I’ve been married to Mary Ann for the last 40 years, so much of what you read in her bio also applies to me (e.g. 13 kids, Peace Corps service in the Yemen Arab Republic, most of our lives spent in Washington, DC) Mary Ann noted that we’ve been spending a fair amount of time in recent years involved in a cooperatively owned retreat facility (Still Point Mountain Retreat), which she serves part-time as manager, and I help out on maintenance and repairs.
Our interest in Shepherd Village is in participating in sustained, meaningful community. We’re glad this will include a group of friends that we have known for the last thirty years and whose children grew up together. We share with them interests in societal issues, in the outdoor environment, and in spiritual enrichment.
I’ve long worked as an environmental engineer. In my free time, I enjoy reading (particularly in history and science), and spending time outdoors on work and recreation, and making new friends.
Mary Ann Welter
I’m a small-town, rural girl from Western Maryland who, by chance and choice, has spent nearly all my adult life living in Washington, D.C. or a scant block into Maryland. Radically different geography has certainly colored my world view. I’m equally drawn to the beach and the mountains. I’ve lived in tiny towns, ancient cities, and on a farm. I married Greg in 1973 to (among other things) join him as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Yemen Arab Republic. I’ve gone swimming in the Red Sea, rode donkeys as transportation, grown my own food, lived in unusual dwellings, built community in diverse ways, including raising a huge family and laughing a lot (crying some, too). Greg and I have 13 kids through adoption, birth, and fostering, and three little grand boys. I work as a Learning Support Teacher at a Catholic High School in Takoma Park, MD. I don’t look to retire anytime soon, though I may find myself tutoring young West Virginians.
My most significant community has been Circle Community Church, a ragtag tribe who met through Sojourners magazine and Community in DC in the late 70’s/early 80’s, raised our children together in D.C. and Mt. Rainier, Md., and bonded as life-long friends. For more than 20 years, we have been connected to Jefferson County, W. Va. through Rolling Ridge Study Retreat where we found a respite from the city for our young families, ways to nurture and challenge our spirits, and various ways to make the wilderness our home. My current wilderness home is Still Point Mountain Retreat which sits on 35 acres along two borders of Rolling Ridge Foundation’s 1400-acre wilderness preserve and acres overlooks the Shenandoah. Our family is a co-owner of Still Point, and I manage its operations, giving me a great excuse to watch the river in all seasons, walk miles of trails, solve problems, and create community with partners and retreat guests.
Now that it’s time to think about the next adventure, I’m drawn to doing something different, yet somehow very familiar — living in an unusual dwelling with people I love, laughing, learning, and working together to build a community with and for one another: Shepherd Village!