Our Donors and Supporters Propel Bread of Life Forward

Since its founding in 1997, Bread of Life has attracted many caring people dedicated to spiritual growth and life transformation for individuals and groups, and concerned about the impact we all have on those around us, our community and the world as a whole. 

Through the years, the community of Bread of Life has been growing in a meaningful way. Below are the stories of some of our most generous friends who have made immeasurable contributions to making Bread of Life the organization it is now.

We would not be who we are and where we are without them! Click on the person's name below to read about these remarkable people.

To read more about the organizations and companies that support us, please click here.
Julie and Pat Garvey

Recently, we had the pleasure of talking with Julie and Pat Garvey, active members of the Bread of Life community, and co-owners of Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards in St. Helena, California. Julie was introduced to Bread of Life five years ago and quickly sampled its offerings – Quadratos, Spiritual Direction internship, a two-year Practicum in Contemplative Dialogue. Her excitement about the programs drew Pat, her husband of 40 years, into the steadily growing community of Bread of Life. Their support for the mission of Bread of Life is life-giving and is valued beyond measure. Read their thoughts on growing up, role models, Bread of Life and its role in the community.

"The energy of Bread of Life is generative. It is a refreshing antidote to the voices of "not enough", "be afraid", "be defended". It invited us to live wholeheartedly, compassionately and authentically. And when I sit in the art gallery and see the amazing creations that surround the room and then speak to some of the artists, I learn even more about the richness that lies in each heart." Julie Garvey
Chris and Trudy have been part of the Bread of Life community for over 10 years. Trudy participated in a clergy/therapist dialogue group while the organization was still in Davis.  Chris was going through a period of spiritual hunger, and found spiritual direction at Bread of Life 8 years ago. Later, after the organization moved to Sacramento, Trudy completed the spiritual director training program.       
Having financial background and experience, Chris is very clear-minded about his own field. He says the world of finance is, generally and justly, not regarded as a direct path to Spirit. He sees the corrosive effects that greed and self-interest have been having on our nation’s economy and spirit, and sometimes in the name of Christianity. But he credits his career path with giving him the chance to trust, love, and respect some people whose political and religious views are far removed from his. And, of course, to taste the nasty unconsciousness of some people whose politics and theology he shares. So, he believes it has kept him, sometimes, from feeling too comfortable with his own righteousness. Read complete story.
Jim Neafsey

Jim is one of a handful of spiritual directors invited to Bread of Life in 2002 for a series of conversations about the experience of forming people for the work of spiritual direction. He had long been involved in spiritual direction, first as a Jesuit and then in independent retreat work and as a staff member at Mercy Center, Burlingame. The group came together to explore what had been best in our own experiences of being prepared for the deep work of tending the human soul, and what might take this work to the next level. At the end of these conversations, I was delighted that Jim accepted the invitation to join a new Bread of Life faculty team working to create our next phase “Internship in the Art of Spiritual Direction.” Jim has a remarkably discerning spirit and his leadership has been crucial in giving shape and form to the program which just completed its third 3-year cycle. We celebrated Jim’s retirement from the program in May.

Ron joined Bread of Life as a spiritual director in 1999 and recently retired to Santa Barbara with his wife Velma after 13 golden years with us that included celebration of his 80th birthday last spring. In preparation for this move,Velma also stepped down from the Bread of Life board where she served during 2011-2012. Both Ron & Velma have been key supporters and partners, pledging significantly to the work here, opening their home to small groups and sharing the richness of their experience and perspectives.as sanctuary, and Here Ron reflects on spiritual direction , beauty in brokenness and the artistry of God, his life-long partnership with wife and ‘accompanist’ Velma, their decision to support Bread of Life, and his invitation to you.

Albert Toshio Koyama (1919-2010), was born in Pasadena, California, the son of Japanese immigrants. While a young man in college he and his family were relocated to the Gila internment camp in Arizona. Making sense of his life experiences as "sacred story" first drew Al to Bread of Life where he became a foundational supporter donating nearly $50,000 to the mission over his lifetime. His niece, Laura Sugano continued the family legacy with a significant gift from his estate last year after Albert's death. It is with the family's permission we share some pieces of Albert's sacred story.
Sr. Mary Ann Scofield (1926-2012)is in many ways the 'mother of spiritual direction' as it developed in the Central Valley of California and well beyond. She helped Sandra Lommasson begin the spiritual direction internship program at Bread of Life which is now in its 5th cycle. It was her insight in 1989 that 'spiritual directors need a way to come together' that Spiritual Directors International, the worldwide learning community for spiritual directors was born. 

Mary and ElizabethJoan Stock shared a mutual passion for ‘spiritual formation,’ or the practices and processes that help a person grow into their innate spiritual capacity. We each perceived that ‘something’ was knocking on the door and met monthly for two years to pray for openness to whatever it might be. In the mysterious ways of Spirit, as Bread of Life became a possibility for me through Davis Community Church where I was on staff (more about that story next month), Joan’s life changed and she became available to help birth the baby. Over the next 7 years she served at Bread of Life as a spiritual director, board member, retreat leader, faculty member, prayer-partner, colleague and friend. was one of a handful present “from before the beginning” of Bread of Life.