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Forum 2013 Workshops

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Theme & PresentersPre-Forum GatheringWorkshops
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Forum 2013 Workshops

On Saturday morning and afternoon, thirteen workshops will allow Forum participants to contemplate and engage scripture in a variety of ways. Please note that you must select your preferred workshops during the registration process, so make your choices as you review the options below!


Saturday Morning


“Art into Faith” with Jan Richardson and Garrison Doles

How we can engage the arts as a pathway into spiritual depth where we experience the living, breathing stories of the Bible in their fullness and bring forth their treasures?


“Empowering Congregations as Storytelling Communities” with Tom Boomershine

 This workshop will introduce the hands-on process of enabling local church members to become storytellers: storytelling workshops, strategic storytelling by pastoral leadership, and laity telling the scriptures by heart every week in worship.


“Story-Linking: Narrative and the Spiritual Life of the Child” with Rhonda Pittman Gingrich

Story plays an important role in nurturing the spiritual lives of children. We will explore ways to help children engage the biblical story and make connections between that story and their own story.


“Shut Up Like a Burning Fire: Ruth in My Bones” with Kristy Shellenberger, Steve Schweitzer, and Karen Garrett

Experience the fiery character of Ruth as depicted in the Hebrew text: tenacious, defiant, assertive, dynamic, compelling, and supremely loving.


“How Stories Persuade: The Rhetorical Logic of Biblical Narrative” with Carolyn Higginbotham

Gain new perspective on the literary structure of biblical narratives and how a sermon can draw on a story and its logic to persuade and motivate the hearer.


"These Boots Are Made for . . . : The Words of the Bible Have Feet and Spirit" with Cliff Kindy, LuAnne Harley, and Brian Kruschwitz

Come grapple with scriptures as we tackle the issues of lifestyle, activism, and peacemaking. Joyfield Farm—home to Cliff, LuAnne, and Brian—is a place and a people; a Spirit Ground, Seed Bed, and Stimulus Site. Let’s nurture our possibilities and celebrate the dance!


Saturday Afternoon


“The Word of the Artist” with Jan Richardson

Engaging the Bible as an artist, Jan invites us to reflect on how who we are shapes the way we enter the Word and give it flesh in the world.


“The Power of Words and Music” with Garrison Doles

Exploring the power of songs to draw us into the scriptures and reveal the richness of these treasured texts can crack the shell of familiarity and offer sustenance for our daily lives.


“Mark’s Story of the Pilate Trial and the Choice of War or Peace Then and Now” with Tom Boomershine

Participants will explore Mark’s story of Jesus’s trial before Pilate in the story’s original first-century context after the Jewish-Roman war and in our twenty-first-century context of perpetual American warfare.


“Fire in our Bones: Burning Questions Young Adults Bring to the Bible” with Russell Haitch and Rebekah Houff

Do we judge the Bible by our experience or vice versa? Why do we skip over hard passages in the Old Testament? What about all the other ways God speaks to us? This session will raise--and even try to answer--various questions young adults bring to the Bible.


“Bibliodrama: Getting to the Core of the Story” with Sharon James Fazel

Explore the Bible using techniques of bibliodrama developed by Peter Pitzele. The very human core of Bible characters and the relationships among them and between them and their Creator take on real-life significance. (Attendees have the option to observe.)


“A Hermeneutical Picnic” with Melissa Bennett, Eric Brubaker, Belita Mitchell, Dan Ulrich

Picnics are especially enjoyable with a variety of foods. Could the variety of meanings we find in scripture likewise bring spiritual nourishment and joy? We’ll share diverse interpretations of Mark 14:1-9.


“Lectio and Visio Divina: Praying the Scriptures through Word and Art” with Malinda Elizabeth Berry

Through age-old contemplative practices of listening and gazing, we will spend time dwelling in the sounds and images evoked by scripture.



Josh Brockway
Master of Theology '04

JoshWhen I say I've attended seminary, the conversation quickly diverts, "So where are you pastoring?" To which I reply, "Well, I'm not serving a congregation, I'm getting my PhD." I'm sure that most persons attending seminary will be asked that same question regardless of his/her vocational goals. The truth is that anyone can attend Bethany: minister-in-training, curious Christians, and yes, even those who plan to pursue doctoral study.