About us

Ephphatha is an ancient Aramaic word which means “Be Opened.” Our community is open and welcoming to all individuals who feel confronted with the challenges of life. Whether it is something we are born with(congenital) or something that is presented to us as we live life (acquired) challenges/disabilities/ illness can be difficult and isolating.

At Ephphatha (Be-Opened farm) Community we offer healing from isolation, we offer community and hopefulness amid the natural beauty of our farm and our animals. We open our hearts to nature, we flourish in an environment of gratitude for the beauty of the earth and we practice sustainable techniques in order to protect the earth and the natural balances of nature.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. Come visit, you are most WELCOME!

Heart to Hear : “Listening to people with their pain, their joy, their hope, their history, listening to their heartbeats” – Jean Vanier, France 1964

Mission Statement

To provide access and accommodations to the natural world at our therapeutic farm for individuals with physical and/or emotional challenges; so that everyone can benefit from the healing power of the earth.

Our Philosophy

Healing may not be curative, but we provide a positive environment where possibilities rather than difficulties are supported and encouraged to flourish; enhancing self worth. We help relieve feelings of isolation, worthlessness and despair.

We provide a supportive community at our farm. We flourish in an environment of gratitude. Grateful for the beauty of the earth and our animals, and most of all we are grateful for all who come to visit and enjoy our farm with us. We are open and affirming and our positive environment provides an atmosphere of encouragement, and acceptance where uniqueness is celebrated; fostered and nurtured through our organic agricultural activities and interactions with our animals.

We follow PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) guidelines of safety and animal care at our facility. Our riding instructors are PATH certified.

Petting Bodie … his nose is very soft
Painting bird houses for our feathered friends at Ephphatha Farms Art and Crafts morning
Brushing Bodie in a hand over hand exercise

Board Members

Our Board of Directors for Ephphatha are a diverse group with various backgrounds and philosophies. However, we all agree on the proponent of Human Dignity.

Each person, every person deserves to be treated with Dignity and Respect; and to be valued for the gifts they bring to our communities. Every individual has gifts to share and we at Ephphatha are grateful to receive them and distribute these gifts among our community members!

Jim Hebert

President

Jim is a successful area businessman. He offers advise on different aspects of operating costs and construction proposals. He is also very personable and affirming. And very knowledgeable on a variety of subjects concerning the farm.

Rev. Francis Morin

Vice President

A pastor of St. Michael Parish in Augusta, Maine. Fr. Frank reminds us of the value and the gift of every person. He is very involved in the Kennebec Valley Organization, an ecumenical organization which supports various issues of social justice and well being for individuals in surrounding areas.

Ken Quirion

Treasurer

Ken is a long time Winslow resident. He is very active in many volunteer organizations. He is a dedicated Hospice volunteer and is well known in the Winslow/Waterville/Augusta community for his donations of fiscal support as well as his generosity with his time and talent.

Noreen Hare

Secretary

Noreen is in the Financial/Planned Giving department of St. Michael Parish in Augusta, Maine. She is responsible for the building maintenance of surrounding area churches in Whitefield, Gardiner, Winthrop, Hallowell, Augusta and St. Michael elementary school as well. Noreen is currently in charge of implementing the Safety Protocol recently outlined by the Diocese of Portland to be used in emergency situations.

Robin J. Bartholf

Executive Director

Robin J. Bartholf has a medical background. When her oldest son was born with brain damage (Cerebral Palsy) and dual sensory impairment she investigated alternative therapies and became licensed in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She has volunteered at Perkins school for the Blind in Watertown, MA and studied in the deaf blind department learning sign language with Derm Keohane. Robin is also a Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor in PATH INTL.

Tim O’Donnell

Honorary Board Member

Tim is an attorney at O’Donnell, Lee, & Phillips in Waterville, Maine. Tim was a valuable and supportive friend of Ephphatha when the idea for this Healing Farm was but yet just a dream. He gave countless hours of support and legal guidance and though now no longer an active Board member……we owe him a huge debt of Gratitude……without Tim’s generosity Ephphatha would not exist!

Mike Phillips

Honorary Board Member

Mike is our current Attorney. His law practice is in the office of O’Donnell, Lee, &Phillips located on Silver St. in Waterville, Maine. Through Mike’s expertise Ephphatha gained non-profit status. Mike continues to support us and answers our legal questions and keeps us compliant with the legal requirements mandated by state and federal agencies for non-profit organizations.

Roland H. Knausenberger

Consultant

M.D. Roland is a Board Certified Internist who works at Inland Hospital Waterville and Togus VA Hospital in Augusta. Roland kindly allows the nonprofit Ephphatha Community to rent (for a very nominal fee) his farm and this is where Ephphatha is at home, on 100 acre farm in Winslow, Maine. Roland gives his medical opinion when needed for the safety of our client/members who visit our farm with medical concerns. He is very supportive and generous and a kind and caring physician.