COUNCIL OF STEWARDS
Small groups of people can do great things not because their minds are together but because their spirits are together, their ideas are together, their hearts are together. ~ Keshavan Nair
Celebration Circle is led by a Council of Stewards who guide and consult on all major decisions. They are personally invested in the Circle’s growth and committed to full participation in fundraising, management, support, and the work required to maintain our organization.
ZET BAER, CFEE
Co-Founder + Creative Director
Zet Baer is an artist, dancer, event producer and creative director who loves the challenge of working in a variety of media and venues. Her compassion for people, her love of nature and her commitment to living holistically have all brought her to a life of supporting others in expressing the truth of who they are.
Zet co-founded the Celebration Circle in 1992, with her husband, Rudi Harst. Together they are deeply committed to the process of building community through creative expression. This is best expressed in the way they have supported their son, Mateo, as he has grown into a compassionate and loving man.
Director of Community
Alexis has been a life-long questioner, especially in matters involving faith. Her journey includes a dual major in anthropology, psychology, and a minor in religion. She earned a masters degree in museum training and worked in public programs and then graphic design and digital marketing. She enjoys being able to toggle between the forest and the trees and figuring out how seemingly disparate things actually work together. Celebration Circle came to her as a reminder that “all shall be well.”
In addition to being a part-time multi-media mosaic artist, Alexis serves as our part-time Director of Community while returning to school at Capella University to earn a masters degree in counseling. She plans to have a creative counseling practice with a focus on wellness including discussions of spirituality.
Chair, Council of Stewards
Michele is a retired public-school educator having spent 18 years teaching English at Frank M. Tejeda Academy in Harlandale ISD and completed her last six years teaching 7th Grade Reading at Jefferson Middle School in Northside ISD. Her daughter CC, her stepson Brendan, and her grandson TJ light up her life! She began attending Circle in 1995 at the Rebarn Center for Spirituality and Art at Incarnate Word University, and in 2015 made a spiritual commitment to fully participate in the Circle. Currently, Michele serves as President on the Council of Stewards, reads extensively, has walked the virtual length of the monarch butterfly migration, and is grateful to experience both online and in-person Circle celebrations, live theatre, art openings, and choosing her own produce.
Secretary, Council of Stewards
Sandra is a retired public servant who now enjoys quality time gardening. Both her front and back yards are planted and maintained in such a manner that they are considered a butterfly and pollinator habitat. Sandra and her mother, Patti, both enjoy the tranquility of the oasis created in the yards. Sandra also enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her fur-son Bootsie, and volunteering in her Leon Valley community.
Sandra and Patti started attending Celebration Circle in early 2019, and soon felt comfortable in their new spiritual home. Celebration Circle is a unique blend of energy, acceptance, and peace. The underlying message of “we are one” is powerful and uplifting. Sandra looks forward to serving the Celebration Circle community as the future unfolds.
Treasurer, Council of Stewards
After the tragic loss of her daughter and 1st grandchild, KC transformed her darkest moment into a world of light for herself and others. She not only survived this tragedy, she moved deeply into grief, embraced it, and emerged a woman of grace and courage with a willingness to share her experiences. KC became a Certifed Grief Recovery Specialist to help others navigate their way through the pain of loss.
Tam truly Lives to Inspire. As an ecstatic artist, they wished they had that "cool extra someone cheering me on, and inspiring me towards my goals as an artist, I lacked self-confidence and inspiration. I now share my art and story in order to help inspire others towards their inner fire."
Tam felt welcomed by Celebration Circle and joined the Council of Stewards as they felt inspired to help lead others in their journey. They enjoy the spiritual space that Celebration Circle has created for all.
Betty has been an active member of Celebration Circle for over ten years. For most of those years, she has served on the Council of Stewards and served as Chair of the Council of Stewards for five years. Betty continues to support the mission of the Circle, especially when we have events. Betty notes that Circle has been through many changes over the years and she hopes it will continue in the future "since there is nothing else like it out there--a place for everyone to experience spirit and acceptance for all."
Karl started coming to Celebration Circle in 2007 after some big changes in his life--he had lost his job and his social circle seemed to vanish. Karl and his wife Betty were acquainted with The Circle through mutual friends and thought it would be a good time to check things out. Karl was raised in a more traditional religious setting, so he found Celebration Circle’s approach to spirituality a complete surprise. In fact, it took him a while to warm up. But soon he fell under the spell of the Circle’s simple message, the awesome power of Love. He says "the spell must have worked because soon I was laughing, hugging, singing and praying with the best of them. My social circle had returned."
[In 2019] Karl was asked to serve on the Circle’s Council of Stewards. This has given him the opportunity "to help others benefit from this unique organization which has done so much for me."
Maria is a 2010 UTSA graduate who finds joy in cooking, shopping locally, volunteering, photography and is a novice in country dancing. She loves coming home to the wagging tails of her two fur babies. Being on the Council fulfills her desire to connect and collaborate with others who are mindful in embracing joy, peace, acceptance, and love which fuels her spirit. For it is in giving that she feels happy and uplifted.
Like so many things, Mark didn’t get to Celebration Circle early, but he got here as soon as he could and felt welcomed into a community that holds open the space for an inclusive and expansive experience of faith. As an individual working across multiple modes of art and expression, Mark is grateful for the creative approach Celebration Circle makes with the Sacred and for the wholly open and accepting spiritual home it offers. “As I see it, Celebration Circle offers a community that lifts all with the simplest declaration, that ‘Love is the only power, Love is the only way.’ In that declaration resides a solution to so many of the challenges we have in this world and in our relationships with one another.” He was invited to join the Council of Stewards in 2021.
Chuck stumbled onto Celebration Circle about 25 years ago. He had not been searching but very quickly recognized that the Circle fulfilled a need in his life. "The community, the wide variety of speakers and ideas, the music, and the simple rituals all serve me well. " Chuck volunteers as much as he can to help sustain the Circle "so that I can share communion with such lovely people as we continue to explore spirituality."
Rudi Harst is a first-generation Eurasian immigrant raised with a global perspective, having been conceived in Indonesia, born in The Netherlands and raised in South Texas where his family immigrated when he was five years old. He sang his first solo with the church choir at age six, began giving sermons when he was 15 -- and has spent his life writing, singing and speaking about spirituality ever since.
His passion for an inclusive, creative approach to interfaith spirituality lead him to co-found Celebration Circle in 1992. He has shared his inspirational words and music in hundreds of churches, concerts, schools, and cultural events throughout the US, Europe, and the Mideast. He's written and published nine albums of original songs, as well as Hurry Slowly: Living from the Inside Out, a book of reflections that was adapted into a successful theatrical production.
Edward "Butch" Sagebiel
Butch was extremely loyal and steadfast in his support of the Celebration Circle. He was there for our very first Sunday Circle gathering in 1992, helped organize our initial Council of Stewards in 1994, and remained active on the Council continuously until health issues forced him to resign in January 2022. It was his idea to give a group of artists similar wooden box shapes to create and transform as a fundraiser. His concept was the impetus for our annual Sacred Art of Altars Exhibit and Silent Auction, which remains our signature fundraising event to this day. Always ready to volunteer for whatever tasks needed to get done, he did them quietly and without fanfare. For many years he helped feed hundreds of us at our semi-annual weekend retreats at Slumber Falls Camp, serving tirelessly as our kitchen coordinator, and always creating a vibrant altar to San Pasqual, the patron saint of cooks. Butch was truly a gentle giant, a tall, large man with an even bigger heart and a deeply caring, kind, and generous soul.