Southborough L'Abri

L'Abri Staff December 2016 

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Dick and Mardi Keyes

Dick and Mardi Keyes

Dick Keyes is director emeritus of L'Abri Fellowship in Southborough, Massachusetts, where he has worked with his wife and family since 1979. He holds a B.A. in History from Harvard University, and an M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

Dick has worked for L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland and in England, where he served also as a pastor in the International Presbyterian Church in London for eight years. He has been an adjunct professor at Gordon Conwell Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary.
He is the author of Beyond Identity, True Heroism, Chameleon Christianity, Seeing Through Cynicism, and several chapters in anthologies such as No God But God, ed. Os Guinnes, Finding God at Harvard, ed. Kelly Monroe, and New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics from Intervarsity Press. He is currently writing a book on the significance of Jesus’ questions. He has lectured widely in the U.S. and also in Europe and Korea.

As with many workers in L'Abri, Dick's interests are many and varied. If there is any integrating idea it is the attempt to connect important aspects of modern life to Biblical truth with a theological, apologetic and pastoral concern. His writing on identity, heroism and cynicism, for example, are efforts to help Christians toward a more integrated and engaged faith, but also to help those who are not Christians to be able to see the claims of Jesus from a fresh perspective. Dick enjoys reading, working in the woods, rowing and playing blues and ragtime guitar for self-therapy.

Dick and Mardi are minority members of an African American Church, which has enriched their lives and experience of worship enormously. Dick is a member of the Ministerial Team.

Mardi graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Biblical History in 1968. Shortly after graduation, she married Dick Keyes, and in 1970, they moved to Europe to work with L'Abri. They spent six months in Switzerland, and eight and a half years in England (London and Greatham). While working with L'Abri in London, a very multicultural church met in their home.

In 1979, the Keyes moved to Southborough, Massachusetts, where, along with the Seagren family from the Swiss L’Abri, they opened the first residential branch of L'Abri in the United States. Mardi's work at home includes hospitality, serving meals, tutoring students and managing their work, teaching and writing. She also travels in the United States and abroad, to speak at conferences, colleges and universities.

Since about 1980, Dick and Mardi have been on the Board of Help a Child, a charitable Christian organization providing homes, food, healthcare, education and job training to orphans and other poor children in India and Africa.

Mardi has lectured on a variety of topics, including hospitality, the problem of evil, the family, children, adolescence, youth culture, the Christian mind, feminism and other gender issues. Mardi has published a number of articles, and a booklet entitled Feminism & the Bible. She also contributed a chapter in response to Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, in the book, Women and the Future of the Family. In her lectures and writing, Mardi relates Biblical teaching to social history and contemporary culture.

Mardi and Dick are the parents of three grown sons, and are grandparents of five! Chris, the oldest, lives nearby in Massachusetts. Tim, their middle son, is an ornithologist and wildlife biologist (who has spoken on the biblical environmental ethic at L'Abri conferences). Tim's wife Alice is also an environmentalist with expertise in water resources. They live in Brunswick on the southern coast of Georgia. Ben, their youngest son is married to Nickaela and they have both joined us working in L’Abri here in Southborough.

Ben Keyes & Nickaela Fiore-Keyes​

Ben Keyes and Nickaela Fiore-Keyes are co-directors of the Southborough branch. They have worked in Southborough since Spring 2007. They met at Southborough where Nickaela (a California native) was a student, helper and a worker.  Ben Keyes grew up at L’Abri Fellowship in Southborough Massachusetts. He studied ethnomusicology at Brown University where he explored the beauties of old-time music, bluegrass, blues, gospel and traditional Irish music. In 2005- 2007 Ben & Nickaela attended Regent College in Vancouver Canada where Ben studied Theology and the Arts and Nickaela studied Theology and Culture.  While in Vancouver Ben met Peter La Grand and Jill McFadden and the three of them started the music group Ordinary Time. 
Ben enjoys playing piano, banjo, guitar & mandolin, being in the garden and has a new love for fishing.  Nickaela enjoys reading, cooking and on any given evening can be found working on her letterpress in the basement.

Mary Frances Giles

Mary Frances grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia and a Masters Degree from Boston University, both in the area of speech-language pathology. She worked as a pediatric speech pathologist for over ten years in both schools and hospitals in the Boston area. Feeling a desire for something new, she moved into the non-profit sector, doing fundraising, communications, and event planning. Mary Frances is a member of Park Street Church in Boston and has particular interest in photography, bookbinding, art in public spaces, cities and urban design, community, work and calling, and popular culture.

                                        Joshua & Sarah Chestnut 

Joshua and Sarah Chestnut are the newest members of the Southborough L'Abri team, coming on staff in the summer of 2014.  Before coming to Southborough they had a short stint in rural California and prior that they called Vancouver, British Columbia home.  Vancouver was where they first met when they were studying theology at Regent College.  After completing their MATS degrees Joshua worked for a social-housing non-profit among the poor and addicted in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, while Sarah was a 'cook' at a raw vegan cafe and then a stay-at-home mom. Joshua is originally from Brooklyn, New York while Sarah is from Mariposa, California, a small and beautiful gateway town to Yosemite National Park.

Joshua and Sarah are both interested in the relationship between christian belief and daily living.  Both of them enjoy reading, spending time with their children and being outside.  Joshua is an aspiring fisherman while Sarah is a published poet and a pretty decent cook and gardener.

They attend Redeemer Community Church in Needham, MA.