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Join date: Feb 4, 2022


Melissa Madara is the founder and director of Sacred SoulScapes, and a United Methodist deacon.

Melissa discovered yoga as a spiritual practice in 2011 during a "dark night of the soul" - a season in which mingled grief, anger, and exhaustion had drained her spirit. It was through the gentle movement, breath work, and mindfulness offered through a prayer-focused yoga class that Melissa discovered a space of healing in which her body could "stand in the gap" and pray when words fell short.

Having served as a local pastor, an ordained elder, and more recently, as an ordained deacon in the UMC, Melissa has experienced more than 20 years of "ups and downs" in local church ministry in many different contexts, from rural to urban; small churches and large; associate and solo pastorates; both inside and outside the walls of the church. As a spiritual director who specializes in ministry to young adults as well as clergy, Melissa delights in "holding sacred space" for those who are worn out by the demands of local church ministry, and creating places of healing and wholeness when life simply feels like too much.

Melissa holds a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School; a 225-hour yoga instructor certification from Holy Yoga, with specialty certifications in trauma-sensitive yoga, senior/adaptive yoga, kids' yoga, and yin/restorative yoga; and a certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Center for Spiritual Formation in Carlisle, PA, where she currently serves as a program facilitator for the Ministry of Spiritual Direction training program, and from whom she received the 2023 Marlene Atanasoff Spiritual Formation Award.

She and her family currently reside in central Pennsylvania.

Rev. Melissa Madara

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