Festival Workshops


2017 Festival Workshops
Online registration is closed. Please make a list of the workshops you want and bring them to the Festival for on-site registration.

The 2017 Festival Gathering will feature workshops for every skill level from beginner to master storyteller. As you peruse this list of workshops and workshop leaders, make a list of the workshops you are interested in before registering for your workshops. You will want to select two choices for each workshop time period as some workshops have limited capacity and others tend to fill quickly.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

W-1 NBS 101, Sec. 1, Pt. 1  Genesis 18:1-15  The Promises to Abraham and Sarah"with Ron Coughlin
This workshop is an introduction to the art and spiritual discipline of biblical storytelling.  In this fun and engaging workshop, we will learn various techniques for learning the story and presenting the story effectively.  We will learn together the theme story when angels visit Abraham and tell him that he will have a son and Sarah laughs. A handout will summarize what we have learned together.  This is a two-part workshop for those new to biblical storytelling. You must sign up for both Wednesday and Thursday sessions.

  Rev. Ron Coughlin has been doing biblical storytelling every week in church for the past twelve years. Ron is a retired minister with The United Church of Canada and enjoys the opportunity to tell biblical stories and learn more about them through learning them ‘by heart”.  He is a graduate of the Academy for Biblical Storytelling: Masters Certificate and the President of the Board of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, International. He went to Cameroon, Africa in March 2013 as part of a storytelling team.  He is the author of The Joy and Power of Biblical Storytelling:  Four Workshops with DVD.

W-2  NBS 101, Sec. 2, Pt. 1 “Simeon and Anna” (Theme Scripture Luke 2:25-38) with Beth Galbreath
Begin to learn and tell biblical stories by heart using the techniques developed by the Network of Biblical Storytellers International – yes, you really can do it too! Rev. Beth Galbreath teaches this biblical storytelling 101 workshop using the dramatic story of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-38). This is a two-part workshop for those new to biblical storytelling. You must sign up for both Wednesday and Thursday sessions.

  Rev. Beth Galbreath is a passionate biblical storyteller and teacher. She is vice president of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, International and coordinates the Chicago-area Prairie Wind Guild of sacred storytellers. She has taught biblical storytelling abroad in Cameroon, Bolivia, Haiti and the Philippines,  and here at Festival Gathering! She is the author of "The Story and the Feast," a digital resource of story-connected Holy Communion liturgy, including notes for biblical storytellers.

W-3 NBS 101, Sec. 3, Pt. 1, The Boy Jesus in the Temple (Theme Scripture Luke 2:41-52) with Amelia Boomershine
A workshop in two sessions for those new to biblical storytelling.
This interactive, non-threatening workshop introduces the practice of biblical Storytelling. Our goal is to tell the story to a small group from start to finish without omitting something of major significance and without adding something of major significance. Through a variety of activities, you will learn this particular biblical story, and you will also learn strategies for internalizing any biblical story. We will explore basic aspects of performance to practice when preparing to tell.
Participants should sign up for both Wednesday and Thursday sessions.

  Amelia Boomershine has active in NBS for 25 years. She is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and Director of GoTell Communications. She has taught and told biblical stories to children, youth and adults around the world. Her doctoral research was on biblical storytelling with men and women who are incarcerated. She leads a weekly “Circle of the Word” with women in jail and is author of Breath of Fresh Air: Circle of the Word Behind Locked Doors.

W-4 GPS - Gospel Pilgrimage Storytelling with Drew Willard
When Jesus sent his disciples to go out and bring the Good News to the wider the world, he equipped them with stories to tell. Drew will share his experiments in telling Bible stories on the road and encourage you to do the same.

  Drew Willard first attended a NBS Festival Gathering in 1987 while at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Now as a pastor for a UCC church, he tells Gospel stories he has translated/paraphrased for worship, interfaith programs, and sharing on the road.

W-5 Avoiding Anti Judaism in Christian Tellings with Marti Steussy and Cynthia Park
Jesus was a Jew. Today's Christianity and Judaism are sisters descended from a single ancient religion. Yet Christianity has an ugly history with regard to Judaism, and dangerous resentments still surface today.  How is anti-Jewish prejudice propagated--usually without our realizing it--in our telling and hearing of biblical stories? This workshop will challenge key misconceptions about first-century Judaism and Christianity, identify some common forms of unintended anti-Judaism, and let you experiment with techniques to counter it.  (Repeated Friday Session 1)

      Marti Steussy and Cynthia Park are both ordained clergy (DoC and Episcopal, respectively), hold PhDs in Hebrew Bible, and love biblical storytelling. They are both long-term members of the NBS Scholars Seminar.

W-6 Go Forth to a Land I Will Show You with Gloria Ulterino
We are storytellers, people who try to make meaning of our lives. Today we are continually learning more and more about our beginnings and evolution at the heart of who we are and what we do as people of faith. Indeed, as for Abram, God has been after us, calling us to a new land: to become more, know more, learn more about this Holy Mystery at our very core. In this workshop we will encounter Prisca, Phoebe, and Junia as guides toward this More, that we might reflect upon and discuss this movement in our own lives.

   Gloria Ulterino is a preacher, storyteller (companioned by the "Women of the Well"), and author of two published books on women in scripture and tradition. Gloria has utilized her Master of Divinity degree working in parish and diocesan Roman Catholic ministry. 

W-7 Provoking the Gospel: How To and Why To with Richard Swanson
This is a method to explore the inside of biblical stories through experimental performance. It is useful in preaching, in teaching, and in preparing to tell biblical stories.

   Richard Swanson is Professor of Religion at Augustana College, Soux Fals, South Dakota. He is also the Director of the Provoking the Gospel Storytelling Project, a group of actors who create performances of biblical texts. 

W-8 Your Money or Your Life: Stories of Stewardship with Cindy Maybeck
Do you dread the liturgical season of stewardship in your church? What if our approach to money was as fun, humorous and loving as the telling of a favorite biblical story? As we share biblical and personal stories about money, we move from dread to joy, from fear to trust, from a view of scarcity to abundance. Learn how to bring this spirit of creativity and joy into your church, creating community on the way. (Repeated Friday Session 1)

  Rev. Cindy Maybeck, founder of Spirit Story ministry, designs original presentations blending biblical and personal storytelling to bring God's word to life and to inspire the church to move forward in faith with hope and joy. An experienced pastor and preacher, her stories leave audiences transfixed and inspired; many report experiencing healing and a deep sense of God's love.

W-9 It’s a Big, Big Story! with John Epp
In this workshop everyone will receive a imaginary pair of ancient Israelite sun glasses.  Through these colored lenses, all sorts of things in the little stories about Jesus, both the obscure and familiar, will begin to "POP."  This workshop leads you into the basic Jewish/Hebrew narrative that produced such anguished hope in first century Palestine.  This big Jewish story gave birth to Jesus, and it gave birth to the Gospels.  Come and discover the contours of the Big Story and perhaps a few of your own gaping holes.  Bring your smaller stories and let's explore how they are part of the larger weave.  What is the BIG story anyway! Check it out.

   Originally from Manitoba John Epp left his work as a machinist, feeling called to ministry.  His love of biblical studies led him to complete a  Masters of Theology and to become a graduate of the Academy of Biblical Storytelling. John attends a Mennonite church and participates regularly in teaching, preaching and storytelling at his home church and beyond. 

W-10 Self-Directed Coaching with Tim Coombs
Normally, when coaching is offered at NBS, an experienced teller offers strategies and tips to help a more noviced teller improve. In this self-directed approach, International Coaching Federation trained coach, Tim Coombs, works with the teller to determine where he or she wants to grow and helps the teller develop a strategy to improve. This coaching model has been proven to be most effective at bringing about real and lasting change. Each workshop time is divided between two persons. (Max. 2)

   The Rev. Dr. Timothy Coombs is a Coach Associate of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He also serves on the NBSI Board of Directors in charge of Programming. Along with being a twenty-year veteran of the Network, Tim is co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and also serves as the Associate for Congregations of Albany Presbytery.

W-11 One-on-One Coaching  with Madelyn Campbell and Mike Cantley
Want to improve your level of story performance? Are you seeking practical pointers to enhance your telling? Perhaps you simply need some encouragement and affirmation for your efforts. Then be sure to sign up for a unique, individualized coaching session with a current Academy for Biblical Storytelling Master student. Please come prepared with a short story (less than 5 minutes) to share. Story may be in the early stages of learning; it does not have to be polished yet. (Maximum 3 participants) 

   Rev. Madelyn Campbell  is a Unitarian Universalist minister and a certified biblical storyteller. She's been telling biblical stories for about seven years. Storytelling is an important element in Madelyn's ministry, and she has taught and encouraged new storytellers in the congregations she's served and beyond. Mike Cantley is a United Methodist Pastor, biblical storyteller, and musician from southeast Arkansas. Mike’s first career as a professional firefighter and firefighter instructor led to undergrad work in Emergency Administration and Management and graduate work in both theology and “International Peace and Conflict Resolution.” Both are currently completing  the master level requirements in the Academy for Biblical Storytelling. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

T-1 NBS 101, Sec. 1, Pt. 2  "The Promises of Abraham and Sarah" (Theme Scripture Genesis 18:1-15) with Ron Coughlin
This workshop is an introduction to the art and spiritual discipline of Biblical Storytelling.  In this fun and engaging workshop, we will learn various techniques for learning the story and presenting the story effectively.  We will learn together the theme story when angels visit Abraham and tell him that he will have a son and Sarah laughs. A handout will summarize what we have learned together.  This is a two-part workshop for those new to biblical storytelling. Participants should have taken Pt. 1 on Wednesday.

   Rev. Ron Coughlin has been doing biblical storytelling every week in church for the past twelve years. Ron is a retired minister with The United Church of Canada and enjoys the opportunity to tell biblical stories and learn more about them through learning them ‘by heart”.  He is a graduate of the Academy for Biblical Storytelling: Masters Certificate and the President of the Board of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, International. He went to Cameroon, Africa in March 2013 as part of a storytelling team.  He is the author of The Joy and Power of Biblical Storytelling:  Four Workshops with DVD.

T-2 NBS 101, Sec. 2, Pt. 1 “Simeon and Anna” (Theme Scripture Luke 2:25-38) with Beth Galbreath
Pt. 2 of a two-day workshop  for those new to biblical storytelling.
Begin to learn and tell biblical stories by heart using the techniques developed by the Network of Biblical Storytellers International – yes, you really can do it too! Rev. Beth Galbreath teaches this biblical storytelling 101 workshop using the dramatic story of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-38). Participants should have taken pt. 1 on Wednesday.

   Rev. Beth Galbreath is a passionate biblical storyteller and teacher. She is vice president of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, International and coordinates the Chicago-area Prairie Wind Guild of sacred storytellers. She has taught biblical storytelling abroad in Cameroon, Bolivia, Haiti and the Philippines,  and here at Festival Gathering! She is the author of The Story and the Feast, a digital resource of story-connected Holy Communion liturgy, including notes for biblical storytellers.

T-3 NBS 101, Sec. 3, Pt. 1, The Boy Jesus in the Temple (Theme Scripture Luke 2:41-52) with Amelia Boomershine
Pt. 2 of a two-day workshop  for those new to biblical storytelling.
This interactive, non-threatening workshop introduces the practice of biblical storytelling. Our goal is to tell the story to a small group from start to finish without omitting something of major significance and without adding something of major significance. Through a variety of activities, you will learn this particular biblical story, and you will also learn strategies for internalizing any biblical story. We will explore basic aspects of performance to practice when preparing to tell. Participants should have taken Pt. 1 on Wednesday.

   Amelia Boomershine has active in NBS for 25 years. She is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and Director of GoTell Communications. She has taught and told biblical stories to children, youth and adults around the world. Her doctoral research was on biblical storytelling with men and women who are incarcerated. She leads a weekly “Circle of the Word” with women in jail and is author of Breath of Fresh Air: Circle of the Word Behind Locked Doors.

T-4 Using Ignatian Meditation to Improve Your Storytelling with Mark Wilkinson
St. Ignatius offers several methods of bible study and meditation that can help you learn your story by heart. These techniques, based on his spiritual exercises, involve getting inside the story, using all your senses, talking with characters and finding important themes. You will use active imagination techniques as you are led through guided meditations on scripture. You may have heard of some of these, but here is a chance to get them all in one session.

The Rev. Mark Wilkinson
is the rector of St. Aidan's Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach VA. and the Rev. Wendy Wilkinson is rector of Good Samaritan Episcopal Church. Both have graduated from the Academy for Biblical Storytellers and have been using storytelling in their parishes and campus ministry setting for several years. Wendy is also a spiritual director and leads a women's spirituality group that uses Ignatian methods. Both take yearly 8-day Ignatian retreats.

T-5 Learning to Tell the Gospel of Mark with Tom Boomershine, Founder of NBSI
Telling the whole Gospel of Mark has proven to be a major step in changing people’s perception of the Gospels as texts to be read in silence. For some people, hearing the whole Gospel has been a life transforming experience. The more people doing it, the better.  The purpose of this workshop will be to help the participants learn and tell the Gospel of Mark (a major part of six or more chapters would also qualify). The workshop will include developing a sound map, identifying the major sections of the Gospel, and exploring gestures. The dynamics of audience address and relating to the audience as a character in the story will also be addressed.   

   Tom Boomershine is the founder of the Network of Biblical Storytellers. He is an ordained United Methodist elder and professor of New Testament Emeritus. He has developed methods for teaching people to become witnesses to the power of the stories of God. He has lectured and led workshops on biblical storytelling in digital culture around the world. Tom is the author of The Messiah of Peace, Story Journey, and a series of scholarly and pastoral articles on the Bible as performance literature.

T-6 Master Class with Pam Faro
Observe Coaching Sessions and Apply to Your Own Telling! Pam Faro has a couple of decades’ experience worth of teaching and coaching storytellers in their craft. It can be highly instructive to observe the coaching of someone else. In this master class you will observe Pam’s specific coaching of other tellers, then we’ll discuss in large group how you can apply what you observe – techniques, insights, general themes, particular ideas, etc. – to your own telling and/or coaching. *If you would like to BE one of the 2-3 tellers to BE coached on a prepared story, contact Pam before the FG: pamfaro@gmail.com.

   Professional storyteller Pam Faro (MDiv) has performed/taught across the US and overseas since 1988. A member of the NBS Scholars’ Seminar and mentor for ABS, she also tells folktales and historical stories.

T-7 Peace through Changing the Stories We Tell about Others with Jim and Janet Stahl
Stories have the power to influence our attitudes towards people and topics. We can tell stories in such a way to put distance between ourselves and people whom we consider to be outside of our group or we can tell stories to reduce the barriers. We will look at examples in the Bible of how this is done and begin to take steps to change the stories we tell to promote unity.

     Jim and Janet Stahl are members of Wycliffe Bible Translators assigned to train people among minority language groups to craft, check and tell bible stories before a written translation in the language has been completed. They spent 15 years working with small language groups in Vanuatu, and for the past 10 years that have been training pastors, Bible translators and lay workers in the Pacific, Ethiopia, South Asia, East Asia and Islands Asia to do the biblical storytelling.

T-8 Widening the Canon: Post-Colonial Reconciliation through Storytelling Ken Quiring
Today, indigenous and settler populations in many parts of the world are engaged in conversations about how best to achieve reconciliation. Since reconciliation is only possible when different people listen to each other, this workshop will explore contributions that the NBS focus on recovering scripture as narrative might make available to the process and how indigenous oral culture might help us more fully reclaim the orality of biblical stories.

Ken Quiring is a husband, father, pastor with a Mennonite congregation, and biblical storyteller. He tells regularly in contexts of worship, prison, Senior's Care Homes, Literacy Groups, denominational gatherings, andmore. Ken lives in Brandon, Manitoba.

T-9  Contrasting Multiple People in Your Stories with Elizabeth Adkisson
In telling a single story, you usually need to present several different people or a group. Actively explore ways to quickly contrast two different characters from a single story by use of your body and voice. Demonstration and active participation will be used. (Repeated on Saturday)

   Elizabeth Adkisson has her master’s certification from the Academy of Biblical Storytelling. For over 30 years she has taught and applied the full range of acting/performing skills. Her educational resource, Finding God Alive! Reclaiming the Life in the Stories of God through Communication and Embodiment Skill,is available through https://www.elizabethbyheart.com and a few copies will be available at the Festival Marketplace.

T-10 Self-Directed Coaching with Tim Coombs
Normally, when coaching is offered at NBS, an experienced teller offers strategies and tips to help a more noviced teller improve. In this self-directed approach, International Coaching Federation trained coach, Tim Coombs, works with the teller to determine where he or she wants to grow and helps the teller develop a strategy to improve. This coaching model has been proven to be most effective at bringing about real and lasting change. Each workshop time is divided between two persons. (Max. 2)

   The Rev. Dr. Timothy Coombs is a Coach Associate of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He also serves on the NBSI Board of Directors in charge of Programming. Along with being a twenty-year veteran of the Network, Tim is co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and also serves as the Associate for Congregations of Albany Presbytery.

T-11 Talk-back Session with Keynoter Dr. Philip Ruge-Jones
Our keynote speaker will enter into conversation over any observations, questions, and responses you have to the first two keynotes.                                        

   Phil Ruge-Jones, this year's keynoter, served as a Professor of Theology for nearly two decades at Texas Lutheran University. He is currently a speaker, storyteller, and pastor located in Eau Claire, WI.

Friday August 4 Workshops - First Slot (F1)

F1-1 Using Your Body to Advance the Storyline Part One with Karl Hallsten
Now you've learned a story you want to tell. So now, how do you tell it. Your body is the most important tool in the storytellers kit. Learn simple techniques professional storytellers use to deliver the story. Come prepared with a short story or story fragment so you can join right in practicing the skills of using your body to advance the story.  Part two of this workshop is F2-1. Please register for both workshops.     

   Karl Hallsten has been a professional storyteller, coach, and producer of storytelling events since the 1980's. He has been awarded regional and national awards from his peers. Now mostly retired, he enjoys paying forward what he has learned from storytellers who shared it with him.

F1-2 No Joke! Using Humor in Biblical Storytelling with Madelyn Campbell
Humor is sometimes one of the most effective means of communication. When we laugh we let our guard down and all sorts of things can get in. But what if you're telling a story that isn't particularly funny? In this workshop you'll learn how to use humor, even in stories that aren't comedies, to relax your audience, to draw them in, to release tension, and to enhance your story.

   Rev. Madelyn Campbell  is a Unitarian Universalist minister and a certified biblical storyteller. She's been telling biblical stories for about seven years. She loves to make people laugh and has even dabbled in stand-up comedy. Storytelling is an important element in Madelyn's ministry, and she has taught and encouraged new storytellers in the congregations she's served and beyond.

F1-3 Gaffes, Lapses and Disruptions: How to Get out of Storytelling Pitfalls! with Dennis Dewey
Memory is not fool-proof. Occasionally, biblical storytellers find themselves groping for the next sentence...and finding that sentence more elusive the more they grope! Then there's the matter of the tongue-twisted mis-speak.  And what happens to the storyteller when a siren goes off, a child vomits in the front row, a dog walks down the center aisle? This workshop provides some strategies, helpful hints, memory techniques and tools, and cures for foot-in-mouth as well as misery-loves-company anecdotes from a real-life storytelling career that spans 37 years.

   Dennis Dewey is a Master Biblical Storyteller who describes his work as “helping people hear the biblical stories again for the first time.” He has performed all over the United States and Canada as well as in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Israel/Palestine and South
Africa. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), he has engaged in this ecumenical ministry of storytelling since 1992, for several years serving as Executive Director of the Network of Biblical Storytellers.

F1-4 Story Sharing as Evangelism with DR. KATHY CULMER
Evangelism through stories is a way of life where our stories of love and redemption resonate with our faith journey as we live out hospitality, story-sharing, and prayer. Each person has a story of loss, support, grief, joy, and more. This workshop will explore and experience ways to see God’s story connected with our stories.
 

F1-6  Finding the Holy in the “Other” with Pam Faro
Ancient tradition teaches that Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah kept their tent open in all four directions of the world so that travelers who thirsted for water or hungered for food might be welcomed instantly and warmly, no matter the direction from which they came. This workshop will offer texts, stories, and guided discussion to consider the common base the three Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – share. We will explore finding the holy by welcoming the “other,” as Abraham did at the oaks of Mamre.

   Professional storyteller Pam Faro (MDiv) has performed/taught across the US and overseas since 1988. A member of the NBS Scholars’ Seminar and mentor for ABS, she also tells folktales and historical stories.

F1-7 Exegesis for Storytelling with Lor Ruge-Jones
There's so much to know when preparing a story for telling. How do you find all that background information, and how much of it do you include in the storytelling? This workshop will help you find materials to shape your story as the story also shapes your questions for research.

   Lori Ruge-Jones has been telling biblical stories for over two decades, currently as campus pastor at UW-Eau Claire. She's a little nerdy when it comes to bible research, and loves hanging out with Hebrew stories. Her husband and children are her delight and her favorite audience.

F1-8 Amelia Boomershine has active in NBS for 25 years. She is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and Director of GoTell Communications. She has taught and told biblical stories to children, youth and adults around the world. Her doctoral research was on biblical storytelling with men and women who are incarcerated. She leads a weekly “Circle of the Word” with women in jail and is author of Breath of Fresh Air: Circle of the Word Behind Locked Doors.

   Amelia Boomershine has active in NBS for 25 years. She is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and Director of GoTell Communications. She has taught and told biblical stories to children, youth and adults around the world. Her doctoral research was on biblical storytelling with men and women who are incarcerated. She leads a weekly “Circle of the Word” with women in jail and is author of Breath of Fresh Air: Circle of the Word Behind Locked Doors.

F1-9 Sounding Echoes Part One with John Epp
How did the ancients learn stories?  Laying beneath all biblical stories is a simple and elegant structure.  In this workshop you will learn to see, hear and feel these structures at work and put them to work in story learning.  You will  also learn to use them as a kind of “labyrinth of learning,” a way of unpacking the wisdom of the stories.  Come and experience the joy of discovery and the profound way these echoing structures bring out the richness of your story, making them a joy to learn and a joy to tell.  Come and learn to tell from the ancient composers! This is the first of a two session workshop. Part Two is F2-9.

   Originally from Manitoba John Epp left his work as a machinist, feeling called to ministry.  His love of biblical studies led him to complete a  Masters of Theology and to become a graduate of the Academy of Biblical Storytelling. John attends a Mennonite church and participates regularly in teaching, preaching and storytelling at his home church and beyond. 

F1-10 Self-Directed Coaching with Tim Coombs
Normally, when coaching is offered at NBS, an experienced teller offers strategies and tips to help a more noviced teller improve. In this self-directed approach, International Coaching Federation trained coach, Tim Coombs, works with the teller to determine where he or she wants to grow and helps the teller develop a strategy to improve. This coaching model has been proven to be most effective at bringing about real and lasting change. Each workshop time is divided between two persons.
(Max. 2)

   The Rev. Dr. Timothy Coombs is a Coach Associate of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He also serves on the NBSI Board of Directors in charge of Programming. Along with being a twenty-year veteran of the Network, Tim is co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and also serves as the Associate for Congregations of Albany Presbytery.

Friday, August 4, Workshops 2nd Slot (F2)

F2-1 Using Your Body to Advance the Storyline Part 2 with Karl Hallsten
This workshop is a continuation of the basic workshop (F1-1). It will include small group practice, personal coaching and peer feedback in a group setting. Please register for both workshops (F1-1 and F2-1).

   Karl Hallsten has been a professional storyteller, coach, and producer of storytelling events since the 1980's. He has been awarded regional and national awards from his peers. Now mostly retired, he enjoys paying forward what he has learned from storytellers who shared it with him.

F2-2 Hagar, Sarah, Mary, and Interfaith Story Sharing with Becky Potter and Beth Galbreath
A conversation about the women’s stories Judaism, Islam and Christianity share and how they can both create connections across cultural and religious divides and speak to the truths of women’s realities. Experience intersecting stories from Hebrew Scripture, the Qur’an and the New Testament and consider their potential for interfaith story-sharing events as well as interfaith understanding in a Christian setting.                               

   Led by ABS certified storyteller Becky Potter and Rev. Beth Galbreath, NBSI international coordinator. Becky and Beth are leaders of the Chicago area Prairie Wind Guild and have been passionate about interfaith connections beginning several years ago, when they first led a story sharing event with a Muslim congregation.

F2-3 Group Lectionary Study / Biblical Storytelling with Ron Poisel
This workshop will explore the use of stories to get acquainted with one another and with Jesus. A series of lectionary Gospels will be told in order to explore how hearing them as a unit may give new insight for faith formation, for preaching, for teaching, for a growing relationship with Jesus. This can be a model for group Biblical study.  Ron Poisel has been a Lutheran parish pastor for 35 years. He has been a storyteller his whole life.

   Ron, a member of NBS for  10 years, has found that telling the scriptures in worship and Bible studies has energized his ministry and faith in significant ways. In 2015 Ron completed a D.Min. in Bibilcal Storytelling for the Digital Age with Dr. Tom Boomershine as mentor. 

F2-4 Lord’s Prayer Conflict Skits with Chuck Manto
The presenter proposes Matthew 5-7 as oral teaching facilitating memorizable material, evoking conflict stories of the listener. This session will show how embedded memory devices indicate that the Lord's Prayer is the prayer for persecutors. The workshop will discuss conflict progression within the prayer then map it against age-appropriate conflicts of students. Skits, performable by students, show how their conflict can be processed through the Lord's Prayer in light of community, school and domestic violence.

   Chuck Manto presented Matthew 5-7 embedded memory methods in previous NBS Scholars Forums, workshops and adult classes. He is developing material suitable for classes in various conflict contexts and is developing team-teaching activities globally. His small R&D firm develops resilient community infrastructure. He develops conference and publications through the InfraGard National EMP SIG co-sponsored by the FBI and the Policy Studies Organization.

F2-5 Parallel Stories with Jacqui Ryan and Ellen Clements
Where do you find parables or tales that connect to the themes of the bible story you are telling and teaching? When and where might you tell them? What questions might parallel stories evoke to cause reflection and meaningful application of the scriptures? Join two creative tellers/Christian educators who have been having fun telling parallel stories and engaging all ages "in the story" for years and want to pass 'em on.

     Jacqui Ryan, Director of Christian Education of First Presbyterian Church and Ellen Clements, United Methodist District Program coordinator. Both Jacqui and Ellen reside in Va. Beach, Va. and have been teaching, telling, and designing VBS and Bible camps for the past 40 years.  They bring a tool box  full of creative ideas, experience, and enthusiasm to Bible studies and Biblical storytelling for all ages.

F2-6 A Day in the Life of a Woman in the Bible with Kay Koenig
Ever wonder what it was like to live in biblical times? Where did "ordinary people" live? What did they wear? eat? What were their daily lives like?  We'll look at a "costume" that was similar to what people of that time wore. Then we will look at scriptures and explain them based on what we learned by looking at these people. We will "cook"at a sample meal. This workshop is designed as a "background" workshop for storytellers. How can we tell stories about people if we don't know these people?

    Kay Koenig is the creator of the "Removing the Roadblocks to Bible Study," "Walking the Bible Time Line," and "Women in the Bible" series. Participants  who have attended her workshops praise them as "clear" and "informative."

F2-7 Provoking the Gospel: Exploring the Gospel of Luke with Richard Swanson
Why is Jesus always eating in the Gospel of Luke?  Why does he predict his crucifixion so many times? And, what is all this about Sarah and Abraham? In this workshop, we will explore key scenes in the Epic telling text by “Provoking the Gospel.”

   Richard Swanson is Professor of Religion at Augustana College, Soux Fals, South Dakota. He is also the Director of the Provoking the Gospel Storytelling Project, a group of actors who create performances of biblical texts. 

F2-8 One-on-One Coaching with Wendy Johnston and Ken Quiring
Want to improve your level of story performance? Are you seeking practical pointers to enhance your telling? Perhaps you simply need some encouragement and affirmation for your efforts. Then be sure to sign up for a unique, individualized coaching session with a current Academy for Biblical Storytelling Master student. Please come prepared with a short story (less than 5 minutes) to share. Story may be in the early stages of learning; it does not have to be polished yet. (Maximum 3 participants)

Wendy Johnston and Ken Quiring are coaches for this session. Wendy is an Australian, but has lived in Ireland for the last 15 years. She  began telling biblical stories in 2000. Ken is a Menonite pastor and biblica biblical storyteller. Both are currently completing  the master level requirements in the Academy for Biblical Storytelling.

F2-9 Sounding Echoes Part 2 with John Epp
How did the ancients learn stories?  Laying beneath all biblical stories is a simple and elegant structure.  In this workshop you will learn to see, hear and feel these structures at work and put them to work in story learning.  You will  also learn to use them as a kind of “labyrinth of learning,” a way of unpacking the wisdom of the stories.  Come and experience the joy of discovery and the profound way these echoing structures bring out the richness of your story, making them a joy to learn and a joy to tell.  Come and learn to tell from the ancient composers! This is the second of a two session workshop (Part One is F1-9).

   Originally from Manitoba John Epp left his work as a machinist, feeling called to ministry.  His love of biblical studies led him to complete a  Masters of Theology and to become a graduate of the Academy of Biblical Storytelling.  John attends a Mennonite church and participates regularly in teaching, preaching and storytelling at his home church and beyond. 

F2-10 Self-Directed Coaching with Tim Coombs
Normally, when coaching is offered at NBS, an experienced teller offers strategies and tips to help a more noviced teller improve. In this self-directed approach, International Coaching Federation trained coach, Tim Coombs, works with the teller to determine where he or she wants to grow and helps the teller develop a strategy to improve. This coaching model has been proven to be most effective at bringing about real and lasting change. Each workshop time is divided between two persons. (Max. 2)

   The Rev. Dr. Timothy Coombs is a Coach Associate of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He also serves on the NBSI Board of Directors in charge of Programming. Along with being a twenty-year veteran of the Network, Tim is co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and also serves as the Associate for Congregations of Albany Presbytery.

F2-11 Story Theater with Bert Ambrose, Cindy Maybeck, Thelma Thomas
NOTE: THIS STORY THEATER PRESENTATION ALLOWS YOU TO SEE ACCOMPLISHED STORYTELLERS PRESENTING STORIES

   Bert Ambrose- "Uncle George"- Just like Uncle George, we never know what or who will wander into our lives touching us, as well as others, with unconditional love  Bert has been telling stories for over twenty years in churches, summer camps, at retreats, care facilities, around campfires, as well as denominational events.

   Cindy Maybeck  -  "Angels Hovering Around" - A story about church. From Peter's sermon on Pentecost to an angel song in hospice. Rev. Cindy Maybeck, founder of Spirit Story ministry, designs original presentations blending biblical and personal storytelling to bring God's word to life and to inspire the church to move forward in faith with hope and joy.                                                               

    Thelma Thomas -  "Sonny's Blues" -
James Baldwin 's "Sonny's Blues" is the story of a young jazz musician (Sonny) from Harlem, NY who gets addicted to heroin, is arrested for using and selling drugs, and returns to his childhood neighborhood after his release from prison.

Saturday, August 5 Workshops

S-1 How To Lead a Storytelling Workshop with Ron Couglin
If you have thought about sharing your gifts and ideas by leading a workshop at a Festival Gathering, but were not sure how to go about organizing a workshop, this one is for you!  We will review the NBS way of learning and telling by heart and provide a step by step process by which effective workshops can be created.  The goal of the workshop is that you will go away with a clear sense of how to lead a workshop and the confidence to do it.

   Ron Coughlin has led many workshops on topics such as Conflict Management, Healthy Sexuality, How to Supervise Theological Students, and Biblical Storytelling.  He is a graduate of the Academy for Biblical Storytelling: Masters Certificate and President of the Board of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, International. He went to Cameroon, Africa in March 2013 as part of a storytelling team.  He is the author of "The Joy and Power of Biblical Storytelling:  Four Workshops with DVD."

S-2 A Language of Hope Think Tank: Using Biblical Storytelling with Children and Youth with Beth Galbreath and Carole Danby
Do you work with youth (ages 10-18)? If so, please join this “think tank” on “encouraging young folks to learn and tell biblical stories.” Young folks’ experience of abuse, violence, bullying, and family and personal insecurity means they are often unable to reach for help. Yet too often Bible stories for kids seem sanitized and irrelevant. This new NBSI initiative aims to develop practical resources for youth and
their leaders in learning and sharing biblical stories. In this conversation, participants will help flesh out what is currently a skeletal vision. Come share your ideas and experience! 

      Rev. Beth Galbreath, NBSI international coordinator, is involved in ministry with incarcerated women and a church plant in the Chicago area. Carole Danby, leader of NBS Australia, is a passionate teacher and promoter of biblical storytelling techniques for children.

S-3 Your Money or Your Life: Stories of Stewardship with Cindy Maybeck
Do you dread the liturgical season of stewardship in your church? What if our approach to money was as fun, humorous and loving as the telling of a favorite biblical story? As we share biblical and personal stories about money, we move from dread to joy, from fear to trust, from a view of scarcity to abundance. Learn how to bring this spirit of creativity and joy into your church, creating community on the way. (Repeat)

   Rev. Cindy Maybeck, founder of Spirit Story ministry, designs original presentations blending biblical and personal storytelling to bring God's word to life and to inspire the church to move forward in faith with hope and joy. An experienced pastor and preacher, her stories leave audiences transfixed and inspired; many report experiencing healing and a deep sense of God's love.

S-4 Emergency Storytelling with Mike Cantley
Crises and disasters are all too common, and they can sometimes threaten to derail all we’ve prepared and potentially make our presentation irrelevant to the moment. What can biblical storytellers bring in the wake of tragedy or crisis, whether in the local community or during a national or international incident? Come join Mike and begin preparing some tools biblical storytellers can have on hand should disaster challenge the community in which they are telling.

   Mike Cantley is a United Methodist Pastor, biblical storyteller, and musician from southeast Arkansas. Mike’s first career as a professional firefighter and firefighter instructor led to undergrad work in Emergency Administration and Management and graduate work in both theology and “International Peace and Conflict Resolution.” Utilizing techniques from the Quakers, “Alternatives to Violence Project” and his experiences with Christian Peacemaker Teams, Mike will lead participants in a session of “getting your gear ready for an emergency.”

S-5 Solomon the  WIse or the Abusive? (2018 EPIC TELLING PREP) with Marti Steussy and Cynthia Park
Some parts of the Bible lift up Solomon as a role model for wisdom or a symbol of lost national glory.  Other parts see him as proof that kings were a terrible choice for Israel. First Kings 1-11, which will be the Epic Telling selection for 2018, shows both sides. Join two Hebrew Bible scholars to explore the complexities and relevance of this ancient leader's story.

      Marti Steussy and Cynthia Park are both ordained clergy (DoC and Episcopal, respectively), hold PhDs in Hebrew Bible, and love biblical storytelling. They are both long-term members of the NBS Scholars Seminar. 

S-6 Embedded Memory: Knowing it by Heart Sooner with Linnea Good
There are stages of memory with scripture telling. We move from: 1) "knowing the gist" through 2) "piecing words and units together" to 3) “words rolling off the tongue." This 3rd stage is the payoff when we can trust our mouth to tell the words almost effortlessly. Linnea believes this to be musical memory - in the same way that we remember song lyrics without thinking. Can we use what we know of musical memory to move more quickly from Meaning to Connection to Pattern Speech? This is Linnea’s area of research at this time, and she invites you to 90 minutes of exploration of the method.

   Linnea Good is a "musical animator" whose primary work is to help communities express their souls through music and biblical storytelling. She teaches music in her town of Summerland BC CANADA and tours across the continent with her own music of faith. Her CDs of original music of faith have been, over her 35-year performance career, award-winning and beloved. She and an NBS International team are travelling (for her, for the third time) to India in January 2018 to bring their music and biblical storytelling ministry to the Christian Medical College Hospital of Vellore and Morning Star Residential School.

S -7 Gratitude, Grief, New Vision, Action: Calling Levi with Patrick McWilliams
We will explore the ways in which Mark 2:14 evokes an important spiritual journey. This scripture and the presentation of it have proved successful in offering a brief overview of biblical storytelling that can neatly fit the time constrictions of adult or youth education classes. A deeper exploration of the four movements of the spirit this title describes can provide the content for much longer workshops and retreats.

   Patrick McWilliams has taught literature and drama at The Phillips Exeter Academy, Isidore Newman School, and Illinois Math & Science Academy. He has been a year-long Klingenstein Fellow at Columbia, a Teacher Fellow at St Andrews University, and several times an NEH Summer Fellow. He has given more than 100 workshops and performances in churches in many states.

S-8 Story in Slow Motion with Wendy Johnson
Explore stories using space and time to notice and discover things that surprise and challenge in the ancient words. Most of us live life at such a fast pace that we don't make space or time to slow down and notice the important things. As storytellers, we can easily skip over hidden character gems or miss discovering a surprise turn in story direction or miss seeing what spaces in the story and the unsaid words tell us. Let's discover stories in slow motion.  

Wendy Johnston is an Australian, but has lived in Ireland for the last 15 years. She has had a passion for stories ever since her dad filled her head with his made-up stories during her childhood. Wendy began telling biblical stories in 2000 and is currently completing her master year in the Academy for Biblical Storytelling. Fascinated by story theology, Wendy is learning every day how to slow down and notice the new in the old. 

S-9 Contrasting Multiple People in Your Stories with Elizabeth Adkisson
In telling a single story, you usually need to present several different people or a group. Actively explore ways to quickly contrast two different characters from a single story by use of your body and voice. Demonstration and active participation will be used.

   Elizabeth Adkisson has her master’s certification from the Academy of Biblical Storytelling. For over 30 years she has taught and applied the full range of acting/performing skills. Her educational resource, "Finding God Alive! Reclaiming the Life in the Stories of God through Communication and Embodiment Skill," is available through https://www.elizabethbyheart.com and a few copies will be available at the Festival Marketplace.

S-10 Self-Directed Coaching with Tim Coombs
Normally, when coaching is offered at NBS, an experienced teller offers strategies and tips to help a more noviced teller improve. In this self-directed approach, International Coaching Federation trained coach, Tim Coombs, works with the teller to determine where he or she wants to grow and helps the teller develop a strategy to improve. This coaching model has been proven to be most effective at bringing about real and lasting change. Each workshop time is divided between two persons.
(Max. 2)

   The Rev. Dr. Timothy Coombs is a Coach Associate of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He also serves on the NBSI Board of Directors in charge of Programming. Along with being a twenty-year veteran of the Network, Tim is co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and also serves as the Associate for Congregations of Albany Presbytery.


Get in touch

Network of Biblical Storytellers International
Christian Theological Seminary | 1000 W. 42nd St. | Indianapolis IN 46208

TF 1 (800) 355-6627 | PH 1 (317) 931-2352 | nbs@nbsint.org

Find out more about us: