Mary Laymon MDiv MAS DMin has been nurturing the spiritual journeys of individuals and communities for more than 20 years, with experience in inner city, rural and suburban congregations. Mary’s experience with Bowen Family Systems Theory also exceeds 20 years and she often integrates this relationship model into her Spiritual Direction work. In addition to Mary’s academic credentials, she is certified to facilitate SoulCollage workshops and Brené Brown’s Rising Strong and Daring Greatly curriculums.
The passion for Mary’s ministry stems from her deep love for helping others hear the quiet and persistent voice of God speaking love to each of us. She has been offering Spiritual Direction for 15 years and leading Family Systems Theory coaching groups for clergy and business leaders for 3 years. More than 100 people have participated, including clergy, single moms, trauma survivors, CEO’s and small business owners.
Mary is also the Executive Director of Tikkun Farm, a 3.5 acre urban farm that strives to heal people, repair communities and restore creation. The primary focus of Tikkun farm is to help trauma survivors transform their hurtful experiences into beauty and wisdom.
Mary’s journey to heal from childhood sexual abuse has given her first hand experience with the complex web of healing practices necessary to restore wholeness to a life shattered by trauma. She has personally worked with traditional talk Therapists, Shamans, Yoga teachers, Massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, BodyTalk practitioners, Acupuncturists, and many other amazing healers.
This journey taught Mary that the deepest healing comes from God. Through prayer, she developed an intimate, personal relationship with God, and learned to recognize the sacred voice speaking Love to each of us. This voice led her to the many healers who have helped her recover. And this relationship melted away the shame, so embedded in trauma survivors, so she could see herself through God’s eyes as a beautiful, whole woman.
This healing, spiritual journey led Mary into ministry as a Pastor, and then on to become a Spiritual Director, as well as a retreat and workshop leader. It developed her deep intuitive sense of what kinds of practices heal people. Whether it’s an ancient practice like Centering Prayer, the creative and contemplative work of SoulCollage, or the practical life skill tools offered by Brené Brown, Mary knows how to weave these tools into a sacred pattern of healing and spiritual growth.
Mary married Greg York in 2012 and is the mother of young adult son John – musician, writer and culinary artist. They re-purposed Tikkun Farm to be a place of healing, restoration and repair cultivated through meaningful work and spiritual practices. While Mary and Greg are slowly repairing the buildings, they have welcomed people into their community using a wide variety of opportunities and programs. The hope is that all who find shelter at Tikkun Farm may come to know the truth that they are Beloved. (tikkunfarm.com)
Currently, Mary is embracing her dissertation research for a DMin, focusing on transitions in faith journeys, including the potential to outgrow traditional ways that Church speaks of and teaches about God. In particular, Mary is curious about how the Church can continue to nurture the faith of people who experience journeys that lead them beyond the familiarity of their prior Church experience.
Philosophy of Healing
Mary’s passion is helping people of all ages know God and hear the voice of the holy within them, so that they may experience the healing power of Love. She believes that all experiences offer gifts, and serve as teachers, in our life’s work to bring Love into the world through our own unique name and image of God within us. She believes suffering is our most profound teacher. None of us escape suffering in this life. It can be make us bitter or beautiful, dark or luminous.
Mary believes that God’s light shines brightest in the darkest chapters of our stories, and when we look for and discover God there, it leads us down the path toward luminosity. No one can walk this path for us, yet no one needs to walk it alone. As one who’s traveled through the wilderness, Mary offers herself as a companion and guide. She is unafraid of the dark, for she has found God there, and this is what saved her and made her whole.
The Guest House by Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.