Rolling Ridge executive director named

Rev. Dr. Lawrence Jay

November 28, 2016

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar and the Rolling Ridge Board of Directors are pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Lawrence Jay has been named executive director of Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center in North Andover, MA. Rev. Jay most recently served as the Director of Guest Services at Redwood Glen Camp and Conference Center in Loma Mar, CA.

In addition to his 10 years of experience in camping ministry, Rev. Jay has served as a senior pastor and church planter at Sunset Ministry in San Francisco; youth pastor at San Francisco’s First Chinese Baptist Church, and as campus minister and NorCal regional director for the Asian American Christian Fellowship in Berkeley, CA. He will start at Rolling Ridge on Jan. 15, 2017.

“Rev. Jay brings the gift of hospitality to this ministry known as a place of quiet rest and reflection. He also comes with an eager spirit to enhance the Rolling Ridge experience and to broaden its constituency,” said Bishop Devadhar. “His unique scholarship and passion for ecospirituality, combined with an appreciation for diverse spiritual expressions, will appeal across generations and build strong connections with ecumenical and interfaith partners in ministry.” 
An ordained American Baptist pastor, Rev. Jay has a DMin from the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley. He has a master’s in theological studies from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley and an MDiv from Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley, CA. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from UCLA.

Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson, Director of Connectional Ministries and Assistant to the Bishop, is the Conference liaison to camps and will be Rev. Jay’s supervisor.

“We are so pleased to welcome Rev. Jay to the Ridge,” Rev. Robinson-Johnson said. “As the successful planter of a multi-cultural church with a decade of hospitality ministry experience in a large retreat center, he brings strong leadership skills to Rolling Ridge. His theological framework is a great fit with the directions in which the Conference and Rolling Ridge are moving. I welcome his vision for the future of this great ministry and look forward to working with him.”
He succeeds the Rev. Larry Peacock, who retired in June after 11 years as executive director of Rolling Ridge. Melinda Trotti, who has served as interim director since July, will continue through the end of 2016.

A runner, backpacker and plant-based vegan, Rev. Jay is committed to a sustainable "ecological spirituality" and a healthy lifestyle. Ecospirituality has been defined as a manifestation of the spiritual connection between human beings and the environment.

“The Search Committee is grateful to God to have found an energetic, visionary, deeply spiritual and personally engaging executive director for Rolling Ridge,” said search committee chair Rachel Fisher. “His background in church leadership within the American Baptist Church, augmented by a Doctorate of Ministry in ecospirituality, is complemented by considerable experience in Christian hospitality. We anticipate with joy what he will bring to Rolling Ridge, to our Conference, and to New England.”

Also on the search committee were Nizzi Digan, Charles McCrea, Sam Johnson, Kathy Stevens, Judy Proctor, Lee O'Brien and Rev. Robinson-Johnson.
Each year, Rolling Ridge offers some 50 retreats and programs on spiritual formation, health and wellness, peace and justice and the environment as well as personal retreats. The 38-acre estate on Lake Cochichewick can accommodate 60 overnight guests. The center is owned by the New England Conference of The United Methodist Church.