Born in Vancouver, Canada, Ray McGinnis holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Toronto and a Diploma in Christian Education from the Centre for Christian Studies. He has served as national staff for Youth & Young Adult Ministries with the United Church of Canada (1986-95). From 1995-99 he was program staff with the Naramata Centre in British Columbia. Since 1999 he has been a free-lance presenter of journal writing, poetry, and memoir workshops to over 15,000 participants. He has taught at business conferences, colleges, theological schools, retreat settings, churches, synagogues, grief and loss support groups, schools, mental health settings, hospitals, and professional development days including for first responders, and lawyers. He has also co-led tours to Thailand and Bali. He is author of Writing the Sacred, and forthcoming Unanswered Questions (September 2021). He enjoys walking, cooking, hiking, reading, history, theatre, literature, writes song reviews, and lives in Vancouver, Canada.
Like all members of society, Ray McGinnis is shaped by the larger world events that impact our lives. He remembers where he was on September 11th in Joshua Tree, California, like it was yesterday. As we are all living in "a post-9/11 world," McGinnis' way to make meaning of this stunning introduction to the 21st Century has been to pay close attention to what the families of the victims of September 11th did in response to the attacks: to press their government to investigate, and to monitor the proceedings of the 9/11 Commission. He thinks the families' underreported efforts, regarded by the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission - Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton - as "in the best tradition of grassroots democracy in this country," is a story worth knowing to better understand our world. McGinnis believes in the power of story to shape our lives. He is interested in the stories we tell, and the ones we choose to ignore.