Al Bellenchia Named Executive Director of The Abode of the Message

Al Bellenchia Named Executive Director of The Abode of the Message

New Lebanon, NY, July 25, 2016 – The Board of Directors of the Abode of the Message (theabode.org) has appointed Al Bellenchia as the organization’s new Executive Director.  Al succeeds Jennifer Alia Wittman who will focus full time on her position as Executive Director of the Inayati Order.

Founded in 1975, the Abode is an interdenominational retreat and conference center, an intentional residential and extended spiritual community, and a center for the teachings of Universal Sufism, all of which serve as a container for personal exploration and growth. Located in New Lebanon, NY, in the historic former Mount Lebanon South Family Shaker village, the Abode welcomes visitors, students and both long and short term residents with a sincere interest in spirituality as it applies to living in today’s world.

“Mr. Bellenchia is an accomplished executive and leader, with experience in marketing, business development, organizational development and change management,” said Nasreen Linda Moyaedi, Chair of the Abode Board of Trustees.  “As the Abode transitions to an independently operated and managed organization, we recognized the need to search outside of the organization for a new executive director.  We are grateful for Alia’s leadership in guiding the Abode to this ‘new beginning’ and we were heartened to find in Al someone who has both the skills needed to guide us through our transition, and also embraces the Sufi message and mission.”

The Abode’s mission is guided by the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan, an Indian Sufi mystic dedicated to promoting harmony among all religions. On Sunday mornings, the Abode offers a public Universal Worship service honoring the contributions and unity among the major religions. The Abode also offers classes and retreats on spiritual themes, and serves as a conference center for other groups, providing rental accommodations and meeting facilities.

Prior to joining the Abode, Mr. Bellenchia operated his own consulting firm, which provided marketing and development services to organizations throughout the Hudson Valley and NY Capital region. Al has also served an executive at several local and New York City-based marketing agencies, including FleishmanHillard, where he was a Senior Partner and led that company’s global financial communications practice.  Al lives in Kinderhook, NY with his wife and two sons.

“The Abode has touched thousands of lives in its 40 years, and has the potential to touch many multiples of that number, bringing its message of love, harmony and beauty to a world that sorely needs more of each,” Mr. Bellenchia said. “To accomplish that mission, we will be focused on ensuring the sustainability of this wonderful and unique community, and on expanding the reach of its message.”

Alia Wittman added: “The Abode is a special, magical place. People from around the world come to the Abode for silent and guided group retreats, or to rent the property for their own program. We are very fortunate to have Al’s outstanding business skill to help the Abode best accommodate the inner life of a growing community of spiritual seekers.”


For more information, please contact media@theabode.org, or call 518-794-8095.

Or visit theabode.org