COMMON GROUND: CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE (CGCSP) was established in 2015. Graciously hosted by The Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Taunton, MA, our board (see below) is working to move forward to meet our vision.
The Rev. Tara K. Soughers, Ph.D.
Tara is presently a non-parochial Episcopal priest, with many years of parish experience. She is an experienced trainer, retreat leader, spiritual director, and author. She has written three books in the area of spirituality: Falling in Love with God: Passion, Prayer, and the Song of Songs, Fleeing God: Fear, Call, and the Book of Jonah, and Treasures of Darkness: Finding God When Hope Is Hidden. In 2009, she returned to academia to explore the ways in which historical sources and figures could help to nurture people in their own spiritual journeys, focusing upon the idea of spiritual companionship with saints, particularly Teresa of Avila. In 2013, she received her PhD in Practical Theology with a concentration in Christian Spirituality from the Boston University School of Theology. She has also been trained in contemplative leadership and spiritual direction through the Shalem Institute.
Her training in practical theology reinforced for her the importance of embodied practice in the spiritual life. As a spiritual director and now as executive director, she sees herself as a companion, helping others to explore practices to deepen their own spiritual lives and listening for the ways in which the Spirit is at work in and through their lives.
As we work to develop, grow and expand, we welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please use our Contact Us page to tell us what we’re doing right or what we can improve on.
2016 Board Members
The Rev. Dr. Richard Bardusch
The Reverend Dr. Rich Bardusch is rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Taunton, Massachusetts. His spiritual discipline includes Centering Prayer and simple living. He is a gardener, sci-fi fan, and patio reader extraordinaire. His interests include interfaith dialogue and good liturgy. He loves dogs and being at the center of a vibrant religious community, which is seeking to be faithful followers of Jesus.
The Rev. Edward Cardoza
Edward M. Cardoza, MA.Min. is the co-founder of Still Harbor and the Priest-In-Charge of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Foxboro, MA. Ed received a Masters in Arts in Ministry from Saint John’s Seminary School of Theology in 2003. He completed a practicum in spiritual direction at the Center for Religious Development through the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA. He currently serves as a spiritual director at Still Harbor and is a priest in the Episcopal Church. Ed serves on
the board of Partners In Health (www.pih.org) where he was the Vice President for Development for six years. He also serves on the board of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation (www.epgr.org).
The Rev. Philip Hardwick
Phil Hardwick is Senior Pastor of the Church of the Vine in Carver, Massachusetts. He has served churches as a pastor for over three decades in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Masachusetts in several traditions: Southern Baptist, United Methodist and the United Church of Christ. He is a board member of Contemplative Outreach of Boston and a member of the Fellowship of Saint John, living an ordered life of prayer and service in association with the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His daily spiritual practices include centering prayer, lectio divina, walking meditation, sacred chant, and the loving kindness meditation.
Rabbi Cantor Anne Heath
Rabbi Heath, spiritual leader since 2003 of Congregation Agudath Achim and the Jewish Community House, a 100+-year old progressive, independent synagogue community in Taunton, Mass., is a member of the Greater Rhode Island and the Massachusetts boards of rabbis. Rabbi Heath received rabbinic ordination from The Academy for Jewish Religion (NY) and a cantorial certification from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion, School of Sacred Music (NY) under the auspices of the American Conference of Cantors (Reform) and the Cantors Assembly (Conservative). Rabbi Heath enjoys teaching and practicing with others the many spiritual practices from six core Jewish spiritual paths: Acts of Transcendence, Study, Prayer, Meditation, Ritual, and Relationships/Good Deeds (titles taken from Rabbi Rifat Sonsino)
The Rev. Sarah Person
Sarah Person is an ordained minister serving the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Middleborough, MA. She is a married mother of two, and resides in Middleborough. In addition to her ministry, Rev. Person is the current President of the Middleborough Area Assistance Coalition (MAAC), a member of the Middleborough Housing Authority, and an elected leader in Unitarian Universalist Association district affairs.
The Rev. Tanya April-Trzeciak
Born and educated in Pennsylvania, my path toward a spiritual practice has been long and varied. The religion of my childhood was that of the Eastern Orthodox faith and, although beautiful and stirring at times, it did not satisfy my longing for something more. I read the entire Bible and the Koran, I dabbled in Zen Buddhism, questioned Jewish friends but was never satisfied.
My father, who was an enormous influence on my life, taught me about nature and how fulfilling being outdoors could be no matter what the weather. A friend in college lent me a book on paganism and I was thrilled. Finally here was something that blended my thoughts and feelings with a spirituality I could be comfortable with. Here was something that showed commonality with the religion of my youth. I was amazed at the similarities of the liturgical rituals and the newly discovered rituals of paganism.
As a pagan I believe that the Earth is our Mother and all the elements of nature are to be respected. We are caretakers of this planet and should do all we can to preserve our Mother for future generations. Although I do not profess to be Wiccan, I believe in the Wiccan Rede and all that it says with the basic being: DO NO HARM. Respect and accept all beings and take only what is needed. My faith is eclectic but is mainly based on a belief that there is a Universal Life force that guides us to be better by tolerating and accepting others and their beliefs.
Education: BA and MS Ed. Wilkes University; United States Navy: 15 years; Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans; Member National Order of Trench Rats
Certified Herbalist; Founding member, composer of by-laws, major facilitator of Cranberry Circle CUUPS; Ordained minister in Universal Life Church; Spiritual Counselor; Reiki Master/teacher; Silk Artist
Past Program Leaders / Facilitators
Mr. Allen Bourque
Allen Bourque is a Christian Contemplative, and Centering Prayer practitioner and has been a student of Tai Chi and related Daoist internal arts for over 20 year. His primary Daoist teachers are Don Ethan Miller and Bruce Frantzis. He weaves together the strong body and awareness-based practices of Daoism with the profound heart-centered practices of Christianity. He leads Contemplative Movement programs throughout the Northeast and is an advanced student of Cynthia Bourgeault. He is a graduate of the Shalem Program for Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats, a member of the faculty of the Life Together Community of Brookline, and a member of the Board of Contemplative Outreach Boston.
Ms. Ethel Fraga
Ethel Fraga is both a Centering Prayer Facilitator / Presenter and an Instructor of Jon Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. She also serves as retreat leader and spiritual director.
Over 50 years as a daily meditator and student of contemplative spirituality, she has made extended retreats with many wonderful teachers including Fr. Thomas Keating, Fr. Bede Griffiths, Thich Nhat Hahn and Sharon Salzburg. She presently serves on the Board of Contemplative Outreach of New England.