"It's in the Seed"

ElderSpirit Community Resource Center and Team contributes to the growing national movement in support of "Aging in Community" by encouraging the creation of communities of mutual support and late-life spirituality. Listed below are descriptions of the resource team members plus links to the organizations with which we work.

ElderSpirit Community Resource Team

Monica Appleby - Resource Team Member

Monica Appleby is a resource person for the formation of an ElderSpirit Community. She wrote the grant proposal to the Retirement Research Foundation and after the grant was awarded became the director of the ESC Extension Project. The approach of the ESC Extension Project emerged from the processes of the FOCIS Futures Strategic Planning Task Force of which Monica was member. She has a background in community enterprise, education and development. Monica lives and has been active in the ElderSpirit Community in Abingdon since it opened in 2006.

Monica Appleby
120 Elderspirit Ct.
Abingdon, Virginia 24210
(276) 698-3289
E-mail: mappleby@elderspirit.net

Jean Marie Luce - Resource Team Member

Jean Marie Luce is a founding member of ElderSpirit Community in Abingdon, Virginia. She helped develop a model of late life spirituality that individuals and residential communities can adopt and adapt as their own. Currently living in Asheville, she enjoys working with individuals and groups seeking opportunities for spiritual development and personal growth during the second half of life. With training as a Retreat Leader, she facilitates workshops and retreats that focus on conscious aging. Themes include Inner Work, Caring for Oneself, Mutual Support, Community Service, Reverence for the Earth and Creative Life.

Jean Marie Luce
1 Killian Lane
Asheville, NC 28804
Phone: 828-350-8220
E-mail: jeanmarieluce@hotmail.com

Anne Leibig - Resource Team Member

Anne Leibig was a member of the ElderSpirit Community task force that developed the late life spirituality model and the "goodness of fit" form for the ESC self selection process. Through this work she has an interest in training that strengthens awareness of and develops skills in Mutual Support. As a Gestalt Therapist she has led workshops in the United States and Europe. She recently retired from a 25-year therapy practice in Abingdon VA. She is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy and an off-site member of ElderSpirit Community in Abingdon Va.

Anne Leibig LCSW
270 Lowland St
Abingdon, VA 24210
(276) 525-1689
E-mail: ableibig@bvu.net

Jean Marie Luce and Dene Peterson - Resource Team Members

Dene (Geraldine) Peterson is the founder and developer of ElderSpirit Community in Abingdon, Virginia.

"The main tasks of this role were fundraising and managing the development. I am not an expert in either of these realms but I am a really good problem solver. My idea about fundraising is that there is money to be given away, and why people make a good investment when they give it to me. My idea about development it that it is a complex task for which one is responsible but has very little control.

What I offer those involved in the ElderSpirit Community Resource Center is inspiration to risk the first step, knowledge of resources for public money for affordable housing, how to find likely foundation money, the prerequisites for acquiring land and what it takes to get the buildings built."

Dene has been the administrator of non-profit organizations throughout her professional career. Dene holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Loyola University, Chicago, and a Masters Degree in Higher Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has her certification as a Housing Development Finance Professional.

Dene Peterson
102 Elderspirit Ct.
Abingdon, Virginia 24210
(276) 698-3193
E-mail: denepete@bvu.net

Cinny Poppen & Roger Golden - Resource Team Members

Cinny Poppen and Roger Golden are certified as workshop leaders by the Spiritual Eldering Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Cinny is an educator and peace and justice activist with experience in Central America, Haiti, and the streets of the U.S. She is a hospice volunteer and brings years of meditation and journaling practice into the exercises of the program. Roger is an ordained Church of the Brethren minister with experience in long-term-care chaplaincy. He has studied at the Gerontological Pastoral Care Institute in St. Paul and trained as a spiritual director while attending seminary. Together Cinny and Roger bring an enthusiasm for and awareness of aging issues with a passion for changing the prevailing view that aging is a bad thing.

Cinny Poppen and Roger Golden
114 ElderSpirit Ct.
Abingdon VA 24210
(276) 492-0503
E-mail: goldenpop60@hotmail.com

Workshop Descriptions:
"Tools for Building an ElderSpirit Community" workshop lays out the development of the emerging ElderSpirit Community in a step-by-step flow design. "It's more like a dance than a blueprint." Participants choreograph their own "steps" incorporating their situation of place, people and resources. A visit to the residential community in Abingdon is included plus conversation with those involved in its formation. This is a day and a half workshop for an individual group; two and half days for several groups. "Many ideas, much encouragement - sense of direction," participant in 2005 workshop.
Monica Appleby, facilitator with Resource Center team
"Soul Work in the Second Half of Life" is based on the ElderSpirit Community model of late life spirituality that flows out of the aging process. Themes include Inner Work, Caring for Oneself, Mutual Support, Community Service, Reverence for the Earth and Creative Life. The course is available in six week series or given in a day and a half workshop/retreat format.
Jean Marie Luce, facilitator
"Mutual Support as an Elder" Mutual Support is developing relationships through which we receive and give support. As an Elder we have more experience and time. We also have a fear of being alone or cared for by others. Mutual Support is in contrast to a "Care System." This workshop is to strengthen awareness and skill in reflecting, interacting, creating a field of mutual support. This course is available in a six week series or given in a day and a half workshop/retreat format.
Anne Leibig, facilitator
"Not Home Alone: Aging in Community," "spirited" presentation by Dene Peterson
"Positive Aging" We are on the cusp of an aging population explosion with longevity potential unlike any period in history. It is a time for us to retake the positions once held by elders in society so that the world can be a more caring and loving place for all. Our life experience matters only if we count the fruits and are willing to share the harvest with the world around us.

In 1989 Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi founded The Spiritual Eldering Institute, focused on the spiritual dimensions of aging, affirmation of the elder years, harvesting of life’s wisdom, and leaving a legacy for future generations. Reb Zalman’s book From Age-ing to Sage-ing provides the foundation for the work of Spiritual Eldering and is at the heart of our workshops. Desiring to share with others a positive approach to aging while being realistic about the challenges, we wish to impart a "no denials-no regrets" vision for growing older in service to our families, our communities, and our world.
Cinny Poppen & Roger Golden, facilitators

Organizations in the Aging in Community Movement




Conscious Aging Alliance


Pass It On Network


Sage-ing International


The Spirituality of Age


Rolling Ridge


McCamant & Durrett Architects/The Cohousing Company


Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities
by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett (2011)

To order: http://www.newsociety.com/Books/C/Creating-Cohousing

Charles Durrett (2009),
Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living. The Handbook. New Society Publishers.

To order: www.newsociety.com/bookid/4040

Anne Glass article from the Journal of Aging Studies

“A Conceptual Model for Aging Better Intentionally”

Resources & Networking
2007 ElderSpirit Community®, Inc.