Click on the title of each staff member to learn more.


Tom Benson, Director ▼

Our Director, Tom Benson, transitioned from the marketplace in May 2017 after 35 years in Operations Management. He began his spiritual journey in the Roman Catholic Tradition and was received into the Anglican Tradition in 1978.

He has been active in church life in many typical ways, and began to seek a deeper experience with God several years ago, finding his way to a Spiritual Director. As they discerned God’s calling in Tom's life, he began a two year Spiritual Formation program with the Potters Inn – Soul Care Institute which he completed in August 2017. This was a transforming experience for him in many ways and where he discovered Contemplative Outreach and Centering Prayer. He has completed several workshops and retreats and recently accepted the appointment of Chapter Coordinator for Contemplative Outreach of Central North Carolina. In December 2018 he became a commissioned presenter for Centering and Welcoming Prayer.    

While studying at the Soul Care Institute, Tom started another two year program with Selah – Spiritual Direction Training, which he is scheduled to complete in April 2019. He is excited to have founded the Center for Contemplative Living in association with the Abbey at New Garden Park.


Joy Damon, Media Services Admnistrator ▼

Joy has been tinkering in web development, graphic design, and digital art since she was a teenager. She graduated from Guilford College in 2014, and served as the lead graphic designer on the college's newspaper, The Guilfordian, from 2011 to 2013. She now works as a freelance web developer, designer, and artist.


Board of Directors ▼

Tom Benson - President
Founder, Center for Contemplative Living

Jessie Meriwether - Vice President
Director of Administration
Masters in Non-Profit Management

Leigh Ann Benson, R.N. - Secretary 
Certified Parish Nurse

David Lynch - Treasurer
Accountant, Parish Finance Committee

Harald Petrini, M.A., LPC, NCC - Director
Director, Christian Counseling Center at New Garden Park