The Rev. Canon Jeff Golliher, PhD., Missioner. Fr. Golliher is Missioner for the Rondout and Sullivan County for the Diocese of New York. He is also Assisting Minister Provincial for Sacred Ecology for the Anglican Franciscans, Third Order, Province of the Americas. Before coming to St. John’s, he was Canon for the Environment at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. He also served as the Environmental Staff Person for the Office of the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations.
Before ordination (25 years ago), he worked as a cultural anthropologist, which included living with indigenous peoples in Central America and among pilgrims on the Isle of Iona, Scotland. As a student, he studied with Paulo Freire, the Brazilian liberation theologian, educator, and community organizer.
Canon Golliher is also a well-known environmentalist in the church. In the 1990’s, Audubon Magazine did a feature article on his work. He has organized global conferences on spirituality, ecology, and community development, including “The Global Anglican Congress on the Stewardship of Creation” (2002) in South Africa. He was part of a team of scientists, ethicists, and theologians who wrote policy guidelines for the UN’s Biodiversity Convention, published as Spiritual and Cultural Values of Biodiversity (UNEP publications). Canon Golliher has written and edited numerous books and articles on these subjects for the church and the United Nations. Among those are: Crisis and the Renewal of Creation: Church and World in an Age of Ecology (1996) and Healing God’s Creation (2004).
More recently, his writing moved into contemporary perspectives on the spiritual path. A Deeper Faith, published by Tarcher/Penguin, 2009, was been translated into German. Moving Through Fear: Cultivating Your Seven Spiritual Instincts, also published by Tarcher/Penguin, was published in 2011.
Canon Golliher was born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. He currently lives with his wife, Asha, in Kerhonkson.
“A book of complete sincerity. Not a note out of place, not a false tone or trace of piousness or pretension.
When righteousness, hypocrisy, and the preaching of easy comfort keep so many away from the religious pursuit, the beautiful honesty of Golliher’s writing opens the way for anyone who longs to find the path again.”
– James Hillman, author of The Soul’s Code
In this sensitive book, Episcopal priest and cultural anthropologist Golliher (A Deeper Faith: A Journey into Spirituality, 2008) offers helpful advice, in the form of personal recollections and stories, to individuals seeking to overcome fear, “one of the greatest obstacles in life.” The author begins by defining this devastating negative emotion and discussing the five insights he sees as necessary for a successful journey through it. Golliher systematically examines what he calls the “seven spiritual instincts”—awe, love, intent, conscience, community, rest and faith—and the relationship each has to fear.
Through richly detailed anecdotes, he shows what these instincts are (as well as what they are not) and outlines methods or “spiritual practices” readers can use to cultivate them in their daily lives. He argues that by strengthening and refining these instincts, individuals can move through and beyond fear to experience “the joy that the great body of life” bestows on those who live in the “real world,” rather than the false and needlessly painful one fear can create. While the book is rooted in Christian spirituality, the author never loses sight of his ultimate mission to help all readers regardless of their religious backgrounds.
Through a skillful, balanced blend of sympathetic insights into the human condition and wise observations gleaned from the Bible, Golliher creates satisfying reading for a general—rather than strictly faith-based—audience that neither preaches nor attempts to proselytize.
— Kirkus Reviews
“This is a wise and beautifully written book on the richness and depths of the spiritual path. It is an important book for our time, as we face an imperiled world.This book gives us hope for redemption in every step of the way.”
– The Reverend Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Reverend Dr. Meg Stapleton Smith is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church and university professor. She is currently serving as the Priest-in-Charge at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Monticello, NY and as an Associate Priest at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ellenville, NY. In addition to serving each of these churches half time, Rev. Meg is an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Ethics at Fordham University. Rev. Meg holds a PhD in Theological and Social Ethics from Fordham University. She graduated from Yale Divinity School in 2016 with a M.A.R. in Ethics, and holds a B.A. in Theology from Boston College with concentrations in Faith, Peace, and Justice Studies and Catholic Studies. While at Boston College, Rev. Meg studied abroad in both El Salvador and Rome. After graduating from Boston College, and prior to her time at Yale Divinity School, she was Director of Campus Ministry and a Religion teacher at Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School in Lawrence, M.A. Rev. Meg has been teaching at Fordham University since 2018. As a professor, Rev. Meg has taught “Introduction to Bioethics,” Catholic Social Teaching, Faith and Critical Reason The Bible and Social Justice, and Church in Controversy.
Rev. Meg is deeply passionate about congregational life, and seeks to embody the joy of the Gospel in her ministry. After living and serving as a priest in Connecticut, she moved to Stone Ridge, NY with her wife, Rev. Marcella Gillis, and their cat, Kyrie Eleison. Rev. Marcella is the Rector of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Stone Ridge, NY.