Selah has a community that includes a board of invested contemplative peers along with a dedicated group of Companions who accompany one another on the journey of contemplative living. Meet some of the board members below:
Mary Pandiani, D.Min, serves as Selah’s Executive Director, leading the community and organization through its current transition period into future possibilities. Mary has served in various capacities for Selah, including as a founding board member, seminar/group leader, and co-facilitator for Selah’s extended programs, Living From The Heart and Way of the Heart. Mary is a spiritual director and coach, co-facilitator for a spiritual direction training program, and advisor for doctoral students. Mary received her Doctorate of Ministry at Portland Seminary, and her work focuses on a posture of contemplative living across the seasons of life. Her foundation starts with a love for the God who wants to be known and a desire to help others to pause-notice-listen-respond in ways that lead to a deeper understanding of God’s divine invitation. With the support of her husband Bill, Mary serves Selah while also enjoying her family of 4 adult daughters and their families. Mary lives in Gig Harbor WA where she knows the value of beauty in creation and the gift of community.
Lorina Meade began her Selah journey in 2015 as a participant in Living from the Heart. She came longing for deepening encounters with God, curious about matters of the Spirit and soul, and desiring greater inner freedom, spaciousness and wholeness. Through Selah she experienced spaces full of grace, nurturing and community in which she encountered God in new and fresh ways. Lorina’s background is in education and ministry and after LFTH she became certified as a spiritual director. She now offers spiritual direction, leads Soul Care groups, teaches and facilitates, offers contemplative experiences in her church and is trying to live into the intersection of contemplation and action as well as lead others in this. Lorina lives in University Place, WA with her husband J.B. and their almost launched son Sam and dog Zoe. She relishes time spent with their adulting son Ben. She loves to re-create in the beauty of the PNW, read, learn, travel, explore new places, create welcoming spaces, and spend time with family and friends.
Mark Olson is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church. He served churches in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado, before moving to Chicago in 1998 when his partner, Doreen, began a position with the denomination. Following a couple of interim pastor roles, he became Dean of University Ministries and then Dean of Enrollment at North Park University in Chicago. He retired in 2015 and moved to Bellingham, where he participates in the life of Bellingham Covenant Church. He has extensive experience with non-profit organizations and boards of all sizes. His current interests include the Creation Care ministry at Bellingham Covenant and he has facilitated a variety of groups and classes on different topics, including Creation Care. He serves on the team that supports the Pastor of Christian Formation at BCC. A life-long boater, he is co-owner of Tranquillus Charter LLC in Bellingham and does much of the year-round work of maintaining a 42 trawler in charter-ready condition. His spiritual director has suggested that his work on the boat, usually done in some solitude, is in keeping with good Benedictine understanding of working with one’s hands.
Board member Jack Grimm was led to the Selah Center through an exploration of contemplative living within a church-sponsored community group. His involvement in Selah’s Living from the Heart training and soul care groups have furthered his desire for a contemplative path and community. Jack’s work in software development management blends well with his interest in effective teams; he finds joy in the teamwork and spiritual discernment the Selah Center board embodies. He shares his home in Edmonds with his wife (Sue) , two teenage sons (Nick and Alex), and one special dog (Choco). Some of his favorite things include ideas, home projects, golf, scuba diving, and a nice glass of wine with friends.
Board member Doreen Olson | “Like craftsmen working on a great cathedral, we have each been given instruction about the particular stone we are going to spend our lives carving, without knowing or being able to guess where it will take its place within the grand design.” (N.T. Wright, Surprised by Scripture)
As an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church, I have served its 800+ churches in the area of Christian Formation, leading the denomination toward a more whole-istic head, heart, and hands approach to education. The classic spiritual disciplines, including spiritual direction and contemplative prayer, have been key in making that shift. I’ve now entered the season that some call retirement and I live in Bellingham, WA. The ministry of spiritual direction as well as introducing others to ancient and newer forms of contemplative prayer continues to be at the heart of what it means to ‘carve my particular stone’ faithfully and well. I’ve also found joy in developing a new non-profit called PlayFull, whose mission is to help people and organizations play from the inside out. A timely and needed focus in our world. I’m grateful to be part of Selah. I believe that what we offer contributes beautifully to God’s grand design, bringing a quiet, focused strength to the world.
Edie Finnell found Selah when she was invited to participate in a SoulCare group. The gracious listening and peaceful space she experienced and continues to experience in that group have been a welcome rhythm in the striving of daily life. Edie’s SoulCare group, along with the Living From The Heart cohort she was part of, have fostered a way of living that embraces stillness and the discovery of the wonder that rests in the ordinary. Edie lives in Edmonds WA with her husband Dave and their three young daughters. Some of her favorite things to do are reading, discovering new children’s literature, exploring the outdoors with her family, and baking bread.
Cindy Waple was introduced to Selah in 2013 when asked to be a spiritual director for a participant in Living from the Heart. From that initial relationship, she was introduced to Mary and eventually became a participant in soul care groups and most recently, was part of the 2019-2020 Living from the Heart cohort. Cindy has been involved in spiritual formation and the contemplative lifestyle for many years and continues to marvel at the richness and depth of learning and living as God’s beloved. She holds a BA in Christian Leadership and is a spiritual formation teacher, facilitator, spiritual director and transition coach. Before retiring in 2014, Cindy served as Spiritual Formation Coordinator for World Vision US, creating, leading, teaching and providing resources focused on the spiritual nurture and development of staff.
Andrew Larsen works as a consultant and player-coach with many churches and organizations seeking to understand the “other” and empower peacemaking initiatives. He is a public speaker and preacher but also comes alongside as a teacher and leader to help groups engage each other. He utilizes relationship building between communities, often using photography and a growing network of relationships across the country in both churches and mosques. He aligns in ministry with the Covenant Church (consulting with both Love Mercy Do Justice and Serve Globally–departments within the denomination) but also collaborate with other groups. He helps advance this kind of ministry through multiple program ideas they’ve perfected over the years including: peace feasts, multi-faith dialogue events, “cultural listening” events where they learn about a specific demographic in the Muslim community, visits to the other community, and many other community building activities.
Additionally he works in peacemaking and storytelling in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, completing two documentary films called, “Blessed Are the Peacemakers: One Man’s Journey to the Heart of Palestine” and just recently finishing another movie, “Make Hummus, Not Walls.”