Staff

Laura McConnell, Office Manager

LauraMcConnell

Laura joined the staff in December 2015. As Office Manager, she tends to the responsibilities of the Listening Hearts office and coordinates the work of the ministry. With a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Hood College, a Masters in Publication Design from the University of Baltimore, years of experience in publishing and graphic design, and a strong sense of organization, Laura brings important expertise to the position.

Born in Washington D.C. and raised in the suburb of Silver Spring, MD, she has lived in Baltimore for nearly 24 years. Laura is a member of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Bolton Hill, where she lives with her husband, son, and dog. In her spare time, she enjoys singing in the Brown Memorial choir and volunteering for her son’s school. She is excited to deepen working relationships, as she works closely with LHM Trustees, staff, and volunteers.

listening@verizon.net

Sara Shisler Goff, Director of Communications and Ministry Development 

Sara Shislfer Goff Head shot vts flowersSara’s introduction to Listening Hearts came during her own discernment process for ordination where “Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community” and “Grounded in God: Discernment for Group Deliberations,” helped guide her through a journey grounded in God and prayer and, eventually, helping her to articulate her call to the priesthood.

Sara has found that in every aspect of ministry – whether teaching, preaching, providing pastoral care, mission, outreach or even liturgy – discernment plays a key and foundational role. At least, it should. Life with God and life together are processes of ongoing discernment. Sara believes the resources of Listening Hearts are an incredible gift to the church and she is thrilled to play a role in helping more individuals and communities become familiar with these resources and using them in their spiritual journeys.

A native Marylander and a cradle Episcopalian, Sara spent a few years “down south” at Elon University in North Carolina getting her B.A. in Religious Studies. After feeling the “nudge” of God toward a calling to ordination, Sara went to seminary at Yale Divinity School and Berkley Divinity school in New Haven, CT, where she received her Masters of Divinity and Masters of Sacred Theology in Christian Ethics. From 2010 to 2014, Sara served as Canon for Spiritual Formation at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore, Maryland. Until November 2015 she served as Assisting Priest at Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson, Maryland.

In addition to working for Listening Hearts, Sara continues to serve as one of three co-pastors/Missioners for the Slate Project, a new kind of Christian community that gathers both online and face-to-face in Baltimore, Maryland. Sara is currently working on her Doctor of Ministry through Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA; her doctoral work focuses on reimagining the church for the twenty-first century. Sara is a 2015-2016 Beatitudes Society Fellow and is the chair of the Task Force for Leveraging Social Media for Evangelism, an Interim Body of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention.

Sara and her wife Heather live in Baltimore with their two crazy dogs and one unusually social cat. For fun Sara likes to run, make pottery, write poetry, travel and attempt to have a yoga practice. You can follow Sara on twitter at @revshiz and on her blog, theseekersway.com.

lhmsara@verizon.net