the Spiritual Journey Center exists to connect and inspire leaders and journey with neighbors

at the Spiritual Journey Center…

we seek to live beautiful, abundant lives, and hope to inspire everyone who comes through our door to do the same. We welcome you into our community, whether you are living in or visiting Ocean Beach. Please come by and say hello!

You probably have a doctor who cares your physical health – maybe a personal trainer, nutritionist, or yoga instructor, too.  But who cares for your spiritual health? The Spiritual Journey Center is a “doctor’s office” for the soul of OB, helping our neighbors discover how to live their best lives as their best selves through spiritual practices, study, discussion, and artistic engagement.

our space on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach…

has been designed as an inviting living room in the heart of Ocean Beach. From our storefront on Newport Avenue – OB’s main street – the SJC is easily accessible to local foot traffic. Anytime the doors are open, someone wanders into the SJC to learn more about it!

The SJC inhabits a space in the “OB Mall,” across from a crystal shop and next to a tattoo parlor. It is a “third space” apart from a home or a church, where you can receive a warm welcome as if you were in our own home. While we function as a place for good conversation and connection, the SJC is not a coffee shop or business; there is no expectation to purchase goods to “pay for” your time with us.

We simply want to offer this space as a center of hospitality in our town, and do so freely, as a gift to Ocean Beach from a group of neighbors who deeply love living here.

the Spiritual Journey Center was birthed from the vision…

of Clayton and Jessica Connolly, longtime residents of Ocean Beach. The Connollys felt inspired to create a comfortable “living room” space in OB where they could connect to and inspire local spiritual leaders and journey with neighbors on their individual spiritual paths.

Clayton and Jessica invited a group of like-minded OB locals (aka “OBceans”) to join them, noticing where the Spirit was flowing in our town and dreaming together for how the SJC could join that work. Over the course of a year we began to define ourselves as Spiritual Care Providers to Ocean Beach – a group of leaders, each uniquely qualified to walk alongside neighbors and meet their spiritual needs – using the Spiritual Journey Center as our home base. We have walked the spiritual journey with intentionality, and we seek to help others find their path to wholeness.

The SJC is becoming an epicenter of spiritual activity in Ocean Beach, a place where people can come to find encouragement, hope, renewal, challenge, new ideas, and the great Love at the center of it all. We live together, here in this town, as a community devoted to helping one another – and all our neighbors – birth our spiritual selves, reconnected to our truest Divine nature.

our team is…

a diverse group of individuals who care deeply about the ‘parish’ of Ocean Beach. Each member of the Spiritual Journey Collective carries unique experience and passion to serve their town.

Clayton Connolly

Available for spiritual development, spiritual readings, coffee, good conversation, business mentoring.  

Clayton is an entrepreneur, an artist, a husband, a father, a spiritual seeker, a faith leader, a community builder, a musician, a hot yoga practitioner and an individualist.

Born in the small mountain town of Lake Arrowhead Ca, Clayton has always been drawn to the life giving elements of both community and nature.  After marrying his soulmate Jessica, Clayton and family moved to the coast and ultimately found both the people and natural elements they were looking for in Ocean Beach.  Over the past eight years in OB, Clayton has self published books, lead music ensembles, owned and operated a fair trade business, established himself as a local real estate authority, and fathered four daughters.

As Co- founder of the Spiritual Journey center, Clayton is passionate about helping people journey through the mystery of spirituality.  With an education in both music and religious studies, Clayton often finds himself in opportunities to host people and conversations around the presence of God.  At the SJC Clayton gathers a group called SJA (Spiritual Journey Alliance), where local Spiritual Leaders connect to share insights and support for one another’s neighborhood callings.  Clayton also co-hosts Spiritual Readings from the SJC where seekers can come for individualized spiritual care and together invite and receive a touch from the Divine.  

Jessica Connolly

Available for personal and spiritual development coaching, prayer, spiritual readings, birth doula services

Jessica is a San Diego native and has lived in Ocean Beach since 2010 with her husband Clayton and 4 daughters Kairah, Shiloh, River and Arrow. She has a deep love and connection with the neighborhood and a family history going back 3 generations. In 2011, Jessica and Clayton and 2 of their daughters traveled around the country in a pop up trailer exploring different cities, communities and expressions of faith. They settled back in Ob, feeling drawn to the ocean, the deep sense of community and colorful authenticity of the people.

Jessica has a Masters degree in Biology and is a local birth doula and personal development coach. As a doula, she works with women specifically during the season of pregnancy and birth, but also sees her work and training as a doula extending into the spiritual journey by holding space for what God is birthing in each person throughout their lives. She is passionate about coming beside individuals as they seek deeper connection with the Spirit and unearthing the dreams and potential in each person. Jessica is co founder of the Spiritual Journey Center, a dream that was born out of this passion and the need for seekers to have a neutral and supportive space to connect and grow in their spiritual journeys.  She sees herself as a spiritual care provider and is available for personal and spiritual formation coaching, prayer and spiritual readings.

For the last 4 years Jessica and her husband have hosted a pop up coffee shop on Friday mornings at the local elementary school as a way to connect the lives of families over a free cup of coffee. She considers Ocean Beach Elementary as a sacred hub of community and is committed to building connection among the families of OB.    As a mom, her highest intention is spending time in her daughters’ formation as courageous and compassionate mighty women. Their guiding family mission is unity, honor and love.

Dr. John McAteer

Available for teaching, speaking, consulting, friendly debate

John is a philosopher, educator, and cinephile. He thinks, writes, and speaks about the things that make life meaningful, drawing especially from the experience of art, movie, and popular culture to illuminate the connections between beauty, spirituality, and “the good life”.

At the Spiritual Journey Center, John regularly hosts Craft Theology (a discussion group devoted to non-dogmatic dialogue about the questions that matter the most), and leads the Fiat Lux Cinema Circle (a film society that hosts movie nights, focusing especially on movies that explore spiritually significant themes). He also teaches occasional seminars and workshops, such as The Jesus Journey (a nonreligious exploration of the historical Jesus) and Contemplative Photography (learning to use your camera as a tool for meditation).

Outside of SJC, John is Associate Professor and Chair of the online Liberal Arts program at Ashford University, where he specializes in interdisciplinary humanities courses. In addition to a PhD in Philosophy from the University of California at Riverside, John earned a BA in Film from Biola University and an MA in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Talbot School of Theology.

John has lived in Ocean Beach since 2013 with his wife Stasi and their two children.

Anastasia "Stasi" McAteer

available for weddings, memorials, life transition rituals, house blessings, counseling, spiritual direction

Stasi moved to San Diego in 2013 and to Ocean Beach a year later, with John and their two kids. As soon as they arrived in OB, they knew they’d found their tribe and home. Stasi loves to connect with people and bring them into a circle of belonging and trust; she is gifted at weaving relational webs, nourishing friendships, and building community.

Stasi’s first love was the theater, which developed into an appreciation of ancient liturgy and the theatrical nature of worship. Although she has pastoral training and experience, Stasi has stepped away from institutional religion to explore the presence of the Divine all through the world and in each human being. She uses her abilities in writing and performing to create meaningful rituals for life’s big moments, outside of church walls.

Stasi is an admin for Ocean Beach’s Buy Nothing group and an advocate of generous, grateful living in a gift economy. Since September 2014, the McAteers have hosted Friday Family Meal, a weekly dinner for neighbors. Stasi’s role at the SJC is “community chaplain,” both in OB and online: counseling friends who are in crisis, offering spiritual care and direction, facilitating courageous conversations, teaching, writing, and occasionally preaching. She especially loves officiating at weddings for local OBceans! But her most important work is raising two kind and compassionate humans who will make the world a better place.

You can read more about Stasi in this article from the San Diego Union Tribune.

Carter Moss
Available for weddings, funerals, praying over new business openings, house blessings, etc. Carter is the pastor of a local church in OB where he has lived for 3 years with his family. He is also a local music reviewer, and is highly involved with the OB Mainstreet Association and lots of community events. Carter loves helping meet spiritual needs for people and helping people process their spiritual past and explore more of who God is. And he loves a great burger from Hodad’s!
Genon Snider
Corey Bruins
Katrina Thomas

coming up at the SJC…

June 2018

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