Storydwelling has many leaders! From tending to our weekly gatherings, to facilitating small groups, to being at the helm of organizing and justice work, we are a community made of leaders. Here are a few of the folks setting priorities and making decisions in the life of this community.


Rev. Erika Spaet

Erika is originally from the Garden State and moved to Portland after college to cut her teeth as a community organizer and live in intentional spiritual community through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps NW. While in Portland, Erika learned how to tell her story and preach the good word alongside the beautiful souls at the Leaven Community. Erika graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California, and most recently served The Bridge, a coffee house ministry in St. Charles, Missouri. She is married to Tom, a graphic artist, and whe enjoys cooking, reading, and singing lullabies to her boys. 


Caroljoy Brendlinger
Minister of Sacred Presence

Caroljoy brings to Storydwelling a rich background in leading music, designing ritual, and spiritually accompanying individuals and groups. CJ has held positions as the director of the Spiritual Life Center at Portland State University and in hospitality and songleading at Breitenbush Hot Springs. She received her M.Div. from Earlham School of Religion and is a certified spiritual director. Quaker by background, she has a deep call to interfaith work, vocational discernment processes and pastoral care. CJ supports the work of our gatherings and her presence deepens Storydwelling’s commitment to relationship, listening and spiritual care.


Ilona Andina
Children + Families Organizer

Devoted to the art of presence, Ilona is committed to supporting individuals through life’s intricate journey, drawing motivation from her personal voyage. Her passion involves empowering children to express themselves freely and navigate effective communication. Guiding parents to rediscover their inner child fuels her joy, nurturing wholehearted living and fortifying their ability to connect with their children. Understanding the subjective nature of life’s meaning and its impact on hope, her fulfillment springs from aiding individuals in discovering profound significance amidst life’s constant shifts. She’s propelled by a powerful force: the love she believes resides within every individual, motivated by the insight that connection is our nature and self-awareness leads to ultimate freedom.Kelly Ripley
Board of Storytenders


Kelly is honored to be on the Storydwelling Board. Her priorities in life are to have healthy spiritual, physical, mental and emotional connections. She value connections with people and spirituality, which is why she is committed to Storydwelling. She has been in Bend for 16 years and loves the outdoor beauty and activities. Although she has a Bachelors Degree and a successful career in outdoor recreation working for the federal government for 31 years, her most prestigious role in life is being mom to her most beautiful son Gage! Her motto in life is “Live Large and Love Larger!”  Life is short, eat dessert first! She is blessed on this journey, so she wants to give back!