About Respero

Committed to making safe, life-giving conversations available and accessible to everyone.

Respero is a 501c3 non profit organization based in Santa Cruz, CA. The name Respero is based on the ancient Latin word “spero”, which means hope. We have been offering hope in the SF Bay Area since 2010 through our counseling, training and  teaching. We believe that focused counseling conversations in one-on-one and small group settings are indispensable for healing, wisdom, and relational wholeness.  

Our counseling is available at no cost because we are committed to making these safe and life-giving conversations available and accessible to everyone, regardless of social, economic, or religious status.

We also know that some people are especially gifted to be relational counselors and guides.  We offer training, supervision and a pathway for people to identify and use their gifts of compassion and wisdom.  To read more about our counselor training click here.

Our culture is becoming more and more a place of disconnection and discord. As we enter our second decade we remain committed to guiding people toward peace and expanding our impact through new online courses, cohorts, and communities.


Respero is the realization of the vision of Joe Bishop. He has been counseling people for over 35 years.  He has a deep-seated conviction that the world’s greatest need is for communities where people can truly connect, heal, and experience the love and grace of Jesus.  

Joe and his wife Kathy have been married for over four decades, and enjoy their adult children and one grandson.  They were both born and raised in Ohio, and have lived in Santa Cruz since 1993. Joe received his academic training at Capital University, Grace Theological Seminary, Santa Clara University, and Trinity Theological Seminary.  He is an avid reader, hiker, and sports fan, who hopes his favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, don’t go another century before they win another World Series. It isn’t looking good, but hope lives on.

“I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” - Brene Brown

“We must learn that the world is a place of abundance, not scarcity. The mantra of “not enough” becomes a kind of default setting for our thinking about everything, from the cash in our pocket to the people we love or the value of our own lives. It becomes the reason we can’t have what we want or be who we want to be. But it’s not true!” - Lynn Twist

“Redemption does not mean that God meets our needs and then our souls stop longing. No, redemption does not eradicate desperation. Instead, redemption allows us to surrender. And God doesn't want something from us. He wants us.” - Sharon Hersh

“We should not ask to do great things for God, but to do small things with great love.” - Mother Theresa
“Do you know what it’s like to be rested? Truly rested? This is what I’m finding, every day, every hour: there is a way of living that is so sweet, so full, so whole and beautiful you’ll never want to go back once you’ve tasted it.” - Shauna Niequist
“Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect.” - Brene Brown
“Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” - Brene Brown
“We run from grief because loss scares us, yet our hearts reach toward grief because the broken parts want to mend.” - Brene Brown
"We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions." - Brene Brown
“Our world desperately needs wise, skillful practitioners of the cure of souls.” - Dallas Willard
“A shepherd counselor is not a doctor whose primary task is to take away pain…the main task of the shepherd counselor is to prevent people from suffering for the wrong reasons.” - Henri Nouwen
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” - Philo
“The deepest convictions of our heart are formed by stories and reside there in the images and emotions of story…..Life is not a list of propositions, it is a series of dramatic scenes.” - Brent Curtis
“Here is something very simple about relationships….Nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them.” - Donald Miller
“Jesus came to announce to us that an identity based on success, popularity, and power is a false identity—an illusion! Loudly and clearly he says: ‘You are not what the world makes you; but you are children of God.’ “ - Henri Nouwen
“When we accept our complete belovedness, we stop judging ourselves and other people; as a result, other people begin to feel safe with us.” - Henri Nouwen
“Human beings who give themselves to relational greatness—who have friends they laugh with, cry with, learn with, fight with, dance with, live and love and grow old and die with—these are the human beings who lead magnificent lives.” - John Ortberg
“The litmus test of spirituality is not the absence of conflict; conflict will not disappear until we die. The litmus test is how we handle it. Conflict is inevitable; resentment is not.” - John Ortberg
“There are few joys in life like being wanted, chosen, embraced. There are few pains like being excluded, rejected, left out. At the core of of Christian community is the choice between exclusion and embrace.” - Miroslav Wolf



Respero Ministries
P.O. Box 312
Soquel, CA 95073




©2020 Respero, All rights reserved. We are a 501c3. All donations are tax deductible.