Mary Hunter Maxwell, MA
President, Board of Directors
Godly Play Missioner
Mary Hunter Maxwell is the Director of the Preschool at Second-Ponce in Atlanta, GA, a Positive Discipline certified parent educator, and mother to a Montessori child. While on the staff at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip from 2006-2016, she established and managed a Godly Play program with 7 classrooms serving children aged 3 through 5th grade and was a member of the Cathedral Preschool’s board of directors. She then spent a year teaching religion to children in 1st-8th grades in an Episcopal school— often telling more than 20 Godly Play stories a week in her elementary school classes! Mary Hunter holds an MA in Theology from Virginia Theological Seminary and was the adjunct instructor for Christian Formation in The School of Theology at Sewanee during her time as Canon for Education at the Cathedral. Mary Hunter’s husband, George, is the Vicar of the Cathedral of St. Philip and she occasionally writes about faith, Godly Play, early childhood education, and food at www.thevicarswifeatl.com .
Cynthia Hill, PhD
Vice President, Board of Directors
Godly Play Trainer
Cynthia Hill, Ph.D., began her journey with Godly Play almost 25 years ago and has consistently taught Godly Play in both the parish and parish day schools. She currently serves as the Godly Play Administrator in her home parish, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, Texas, one of the oldest Godly Play programs in the country. She joined the College of Trainers in 2013. Very dear to her heart is Amazing Grace Children’s Home and School in Awasi, Kenya, an orphanage and school for girls orphaned by HIV Aids. Over the last 12 years Cynthia has visited frequently and shared many Godly Play stories with the girls at Amazing Grace. Currently she studies iconography in the Byzantine tradition. Cynthia has taught and researched at the college level, and she and her husband of 32 years have two grown daughters, three dogs, and an African Grey parrot.
L. Zoe Cole, J.D., PhD
Secretary, Board of Directors
Zoe Cole spent years working with children using a variety of traditional Sunday School curricula, before being trained in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and finally finding Godly Play through the Rev. Dr. Jerome Berryman’s informal presentations in Colorado. After telling stories in circles of children and adults for more than a decade, and working as an editor for Jerome, she became the Minister to Children & Youth at St. Andrew’s, a small Anglo-Catholic Episcopal Church in downtown Denver. In her spare time, she is an attorney who works as a part-time municipal judge. She completed her Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies in 2019.
The Rev. David A. Madison, DMin
Treasurer, Board of Directors
Fr. Madison serves as the Executive Director of the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools. Prior to entering full-time school ministry, he served as the Director of Christian Education at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Fort Worth where he was introduced to Godly Play. He is an advocate for using Godly Play in school environments, as well.
The Rt. Rev. Rob O’Neill
The Right Reverend Rob O’Neill is the retired Bishop of Colorado for The Episcopal Church. Ordained in 1981, he served as the Canon Educator at Saint John’s Cathedral for over ten years, during which time first met Jerome Berryman and was introduced to Godly Play. As Canon Educator, he wrote curriculum for Living the Good News, trained teachers, and served in various educational roles for The Episcopal Church. Throughout his ordained life he has remained engaged in ministry with children, youth and young adults. He has worked in various leadership roles in the Anglican Communion and is the former board chair of Episcopal Relief and Development, the Episcopal Church’s global relief agency.
Noël J. Schmidt
Noël Schmidt is a strategic marketing executive, having worked most recently for American Cancer Society in Corporate Alliances. She has over 20 years experience in the areas of corporate strategic planning, marketing and product development, and supply chain improvement. She is an advocate for progressive education, a Montessori parent of two teenagers, and a Godly Play guide for the 4th-5th grade classroom at Cathedral of St Philip in Atlanta.
The Rev. Emily Griffin
Godly Play Trainer
The Rev. Emily Griffin is an Associate Rector at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. She has also served parishes in McLean, VA and Pennington, NJ. It was in New Jersey among parishioners of all ages that she found and fell in love with Godly Play, and in 2007 became a trainer. She has helped to plan regional and national trainer gatherings, served on the 2019 North American Godly Play Conference Planning Team, and is currently on the Education Committee of the Godly Play Foundation as well. She received her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, her MSW from Rutgers University, and her STM in Anglican Studies from the General Theological Seminary. Emily and her husband Mike live in DC.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Bozzuti-Jones
The Rev. Dr. Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones is an Episcopal priest at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City. He serves as the Priest and Director of Spiritual Formation of Trinity’s Retreat Center in West Cornwall, CT. A former Jesuit priest from Jamaica, Mark has missionary experience in Belize, Brazil, and Guyana. Fr. Mark’s intellectual interests include the impact of social issues on faith and spirituality, racism, and the impact of poverty. He is an award-winning author; recent books for children include: God Thought of You, God Created, Jesus the Word, The Gospel of Barack Hussein Obama According to Mark, Never Said a Mumbalin’ Word, The Womb of Advent and The Rastafari Book of Common Prayer. Two new books in 2021 include Absalom Jones: Leader and Guide (CPG) and one on the Spirituals called, Face to the Rising Sun: Reflections on Spirituals and Justice(Forward Movement). Fr. Mark is married to the Rev. Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones (Interfaith). Mark Anthony is their son, the Beloved, the Negus.
Laura L. Willis
Laura Willis is a writer and editor who was one of the first Godly Play storytellers when the program was introduced in 2004 at Otey Memorial Parish in Sewanee, Tennessee. Passionate about community, Laura has decades of experience in the nonprofit sector where she has managed, led, and inspired others to work for the common good. She is the author of the award-winning “Finding God in a Bag of Groceries” (Abingdon Press, 2013), a memoir about her faith while working at an outreach ministry in rural Appalachia.
Judy Johnson retired as Executive Assistant to the Dean, Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, GA following her first career as a software developer. She first experienced Godly Play as a parishioner at the Cathedral in 2010 and has been an enthusiastic story teller and advocate ever since. She relocated to her home state of Illinois to be closer to family where she is active in lifelong learning and service organizations.
The Rev. Jenny Sjögreen
Godly Play International Council (GPIC) Chair
The Rev. Jenny Sjögreen the Chair of the Godly Play International Council. She is an ordained Lutheran Priest serving the Cathedral Parish of Strängnäs. A Godly Play story teller and one out of four trainers in Sweden.
The Rev. Dr. Jerome W. Berryman
Godly Play Founder
Senior Fellow, Center for the Theology of Childhood
Ex Officio Board Member
The Rev. Doug Watts
Emeritus Board Member
The Rev. Doug Watts is the Director of Spiritual Care and Education at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Doug is ordained in the United Church of Christ and has been a pediatric Chaplain for thirty years. He led Children’s Medical Center in the establishment of The Center for The Spirituality of Children in 2011 and the construction of a Godly Play Chapel, which is adjacent to the hospital chapel. It is the only Godly Play Chapel in a pediatric hospital in the country. The Chapel is used for storytelling with patients, their family members, hospital staff, and education for chaplain residents and interns. Doug completed the Certificate in Spiritual Guidance of Children offered at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in 2012. He has been a Godly Play trainer and co-led the first clinical Godly Play core training for pediatric chaplains around the country. He served on the Godly Play Foundation for nine years and as president of the foundation for five years.
The Very Rev. Rebecca L. McClain
Emeritus Board Member
The Very Rev. Rebecca L. McClain is a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and was ordained in 1985. Rebecca has served as priest at the congregational, diocesan and national levels and recently retired after completing her responsibilities as Interim Dean of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego, California. In every role and position, her life and work has been shaped by the conviction that all creation is holy and every human being is beloved of God. Through the lens of Jesus, she strives to see as God sees and seeks to serve as an agent of God’s love.
Rebecca spent sixteen years in Arizona and in that time served as Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix. Concurrently, she served as Canon to the Ordinary to the Right Reverend Robert R. Shahan, Bishop of the Diocese of Arizona. In 2007 she assisted the Godly Play Foundation in a reorganization project after which Rebecca was called to her position at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. After a short six month retirement, she was called to serve as Interim Dean at Saint Paul’s. She reentered retirement in March of 2014 and returned to Phoenix, Arizona. Her vocational life is marked with a capacity to manage communities in transition and a profound sense that we are all called to flourish as children of the Holy One.
Rebecca has three grown children and four grandchildren. They are the joy of her life.
The Rev. Karin I. Liebster
Emeritus Board Member
The Rev. Karin Liebster serves as Pastor for Faith Formation at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, TX providing educational programs and opportunities toward the formation of the Christian faith in all stages of life. She first was accredited as Godly Play teacher in 2003, and trained as trainer in 2012. Karin is a leader with the Godly Play Network Houston Gulf Coast. She joined the Godly Play Foundation Board in September 2011.
Karin came to the United States in 1993 from Germany where she received her Master of Divinity and was ordained in the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland. She served Montvale Congregational Church in Woburn, MA (United Church of Christ) before moving to Houston in 1997. Her theological formation took place in the climate of second-generation postwar Germany, a time characterized by the desire to build global ecumenical understanding and relationships, the reformulating of Christian theology in light of two world wars, and the effort of the church to repent and renew relations with the Jewish people. She and her husband Matthias Henze have three teenage children. She enjoys traveling, walks in nature, swimming, cooking, a good book, the newspaper in hard copy, and museum visits.
The Rev. A. Thomas Blackmon
Emeritus Board Member