Guest Speakers


 Rev. Carolyn Swift Jones

Reverend Carolyn Swift Jones, our Spiritual Leader, is an ordained minister with The United Metaphysical Churches, a spiritual organization that shares the same theological principles that the Unity Church holds dear. Reverend Carolyn is also a professional Spiritual Counselor, a practice she has been involved with for over thirty years working with many people around the globe to help bring them into closer resonance with their Higher Selves. Believing fully in the words of the Great Master Teacher Jesus when he referred to our ability to do the things that he did, she facilitates a meditational group called "Many Hands Make Light Work", the focus of which is healing for our sweet planet earth. She is thrilled to be the Spiritual Leader of Unity in the Foothills and beholds the Christ in each and every dear soul of our loving and growing community. 



Barbara Schafer, APRN, BSN, MSN, RMT, Licensed Unity Teacher

Barbara Schafer is a graduate of the Unity School of Christianity, Unity Village, MO.  She became a Licensed Unity Teacher in 1994.  She has taught at the Unity of Bridgeport Church (8 years), the Unity of Greater Hartford Church (10 years) and the Unity in the Foothills Church (12 years) in Torrington, CT where  she has led book study groups on Thursday afternoons, taught Unity Basics and New Member Orientation, Faith in Action classes and co-teaches many classes with Rev. Carolyn Swift.  She is a Platform Leader, Prayer Chaplain, Healer volunteer and Spiritual Advisor to our Board of Trustees. 
Barbara graduated from St. Joseph’s Hospital, Reading, PA, received a BS in Nursing from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1964.  She is retired from a 50 year career as a psychotherapist, educator and administrator in the field of psychiatric nursing.  Barbara is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and a Reiki Master Teacher since 1996.  She teaches Reiki at the Osher Lifelong Learning Center at the University of Connecticut in Waterbury and has created 29 Reiki Masters.  Barbara lives in Naugatuck. She is blessed to have a daughter, a son, and three beautiful grandchildren.  


Deacon Arthur L. Miller

Deacon, author, radio, and former television host, Viet Nam era veteran and veteran civil rights worker. Deacon Miller is the retired owner and president of A. Miller investments. Miller was ordained for the Archdiocese of Hartford in 2004. He recently retired as the director of the Office for Black Catholic Ministries. Besides his assigned parish, he is the Chaplin at Hartford’s Capital Community College and Adjunct faculty for Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartford and Our Lady of Calvary Retreat Center in Farmington, CT.

Deacon Miller was arrested and jailed during the summer of 1963 as he sat in silent protest over the sustained use of racial bigotry to separate black Americans from the imbued rights of all Americans. Continuing the struggle for those oppressed he was arrested in October of 2015 in protest against the same racial injustices that continue to sully the dignity of America. A nationally known preacher of God’s Holy Scripture, he has traveled throughout the country raising the need of conversion to “Radical Love”. The kind of self-denying love that can only be accomplished through the grace and power offered to us through Jesus Christ. Deacon Miller has preached throughout the United States, from New England to the Katrina ravaged gulf coast of Mississippi, from the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico and Colorado, and the broad plains of Kansas, to the south side of Chicago, and the borough of Brooklyn in New York, he teaches and preaches Christ’s call to His life changing “Radical Love”. 

At public forums, houses of worship, schools and universities across the country, Deacon Miller addresses issues of social injustice. With firsthand knowledge he speaks to his audiences from the perspective of an African American who grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the 1940s and 1950s. Deacon Miller was 10 years old in 1955 when his schoolmate Emmett Till, age 14, was brutally murdered in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman—an incident that energized the nascent Civil Rights Movement. His recently released book “The Journey to Chatham”, details the historic events seen through the eyes of Emmett’s friends.

Deacon Miller is a certified trainer in Dr. King’s nonviolence philosophy as well as a Certified Spiritual Director and is a board member for Connecticut Center for Nonviolence. To this day he continues to addresses 21st-century examples of the societal tendency to embrace violence. Echoing the thoughts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he believes that as part of the great human experience, no one can sit idly tolerant of the great injustices that happen anywhere in the world.

“If God were to give us an 11th commandment,” Deacon Miller proposes, “I believe it would read: Thou shall not be a bystander.”


Rev. Laura MacLachlan

Reverend Laura MacLachlan is a seasoned minister, medium and healer with United Metaphysical Churches (UMC) based in Roanoke, VA.  She is past co-chair of the UMC Seminary Education Department, current Seminary Instructor and National Board President.  She is also Pastor and President of the First Spiritual Church of Bay City, a Michigan UMC affiliated church. In addition, MacLachlan is an equestrian trainer. She and her husband, Roger Schlack, live on a farm in Dryden, MI where they bred, raised and showed Percheron horses for many years.


Omar Tawil

Omar Tawil serves as an associate chaplain for Muslim life at Trinity College. He spent much of his childhood and early education in Chicago and Jerusalem. While attending college, he took time off to study classical Arabic in Amman, Jordan, where he began to develop a profound connection to the Islamic scholarly tradition. This compelled Omar to begin a lifelong study of the Islamic sciences with scholars and teachers in the Middle East and in the United States. It was when he returned to Chicago that Omar became deeply involved in community service and youth mentorship.  He obtained his bachelor’s in Islamic world studies from DePaul University.  Omar is currently pursuing a master’s in Islamic studies and chaplaincy at the Hartford Seminary, while serving as an imam and youth minister at the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center.



Ed Foote

Ed has taught Sacred Dance in many Unity Churches, from New England to California. His two spiritual paths are the Edgar Cayce Readings and A Course in Miracles. He currently works with the Miracle Distribution Center in California as a meeting planner for its yearly East and West Coast conferences, as well as being a financial advisor for its endowment fund. He lectures every year for the Theosophical Society in Pittsburgh, twice a year for the Metaphysical Society in Sun City, Florida, and throughout the year for other like-minded organizations. He has led over 300 metaphysical services at Unity and non- denominational churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, Florida, and California. Ed's "regular" job is a full time square dance caller, which he has done for 50 years, in every state here in the USA as well as all across Europe and into Australia and New Zealand. 


Rev. Ed Townley

Rev. Ed Townley, ordained as a Unity minister in 1991, has served Unity centers in Beaverton OR, Chicago, Dallas and Hartford.  Rev. Ed is known widely for his enthusiastic metaphysical interpretations of the Bible, and his understanding of the Hero’s Journey as a roadmap for our own individual spiritual unfoldment. His most recent book, Kingdom Come:  A Guide to the Book of Revelation was published by Unity Books. He is also the author of The Secret according to Jesus, a meditative guide to the Sermon on the Mount, and is a contributor to many Unity publications. 

Semi-retired from church ministry, Rev Ed is focused on his personal ministry, Spirit Expressing, and travels twice monthly to Brookline MA to lead services at Unity in the City.  He is in demand as a speaker in Unity settings and elsewhere. He is the host of Bible FAQs, a weekly program on Unity Online Radio (, and he serves as a Bible resource for the worldwide Unity website (  Rev Ed lives in Vernon CT with his Welsh corgi Bentley.


Robin Clare

Robin Clare is a Divine Emissary. She is a channel for the Ascended Masters, an advanced Akashic Record Reader and a highly regarded spiritual teacher and community leader. She is the author of Messiah Within and the Amazon Best Selling spiritual book, The Divine Keys.  Robin shares practical and divine wisdom on how to live your divine purpose, remove your success blockers, how to optimize your relationships and find greater happiness in your life. She is described by many clients as "intelligent, intuitive, connected, caring, peaceful and loving.” 



Seminarian Samantha Dennison

As a seeker of truth, Samantha is passionate about helping others to embrace their Divinity.  Always compelled to write, teach and counsel others allows her to share her personal healing with the knowing that if we want to heal our world, we must first heal ourselves.  Creativity, patience and compassion are some of the energies that will be ignited as we walk together in love & light while affirming the best & highest good for ALL.  Samantha is a devoted member of Unity in the Foothills, currently serving as an Advisor to the Board of Trustees after many years of sitting on the Board as Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  She is active in many other areas of the Peace Center such as the Healing Ministry, the  bookstore,  and the  Fundraising Committee.  Actively pursuing Spiritual Truth and ongoing healing, Samantha is enrolled at the United Metaphysical Church Seminary in Roanoke, VA and is in the Ministerial program.  As a Certified Reflexologist, Reiki Master/Teacher and Angelic Liason, Samantha's Healing Ministry ripples far beyond Sunday services.   Currently residing in Winsted along with her beloved feline, Lynx, allows her to remain close to her family.  Her passion and purpose revolve around spending time with her amazing children, Michael & Sabrina and her beloved grandbabies – Zoe, Liam, Nathan, & Madison. 


Rev. Toni G. Boehm

Rev. Toni G. Boehm is an inspirational and dynamic speaker, author, minister, certified organizational and life coach, nurse, poet, and known for her passionate teaching style and her expert facilitation of personal empowerment and transformational retreats and workshops. Rev. Boehm is retired from everyday corporate life and is in sacred service to the expansion of conscious awareness of spiritual teachings, and quantum-spirituality.
     Rev. Boehm serves as adjunct faculty at Unity Institute, Unity Village, MO and is certified as an organizational and life coach (I.C.F.), Peace-Maker and Transitional Consultant, as well as a coach for Spiritual Intelligence.
     Teaching internationally, Rev. Boehm facilitates classes and seminars on self-empowerment and transformation, prosperity, leadership skill development, and Transformation Coaching©, introducing students to the knowledge and skills necessary for living their lives from their highest innate potential. Her life work and mission is:
“I am a midwife for the birthing of the soul’s remembrance.” 
     Rev. Boehm holds a Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Education, Masters of Science in Nursing, Ph. D. in Religious Studies, and is an ordained minister (1989) and a Family Nurse Practitioner.  She is the author of numerous articles and many books.


Rev. Alicia Leslie

Reverend Alicia is a Unity minister, ordained in 1992, and has served churches in Indiana, Texas, Virginia and Connecticut.  In 2011 she retired from the traditional church and moved her ministry online.  She is also an author of children's stories and articles published by Unity Magazine and has recently published a novel, Green Grapes on Silver Platters.  Look for Reverend Alicia on YouTube or visit her online at


Beth Nyerick

I have been a participant in the field of special education for 32 years. I have a Bachelor's Degree from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master's Degree from Central Connecticut State University, in the field of Special Education.  My spiritual journey started in the early 90s when I received my Reiki certification.  I continued forward, earning my certification in Transformational Energy Healing and Akashic Record Reading.  It was this training work that truly began to form my relationship with God, the God within me.  I continue as we all do to expand through workshops and reading material, too numerous to mention.  I love to teach and my passion is helping to ignite in others the desire to discover the energy of love that we all are.


Jill Kamp Milton

An experienced leadership coach and presenter, Jill Kamp Melton has more than 25 years of experience helping managers and executives uncover potential they may not even know they have. Clients include executives in almost every government agency, the worlds of cyber security, entertainment, non-profit helping organizations and education. Jill is known as a "refresher, connector and coach" and many credit her with their relearning what leadership means as they achieved greater effectiveness in their careers.


Natural Healer Burke Lennihan, RN CCH

Burke Lennihan is a Harvard graduate and holistic practitioner at the Lydian Center for Innovative Healthcare in Cambridge, Mass. She is also the producer and host of the award-winning local TV show A Healer In Every Home, available on the GreenHealingTV Channel on YouTube. She has also written and co-authored several books and articles on natural health. With more than 40 years of experience in meditation, she teaches classes in heart-center meditation at Harvard University’s Center for Wellness and is a lecturer on holistic health at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Lesley University.


Rena Tobey

As an art historian, Rena Tobey recognizes how much art serves as a source of inspiration, meditation, insight, and healing. Since 2008, she has worked with art museum visitors, students, and participants in her programs to benefit from these built-in qualities. Rena also writes for Art Times Journal and Just for fun, she has created Artventures! Game--a cheeky party game on the adventures of art and art history. Visit to learn more.


Rev. Todd Glacy

Reverend Todd Glacy, MA, is an Interfaith Minister, Spiritual Life Coach and Sacred Sound musician who takes great joy helping people live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. He specializes in creating sacred space and offering transformational experiences which encourage and empower people to relax, tune in and reconnect with their truest and most authentic selves.  Please visit his website at



Dr. Sami Shamma

Dr. Shamma is a chaplain at Cheshire prison and a professor at Hartford Seminary and holds many distinguished degrees from that same institution. He is a recent Doctor of Ministry graduate and holds a graduate certificate in Imam Education as well as an MA in Islamic Studies and Christian Muslim Relations. He also holds post masters in Islamic Chaplaincy. As prison chaplain, he has been very active in teaching Arabic to prisoners so that they could read the original text of the Qu’ran. He also earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from the University of Houston. As well as electrical engineering from Damascus University. 



Janine Thomas

Janine Thomas was raised in a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church in Cheshire CT, and attended Concordia College in Bronxville NY and Concordia University in River Forest IL where she studied to be a music teacher in the Lutheran school system.  In 1973 in Los Angeles, having embraced the Baha’i Faith, her desire to be part of a spiritual global community was fueled by the principles that work is worship and our purpose in life is to know and love God. The belief in these principles has opened many doors of service over the years for Janine and her family including living in a developing country in the Eastern Caribbean for three years.  She  is currently a member of and working with the following groups and activities; Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding, Hartford; God Talkers, interfaith group, Middletown; Artists for World Peace, Middletown; Team member for the relocation of a Tanzanian refugee family, Hartford; Co- host a continuing women’s gathering, South Windsor and South Windsor Baha’i Community Team member of Soul Food Sunday, a collective group east of the CT Riverfocusing on children and adult spiritual education in families and neighborhoods.


Rabbi Ilana Garber

Rabbi Ilana C. Garber has served the community of Beth El Temple, West Hartford, CT since August 2005. She graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, with a BA in Talmud, an MA in Jewish education, and rabbinic ordination. She also received a BA in religion from Barnard College. She is a past participant in STAR PEER: Professional Education for Excellence in Rabbis program, in a rabbinic cohort of Advancing Women Professionals, and in the Clal Rabbis Without Borders fellowship.
She serves on the board of Mikveh Bess Israel and co-chairs the Women’s Committee of the Rabbinical Assembly. Her writing about raising a child with Fragile X Syndrome has been featured on The Jewish Week’s New Normal, the Ruderman Family Foundation blog, the Matan blog, and Kveller.  A survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, she blogs about cancer, survival, family, and Torah at She lives in West Hartford with her husband and two young sons.


 Rev. Catherine Ewing

Rev. Catherine Ewing, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking, is a spiritually focused coach, psychotherapist, energy practitioner, and inspiring speaker. She is passionate about helping people release the cellular residue old traumas, beliefs and emotions in order to reconnect to their true spiritual nature and Soul purpose. She supports clients to step out of their story and into a life of greater passion and purpose. A life-long learner and spiritual seeker, Rev. Catherine brings a broad understanding of spiritual and metaphysical principles and a wide variety of practical tools and resources into her work with clients and into her trainings. 
 She is also a co-author of Incredible Life, a workshop leader, and founder of Sacred Heart Alchemy, where she works with individuals and groups.  She teaches classes in Mind/Body/Spirit at Manchester Community College, at the UConn School of Social Work and National Conferences, where she trains Social Workers in the use of subtle energy, sound and energy psychology in psychotherapy.  
Rev. Catherine is also a prayer chaplain, Worship Assistant and member of the Choir at Unity of Greater Hartford. She is mom to three terrific young adults and one precious grandchild!

Rev. Robert Werme

Rev. Robert is an ordained UCC or United Church of Christ (Congregational) Minister, a multi-instrumental musician and singer, and an experienced workshop and drum circle facilitator.  He has shared his music and other gifts with Unity in the Foothills since soon after Rev. Bonny Gilbert Ashe and Christopher Ashe began this Spiritual Center.  

Reverend Scott Wesley Morgan

 Reverend Scott Wesley Morgan is an ordained minister in Divine Metaphysics and runs his own communication consultancy in Washington DC. With 30 years of broadcast experience, Scott teaches media and communication strategy to many think tanks and international organizations. Scott graduated from the University of California, Davis and authored the book Speaking about Science published by Cambridge University Press (2006). He is finishing up a Masters degree in Spiritual Psychology at Columbia University and recently launched 3rdi, a levelbased app designed to bring mobile mindfulness to teens and young adults.  


Rev. Tony Cryer

Rev. Tony has been a musician, healer, spiritual teacher and preacher for over twenty years, bringing his message of the Divinity of all people to several countries around the world.  He has been an Ordained New Thought Minister for 24 years.  Besides music, Rev. Tony has been a teacher of A Course In Miracles for 20 years. He uses that and Unity Priciples of Truth as a springboard for his inspirational message of awakening and illumination for all Humankind.  Rev. Tony and his wife, Liliana live on Cape Cod Massachusetts and he is currently serving at Unity on Cape Cod.  You can find out more about Tony and his wife on the web at,  and on YouTube Rev. Tony Cryer Channel.


Joseph Firecrow went on to be with our Creator!  May we forever hear his music and embody his vision!

Special Musical Guest Joseph FireCrow- Rest in peace Our Friend-Ah ho

Joseph FireCrow is one the top 3 Native American flute players in the world today. Echodisc said in a review, “Joseph FireCrow is quite simply one of the most gifted players of the Native American flute”. Another reviewer described FireCrow as a “national treasure”. FireCrow has released 8 solo albums to date, 6 internationally. His accomplishments include a GRAMMY™ in the New Age category as a guest artist on David Darling's "PRAYER FOR COMPASSION', a GRAMMY™ nomination in the Best Native American Music Album category, 7 Native American Music Awards; Songwriter of the Year, Best Instrumental Recording and Flutist of the Year (3), Artist of the Year, and Song/Single of the Year; as well as a Telly award.  Please visit his website for more information:


Imam Rafai Arefin

Imam Refai Arefin serves as the Assistant Imam of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.  He pursued study of Arabic and Islamic sciences abroad for over ten years at Al-Azhar University and Qortoba Institute in Cairo, Egypt, at Balqa’a University in Amman, Jordan and under traditional tutelage in Fez, Morocco and Damascus, Syria.  He has spoken at countless mosques, churches, schools and universities throughout the State of Connecticut on Islam, its spiritual underpinnings and social manifestations.



Ananta Kumar Giri 

Ananta Kumar Giri is a Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India. He has taught and done research in many universities in India and abroad, including Aalborg University (Denmark), Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris (France), the University of Kentucky (USA), University of Freiburg & Humboldt University (Germany), and Jagiellonian University (Poland). He has an abiding interest in social movements and cultural change, criticism, creativity and contemporary dialectics of transformation, theories of self, culture and society, and creative streams in education, philosophy and literature.  Dr. Giri has written and edited around two dozen books in Odia and English, including Global Transformations: Postmodernity and Beyond (1998);Conversations and Transformations: Toward a New Ethics of Self and Society (2002); Self-Development and Social Transformations? The Vision and Practice of Self-Study Mobilization of Swadhyaya (2008); Mochi o Darshanika (The Cobbler and the Philosopher, 2009); Sociology and Beyond: Windows and Horizons (2012), Knowledge and Human Liberation: Towards Planetary Realizations (2013); Philosophy and Anthropology: Border-Crossing and Transformations (co-edited with John Clammer, 2013); Pathways of Creative Research: Towards a Festival of Dialogues (editor, 2015). For his contribution to knowledge and society, Dr. Giri was awarded the Barata Jyoti(India Glory) Award in 2012.