MEET MARY & GREG
The Rev. Mary Laymon
The Rev. Dr. Mary Laymon has been nurturing the spiritual journeys of individuals and communities for more than 25 years with experience in inner city, rural and suburban neighborhoods. In all these settings she has worked with children, youth, and families, as well as led retreats and pilgrimages for adults.
Whether she is serving as the pastor at St. Simon’s of Cyrene Episcopal Church in Lincoln Heights or the Spiritual leader of The Beloved Community at Tikkun Farm, she strives to offer the same spiritual leadership, helping others hear the quiet and persistent sacred voice speaking love to each of us.
She has been offering Spiritual Direction for 20 years with adults wanting to explore their sacred selves and deepen their spiritual awareness.
Mary’s favorite sacred places include the Isle 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 in Ireland in 2012, and she is the mother of John – an amazing young adult, gifted musician, writer, and cook. John lives with his wife in Illinois. Mary enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling, camping, and hiking out in God’s “Big Book” – the Celtic way of speaking about creation.
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. He supported the growth of a Cincinnati CarStar franchise, helping create a “body shop Abbey” a place where cars as well as auto body workers experience healing and 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 investing his retirement in stocks, he invested 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. From found objects on the farm and old wood from the barn, Greg also 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.