top of page

We are within the Christian household and welcome people wherever they are on their journey.  We are not part of and do not receive funding from any institution. For each of our events we invite; spiritual leaders and wisdom teachers, poets and storytellers, progressive theologians who are deeply steeped in Biblical scholarship, gifted musicians, people engaged in the hard work of love and justice, seekers on the journey, hungry souls, hopeful and despairing, young and old, all looking for ways to connect and deepen their relationship with the Divine and each other.


Brian at Kanuga bw.jpg
BRIAN PRIOR - Chaplain and process facilitator


Brian Prior is the resigned bishop of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota and now serves as the assisting bishop of Olympia (Seattle). Brian is also a trained ICF coach working with both individuals and organizations. Before being called to Minnesota, Brian served as the founding rector of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Spokane, WA, vice president of the House of Deputies, and youth ministry coordinator for Province VIII.

Brian is a self-described camp-kid who became a camp director at the age of 20 beginning a lifelong passion for retreat ministry. A chance meeting at the first EYE (Episcopal Youth Event) in the early 80's began a long partnership with Fran McKendree in providing a holy space for individuals and communities to move more deeply into the presence of God. Brian has been a key member of the AwakeningSoul team since before AwakeningSoul came into being.


Brian and his wife, Staci, live in Washington State and have two grown sons, Brooks and Gage.

DIANA MCKENDREE - AwakeningSoul co-creat0r


Diana McKendree's passion is working with dreams and images. This has led her to explore a wide variety of professions – from fashion to psychology. Trained as a Jungian psychotherapist, Diana is a skilled educator, an international keynote speaker, consultant, leader of women’s pilgrimages, and Iconographer. She is a senior faculty member with the Haden Institute, teaching Spiritual Direction and Dreamwork. Ordained an Interfaith Minister, Diana continues to search for the common threads that weave humanity and soul together.

Diana lives in the NC mountains with her two beloved furry friends.

And the AwakeningSoul Ensemble…
Lindsey Blount


Lindsey is an American folk and jazz vocalist born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. Her interest and passion for music led her to Boston, where she completed her studies at Berklee College of Music. After finishing her degree, she married and relocated to her new home in Freiburg, Germany. She currently splits her time between teaching at the Freiburg University of Art, Design, and Music (hKDM) and The Jazz und Rockschule. She enjoys songwriting, performing, exposing her youth choir to Motown, and cooking with her husband, Jan. 

Over the years, Lindsey and Fran collaborated to compose many of the chants that have become an integral part of the AwakeningSoul experience.

River Guerguerian


River is a multi-percussionist/composer/educator. He has been inspiring audiences with his colorful and innovative percussion for over thirty years. Whether collaborating with world-class symphonies, studio artists or creating his own dynamic explorations of rhythm, his devotion and attention to the vibrant life of the drum reverberate with the listener. He has performed in prestigious concert halls in 30 countries, and has recorded on over 300 albums and film soundtracks. In 1994, River sold all possessions, left civilization, and lived in a wildlife sanctuary in the Himalaya Mountains for 5 years. River is the Music Director of the Odyssey Community School, and he is the founder of Asheville Rhythm, which has produced the Asheville Percussion Festival since 2012. He conducts rhythm and sound exploration workshops throughout the country. 

Visit him at

Charles Milling


Charles is a music lover and enthusiastic, forever-practicing, white-belt musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist and spiritual music creator. Charles was born and raised in New Orleans, and graduated from NYU and the Berklee College of Music. After 17 years directing music in Southeast Florida where he founded his mission, Live Hymnal, he moved to Charlotte, NC where he lives with his wife, Julie, and son, Ellis.. Charles is the music and worship director at Christ Episcopal Church, Charlotte. 


Hear his original music of Live Hymnal's albums anywhere music can be streamed. Learn more at

Charles is especially grateful for his forever-bond with Awakening Soul's founder, Fran McKendree.

ChrisRosser 3 bw cropped.jpg


Chris is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, composer and producer from Asheville, NC. As a solo performer, he has released four recordings, including the latest A Thousand Hands. He and the world fusion trio, Free Planet Radio, toured 20 cities in China in 2016, and have released four recordings, including the latest Stillness. He also tours internationally in the bands of Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Rhonda Larson, and Lizz Wright.  In 2017, Rosser received a NC Arts Council Composer Fellowship.


Rosser has produced/engineered over 200 CD’s for other artists in his recording studio, and has composed music for national commercial spots, and TV shows on Animal Planet, TLC, OWN, PBS and more.


Visit him at

We acknowledge that AwakeningSoul events could not happen without our core staff who attend to design and facilitation of our process work, hospitality, design and creation of our space, art, worship, movement, audio and lighting, and so much more.

Core staff…

Angelo Gianni ~ videography

Carrie Graves ~ virtual production

Eric Murrell ~ sound and lighting design, front of house engineer

Rachel Watkins ~ zoom room management

bottom of page