Community Discussion Panels

"Thriving Communities" Discussion Panels

On Saturday, March 10th, a rotation of 6 different discussion panels on topics pertaining to Building Thriving Communities will be presented in three breakout sessions (each topic will be presented twice).  

The Thriving Communities discussion panels will feature leaders, experts and practitioners from both within and outside of the church.  Each session will last approximately 60 minutes, convening at 9:15 am, 10:30 am, and 1:00 pm.  Discussion Panel topics are listed below.

Discussion Panels and Moderators

The Addiction Epidemic  (David Quinones - Living Stones Foundation)

Mental Health Challenges  (Rocky & Deb Rausch - Cape Cod Church)

Housing and Homelessness  (Jill Scalise - Brewster Baptist Church)

Senior Care & Opportunities  (Judi Wilson - Harwich Council on Aging)

Foster Care Issues  (Dave Condon - Brewster Baptist Church)

Immigration Challenges  (Rev. Linda Shaw - First Baptist Church, Hyannis)

Click on the toggle bars below for descriptions of each Community Discussion Panel.

Discussion Panel Descriptions

The Addiction Epidemic

Addressing a number of addiction-related topics specific to the Cape including, but not limited to, opioids and alcohol.  Panel discussion will include information and education on the magnitude of the epidemic, relevant community activities and mitigation efforts, church and government services available, training, ministries, etc.

Moderator:  David Quinones, Chairman of the Board, Straight Ahead Ministries  


  • Kevin Mikolazyk - Executive Director and President of the Board of Directors, The Herren Project
  • Sean Merrill - Community Relations Liaison, Teen Challenge New England
  • David Tager, M.D. - Chief Medical Officer, Community Health Center of Cape Cod 

John 8:36     I Corinthians 6:12     2 Corinthians 5:17

This panel will be held on Saturday, March 10th in the Main Auditorium on the first floor of Cape Cod Church during the 9:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. Community Discussion Panel sessions.

Panelist Info:

  • David Quinones serves as chairman of the board of directors for Straight Ahead Ministries, a nationwide non-profit dedicated to "seeing Jesus transform the lives of juvenile offenders." He is also co-founder and co-president of the Living Stones Foundation, whose mission is "to show God's love by sharing his resources with those who minister to the disadvantaged and forgotten." 

  • Kevin Mikolazyk leads The Herren Project, a non-profit founded in 2011 by former Boston Celtic Chris Herren "to provide assistance in taking the first steps toward recovery and a life of sobriety through educational programs and resources to increase addiction awareness and bring hope for a better tomorrow." Kevin has been in long-term recovery himself for 13+ years.

  • Sean Merrill graduated from Teen Challenge Brockton in 2014. Sean was a licensed journeyman electrician with a wife, child, home and successful business. One day he took a pill that his younger brother Corey offered him. That one choice dramatically changed the next ten years of his life. After his brother died from a heroin overdose and with his life in a shambles, Sean cried out to God and ended up at Teen Challenge. Working in the Program Development office of the Brockton program while a student, Sean developed a heart to give back to the ministry that saved his life.  Sean brings a high level of enthusiasm, precise detail and a tireless servant spirit to his position.

  • David Tager, M.D. is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Cornell University and received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at The Miriam Hospital – Brown University, in Providence, RI and a fellowship in gastroenterology at Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, MA. He is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Prior to the Health Center, Dr. Tager was in private practice in Rutland, VT, where he also served as Medical Director of Eden Park Nursing Home. He has been with Community Health Center of Cape Cod for nearly 9 years. Dr Tager provides medical supervision over addictions programming at the health center.

Mental Health Challenges

Mental Health Challenges - Early Recognition and Pathways to Treatment and Healing

A panel discussion on the importance of early recognition of mental illness in our families and congregations, and practical steps to seek help for children and adults suffering with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Like any medical illness, waiting until the symptoms of mental illness are acute doesn't make sense, but that is often what we do. How we as individuals and churches can ask the right questions and help individuals and families as they navigate the unique challenges of mental illness. 

Moderator:  Dr. Rocky Rausch, Cape Cod Church


  • Debra Rausch, Family Connections Leader, Cape Cod Church
  • Tracie Moulton, Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Mental Health Specialist, Cape Cod Pediatrics
  • Officer Tyler Narbonne, Mental Health Outreach Officer, Falmouth Police Department
  • Brittany Feldott, Communications Director, Cape Cod Church

Proverbs 3:5-6     Proverbs 4:23     Isaiah 26:3     Philippians 4:6-7     2 Timothy 1:7

This panel will be held in the The Loft Teen Center on the second floor of Cape Cod Church during the 9:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. breakout sessions.

Panelist Info:

  • Dr. Rocky Rausch has been associated with Christian work (professional and lay) since the mid 80's. He served on staff at churches in Baton Rouge, LA. and Bristol, TN, then spent 20 years as Vice President for Student Development at King University in Bristol, TN.  Dr. Rausch earned a BS in Psychology from Jacksonville University, an MA in Counseling from Louisiana State Univ. and a doctorate (D.Min.) in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the former President of the Board of Directors for the Cape and Islands chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Rocky and his wife Debra lead "Family Connections" mental health training and support groups at Cape Cod Church.  
  • Debra Rausch is the leader and facilitator of "Family Connections," a skills-based curriculum and support structure that helps individuals and families deal with the challenges of mental illness. She has been involved with facilitating mental illness awareness on Cape Cod for several years.
  • Tracie Moulton, originally from Arlington Heights, IL graduated in 1980 from the University of Evansville with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In 1985 she received her Master of Science in Nursing Management. Tracie worked in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a staff nurse, transport nurse and nurse manager and has taught classes in care of newborns. In 2012 she received her Post Master's Certificate as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from The Catholic University of America in Washington DC, and was certified as a Pediatric Mental Health Specialist in 2013. Tracie joined Cape Cod Pediatrics in June of 2015. Her areas of clinical interest include developmental and behavioral pediatrics; and child and adolescent mental health. She is a member of NAPNAP and is certified through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.
  • Officer Tyler Narbonne has served with the Falmouth Police Department department for five years and for the last two years has been the department's Mental Health Outreach Officer. In 2016, he completed a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The CIT construct seeks to train officers in identification and "first aid" for those in mental health crisis, and to connect local police departments with mental health resources to prevent the unnecessary arrest and detention of those suffering from mental illness. Officer Narbonne also works with Falmouth Human Services to follow up on those referred to ensure that support and aftercare is available and provided.
  • Brittany Feldott  graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in psychology and economics and begins a graduate program in theology this fall at St. Andrews University.  She currently divides her time between working as Director of Communications at Cape Cod Church and writing for the Enterprise Newspapers. She has a personal passion to encourage and educate families about the pain and stigma associated with mental health challenges, sharing her own story, giving hope and courage. 

Housing and Homelessness

The housing situation has changed dramatically on Cape Cod in less than twenty years. How has the sharp increase in second/vacation homes impacted the housing and rental market, working families, homelessness, and the lives of people our churches are seeking to reach in our communities? How do we help the homeless and those struggling to find affordable housing in this environment? What challenges will churches and their people need to address in the coming years?

Moderator:  Jill Scalise, Housing Coordinator, Town of Brewster


  • Heather Harper - Affordable Housing Specialist, Cape Cod Commission
  • Laura Reckford - Director of Community Relations, Housing Assistance Corp.
  • Marilyn Lariviere - Youth Streetreach Director, CC Council of Churches

Matthew 25:34-40     James 2:14-17     1 John 3:17     

This panel will be held in the Kids Town Theater on the first floor of Cape Cod Church during the 9:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. Community Discussion Panel breakout sessions.

Panelist Info:

  • Jill Scalise  believes that God desires that all people have a safe place to live. She has worked on issues of housing and homelessness for the past 30 years and is presently the Housing Coordinator for the Town of Brewster. For over a decade, Jill oversaw the Cape Cod Council of Churches Homeless Ministries program. Jill is also the Mission Team Leader for Brewster Baptist Church, wife of Pastor Douglas Scalise and thankful mother of two sons.

  • Heather B. Harper, AICP,  joined the Cape Cod Commission as its Community Design/Affordable Housing Specialist in 2016. Ms. Harper led the Cape Cod Regional Housing Market Analysis and has participated as a presenter at the Cape Cod Housing Institute. Prior to her appointment to the Commission staff, Ms. Harper served as the Assistant Town Manager for the Town of Falmouth. While there, she worked on various executive level programs, the Main Street Revitalization Program, the Falmouth Public Library Historic Renovation and Expansion, and Golf Course and Related Opens Space Acquisition and Operations. She also facilitated several affordable housing projects from inception to implementation. While in service, Ms. Harper was elected as Vice President of the International City and County Manager’s Association. As a result, she has traveled widely across the United States and to Slovakia representing her municipal colleagues. Heather has been married to her husband Martin for almost 25 years. Together they are raising two teenage sons.

  • Laura Reckford is the Director of Community Relations at Housing Assistance Corporation. Housing Assistance Corporation, also known as HAC, is a 44-year-old nonprofit that helps people on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket with a range of housing issues, including outreach to homeless individuals; shelter for families; rental vouchers for working families, seniors, veterans and disabled people; foreclosure prevention and second mortgage counseling; first-time homebuyer and other classes; home repair and weatherization; and affordable housing development.

  • Marilyn Lariviere is the Director of Youth StreetReach, a program of the Cape Cod Council of Churches.  Youth StreetReach began in September of 2007 as a response to a request from the Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) to provide a program to help youth understand the issue of homelessness on Cape Cod.  It is loosely based on the CityReach Program in Boston sponsored by Ecclesia Ministries. Youth StreetReach's Mission Statement: “To integrate education, worship, and outreach in order to make youth more aware of injustice and to respect the dignity of all people, especially the lonely, lost, and disenfranchised.” Marilyn also serves as President of Church Women United of Cape Cod and she and her husband Ed have ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Senior Care and Opportunities

Seniors – The needs and opportunities of the "Fourth Quarter of Life." The final season of our life presents challenges and changes to our health, relationships, and lifestyle. How do we cope with them? How do we as individuals and as churches assist those in need and their caregivers? Retirement may also present new opportunities to pursue meaning, purpose, significance and service. We may retire from a job, but we never retire from living out life as a disciple of Christ.

Moderator:  Judi Wilson - Director, Harwich Council on Aging


  • Doug Scalise - Lead Pastor, Brewster Baptist Church
  • Pat Bertschy - Alzheimer's Family Support Center, Brewster

Job 12:12     Psalms 71:18     Proverbs 16:31     Isaiah 46:4     James 1:27

This panel will be held in the Main Auditorium on the first floor of Cape Cod Church during the 10:30 a.m. Community Discussion Panel breakout session, then again during the 1 p.m. breakout session in The Loft Teen Center on the second floor of the church.

Panelist Info:    

  • Judi Wilson has spent most of her professional career working and advocating for older adults and caregivers. She worked as a Respite Case Manager for Elder Services of Merrimack Valley and as a counselor for the Massachusetts Elder Abuse Hotline before getting married and moving to the Cape 29 years ago. Once here, she worked at Elder Services of Cape Cod & the Islands as a Case Management Supervisor then Planner/Grants Manager where she initiated efforts to coordinate communication with the Cape Councils on Aging. After a few years as the Director of the Chatham Council on Aging, she focused on raising her family and worked part-time at Snow Library while her children were young. She was Director of the Orleans Council on Aging for 5+ years before becoming the Harwich Council on Aging Director in September 2017. Judi sits on the Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Council on Aging and is committed to planning and implementing community-based programs and services for those aging in place in the community. She lives in Brewster with her husband Ed, where they have raised their three children. Judi has been a member of the Brewster Housing Authority, a Sunday School teacher and Director of Religious Education, and has been attending Brewster Baptist Church for the last few years.

  • Doug Scalise is in his 23rd year as Lead Pastor of Brewster Baptist Church. Through those years he has worked with hundreds of mature adults to assist them in finding meaning and significance in the "fourth quarter of life" through opportunities for ministry, service, and spiritual growth. Additionally, he's come alongside many, many individuals and families to assist them in dealing with the challenges that come with physical and mental changes and in coping with grief and loss.

  • Pat Bertschy is the Outreach Coordinator and advocate for the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod, a non-profit organization started by caregivers to provide free services to individuals, families and caregivers living with dementia-related illnesses. When Pat’s husband Bob was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center provided Pat and Bob a community of people who understood Alzheimer’s and helped them live as well as they could with the changes and frustrations caused by the disease. Pat’s goal in working with the Center is to bring awareness of the support available to the over 10,000 families, caregivers and individuals on the Cape who are living with dementia-related illnesses.

Foster Care Issues

Fostering changes lives - and it's a calling for all Christians to consider.  Panelists - including couples currently fostering children - will discuss the dire need for additional foster families on Cape Cod and will share their perspectives on and experiences with fostering.  

Moderator:  David and Ingrid Condon - Brewster Baptist Church


  • Andy and Sharon Palmer - Foster Parents, Eastham
  • Michael and Jenny Hilbig - Foster Parents, Eastham
  • Miriam Erickson - Program Director, Covenant to Care (CCCOC)

Isaiah 58:6-9b     Matthew 18:1-6     Mark 10:13-16     James 1:27

This panel will be held in the Upper Level Classroom on the second floor of Cape Cod Church during the 9:15 a.m. Community Discussion Panel breakout session, and then again in the Kids Town Theater on the first floor of the church during the 10:30 a.m. session.

Panelist Information:

  • David and Ingrid Condon are members of Brewster Baptist Church and the owners of Cape Cod Embroidery, which they established in 1996. David has served on the Board of Directors for the Harwich Chamber of Commerce for 8 years, and has worked as a youth leader at several churches on the Cape. Ingrid has served in the Mom to Mom ministry at BBC and as a leader in the Parent Core ministry there. David and Ingrid have six children and 5 grandchildren of their own, and have been foster parents since August of 2016. They have had 12 foster children come into their home since they began fostering (short-term, long-term, and pre-adoptive cases) and they are currently caring for five foster children, ages 5 months to 9 years.

  • Sharon and Andy Palmer reside in Eastham, MA and have been foster parents for 10+ months. During that time, they have had 7 foster children in their home for various periods of time.  They are currently fostering two 9-month-old, unrelated girls. Sharon is a retired health care administrator and Andy is a semi-retired orthopedic surgeon and medical consultant with Outer Cape Health Services.

  • Michael and Jenny Hilbig have three children ages 27, 24 and 16. Michael is self employed as a contractor and Jenny is again a full time "mom" and she also helps take care of her elderly mom who suffers with later stage Alzheimer's. They have been fostering for a year and currently have 4 foster children in their home, ages 11 months, 23 months, 4 and 5 along with their youngest son, 16.

  • Miriam Erickson has directed the Covenant to Care program and the Fostering a Dream Fund for the Cape Cod Council of Churches for the last seven years. Covenant to Care/Fostering a Dream matches congregations with foster families to provide support to the families and the children in their care. Since graduating from college, Miriam has worked in various roles in the nonprofit sector. She founded a hospital-based lactation program and human milk bank in Worcester. Arriving to the Cape in 1996 she worked as a community healthcare coordinator at Healthy Connections and helped to found the first Dental Center on the Cape, The Ellen Jones Community Dental Center in Harwich. She was the first coordinator of Cape Cod Dentists Care. Helping the underserved populations has been her life's purpose.

Immigration Challenges

The Bible speaks repeatedly about the need to welcome "the stranger and the alien in our midst."  How can we as individuals and churches share the love of Christ in practical and helpful ways with those who are new to Cape Cod and to our nation?

Moderator:  Rev. Linda Shaw - First Baptist Church of Hyannis


  • Collin Mickle - Coordinator, Immigration Resource Center, CAC Cape Cod
  • Rosiane de Oliveira - Translator, Cape Cod Hospital & Faculty, CC Community College
  • George Wright - Missionary Deacon, First Baptist Church of Hyannis

Leviticus 19:34     Deuteronomy 10:19     Matthew 25:31-46     Hebrews 13:2

This panel will be held in the Upper Level Classroom on the second floor of Cape Cod Church during the 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Community Discussion Panel breakout sessions.

Panelist Info:

  • Rev. Dr. Linda Shaw, M.Ed. is a retired pastor on the Cape. She is helping First Baptist Church in Hyannis discover and use her gifts for the good of local immigrants and refugees. Linda has spent most of her life in Western Massachusetts serving as pastor and chaplain.

  • Collin Mickle is Coordinator of the Immigration Resource Center at the Cape & Islands Community Action Committee, which serves the immigrant communities of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket with no-cost immigration-law services. He is a practicing immigration attorney, having graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2013. He also served as an attorney/advisor to the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission from 2014-2015. He lives in North Falmouth with his wife, Audrey.

  • Rosiane Barcelos de Oliveira was born in Espírito Santo in southeastern Brazil and emigrated to Cape Cod in 2000. She currently serves as a Portuguese interpreter/translator for Cape Cod Hospital and as an adjunct instructor of human communication at Cape Cod Community College. She is a member of Brewster Baptist Church and is working toward a PhD in Applied Linguistics.

  • George Wright  - If you look up the term "lay person" in the dictionary, there's a very good chance that George's picture will be plastered next to the description. His work in the missions field started off in a very Jonah-esque manner, and over the years, has evolved into a full-on "Here I am Lord, send me" walk of pure faith. In his late 40's, he got a taste of mission-minded work in the Dominican Republic. Now in his late mid-50's, George has discovered the importance of state-side missions in the way of helping those navigating the immigration process here on Cape Cod. George is a member of the Board of Deacons at the First Baptist Church of Hyannis and can often be spotted foraging for wild edibles at Fort Hill, in Eastham!