Meet Our Team
The Meetinghouse is a place for people of all ages who are committed to the land, creative expression, and sustainability.
Meet the special people who make it possible.
Deborah Rundlett, Pastor & Coach, is passionate about the spiritual formation of people of all ages and committed to reclaiming the Commons for Ridgebury. When not at the Meetinghouse, she is either facilitating strategic planning for purpose-driven organizations, coaching cohorts or leading global conversations toward the flourishing of people and planet.
Jim Pelgrift is the Meetinghouse storyteller, who loves people and their stories. He has always had a passion for community and in particular the arts. He believes that the arts—music, literature, and visual—are essential not only for the care of soul, but also as an intentional social practice for our times. The act of creating bears witness to our shared humanity and need for prophetic imagination.
Farm & Food
Heather Cochrane is a Biology teacher with a passion for the environment. This passion led her to develop a hands-on curriculum for children and youth to connect with the earth and learn how to grow things. The Farm at Ridgebury is committed to permaculture: that is integrating land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies. She also is our Moderator!
Lessley Burke is an artist and goldsmith. She is founder of the Gilded Lynx, a jewelry and metal arts studio and school in Ridgefield, Connecticut. She is also a certified yoga instructor whose journey through heart surgery led her on a life-changing experience of healing. It is this journey that informs The Meetinghouse vision for wholeness of body, mind and soul.
B. Fulton (Barb) Jennes
Poet in Residence
Clarice M Shirvell
Artist in Residence
Artist in Residence
Sara Vokes, Music director, found her way to The Meetinghouse through serendipitous grace. From singing opera to teaching voice, to directing choirs, she creates the space for people to bring their whole selves: in worship, in fellowship, in healing, in service. Whether at concert, in
worship, as a student, or on retreat, Sara engages the whole person in the journey!
I was born in Manhattan where we lived until I was seven. When my mother divorced, she, my
brother and I moved briefly to Minneapolis and then to Suffern, New York, where I went to high
school. After gradation I went to Columbia University for a year, then attended the Royal
Academy of Dramatic Art in London. When I got back to New York, I worked as an actor for a
short while, until I met my Greek husband. After we married, we moved to Brazil and lived
there for 15 years where we had two children. We returned to the States in 1976 and settled in
Ridgefield. We built a house (on Mopus Bridge Road in Ridgebury) and soon thereafter opened
a contemporary art gallery in Manhattan which we closed 30 years later after my husband was
diagnosed with cancer. We lived in Ridgebury until he died in 2017. I then moved to an
apartment in town and live there with my cat Cinza.
These are the main points. Of course each one has many stories. Only one about Cinza,