August, 2019

Laura Masterson

Laura Masterson

Dear COHI family,

Although we are a community grounded in Benedictine Spirituality, we must maintain our ministry through a board of directors, which may not seem like a Benedictine practice, but even in the monastery, organizational duties must be attended to. Our leadership is essential as we manage finances as they pertain to our 501(c) (3), growth as we open new centers, and support through representatives and consultants when questions arise. This year, we have explored our structure and as people have transitioned off of our board, we greet new people to fill these roles.

We give such genuine thanks for Carrie Watson’s leadership as Vice President who has been a patient presence as we learn and grow. Carrie has dedicated so much of her time to our ministry. We wish Carrie well as she goes on to new things. We welcome Jenny Massey as our new Vice President who is excited to share her gifts with our larger community and has already expressed the desire to hear from you about what your center has been up to. Jenny lives in Georgia with her husband Michael. Welcome, Jenny!

We also give thanks to Pam Heidt and all she brought to the role of secretary. Pam is a treasure trove of information and stories about Community of Hope. Pam worked tirelessly in many capacities and will continue to serve on the board as Member-at-Large. We welcome Carol Heddleston as our new Secretary. Carol is committed to Community of Hope and has already done a great job in the role. She has just returned from a trip to Colorado with her entire family including lots of grandkids! Welcome, Carol!

Additionally, Mike Patton, who was so selfless in the role of treasurer has filled his term. We give thanks for his time and expertise he has given to us for so long. He has truly been the key to answering our financial questions. Mike will serve on the board for a time. We welcome Maria Wellisch as treasurer who has finished a term as a consultant for us in steering our budget and expenditures. Maria is a professional steeped in sound business practices and we are so happy to continue to have her serve with us.

Please pray for our board of directors, consultants, and regional representatives as we steward our gifts toward maintaining our mission. Although we are currently experiencing a deficit budget, we continually see and feel God’s call to us in the love that is manifested both within The Community of Hope and when we venture out as a listening presence. We are always inviting ideas and participation from all of you as it is our collective effort that heals. We want to hear from you.

In God’s peace,


Community of Hope, International 

2019 Leadership

The Rev. Dr. Helen Appelberg – President Emeritus and Founding Director of COHI;


Jude Arceneaux – Parliamentarian, Regional Representative for the Gulf Region (FL, AL)


Pat Beachy – Regional Representative, Heritage West Region 


Lin Boudreaux Regional Representative, West Texas Region


Earlene Caldwell- Co-Regional Representative, Southwest Region


Carolyn Cockroft – New Center Startup Coordinator


Beverly Davis – Regional Representative, Heritage Central Region 


Carolyn Ershler – Regional Representative, Utah Region


Br. Michael Gallagher, OSB – Member at Large


Mari Spragins Harding – Regional Representative, Atlantic Region


Carol Heddleston – Secretary


Pam Heidt – Member-at-Large, Regional Representative Co-Coordinator

           Regional Rep – Western Region


___vacant____– Co-Regional Representatives, Heartland Region

Jenny Massey- Vice-President


Laura Masterson – President


Kate Maxwell, OSB – Regional Representative, Great Lakes Region 

                             (MN, MI, WI, IL, IN, OH)


Catherine Miller – Communications Director, Regional Representative, Southwest Region (Dallas, 

  Ft. Worth, NW Texas, OK, NM)          


Michael Patton –Member-At-Large


Sarah Roberts – Co-Regional Representative Southeast Region (GA, NC, SC, TN)  


The Rev. Dr. Lynn Ronaldi- Chaplain


Jennifer Sassin – Member at Large


Patricia Shaha – Co-Regional Representative (AR, LA, MS)


Rev. Andrew Sumani – National Supervisor of COHI Malawi


Maria Wellisch - Treasurer


Database Consultant:

Jessica Angeles



Cynthia Drake

3512 Tennyson St., San Diego, CA 92106. 

Cell: (512) 626-4854 


Communications Coordinator:

Catherine Miller (see contact information on main roster)

A Message from our New Board President | Laura Masterson

June, 2019

Dear Community of Hope Chaplains,

I want to introduce myself and give a heartfelt thank you to the board that voted me to the position of president during the board meeting on June 7th at Camp Allen. I am truly happy and grateful to be doing this work among you. The Community of Hope, International remains a work of the Body of Christ in a beautiful world where suffering is present. What we do is indeed a healing measure. I am excited to work together to continue our shared ministry of presence, listening, and prayer. 

Please know that the board and our regional representatives are committed to listening to each of you as you forge ahead in a way that embodies God’s call to you and to us all collectively. Community of Hope was born out of love and deep listening from our founder and President Emeritus, The Rev. Dr. Helen Appleberg. My charge is to continue in that great witness for the present, using The Rule of St. Benedict to help us walk the way of discipleship. During this time of transition, the board is asking each center to dig in through prayer about what Community of Hope means to you and to the world, to share stories of ministry, and to support each other and look ahead to sustaining and growing our efforts. We need each other in the months and years ahead!

Currently, I am in my last year of seminary at The Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. God willing, I will be ordained to the transitional diaconate in the Diocese of Atlanta in December and to the priesthood in June of 2020. Community of Hope has been an integral part of my call since 2013 where I served as a lay chaplain and facilitator in Gainesville, GA. My community there was accountable to each other and brought me up in a special way. I wish the same for all CoHI centers everywhere- that we are firstly a community of disciples who happen to have a charism for pastoral care.

“Let us therefore now at length rise up as the Scripture incites us when it says: “Now is the hour for us to arise from sleep.” And with our eyes open to the divine light, let us with astonished ears listen to the admonition of God’s voice daily crying out and saying: “Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” (Prologue, The Rule of Benedict)

In peace,

Laura Masterson