SFCL Staff

Claire Wolfteich



holly-brHolly Benzenhafer Redford

PhD in Practical Theology (Spirituality concentration)

I am deeply interested in exploring spiritual relatedness and its manifestation in community. Viewing ‘the core of being’ as comprised of an interconnectedness within (and with) the Sacred, I seek the means by which we interpret our experience of the Divine; the spiritual practices we employ to form that experience; the relationships we form with self and others via spiritual affinities of expression and understanding; and how such connections impact us individually, collectively, and historically. I am particularly drawn to holding the historical lenses of medieval Celtic spirituality and monasticism and medieval mysticism to this exploration in order to tease out the undercurrent themes of relatedness which continue to tweak the current growth of intentional communities and return laity and clergy, alike, to engaging holistic spiritual practices.

When able to come up for air, I love to plan Decadent Days with a friend or two. A Decadent Day is an entire day set aside to go with the flow. We have a loose agenda of a few things we will enjoy that normally do not happen because we are ‘too busy’. Most importantly, we step out of our routines and spend intentional time together. It is a delight, a gift, and cherished time.

Three of my favorite spirituality quotes are:

“The fullness of joy is to behold God in all things.”

– Julian of Norwich (c. 1342- c. 1416); English mystic/anchoress

“Life in community is no less than a necessity for us, an inescapable ‘must’…all life created by God exists in communal order and works toward community.”

– Eberhard Arnold (1883-1935), German theologian/author, founder of the Bruderhof

“Matter matters.”

–J. Philip Newell quoting George MacLeod, founder of Iona Community

Infused within these statements is the thread of relationship on multiple levels of Spirit, soul, and universal community. In our diversity, we are one–a unified whole within and with the Divine.