Events

The Ultimate Bright Bible Retreat

The Ultimate Bright Bible Journaling Retreat in Mancelona, Michigan was a wonderful gathering of Christian women on October 4-6, 2019. It was a joy for four of our Visual Faith Coaches to be present, engaged and participate in this wonderful community.…Katie Helmriech starts by sharing about experimenting with new techniques and some processing take aways.

Times sharing and creating alongside one another was truly a precious gift. It was absolutely incredible to discover how uniquely all of these amazing women are responding to God's grace through art! I learned something new from every conversation! Tips and tricks I didn't even know I needed to know that have inspired me to try new things. Did you know you can use a damp paint brush to "cut" out fussy shapes from a napkin? Have you had a chance to talk to someone who uses zentangle style doodles for therapy? Completely changed my understanding of the process. I learned gelato blending techniques and got to try out distress crayons. Turns out they're pretty amazing once you know how to use them. Who would have guessed that little sponge and dabber thing was such a big deal. I had an opportunity to watch someone doing an acrylic scraping and layering technique, using bubble wrap, toilet paper tubes, and stencils for texture. I got to try it out myself and fell in love with the process. The weekend was one art epiphany after another. What's even better than coming away with a head overflowing with new techniques and inspiration? Discovering a new group of friends I can stay in touch with as we share our work, ask questions, and encourage one another. -Katie  About the above photo -2 Peter 1:2-7 was the devotion text one morning. I used several techniques I picked up from new friends to celebrate this reminder of God's promises, His faithfulness, the work He does in me, and this gift of encouragement just when I needed it.

Times sharing and creating alongside one another was truly a precious gift. It was absolutely incredible to discover how uniquely all of these amazing women are responding to God's grace through art! I learned something new from every conversation! Tips and tricks I didn't even know I needed to know that have inspired me to try new things. Did you know you can use a damp paint brush to "cut" out fussy shapes from a napkin? Have you had a chance to talk to someone who uses zentangle style doodles for therapy? Completely changed my understanding of the process. I learned gelato blending techniques and got to try out distress crayons. Turns out they're pretty amazing once you know how to use them. Who would have guessed that little sponge and dabber thing was such a big deal. I had an opportunity to watch someone doing an acrylic scraping and layering technique, using bubble wrap, toilet paper tubes, and stencils for texture. I got to try it out myself and fell in love with the process. The weekend was one art epiphany after another. What's even better than coming away with a head overflowing with new techniques and inspiration? Discovering a new group of friends I can stay in touch with as we share our work, ask questions, and encourage one another.
-Katie
About the above photo-2 Peter 1:2-7 was the devotion text one morning. I used several techniques I picked up from new friends to celebrate this reminder of God's promises, His faithfulness, the work He does in me, and this gift of encouragement just when I needed it.



The Blessings of the Sisterhood of Faith- Valerie Matyas- Visual Faith Coach  In each of the houses where the women stayed, there were light brown paper bags with our names beautifully lettered across the front, hung neatly and tastefully on twine and small clothespins. For me, it was the heartwarming visual combination of Valentine's Day mailboxes from grade school and my family's Christmas stockings in the living room. The purpose of the bags was to allow women to leave or receive notes of encouragement, prayer, or blessing.  My heart was full when I saw my bag hung on the twine. It told me I had a place at this retreat, that I belonged here. It was a similar feeling as discovering my name on the dormitory door my Freshman year of college, or reading my name on a place card at a fancy banquet. Its existence says, "You belong here, a place has been prepared for you, you are loved, your are cared for, make yourself comfortable, this is for you." At the end of the retreat, my heart was overflowing when I took down the bag and peaked at what was inside. The women from the retreat had left thank you cards, prayer cards, and sweet notes of appreciation. One very special sister, left a thoughtful paper envelope filled with materials and specially crafted paper for which to journal. The Sisterhood of Faith, who came together from 11 different states, and three different countries was amazing. We came because we find joy drawing closer to Jesus through His Word, flexing our creative muscles, and being in loving heartfelt connection and fellowship with one another.

The Blessings of the Sisterhood of Faith- Valerie Matyas- Visual Faith Coach
In each of the houses where the women stayed, there were light brown paper bags with our names beautifully lettered across the front, hung neatly and tastefully on twine and small clothespins. For me, it was the heartwarming visual combination of Valentine's Day mailboxes from grade school and my family's Christmas stockings in the living room. The purpose of the bags was to allow women to leave or receive notes of encouragement, prayer, or blessing.
My heart was full when I saw my bag hung on the twine. It told me I had a place at this retreat, that I belonged here. It was a similar feeling as discovering my name on the dormitory door my Freshman year of college, or reading my name on a place card at a fancy banquet. Its existence says, "You belong here, a place has been prepared for you, you are loved, your are cared for, make yourself comfortable, this is for you."
At the end of the retreat, my heart was overflowing when I took down the bag and peaked at what was inside. The women from the retreat had left thank you cards, prayer cards, and sweet notes of appreciation. One very special sister, left a thoughtful paper envelope filled with materials and specially crafted paper for which to journal.
The Sisterhood of Faith, who came together from 11 different states, and three different countries was amazing. We came because we find joy drawing closer to Jesus through His Word, flexing our creative muscles, and being in loving heartfelt connection and fellowship with one another.


The Impact of Being Together from Visual Faith Coach and Sketchbook Boss-Marsha Baker.   The Ultimate Bible Journaling Retreat took place at Cedar Bend Farm just outside Mancelona, Michigan and is the work of Monica Malbouef and her delightful team.

The Impact of Being Together from Visual Faith Coach and Sketchbook Boss-Marsha Baker.

The Ultimate Bible Journaling Retreat took place at Cedar Bend Farm just outside Mancelona, Michigan and is the work of Monica Malbouef and her delightful team.



Every morning a flock of wild turkeys (11 by my count) would walk through the farm. I have never seen so many wild turkeys at once. I love the way they would wonder, a few going this way and a few going that way, but in the end, they all stayed together. This reminded me of our intimate retreat. It was a smaller retreat of only 80 women and I loved the small size as I got to visit with a lot of women and make some real connections. Some of us would go off and try out the napkin technique in our Bibles ( thanks Val) and others would go for walks. The retreat was a great time for connections. We all were there to further explore our visual faith in one way or another which made it a safe place to share what was on our hearts, whether that be victories or struggles. It was a very affirming time.

Every morning a flock of wild turkeys (11 by my count) would walk through the farm. I have never seen so many wild turkeys at once. I love the way they would wonder, a few going this way and a few going that way, but in the end, they all stayed together. This reminded me of our intimate retreat. It was a smaller retreat of only 80 women and I loved the small size as I got to visit with a lot of women and make some real connections. Some of us would go off and try out the napkin technique in our Bibles ( thanks Val) and others would go for walks. The retreat was a great time for connections. We all were there to further explore our visual faith in one way or another which made it a safe place to share what was on our hearts, whether that be victories or struggles. It was a very affirming time.

Always time to celebrate—Visual Faith Coaches- Marsha Baker and Valerie Matyas enjoying time together.

Always time to celebrate—Visual Faith Coaches- Marsha Baker and Valerie Matyas enjoying time together.

How is the Holy Spirit on the Move in these Visual Faith Connections? by Visual Faith Coach Ann Gillaspie   The Holy Spirit is bringing Visual Faith Ministries and The Bright Bible together. Visual Faith Coaches -Katie Helmrich, Valerie Matayas and Marsha Baker each taught a lesson at The Bright Bible's Ultimate Bible Journaling Retreat. The theme was “Who You Say I Am.” Ann Gillaspie and Evelyn DeCorte also attended and offered prayer support to our coaches.  The Holy Spirit worked in the hearts of the ladies in attendance in each session. We learned that God values and loves each and every one of us. When we repent of our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins. We are FREE!

How is the Holy Spirit on the Move in these Visual Faith Connections? by Visual Faith Coach Ann Gillaspie

The Holy Spirit is bringing Visual Faith Ministries and The Bright Bible together. Visual Faith Coaches -Katie Helmrich, Valerie Matayas and Marsha Baker each taught a lesson at The Bright Bible's Ultimate Bible Journaling Retreat. The theme was “Who You Say I Am.” Ann Gillaspie and Evelyn DeCorte also attended and offered prayer support to our coaches.

The Holy Spirit worked in the hearts of the ladies in attendance in each session. We learned that God values and loves each and every one of us. When we repent of our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins. We are FREE!

In one activity we wrote those sins and doubts down on a paper lantern and then went outside and let the lanterns and our sins/self-doubts float heavenward. All this was done in a quiet and reflective manner. It was a very moving experience to visually give those sins up to the Lord and know that we are now free from them.

In one activity we wrote those sins and doubts down on a paper lantern and then went outside and let the lanterns and our sins/self-doubts float heavenward. All this was done in a quiet and reflective manner. It was a very moving experience to visually give those sins up to the Lord and know that we are now free from them.

Katie shared some watercolor theory and techniques with us and taught us to 'let go' of perfectionism. Aren't we all 'recovering perfectionists'? Valerie taught us to use sermon sketch notes as a means to connect the verbal lesson to drawing icons and words to help us visually remember any sermon, lecture, discussion or Bible study. Marcia backed this up by giving us each a bookmark with icon prompts for sketch note taking. She also showed us how to decorate special occasion gift bags using icons, pictures and words with chalk crayons, markers and pens.

Katie shared some watercolor theory and techniques with us and taught us to 'let go' of perfectionism. Aren't we all 'recovering perfectionists'? Valerie taught us to use sermon sketch notes as a means to connect the verbal lesson to drawing icons and words to help us visually remember any sermon, lecture, discussion or Bible study. Marcia backed this up by giving us each a bookmark with icon prompts for sketch note taking. She also showed us how to decorate special occasion gift bags using icons, pictures and words with chalk crayons, markers and pens.

It was fascinating watching the faces of the ladies in attendance as the Holy Spirit lit the lightbulbs in their hearts. So many of us face troubles in our lives and have negative images of ourselves but God sees us as His holy and redeemed people. We are 'altogether lovely' to Him. Throughout the entire retreat we heard over and over again how much our God values and loves us despite our worst sins and through our weakest moments.  Yes, the Holy Spirit is actively using Visual Faith Ministries and The Bright Bible to draw His servants to himself and heal their broken hearts. He is helping us connect to God's Word when we PAUSE, REFLECT and REMEMBER all that He has done. What an amazing ministry we have been privileged to share!

It was fascinating watching the faces of the ladies in attendance as the Holy Spirit lit the lightbulbs in their hearts. So many of us face troubles in our lives and have negative images of ourselves but God sees us as His holy and redeemed people. We are 'altogether lovely' to Him. Throughout the entire retreat we heard over and over again how much our God values and loves us despite our worst sins and through our weakest moments.

Yes, the Holy Spirit is actively using Visual Faith Ministries and The Bright Bible to draw His servants to himself and heal their broken hearts. He is helping us connect to God's Word when we PAUSE, REFLECT and REMEMBER all that He has done. What an amazing ministry we have been privileged to share!


We are blessed to cheerlead  The Bright Bible and Monica Malbouef  as one of our partnership ministries of Visual Faith Ministry. Serving in the Kingdom together builds up the body of Christ. We give thanks for Monica and all the ways our paths have already crossed and for all the things that the Lord might do in the future. Blessings to everyone at The Bright Bible!  Her website is: https://www.thebrightbible.com

We are blessed to cheerlead The Bright Bible and Monica Malbouef as one of our partnership ministries of Visual Faith Ministry. Serving in the Kingdom together builds up the body of Christ. We give thanks for Monica and all the ways our paths have already crossed and for all the things that the Lord might do in the future. Blessings to everyone at The Bright Bible!

Her website is: https://www.thebrightbible.com

A Retreat for Pastor's Wives-Part 2

Visual Faith Coach Susan Buetow shares some helpful tools and guidelines from the recent retreat that she led in Northern Illinois..

Here are the go-to helps: My Top 3 Visual Faith Tools     1- Visual Prayer - Using a sheet of paper to jot down prayers. Each can be formed into doodles and colored in. This helps you focus your prayers. Prayers sheets ( https://www.visualfaithmin.org/visual-faith-resources ) found on Visual Faith Ministry or Sybil MacBeth’s book, Praying in Color ( https://prayingincolor.com ) both have inspiring doodle sheets. I recommend using your church bulletin and prayer list as a daily way to pray for your church family.     From my Pastor Wife Retreat, Shirley told me that these resources were exactly what she was looking for to use with her Ladies Guild. Shirley is trying to get younger ladies to join the group and really felt like something simple as visual prayer can help do that.     2- Bible Journaling - Using a journaling bible you can doodle or color in the margins of your bible while you study scripture. This helps you connect with what you are reading. A great to get started would be to print off Bible Journaling Margins ( https://www.visualfaithmin.org/new-products-1 ) for you to color and add to the margins of your bible.     3-Daily Prayer Calendar - Using a simple calendar and a devotional book you can jot down simple words each day in the calendar space to help you recall what you read. Good examples are your church daily devotions, Portal of Prayers ( https://www.cph.org/portals/ ) or daily devotions from a phone app. Print off calendars ( https://www.visualfaithmin.org/print-color-pray ) or use your own personal planner.     Bethany asked how she could use these tools with youth and parents in her congregation. I suggested teaching them to use a daily prayer calendar with their family devotions. This age is also prime for teaching Bible Journaling. I directed her to the Visual Faith Ministry Website ( https://www.visualfaithmin.org/hosts ) to get more information on hosting an event at her church. We can create a class that would be perfect for her needs.     These are just a few of our Visual Faith Tools. They can be used by all ages and skill levels. These tools are a great way to bridge the generation gap. What a great way to gather together to study scripture and pray for those in our church family.

Here are the go-to helps: My Top 3 Visual Faith Tools


1- Visual Prayer - Using a sheet of paper to jot down prayers. Each can be formed into doodles and colored in. This helps you focus your prayers. Prayers sheets (https://www.visualfaithmin.org/visual-faith-resources) found on Visual Faith Ministry or Sybil MacBeth’s book, Praying in Color (https://prayingincolor.com) both have inspiring doodle sheets. I recommend using your church bulletin and prayer list as a daily way to pray for your church family.


From my Pastor Wife Retreat, Shirley told me that these resources were exactly what she was looking for to use with her Ladies Guild. Shirley is trying to get younger ladies to join the group and really felt like something simple as visual prayer can help do that.


2- Bible Journaling - Using a journaling bible you can doodle or color in the margins of your bible while you study scripture. This helps you connect with what you are reading. A great to get started would be to print off Bible Journaling Margins (https://www.visualfaithmin.org/new-products-1) for you to color and add to the margins of your bible.


3-Daily Prayer Calendar - Using a simple calendar and a devotional book you can jot down simple words each day in the calendar space to help you recall what you read. Good examples are your church daily devotions, Portal of Prayers (https://www.cph.org/portals/) or daily devotions from a phone app. Print off calendars (https://www.visualfaithmin.org/print-color-pray) or use your own personal planner.


Bethany asked how she could use these tools with youth and parents in her congregation. I suggested teaching them to use a daily prayer calendar with their family devotions. This age is also prime for teaching Bible Journaling. I directed her to the Visual Faith Ministry Website (https://www.visualfaithmin.org/hosts) to get more information on hosting an event at her church. We can create a class that would be perfect for her needs.


These are just a few of our Visual Faith Tools. They can be used by all ages and skill levels. These tools are a great way to bridge the generation gap. What a great way to gather together to study scripture and pray for those in our church family.




This calendar is available on Sybil MacBeth’s website: Here is the place to get the calendar-  https://prayingincolor.com/handouts

This calendar is available on Sybil MacBeth’s website: Here is the place to get the calendar- https://prayingincolor.com/handouts

Here is the Enduring Word Bible that was given as a give-away at the Retreat.

Here is the Enduring Word Bible that was given as a give-away at the Retreat.

Link for Enduring Word Bible https://tinyurl.com/y259a326

Thanks Susan for being an encourager on the way. Thank you for introducing new spiritual practices. Prayer and play? Art and prayer? Art and Bible Study? Time with God? Got 5 minutes? Amen.

Thanks Susan for being an encourager on the way. Thank you for introducing new spiritual practices. Prayer and play? Art and prayer? Art and Bible Study? Time with God? Got 5 minutes? Amen.

Visual Faith at a Theological Symposium

The 30th Annual Theological Symposium at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis took place September 17-18 under the theme Devoted: (Re)Forming the Devotional Life.

This relevant theme allowed participants and speakers to “explore the topic of devotion in all its complexity, (re)forming our devotional lives into lives of devotion. Attendees will walk away refreshed and equipped to encounter the challenges of our contemporary culture with the depths of God’s Word and the breadth of His work.”

The Symposium was created for the benefit of Continuing Education for Ordained Ministers, Deaconesses, Professional Church Workers, and laity.

[Photo credit: Valerie Matyas]

[Photo credit: Valerie Matyas]

Valerie Matyas, Educational Development Consultant for Visual Faith Ministries, shares about her experience teaching visual faith at the symposium here:

[Photo credit: Concordia Seminary]

[Photo credit: Concordia Seminary]

I had the opportunity and honor of leading a break out session. Visual Faith lends itself beautifully to the devotional life. As a Visual Faith Coach, I am able to engage, equip, and encourage people of all ages and professions in taking a creative, visual approach to the devotional life.

[Photo credit: Concordia Seminary]

[Photo credit: Concordia Seminary]

We discussed the struggles and obstacles of engaging in prayer and scripture in our devotional life. It is important to learn how to pause and focus. Visual Faith allows us to slow down and pay attention. It is both a practice and a product. It gives us a visual reminder for our remembrance and to equip us in reaching out to others. 

[Photo credit: Concordia Seminary]

[Photo credit: Concordia Seminary]

We used the tool of Visual Prayer with the application of “Secret Code Prayer” to force ourselves to slow our pace and deepen our connection in conversation with our Heavenly Father. It is the difference between speeding down a highway and walking down a highway. We see more, notice more, are aware of more, because the pace forces us to be readily observant.

Dr. Beth Hoeltke, director of the Graduate School at Concordia Seminary, is caught enjoying a moment of light-heartedness. [Photo credit: Concordia Seminary]

Dr. Beth Hoeltke, director of the Graduate School at Concordia Seminary, is caught enjoying a moment of light-heartedness. [Photo credit: Concordia Seminary]

I enjoy using humor in my presentations to lighten the mood on what is a common struggle for so many followers of Christ: How to remain engaged in prayer and scripture when our lives are full of distraction, disenchantment, and disillusionment?

  Our lives are sometimes messy, our prayer and devotional lives often disorganized and disarrayed. Having spiritual tools for our spiritual toolbox can help to make sense of the mess. It allows us a wider lens into how God is working in our lives and the lives of His people.

[Photo credit: Valerie Matyas]

[Photo credit: Valerie Matyas]

The room is always completely silent when participants are visually praying or reflecting creatively to scripture. Sometimes we need to carve time out of our day for such a practice. The creative, visual, tangible approach creates a hook that draws us back again and again. Allowing participants an opportunity to apply the techniques and experience the practice offers a better understanding for the potential impact on the personal devotional life. I tell people, “We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We cannot create time, lose time, or gain time. How we prioritize our time is up to us. It often takes discipline. Enjoying our time spent in prayer and in the Word helps us to want to prioritize that time.” We leverage the visual, linguistic, and kinesthetic practice of drawing, doodling, and creating to keep us accountable and engaged.

[Photo credit: Valerie Matyas]

[Photo credit: Valerie Matyas]

My Visual Faith presentations are often for lay women. Sometimes I have the opportunity to present Professional Development for the spiritual formation of Lutheran and Catholic School Teachers and Administrators. Every once in awhile I get to go into classrooms of Lutheran day schools and speak directly to students. It was a rare and special occasion to be able to speak to Ordained Ministers of the Word and church workers affiliated with the Seminary. It is the desire of Visual Faith Ministry for these tools to be used to further equip the people of God’s Kingdom. May it be to His Glory.

[Photo credit: Kyle Fittje]

[Photo credit: Kyle Fittje]

I wanted to thank Rev. Dr. David Schmitt, the Gregg H. Benidt Chair in Homiletics and Literature, for inviting me to speak. His involvement in this year’s Symposium and his passion for seeing the devotional life for more than just reading and meditating silently in isolation, opened the door for great conversations and insight regarding the multifaceted opportunities for devotional life.

[Image credit: Marsha Baker]

[Image credit: Marsha Baker]

I was abundantly blessed to have the founder of BlessInks and fellow Visual Faith Coach Marsha Baker attend my sectional. She beautifully and creatively captured my presentation using her unique style of sketch notes. Sketch notes are another example of Visual Faith, a practice that I enjoy using during Sunday Sermons.

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Valerie Matyas is a Visual Faith Classroom Coach joining a love for all things Visual Faith with the heart passion of an educator to forge new pathways into schools and congregational life. She is a graduate student at Concordia University - Ann Arbor, MI. pursuing a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Valerie is passionate about Parochial Education as well as supporting and encouraging professional church workers and laity in their personal devotional and prayer lives. She seeks to encourage God's people, of all ages, to literally draw closer to Him through creative reflection and loves to develop tools to open these faith-sharing doors for her family and others.

VISUAL FAITH at the Michigan District Youth Gathering

Visual Faith Coach Valerie Matyas shares about her experience leading a sectional on Visual Faith practices at a junior high youth event:

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Over 300 junior high youth from Lutheran churches throughout Michigan gathered in Frankenmuth, MI, May 31-June 2, 2019 for this year’s Michigan District Jr. High Youth Gathering. The theme this year was #TRUTH ~ “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) On Saturday, four breakout sectionals were offered on the campus of St. Lorenz Lutheran School in Frankenmuth. Each sectional ran for 45 minutes and was offered four times throughout the day. One hundred twenty-five youth and their adult leaders experienced Visual Faith in the cafeteria of St. Lorenz.

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Using index cards, sharpie pens, pencils, colored pencils and washi tape, participants took time to meditate on scripture through creative and intentional reflection.

We learned three different hand-lettered fonts to capture the word Truth. Taking time to draw helps the mind connect between its two hemispheres. Drawing helps us to remember, so that we can recall it later for our personal spiritual benefit or to share our meditation with others.

By placing the word ‘truth’ in the center of an index card, we were able to create physical and mental space to give thought to the Truth that Scripture describes, and how it differs from the half-truth society spins. We discussed being ever mindful of knowing the pure Truth of scripture versus the deceptive truth of the world.

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We had time to touch briefly on topics such as sex, marriage, money, and obedience. We discussed what society is trying to portray as truth, and what Scripture reveals as real Truth. Being rooted in the Word, seeking God with your whole heart, knowing that His Word is real Truth, offers us direction (curb), reflection (mirror), and information (guide).

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We also had an opportunity to create a Scripture Doodle (a basic illustration) of the theme verse.

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Everyone added their own personal touch. The purpose of a Scripture Doodle is to allow yourself time to linger longer in the Word. It gives your brain an opportunity to read, reflect, and respond, so that you can remember and reach out.

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Drawing helps us to remember. It allows scripture to sink deeper into the soul. Even the most basic of drawings allows a moment to slow down and think it through.

The sectional was hands-on, tangible, interactive, and reflective. It was a quick 45 minutes, jammed packed with opportunities to practice and experience Visual Faith processes. Participants ranged from 12 years old to 62 years old — it was time well spent.

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To find out what a junior high youth gathering might look like and see Valerie in action - you can check out the video here:

https://youtu.be/bPk1u_cGfUw

Valerie Matyas is the Educational Development Consultant at Visual Faith Ministry. As a Visual Faith Classroom Coach, she joins a love for all things Visual Faith with the heart passion of an educator to forge new pathways into schools and congregational life. She is a graduate student at Concordia University - Ann Arbor, MI, pursuing a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Valerie is passionate about Parochial Education as well as supporting and encouraging professional church workers and laity in their personal devotional and prayer lives. She seeks to encourage God's people, of all ages, to literally draw closer to Him through creative reflection and loves to develop tools to open these faith-sharing doors for her family and others.

Visual Faith on the Extravagant Love Cruise!

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On February 9, 2019, a group of women set sail on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for a 5-day “Extravagant Love Cruise”, sponsored by Educational Opportunities Travel.

We were blessed with this gathering of Visual Faith coaches that assembled for the cruise.  Front- L to R- Teresa Davis, Connie Denninger, Liz Murphy, and Webmaster- Diane Marra.  Back- L to R- Peggy Thibodeau, Eden Keefe, Sara Wilson, Lisa Brass, Pat Maier and Valerie Matyas.

We were blessed with this gathering of Visual Faith coaches that assembled for the cruise.

Front- L to R- Teresa Davis, Connie Denninger, Liz Murphy, and Webmaster- Diane Marra.

Back- L to R- Peggy Thibodeau, Eden Keefe, Sara Wilson, Lisa Brass, Pat Maier and Valerie Matyas.

The cruise had about the same Teaching Time as a Women’s Weekend Retreat. The rest of the time was spent personally experiencing either the Royal Caribbean ship or time off the boat. This cruise landed in Labadee, Haiti and Falmouth, Jamaica.

Pat Maier helped us to see Visual Faith processes as an Act of Worship—Read, Reflect, Respond, so that you can Remember and Reach Out. She also brought helpful tools for lettering and working with color in our margins and Bibles.

Pat Maier helped us to see Visual Faith processes as an Act of Worship—Read, Reflect, Respond, so that you can Remember and Reach Out. She also brought helpful tools for lettering and working with color in our margins and Bibles.

WendySue Fluegge and her daughter, Miranda, wove together worship and praise with their gift of music.

WendySue Fluegge and her daughter, Miranda, wove together worship and praise with their gift of music.

Bible Study Leader-Deb Burma led participants through a wealth of riches in God’s Word with the story of God’s Extravagant Love for each of us.

Bible Study Leader-Deb Burma led participants through a wealth of riches in God’s Word with the story of God’s Extravagant Love for each of us.

Connie Denninger led us into an introduction of Visual Faith through Doors into Prayer. The Co-Founders of Visual Faith Ministry had a wonderful experience of connecting to so many who are already faithful practitioners and those who were new to the practices.

Connie Denninger led us into an introduction of Visual Faith through Doors into Prayer. The Co-Founders of Visual Faith Ministry had a wonderful experience of connecting to so many who are already faithful practitioners and those who were new to the practices.

We gathered in the evenings in the Windjammer food court for times of sharing and encouragement.

We gathered in the evenings in the Windjammer food court for times of sharing and encouragement.

it was fun to meet each other In Real Life and share our Visual Faith journey.

it was fun to meet each other In Real Life and share our Visual Faith journey.

We valued our time together and seeing all the ways we are unique in this part of the Visual Faith Journey.

We valued our time together and seeing all the ways we are unique in this part of the Visual Faith Journey.

We were blessed by this inter-generational experience aboard the Royal Caribbean- Independence of the Seas.

We were blessed by this inter-generational experience aboard the Royal Caribbean- Independence of the Seas.

We even had 17 brave men along for this cruise. Hardy souls and we spotted them here and there.

We even had 17 brave men along for this cruise. Hardy souls and we spotted them here and there.

We were thankful for the beautiful flowers spotted mid-Winter…

We were thankful for the beautiful flowers spotted mid-Winter…

The delightful presentation of food for every meal……

The delightful presentation of food for every meal……

The blessings of conversations around the dinner table…….

The blessings of conversations around the dinner table…….

A magnificent wait staff, beautiful sunny days in port, calm seas, and accommodations galore.

A magnificent wait staff, beautiful sunny days in port, calm seas, and accommodations galore.

This group of women from all over the country forged a new friendship of ministry blessings.

This group of women from all over the country forged a new friendship of ministry blessings.

A heartfelt thank you to Diane Biel (blue shirt- center) for all of her coordination and hard work and making this Education Opportunities event move from a dream to a reality.

A heartfelt thank you to Diane Biel (blue shirt- center) for all of her coordination and hard work and making this Education Opportunities event move from a dream to a reality.

God’s Extravagant Love? Yes, we have been richly blessed. Maybe you will join us on a future cruise?

God’s Extravagant Love? Yes, we have been richly blessed. Maybe you will join us on a future cruise?

Visual Faith Assembly

We gathered in Springfield, Virginia for a Visual Faith Assembly on August 3, 2018 to bring resources and encouragement to Visual Faith practitioners.

We gathered in Springfield, Virginia for a Visual Faith Assembly on August 3, 2018 to bring resources and encouragement to Visual Faith practitioners.

We welcomed Lutheran Social Serves- National Capital Area to the event to offer prayers and encouragement for the Immigrant Families and especially for the children in the United States detention centers. Chief Executive Officer- Christine Connell came to meet folks and head the prayer project. We are hoping to use this event as a prototype to add Visual Prayer to events and gatherings.We used prayer cards found in Resources on the Visual Faith Ministry website and then added Bible verses to pray over the families and children.

We welcomed Lutheran Social Serves- National Capital Area to the event to offer prayers and encouragement for the Immigrant Families and especially for the children in the United States detention centers. Chief Executive Officer- Christine Connell came to meet folks and head the prayer project. We are hoping to use this event as a prototype to add Visual Prayer to events and gatherings.We used prayer cards found in Resources on the Visual Faith Ministry website and then added Bible verses to pray over the families and children.

Anyone can pray for these families and share their prayers using this hashtag- #WelcomeInColor.

Anyone can pray for these families and share their prayers using this hashtag- #WelcomeInColor.

Welcome comes in many languages.

Welcome comes in many languages.

We printed off the Bible verses and then they could simple be added to the prayer cards. Prayer time finished them with watercolor and colored pencil. May these families be blessed.

We printed off the Bible verses and then they could simple be added to the prayer cards. Prayer time finished them with watercolor and colored pencil. May these families be blessed.

We also tried our hands at Polaroid Praise - watercolor and Sharpie pens on watercolor paper.

We also tried our hands at Polaroid Praise - watercolor and Sharpie pens on watercolor paper.

Visual Faith Coach Erika Radke also helped with some string painting- In and out of our Bibles.

Visual Faith Coach Erika Radke also helped with some string painting- In and out of our Bibles.

Time to check in, encourage creativity, and see all the ways that the Lord is writing the stories in our lives.

Time to check in, encourage creativity, and see all the ways that the Lord is writing the stories in our lives.

A young Bible Journaler plans out her very first Bible entry.. Photo credit to Genevieve Cooper

A young Bible Journaler plans out her very first Bible entry.. Photo credit to Genevieve Cooper

Visual Faith Creative Assembly

Maybe it is time for some inspiration? Perhaps you have seen some things about Bible Journaling and Praying in Color. You've thought about exploring something to bring to your congregation or share with your neighbors.

Where do you start? How do you make it inviting to all- even non-artists? What if you don't feel qualified to lead ?  Help ! 

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We have heard you and invite you to join us for a Creative Faith Assembly in Northern Virginia. We will have an evening of hands-on introduction to techniques. There will be help with supplies and how to use, as well as time to try things out.

We will show you what "Worship into the Week" could look like in your home, school or congregation. With YOU leading! Maybe your church gives out Portals of Prayer and a mini- calendar project makes a wonderful addition and all of a sudden you have "community" around a spiritual discipline practice.

There are also some basic Visual Faith project how-tos for creating Counting gift journals  and Prayers for my Children flip calendars.

So find a friend to bring- that always makes it more fun. Two with a vision make things happen.

Don't sit back and watch and wish you had made the trek to Prince of Peace in Springfield, Virginia.  Join us!  

Flyers are right here in the FILES section the Visual Faith - DC Metro group-https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021481294570736/files/