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About Eric Clay and Shared Journeys

Who I am

For my entire life—nearly sixty years—I have lived and worked across divides of geographic region, economic class, race, culture and religion.  My unique qualifications allow me to work with those whose lives face seemingly irreconcilable differences. Growing up as a hillbilly from rural Missouri, who achieved an Ivy League honors education and a Ph.D., I studied rural and urban poverty and live what might be called the epitome of a multi-cultural existence. I walk in and between many worlds.

I am a clinically trained, multi-faith chaplain with 32 years’ experience counselling and coaching persons through life transitions, and fifteen years as part of the “On-Call” chaplaincy team at Cayuga Medical Center. I have coached scores of individuals and families to live fully through the grieving process. I have been present at hundreds of deaths. Living well challenges us to attend to grief and to embrace renewal.

I am also a community leader, scholar and radio personality. You will find 350 hours of radio interviews I conducted with local residents about the lives they have lived, what they have learned and how they had to change in ways they anticipated and failed to anticipate, as well as how they seek to care for themselves intellectually, emotionally and physically ( 

I started the Ithaca non-profit Shared Journeys in 1994 and continue to offer educational programs and coordinate events that build relationships across religious and secular differences, as well as cultural and economic class differences in the region. 

Eric Clay, M.Div., Ph.D., Community Catalyst


“I never met [anyone] I didn’t like.”  -- Will Rogers 

Board Members

Marcie Bishop, Chair


Joe Regenstein, Vice-Chair


Laura Komor, Secretary


Anna Raphaelidis, Treasurer


Rose Mandl


Jarra Jagne


Shelley Lester

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