actress and recording artist with an incredible 4-octave range, she is also a sought-after speaker, teacher, workshop facilitator and retreat leader.  Melinda combines her passion for inspirational and transformative music with her knowledge and experience of spiritual principles to present programs that are heart-opening and life-changing. 

In 1997 Melinda began a daily 12-step program that continues thru today.  She finds this work complements and expands her understanding, practice, and teaching of Truth principles, and believes it has applications far beyond addiction recovery.     

For a decade she was a member of Unity Worldwide Ministries’ Music and Creative Arts Team,  has been a principal contributor on 14 of Positivechristianity.org ’s annual Spiritual Retreat Cruises with Rev. Christopher Chenowith, and currently serves on Empower Music and Arts’ Advisory Board.  A returning 3-yr veteran of the Big Sky Retreat, she is thrilled to be back and part of this beautiful tribe. 


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Rev. Cindy Grimes

Rev. Cindy Grimes

If there’s a common thread throughout Cindy Grimes’ varied personal and professional experiences, it is her desire to empower people with understanding and practical skills to overcome life challenges and make the most of their inherent talents and abilities. Cindy uses real-life experiences, spiritual wisdom and humor to inspire audiences and participants to transform their lives, relationships and communities.

After graduating with a BA in Psychology from Hofstra University, Cindy moved to Ocala, Florida where she has lived since 1985. Cindy worked as a victim advocate, child protective investigator and social worker for 10 years before motherhood inspired her to start her own business. She went on to create Family Times Magazine and spent 11 years in the publishing business.

While publishing the magazine, Cindy’s life “bottomed out.” She carried over 100 lbs of excess weight and was on the verge of losing her business, home, marriage. It was at that point she found Centers for Spiritual Living and Science of Mind. She applied the practices and principles she learned at the Center in the laboratory of her life and turned her challenges into triumphs. Cindy eventually sold the business and went on to hone her presentation skills, facilitating training programs promoting child and family safety and advocacy.

Today, Rev. Cindy is the Spiritual Director of at the Center for Spiritual Living that changed her life. Most recently, Cindy has been developing and delivering curriculum and programs that teach practical peacebuilding principles, including social-emotional learning, conflict transformation and restorative practices for use in prisons, schools, businesses and spiritual communities. Her vision is that New Thought centers and churches throughout the world are known for bringing practical peacebuilding to their larger communities. In addition to serving CSL Ocala, Cindy is Director of Programs at River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding and a Founder of Circle Up Center for Practical Peacebuilding in Ocala, Florida. Kindness is the Cure is the title of her 2015 TEDx talk.

Cindy and her husband Grady will celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary at this year’s Big Sky Retreat. Their growing family includes four beautiful grandchildren.

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Rev. Lawrence Palmer

Rev. Lawrence Palmer

Rev. Lawrence Palmer is a native of Mississippi. He received a solid and joyful religious foundation in the Baptist church. As a youth, he felt a calling to spiritual service, beginning as a Baptist pastor and then following his inner direction into Unity. He has served as a minister for more than 46 years. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1992, he graduated from Unity Ministerial School in Missouri. Additionally, Lawrence has served in leadership positions for Unity on the local, regional, national and international levels. He currently serves as co-minister with his wife, Bev Spivey at Unity of Pompano Beach.

In addition to his theological and metaphysical schooling he has completed training in Silva Mind Control, Heart Math, Gateway Voyage at the Monroe Institute and is a practicing Reiki Master. He has experienced intensive training in Shamanism with Michael Harner, Sandra Ingerman and Serge King. He has also received advanced training in Hospital Chaplaincy.

Lawrence’s preaching and teaching style has been called intuitive and interactive. He has a deep passion for experiencing and facilitating personal growth and spiritual development.

A summary of his personal credo is :

  • There is one Presence, called by many names and perceived in many forms. I AM the Presence being Lawrence.
  • I AM the creating of the Creator. I AM breathing of the Breath.
  • I AM incarnated here and now to eat, drink and to find pleasure in my toil. This life is the gift of God!

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