2023 Summer Conference Speakers

Dwelling and Delighting:
Toward a Flourishing Community

Brad Davis


Poet Brad Davis was born in San Diego, California. He is the author of seven collections, including Trespassing on the Mount of Olives (2021), Song of the Drunkards (2007), Opening King David (2011), and Still Working it Out (2014). He has two chapbooks: Short List of Wonders (2005), winner of the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, and Self Portrait w/ Disposable Camera (2012). Davis’s poems have appeared in Poetry magazine, Paris Review, Michigan Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Brilliant Corners, Image, LETTERS, Presence, and many other journals. In 2012, he edited the anthology Sunken Garden Poetry: 1992-2011 for Hill-Stead Museum, home of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.

Davis served as an Episcopal priest for 25 years and a boarding school chaplain/teacher for 33 years. He was also the first director of educational programming (and poet-in-residence) for Sylvester Manor Educational Farm on Shelter Island, NY. He has taught creative writing at two universities (College of Holy Cross, Eastern Connecticut State University) and two boarding schools (Pomfret School, Stony Brook School). He earned an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He now lives in Putnam, Connecticut, with his spouse, Deb.

Brad serves as Senior Fellow at the C.S. Lewis Study Center in Northfield, MA, where he offers inspiration through seminars and workshops, particularly relating to educators from various boarding and independent day schools.

Jack DesBois


Jack DesBois is a singer, actor, writer, educator, and storyteller (among other things) based in Topsfield, MA. He studied theatre and music at Yale University, New Haven, CT, and Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, earning his BA Music from Middlebury in 2016.  From then until spring 2020 (with a year’s hiatus studying Shakespeare & Performance at Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA), he worked as a professional actor and singer in Vermont.  His singing credits include Handel’s Esther (Haman) and Messiah (Bass solos) and Bach’s St. John Passion (Jesus).  Jack created the solo storytelling performance The Western Star: an original retelling, in epic poetry and song, of the Biblical story of the three kings.

Jack’s path as a performer led him back to education.  He has spent six years teaching theatre enrichment camps for young performers ages 8–21.  He worked for two years as a teaching artist bringing Shakespeare residency programs to 3–6th grade language arts classrooms.  He co-founded DesBois Tutoring & Enrichment with his three siblings in 2020, a service offering academic tutoring, homeschool curriculum support, and educational enrichment programs for schools, homeschool groups, and other organizations.

The programs Jack has developed and presents for DT&E include V is the Valley, an introduction to the traditional folk songs of New England through the exploration of the Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection; Shakespeare’s Songs, a journey into the musical world of the Bard’s plays; and Aesop’s Fables, a workshop exploring storytelling through dance and movement.  Jack also currently works as a freelance copy editor and folk song singer/guitarist, and he is working on an album project of original freedom protest songs, titled “Waking Up.” Learn more about DT&E at www.desboistutoring.org, and about Jack’s music and other projects at www.jackdesbois.com.

Linda Gyrsting Elkan


Linda Gyrsting Elkan is on her third career. In 1983 she graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and practiced law in Washington, D.C. for ten years. During that time, she married her best friend Matthew, and they began a family. As she became aware of the severity of her children’s learning disabilities, Linda retired from the practice of law and embarked on her second career as a homeschooling parent. For eighteen years she taught grammar, exposition and composition, rhetoric, logic, Latin, and French to home educated students, her own and others. While she had been journaling and composing poems since childhood, it was not until her youngest child began to attend school that she was able to pursue her lifelong love of creative writing.

Linda’s first book, Walking with Nana, A Braided Memoir, was a Semi-Finalist in the 2021 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Literary Competition (Expected publication date Summer 2023). Recently, she and her youngest son Jack wrote an illustrated children’s book, Run Your Own Race, about Jack’s journey to the Special Olympics USA games in 2022. She is currently writing meditations on the Psalms and children’s fairy tales in a little cabin that she and her husband built on their farm during the Covid pandemic. When she is not scribbling away in her cabin, Linda is busy raising eight apple trees, four chickens, and one teenager on a hill in New Hampshire.

Sheryl Holmes


A New England native, Sheryl received the Chancellors Talent Award upon graduation from UMass, earning a B.A. in Dance, with a minor in psychology. Combining these two interests, she went on to complete an M.A. in Creative Arts Therapy from Antioch New England College. Currently, she works as a Behavior Technician helping autistic and trauma-affected preschool-aged children increase their communication skills.

Sheryl is a wife to one and mother to nine. She home educated her children for a total of 25 years. Drawing upon her personal experiences, some of which are narrated in her newly published book, Nose to Nose: A Story of Addiction, Overdose Death, and the Final Rescue, Sheryl authentically shares how God carries her through every storm. She is a frequently sought-after speaker, addressing common human struggles and universal issues. She encourages people by meeting them where they are and letting them know that they matter, that they are loved, and that Hope can be found in every situation. In her spare time, she creates with words and food, and sometimes pushes paint around, too. Message her: sherylholmes2018@gmail.com. Visit her website: inthebattle.org.

Scott B. Key


Scott B. Key has devoted his life to imparting to the next generations the value of Biblical truths, a classical education and a life lived with joy and meaning. As Professor Emeritus of Philosophy from California Baptist University, Scott continues to assist young people, educators and professionals to think deeply and carefully about their calling from the perspective of the Christian worldview.

Dr. Key earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Mexico, and a Master’s of Divinity and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Concurrent with his academic career, and throughout his life, he has served in a pastoral capacity in each of the communities in which he has resided.

Scott is one of the founding faculty of the seven-year program entitled, Seminar on Faith and the Academic Professions (SOFAP), strategically designed to assist the 35-40 new tenure-track faculty each year to think deeply and carefully about their teaching, research, and service from the perspective of the Christian worldview. In addition, he helped establish and run the CBU Honors Program, and, previously, the 4-year Great Works Bachelor’s Degree Program. His research areas include the history of philosophy, 20th Century Philosophy, Aesthetics, Ethics, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. 

His publications include Tolkien and Power: Laughter as Subversive; The Wisdom of Innocence: On C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra; and Dr. Cornelius and the Call to Virtuous Learning: Prince Caspian and The Abolition of Man, all available through Amazon. He has also contributed the following chapters: “Metaphors of Meaning: The Dance of Truth and Imagination in That Hideous Stength” in Contemporary Perspectives on C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man, (Mosteller & Anacker, eds., 2017) and “The Moral Aesthetic of Perelandra” in C.S. Lewis and the Arts: Creativity in the Shadowlands” (Miller, ed., 2013). His current research manuscript in preparation is entitled, “Truth in the Balance: A Literary and Philosophical Analysis of the Gospel of Mark.”

Scott and his wife, Mary, home-educated their three children, and are excited to see them navigating post-college, young adulthood transitions with courage and faithfulness. Scott currently serves as Vice President of Academic Initiatives for the C.S. Lewis Study Center in Northfield, MA. (Photo credit: Richard Brewster)

Jasmine Myers


Jasmine is CEO, co-founder, and self-described “piratical maid-of-all-work” for Still Small Theatre, a troupe based in the Boston area and reaching out to churches and community groups throughout New England. Jasmine is a writer, composer, director, actor, producer, stage manager, costumer, and llama farmer.

Most recently, Jasmine and her troupe premiered a movie adaptation of The Diary of Perpetua, adapted from the musical she wrote/composed and directed in several venues throughout the Northeast.

A graduate of Gordon College, she also serves her church in Northampton as Artist in Residence, leading worship, discipling, conducting theatre classes, and coordinating overseas ministry service projects.

Her writing and music are available on www.patreon.com/jmdmyers.

Rob Schulze


Rob Schulze grew up the son of highly educated parents in mostly suburban towns. Frequent moves, including to Germany, provided him with a diverse range of living situations. As he states, “The Lord took the opportunity when my parents moved out of the country to call me to Himself. I have been on this journey with Him for over 46 years now.”

With a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College, experience as owner of both a furniture business and an international travel agency, Rob is now currently running the third – and probably the last – business that the Lord has given him. He grows flowering plants (and sometimes shrubs and trees) from seed. He finds it extremely challenging and rewarding, and, he admits, “all really just an excuse to spend more time with Him.”

More speakers to be added later.

Event Details
Conference Theme
Conference Schedule
Conference Registration
Registration Options & Pay by Check Information