Retreat for Young Families at Ferncliff, November 14-16

Faith, Family, and the Art of Sacred Storytelling

With Neely Stansell-Simpson

Blurb: From the beginning of human history people have been telling stories. Storytelling comes in many forms and is part of almost everything we do in our day-to-day lives, from conversations at dinner about the events of the day, to the food we eat and the ways in which we prepare it. Storytelling is shared gossip over drinks, and reminiscing with friends and family. It’s in the music we listen to, the books we read, the movies and TV shows we like, and the visual art we’re drawn to as well as the narratives of ourselves we share via social media. In the life of the church, storytelling is not only the telling of the stories of faith passed down to us by those who came before us, but also those stories acted out again and again in practice and ritual.

Stories knit us together, forming the backbone of cultural and community identity. Storytelling is something we do for pleasure and entertainment, but it is also something that creates order out of chaos, weaving together the scared and the profane to give meaning to our lives. Come explore the art of sacred storytelling and different ways we can put it into practice in the lives of our families.

Bio:  Neely Stansell-Simpson is a freelance writer who lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, daughter, two dogs, one cat, and a turtle named Darwin.  She studied Christian Education and Philosophy at Presbyterian College and served the Presbyterian Church (USA) for 5 years as a Director of Youth Ministries for two churches, one in Lexington, VA and one in Greenville, SC. She had charted a course for seminary and was very nearly there when she got derailed. Finding herself going, “huh?” in one of God’s inconvenient bends in the road, she discovered that she was happy being derailed, because the thought of professional ministry scared the pants off of her, and what she really wanted to do was write.

Neely, is the author of the quirky, religious blog Glimpsing God; The Story of my Offbeat Faith. She is currently shopping her first novel (an Appalachian ghost story), hard at work on her second novel (a contemporary story about five student morticians), all while dreaming of a third novel set in Seoul, Korea against the backdrop of the K-pop industry. Her interests vary widely, or wildly. Either one.

Cost and Housing

The cost of this retreat covers all your meals, lodging and the program.  There are two options for participation. The program time will begin at 9 AM Saturday morning after breakfast and run through lunch on Sunday. You may also join us earlier on Friday night for dinner. After dinner we’ll have casual activities, bedtime stories, and s’mores around the campfire. Housing will be in hotel style rooms with a private bath.

The cost for Saturday and Sunday will be $50 per adult, $25 per child age 3-12 and $10 per child under 3 with a maximum of $150 per family. If you would like to join the fun starting with dinner on Friday night the overall cost per family be an additional $50. Scholarships are available. Please contact Lindy Vogado for more information.  Please register and submit the deposit of $50 by Sunday, November 2.

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