The Rev. Mary Laymon
Mary has been pastoring for 20 years. She began her ministry in the Lutheran Church on the East Coast in Maryland and Philadelphia. Her marriage to Greg York brought her to Cincinnati. Her passion is helping people of all ages know God, hear the voice of the holy within them so that they may experience the healing power of Love.
She has pastored in a variety of settings: the inner city, a rural parish, and middle class suburban congregations. In all these settings she has worked with children, youth and families as well as leading retreats and pilgrimages for adults. She also spends her time offering Spiritual Direction to adults wanting to explore their relationship with God.
Mary’s favorite sacred places include the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland, the Celtic monastic ruin, Skellig Michael on an island off the coast of Ireland, and Assateague, the barrier island off the coast of Maryland where she’s been camping with her family every summer since she was five years old.
She married Greg York 3 years ago in Ireland and is the mother of 18 year old John – musician, writer and freshman at Cincinnati State. Mary enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling, camping and hiking out in God’s “Big Book” – the Celtic way of speaking about creation. But she really loves helping others hear the quiet and persistent voice of God speaking love to us.
After a 25 year career at Procter & Gamble, Greg retired from corporate life and began creating another kind of life – centered around restoration and repurposing. Greg repurposes his skills as a manager and strategic planner mentoring young entrepreneurs and supporting the growth of Center City Collision’s “body shop Abbey” a place where cars as well as auto body workers experience healing & restoration. Through his capacity to see beauty where others see ruin he creates spaces for community living in the homes he’s wonderfully restored. Rather than invest in stocks, he invests in neighborhoods, restoring a “third place” cafe in an impoverished community where urban farmers make a living from their garden feeding their neighbors.
But Greg’s greatest restoration project has been inspired by his childhood playgrounds: the land his grandparents farmed and the acres of woods around his family home. From the moment his retirement began, Greg began looking for a farm that would not only feed bodies, but souls. When Greg first laid eyes on Tikkun Farm he saw beyond the broken barns and gutted farmhouse to the healing community that would flourish in buildings beautifully restored. Through farming practices that heal the land, Greg knew that growing food would restore the souls of those planting and harvesting. And from found objects on the farm and old wood from the barn, Greg regularly creates beauty by repurposing the items as furniture and jewelry.
Three years after Greg’s retirement Mary joined him in Cincinnati as his life partner and partner in ministry. They were married in Ireland and Greg warmly welcomed Mary son’s John into the circle of his love. They enjoy restoring the farm together and offering hospitality to all who visit.
Greg loves to travel and hike in the Appalachian mountains. One of his favorite destinations, LeConte Lodge, can only be reached by climbing the second highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains, an elevation of about 6400 feet.
While living in Japan, Greg fell in love with the idea of building tiny houses and living in remarkably efficient small spaces. He hopes to build a small community of tiny houses at Tikkun Farm.