About the Temple

The Tree of Life Interfaith Temple, Inc., is a non-denominational church, formed as a nonprofit corporation in the State of New Hampshire in September of 2009 and received 501(c)(3) status under the Internal Revenue Code in June of 2010. The three-fold purpose for the formation of the church is to provide a place of worship, to engage in community charitable activities and to ordain and oversee interfaith ministers as graduated from The Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary. We are a community of ordinary people forging the extra-ordinary mission to create a place where we may practice truly seeing the Divine within all peoples of all religions.

The Board of Directors are:
Rev. Janice Grossman & Rev. Pamela Nowell, Co-Chairpersons
John Silva, Secretary
Bob Chapin, Treasurer
Laurie VanDyck
Presiding Minister, Rev. Stephanie Rutt, Spiritual Advisor

What We Believe

We believe that God is expressed as the body of all creation, the heart of each faith tradition and the infinite Soul of each person.

When this is recognized, we begin to see ourselves in all beings and all beings in our self. We can begin the practice of loving saint and sinner the same as we look beyond the external conditions to the internal, infinite, truth of each being. No one need be outside the bounds of our love. No one. We can now begin to truly love our neighbor as our self.

We believe that it is through the practice of meditative prayer that we awaken to our Divinity and come to know God.

Mother Teresa said that when we pray we talk to God and when we meditate we listen to God. Meditative prayer is not an intellectual experience but rather a quieting of the mind which allows for a humble opening of the heart. In such moments of quiet opening, we experience our deepest desire to be one with our Creator and to become instruments for a greater good.


We believe that each person, being a spark of the Divine flame, has a unique part to play in the Divine Plan.

Though it may appear that some play a more visible or far reaching role, in truth, no one's role is more valuable to the whole than another's. Each of us was created to be holy and to offer our unique gifts in service to our fellow brothers and sisters.


We believe that we are here to serve those in need with joy and thanksgiving.

Because we strive to see ourselves in all beings and all beings in our self, we naturally feel the suffering of our sisters and brothers as our own regardless of religion, race, creed or nationality. And, we naturally rejoice in the Divinity of others as our own. So, as we serve our neighbor, we serve God.


We believe that the role of suffering in human experience is to awaken our humanity, bring us to a deeper threshold of compassion for our self and others and to bring us closer to our Divine creator.

While we may not always be able to control what happens to us or around us, we do have control over how we respond. In turning away from victimhood, we open to receive the gifts inherent in all experience. We embrace the lotus flower as a universal symbol of spirituality as it teaches us that we grow, as the lotus, out of the muck. We, in fact, blossom, not in spite of, but rather, because of.



About the Minister — The Reverend Stephanie Rutt

Rev. Stephanie Rutt is an interfaith minister ordained in 2005 by the New Seminary for Interfaith Studies in New York City. She is founder of the Tree of Life Interfaith Temple and serves as Presiding Minister. She is also the founder and creator of the Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary and the Tree of Life School for Sacred Living, LLC, formally the Tree of Life Yoga Studio. In addition to being certified in the Kripalu and Kundalini yoga traditions, Rev. Rutt is the creator of numerous year long spiritual study courses including Rise Up! The Bhagavad Gita: Job Description for a Spiritual Warrior, Living Our Purpose: The Heart of Spiritual Practice, The Lord's Prayer and Beatitudes in Aramaic and the Sanskrit Mantra Course. She is the author of An Ordinary Life Transformed: Lessons for Everyone from the Bhagavad Gita, published by Hobblebush Books in 2006 and author of The Path of Crow: Journey to Your Inner Treasure, curriculum for The Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary. In addition, in 2012, Rev. Rutt released The Interfaith Worship Manual and Living the Prayer of Jesus: A Study of the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic through Tree of Life Publishing. Rev. Rutt is a member of A World Alliance of Interfaith Clergy, the Interfaith Alliance and the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN).

Rev. Rutt holds a Master of Arts in Psychology, Guidance and Counseling and in the early 90s worked as a mental health counselor at Milford Regional Counseling Services and taught for many years in the behavioral science at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester. Today, she offers spiritual mentoring, focusing on daily spiritual practice as a means to understand and transform the challenges of human experience. As a way of extending service to the community at large, Rev. Rutt founded the Gifts of Grace Foundation which created quilts for local foster care children from 2005 through 2009 and she served as Convener of the Souhegan Valley Interfaith Council from 2004 through 2006 during which she sponsored the To Hear How Others Pray series. Rev. Rutt is currently focused on introducing the Seminary program to as many people as possible. She is available to travel to your location, offering The Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary program to those interested worldwide. Please call 603-546-2320 or email amyb@treeoflifenh.com for more information.


Worship Services

Presiding Minister, Rev. Stephanie Rutt, will officiate on the first Sunday of each month from September 2013 through June of 2014 except where indicated below. Services are held from 11 - 12 noon. Please check back in late August for a complete listing of additional ministers and seminarians who will also be offering services. We welcome you!

January 5, 2014 - Rev Stephanie Rutt, Presiding Minister
January 26, 2014 - Julia Eddy, Seminarian Class of 2014
February 2, 2014 - Rev. Stephanie Rutt, Presiding Minister
February 9, 2014 - Bonnie McKellar, Seminarian Class of 2014
February 16, 2014 - Rev. Sue Hills, Class of 2011
March 2, 2014 - Rev. Stephanie Rutt, Presiding Minister
March 9, 2014 - Kristin Melanson, Seminarian Class of 2014
March 23, 2014 - Deborah Cort, Seminarian Class of 2014
March 30, 2014 - Peggy Marcellino, Seminarian Class of 2014
April 13, 2014 - Laurie VanDyck, Seminarian Class of 2014
*April 20, 2014 (6:00 a.m. - Easter Sunrise Service) - Rev. Stephanie Rutt, Presiding Minister
April 27, 2014 - Camilla Sanderson, Seminarian Class of 2014
May 4, 2014 - Rev. Stephanie Rutt, Presiding Minister
May 18, 2014 - Rev. Pamela Nowell, Class of 2011
May 25, 2014 - Cate Sementa, Seminarian Class of 2014
June 1, 2014 - Rev. Jan Grossman, Class of 2011
Please check back for additional worship services offered by The Tree of Life Interfaith Temple ordained ministers and by seminarians from the Class of 2014.



Community Service

Community service is a priority for the Temple. We are establishing 'A Gift from the Light" program to support local areas in need in our community. If you are in need, or would like to offer volunteerism or contributions, please contact Rev. Stephanie Rutt.



Events and Offerings

Creating Peace Through Inter-Religious Dialogue

Sunday, November 17th, from 2-5, the Tree of Life Interfaith Temple is hosting "Creating Peace Through Inter-Religious Dialogue." We have invited seven local representatives from a variety of faith traditions to facilitate a panel discussion on this very timely topic. Doors open at 1:30 the discussion panel will meet from 2-4 with a short gathering after until 5pm. Join us for a rigorous and meaningful dialogue! Come help create greater peace through understanding, cultivate unity across diversity, and explore concrete ways in which we may join together to serve the needs common to our faith communities. Save the date and add your voice to the discussion! This is a wonderful way, as Gandhi said, for each of us to move ever closer to being the peace we'd like to see in the world.

For ease and uniformity in registration, we are asking that everyone register with Temple Co-Convener, Rev. Pamela Nowell at pamelanowell@gmail.com or call Rev. Pam at 620-9133. Doors will open a half hour early and stay open an hour following for social gathering. We would so LOVE to see you there!!!

The event is free with only a voluntary donation requested.

Location is Milford Town Hall, 1 Union Square, Milford, NH and is right on the Milford oval. You'll be entering from the side door on Middle Street. Doors will open at 1:30 and we will begin at 2:00.

Meet Our Panel Members:

Bahai': Joan Haskell
Joan discovered the Bahai' faith over 35 years ago. Since then, she has studied the teachings of founder Baha'u'llah, striving to bring them into reality and action. A former presenter here at the Tree of Life, Joan brings great depth of knowledge and experience in living the Bahai' faith. She is a LICSW, licensed social worker with the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center and serves as DBH, Disaster Behavioral Health Liaison for southern New Hampshire. Joan is also a quilter who has used her craft to help foster dialogue and healing in quilting circles.

Buddhist: Aurore Eaton
Aurore Eaton has organized and established a Buddhist Sangha in Manchester, NH allowing its evolution out of a meditation/discussion group on Buddhist teachings. Formally she has had a 2 1/2 year association with a Vietnamese Buddhist Temple in Manchester where she has taken the lay vows of "confirmation." Aurore considers herself a Buddhist/Christian with her roots also tied deeply to the teachings of Christ. She is a member of the Boston Old Path Sangha and the Cambridge Zen Center as well as serving as Director of the Manchester Historic Association.

Christian: Teri Motley
Teri Motley hails originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she was raised, as she jokes, "a strict atheist", but with a strong social ethic, by a mother who was deeply involved in the struggle for social justice. She attended Radcliff College, upon graduation working for the Office of Economic Opportunity at the founding of the Community Action Programs in Massachusetts. She moved to Springfield Vermont with her first husband, and became involved with the struggle for inclusion for people with disabilities when their first child was born with severe developmental disabilities. She was gradually converted to Christianity through involvement with committed Christians in a United Church of Christ church. In her 50's, she began taking divinity school classes, ultimately graduating from Andover Newton Theological School. She was called to her first pastorate at The United Church of Jaffrey in Jaffrey, NH in 2009. She served for several years on the Interfaith Advisory Board of The Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, NH, working to formulate an interfaith approach to both celebrating the victims of war, and working to end war through interfaith understanding.

Interfaith: Rev. Stephanie Rutt
Rev. Stephanie Rutt is an interfaith minister ordained in 2005 by the New Seminary for Interfaith Studies in New York City. She is founder of the Tree of Life Interfaith Temple and serves as Presiding Minister. She is also the founder and creator of the Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary, the Tree of Life School for Sacred Living, LLC, and The Gifts of Grace Foundation. Rev. Rutt is the creator of numerous yearlong spiritual study courses and authored An Ordinary Life Transformed: Lessons for Everyone from the Bhagavad Gita and The Path of Crow: Journey to Your Inner Treasure, curriculum for The Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary. In 2012, Rev. Rutt released The Interfaith Worship Manual and Living the Prayer of Jesus: A Study of the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic. Rev. Rutt is a member of A World Alliance of Interfaith Clergy, the Interfaith Alliance and the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN). She holds a Master of Arts in Psychology, Guidance and Counseling and in the early 90s worked as a mental health counselor at Milford Regional Counseling Services and taught for many years in the behavioral science at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester.

Judaism: Michael Rosenblum
Michael Rosenblum has been a rabbinic student of Judaism through the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and is currently continuing his studies in academia in Jewish theology. A former presenter at the Tree of Life, Mike brings a full heart as well as a scholarly mind to discussions examining the depth of Judaism. In addition to his management job in high tech, Mike has been a dance leader of the Dances of Universal Peace 10+ years. Through these practices, he enjoys examining how Judaism intertwines with other faith traditions.

Native American: Medicine Story
Medicine Story, Manitonquat, is a storyteller, an elder and a keeper of the lore of the Assonet Band of the Wampanoag Nation of Massachusetts. Author of ten books and a former columnist and poetry editor with the internationally acclaimed journal Akwesasne Notes, he has also edited Heritage, a journal of Native American liberation. A former presenter here at the Tree of Life, he continues to develop tools for creating a more humane society, including a prison ministry, based upon teachings of the elders of the First Nations under the designation The Circle Way.

Neo-Paganism: Stephen Kenson
Steeped in the ancient Pagan and magical traditions, Steve is committed to balancing light and darkness, finding truth in the union of opposites, and creating a more harmonious world through the alchemy of love, will, and wisdom. A self-professed "professional gaming geek," Steve is a highly acclaimed writer and designer of fantasy role-playing games and author of ten related novels. He works as a staff designer for Green Ronin Publishing, a game publisher based in Seattle, and manages Copper Cauldron Publishing, an imprint for Neo-Pagan and New Age books.