About Us

About Us:

Confluence: A Center for Spirituality was founded in the Spring of 2010 by the Rev. Steve Lawler and the Rev. Susan Skinner.

This “roofless” community grew out of a desire to help people deepen and enrich their spiritual lives. We seek to join each person’s journey by providing opportunities and resources for spiritual formation.

Open to all people regardless of denomination or faith group, Confluence fulfills its purpose by offering retreats, spiritual direction, quiet days, and workshops devoted to the spiritual life.

Board of Directors

Jerry Cooper, President, has been a member of the Episcopal Church for more than 45 years and has served in numerous capacities during that time: vestry member, senior warden, junior warden, minister of ceremonies, chalice bearer, lector, chair of the worship committee, and chair of the missions committee. He has also served as the president of the Emmanuel Foundation, as well as a member of the Diocesan Investment Trust and the Diocesan Endowment Committee. He retired from Wells Fargo Advisors (formerly A.G. Edwards and Sons) in 2016 after more than 30 years in the financial industry. Jerry has also served and continues to serve on a number of charitable boards.

The Rev. Jerre Birdsong is a deacon serving at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in the city of St. Louis and Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Webster Groves. Deacon Jerre participates in “Confluence – A Center for Spirituality” to help spread the transformative wisdom of contemplative tradition with the goal of nurturing its emergence in service to the healing of our world. Jerre’s ministry is inspired by his late wife Gayle, whom God certainly welcomed with the words, “Servant, well done.”

The Rev. Emily Hillquist Davis leads two congregations in Crestwood: Advent Episcopal Church and St. Thomas Episcopal Deaf Church. Emily is also a certified yoga instructor, leading meditative Christian yoga classes. Travel, linguistic and kinetic adventures, and doctoral work on medieval visionaries drew her into the joyful flow of mystical incarnational spirituality that she lives to share.

Ruby S. Downs is a retired public school history teacher who is now self-employed as a real estate photographer. A graduate of the Education for Ministry program of The University of the South, Sewanee, she is excited about helping create opportunities where people can experience the presence of God in their lives.

Sabine McDowell has been a member of the Anglican community since 1983. She moved permanently to St. Louis in 2007 and has served on the Confluence Board since 2015. She hosts a Meetup for Episcopalian Singles in St. Louis and loves to travel to Iona as a pilgrim. Sabine’s role is to be the social media liaison for Confluence.

The Rev. Paul A. Metzler, D.Min., an Episcopal priest and psychotherapist, is semi-retired following over 40-years of service as a clergy, therapist, educator, administrator, grief counselor, spiritual director and consultant to community, professional, and religious organizations.

The Rev. Susan Skinner is an Episcopal priest, an educator, a spiritual counselor and an experienced retreat leader. Confluence grew out of her desire to provide opportunities for joining in the journey with those who are seeking a deeper relationship with God. She is a member of Spiritual Directors International.