Who We Are

David Spaw
Director, Healing Circles Texas

Inspired from his personal experience of healing and by his friend and a founder of Commonweal, Michael Lerner, David set out to bring Healing Circles to Texas.  He has lost two wives and a sister to cancer and was drawn to this amazing approach as a path to discovery and healing, accessible to all.  Together with longtime friend, Susan Rafte, they are assembling a team of volunteers, hosts, advisors and organizations who are passionate about starting Healing Circles.

David is a retired executive of a regional and international construction company, working in Houston, Austin and Dallas.  He has served on many non-profit boards and community organizations over the years including:  the Rice Design Alliance, Houston Achievement Place, MDPC Youth Ministry, Center for Recovering Families, Pink Ribbons Project, St. Stephens Episcopal School in Austin, the Jung Center and since early 2016, as the Program Director of Commonweal overseeing the Texas initiative.

Susan Rafte
Director, Healing Circles Houston

A community volunteer, Susan is a 22-year survivor of metastatic breast cancer and focuses much of her time on helping in the cancer community.  She was the survivor/founder of Pink Ribbons Project, an organization that very positively impacted the Houston community for over 21 years, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Friends Without A Border – Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Susan is actively involved as a patient advocate at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine and, in addition to her achievements with Healing Circles Houston, dedicates many hours each week providing peer-to-peer support to other cancer survivors.  She is inspired to be a part of Healing Circles Texas as the path to her journey continues to unfold.

Helen Spaw
Art Circles Coordinator

Helen Spaw has wide experience as a therapist and art teacher for all ages and abilities.  She holds a masters degree in Art Therapy and Creativity from New York’s Pratt Institute and a Bachelors in Psychology with an art minor and focus in Art Therapy from the College of Santa Fe.   She hosts Healing Art Circles and Healing Circles at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church where she also works as the Fine Arts Academy, Special Needs and Diversity Vision Coordinator.  Helen also teaches individual art lessons for students with special needs.

Ed Halloran
Host and Circle Coordinator

Ed is a passionate champion of empathy and compassion as powerful, practical tools for enriching the quality of human experience and life on planet Earth. A life-long learner with interests in interpersonal communication and personal development his interest in Nonviolent Communication led him to Healing Circles. With business experience in telecommunications, advertising, and sales he also served for 17 years in Youth Ministry at Unity of Houston.

Ed is inspired by the freedom, connection and experience of wholeness accessible in Healing Circles. He also participates in and leads classes in Compassionate Communication, Authentic Relating, Positive Discipline Parenting Practice and A Course In Miracles.

Belle MacFarlane
Administrative Coordinator

Belle received a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Sports Medicine from Rice University where she graduated with honors.  After conducting a year of trauma research in conjunction with Houston’s Memorial Hermann trauma center, Belle’s affinity to provide healing for those in need led her to join Healing Circles Houston as both an administrative coordinator and Host/Guardian of circles.

In addition to her roles with Healing Circles Houston, Belle is currently a student at The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Fred Rogers
Communications

Fred obtained his BBA in Marketing from the University of St. Thomas in 1990 and has 30+ years of marketing experience.  His past service experience includes board membership, marketing and volunteer management positions with Pink Ribbons Project, the Gulf Coast Regional Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Lone Star Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society / MS150 and Project ORBIS Flying Eye Surgery and Ophthalmology Teaching Facility.

Since 2011, Fred has also been instrumental in the success of one of Houston’s last remaining 100% family-owned funeral homes, Joseph J. Earthman Generations, where he devotedly works with client families.

© Healing Circles Houston