Kit and Tricia have been in full-time Christian ministry since the late 1980’s through Klesis Ministries, (DBA imaginenorthampton, a 501c3) a counseling, spiritual direction and retreat ministry. They are experienced lay counselors and Tricia is a certified Spiritual Director. They served on staff at Covenant Presbyterian Church, “The BARN” in Simsbury, CT where among other things they offered all the services listed above at the Center For Renewal. They counseled at the imagine/northampton offices in Northampton, MA, where they spent 9 years planting a church. They have worked throughout western Massachusetts and Connecticut with other churches to help grow and disciple many individuals. They are currently living in Springfield, Massachusetts, where they continue to do full-time ministry under imagine, but are no longer leading a church. They are learning the cultures and spiritual rhythms of the city in order to help bring the redemptive Kingdom of Christ into the lives of many.
They have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren and are dedicated to helping everyone discover the God who is far more than they can imagine. In so doing, they work to free people who are captive to fear, trauma and emotional wounds that distort and cripple their sense of value and meaning.
Kit McDermott became a Christian in 1972. A year later, he married Tricia. He attended the University of New Mexico (1967-71; studying Psychology and Sociology), Berklee College of Music (on scholarship; 1971-73, 1974-75; studying musical performance and drumming) and Trinity College in Hartford (1989-95; receiving a BA in Religion). He is also an Ordained Elder in the PCUSA through Covenant Presbyterian Church (aka The Barn), Simsbury, CT.
From 1967-89, he was a professional jazz drummer winning awards in regional and national collegiate jazz festivals for his playing and writing. In the 70’s, he also taught classes and private lessons at Hartford Conservatory, and lessons at CT private schools, including Loomis- Chaffee, Hotchkiss, and Oak Hill School for the Blind.
From 1980 to 1990, he worked as an Analyst/Case writer for People Management Incorporated, Simsbury, CT helping professionals, students, and people in ministries such as Campus Crusade for Christ, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and the Navigators understand their Motivational Design of Gifts and apply it to their careers.
In the mid-1980’s he underwent a year-long journey with a brilliant counselor and Episcopal priest named Earle Fox. Father Fox helped Kit heal from deep-seated childhood wounds which fostered periodic bouts of depression and anxiety. When he completed the work, he and Tricia took seminars from him to learn how to offer this solidly Christian-based inner healing to people.
From 1991 to 2008, Kit attended Covenant Presbyterian Church, Simsbury, CT with Tricia and family. He served there as an ordained Elder on Session. He was also employed as part-time Staff in the role of Co-Director of the Center for Renewal Retreat Ministry at CPC. He was an Adult Education Sunday School Teacher, a Worship Design Team Leader and Worship Team member (drums) for Sunday Worship and monthly Oasis Worship gatherings, which he launched.
From 1991 to 2008, he co-founded and co-directed (with Tricia), Klesis Ministries in Simsbury, CT- a counseling, inner healing and spiritual direction ministry. He created the Playmaker Profile Motivational Gifts Assessment and applied it as a Career Coach. He created and taught classes at the Klesis Academy for Spiritual Formation in Christ, served as a Spiritual Director to individuals at CPC and other churches. Kit also co-led with Tricia, Klesis Listening in Christ Retreats and Klesis Immersion Retreats for individuals, and preached at CPC, and other churches in CT, MA, and RI. In 2008, he initiated and co-founded, imagine/Northampton church. He served on the Leadership Team and as a Spiritual Formation Catalyst, discipling people and training them to follow Christ in His redemptive Kingdom mission. He was on the imagineWORSHIP Team and conceived and taught the inward/OUTWARD Missional Formation Workshop. During the week, he counsels and offers spiritual direction to people in and out of the church. He has also been writing a blog of his experiences called “OLD MEN PLANTING CHURCHES” http://oldmenplantingchurches.blogspot.com/
Tricia became a Christian in 1966. She attended Garland Junior College in Boston, MA and Hartford Art School in Hartford, CT. In 1973, she married Kit, moved to Boston, worked as an illustrator, and traveled with him for 2 years, in ELAN, a Christian Touring Group. When she returned to CT, she trained as a chef and worked in a number of gourmet restaurants (Chez Serge, The Black Olive, Metro Bis) until she became a mother and focused on raising a family. In the 70’s she started to read extensively on the process of inner healing, healing of memories and healing of emotional wounds from one's past. In the late 80’s she attended seminars and received training on inner healing from Father Earle Fox, affiliated with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien, CT. She began to counsel women soon after, helping them heal from deep wounds and surrender to the unconditional love of Jesus. She developed the “Life Confession” that helps people identify those areas of pain and hurt, as well as, the lies one was taught to believe about their value or worth.
In 1990, she joined Kit in the Center for Renewal Retreat Ministry at Covenant Presbyterian Church (The Barn) in Simsbury, CT where she co-developed and co-led Listening in Christ retreats. She was instrumental in beautifying the building and grounds of the Center to show forth God’s grace through creativity and visual beauty. She also created and operated The Master’s Table at the CFR, a bi-weekly, evening gourmet dinner designed to bring people from the surrounding neighborhoods to Christ through friendship evangelism. In addition to her duties at the CFR, Tricia also taught Adult Education classes at CPC, led the Prayer Team for two years, and was a member of the Visioning Task Force for a year.
In 1997, she came on full-time staff at Klesis, teaching classes to women on the topics of inner healing and intimacy with God. She counseled women and couples (with Kit), and co-led individual Klesis Immersion retreats. In 1998, she completed a two-year Certificate Program at the Spiritual Life Center of St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, CT to become a Spiritual Director. She has been offering spiritual direction to women from many churches in CT and MA, and to missionaries internationally.
In 1999, she created and began to lead Listening in Christ retreats for women in Nashville for 8 years. She has individually counseled, trained others in Listening Prayer and raised up leaders there with teams she developed to further the ministry. She has also ministered in other parts of the South, the Midwest, and New England. She continues to lead similar retreats for women in MA. She has also been invited to speak at Women’s Conferences in CT and MA about intimacy with Christ and healing.
In 2008, she formed and co-led the Worship Design Team at The Barn, directing and producing creative worship services culminating in large productions at Christmas and Easter.
In 2008, she helped conceive and plant imagine/Northampton. She served on the Leadership Team setting direction, bringing creative sensibilities to everything she did, developed ministries, and kept the vision in the forefront. She also led in shaping and facilitating Sunday worship. She had a key role in mentoring the young women leaders on the imagine Leadership Team as well as students from Smith College. She was the prime mover in launching imagine/GALLERY and their participation in Northampton’s Arts Night Out. She built relationships with local artists and curated the gallery for 2 years. Tricia has also preached at imagine’s Sunday Worship.
Tricia continues her work with women (in and out of the church) as a Counselor, Spiritual Director, Discipler and Mentor. Since moving to Springfield, she has been working with churches to help develop women in the area of Spiritual Formation through seasonal creative events and retreats around the arts, during Advent, Lent, Christmas and Easter.