One Day Retreat Leader:

  •  has a big picture understanding of the vision and processes of visual faith
  •  able to explain the ideas behind visual prayer and creative Bible journaling
  •  comfortable demonstrating various starting points for those who attend.
  • willing to lead a half or whole day retreat, including a devotional sharing from God’s Word.

Practioner: All of our leaders are people who have committed to using visual prayer, creative Bible journaling, or other visual faith practice in their walk with Jesus. They have a STORY TO TELL about God's faithfulness to them and they use visual tools help them to be better witnesses.


Melinda Ransdell Melinda is a Pastor's wife at St. John's Lutheran Church in Dover, DE. She is a graduate of the Art Institute in Graphic Design and has a passion for writing prayers and developing faith resources.Her focus is Congregational Resources (worship, bible study, Sunday School, VBS, confirmation, Stephen Ministry, day school, Church council, Social Media).  Melinda is available as a 1 day retreat Leader for Visual Faith. Read Melinda's blog. Contact her melindaransdell@gmail.com

Melinda Ransdell

Melinda is a Pastor's wife at St. John's Lutheran Church in Dover, DE. She is a graduate of the Art Institute in Graphic Design and has a passion for writing prayers and developing faith resources.Her focus is Congregational Resources (worship, bible study, Sunday School, VBS, confirmation, Stephen Ministry, day school, Church council, Social Media).  Melinda is available as a 1 day retreat Leader for Visual Faith. Read Melinda's blog. Contact her melindaransdell@gmail.com

Eden Keefe Eden loves her work with the Lutheran Women in Mission, recently serving as VP of Christian Life. Incorporating visual faith elements into her daily faith walk has enhanced her time spent in the Word and prayer. New opportunities now allow her to facilitate retreats and events. She cherishes the ability to Read, Reflect, Respond to God's Word.  She lives in South Carolina. Learn more about Eden at her blog.   Eden is available as a workshop presenter or small group Leader as well as a 1 day Retreat Leader. lwmleden@gmail.com

Eden Keefe

Eden loves her work with the Lutheran Women in Mission, recently serving as VP of Christian Life. Incorporating visual faith elements into her daily faith walk has enhanced her time spent in the Word and prayer. New opportunities now allow her to facilitate retreats and events. She cherishes the ability to Read, Reflect, Respond to God's Word.  She lives in South Carolina. Learn more about Eden at her blog.   Eden is available as a workshop presenter or small group Leader as well as a 1 day Retreat Leader. lwmleden@gmail.com

Peggy Thibodeau Peggy's careers have included chiropractic, teaching, ministry, and art. A veteran self-taught folk artist, she uses bright colors for the joy they bring. Check out her whimsical work at www.peggyart.com. She began making art in her Bible in 2016 and has gathered fans on Pinterest and Instagram. @peggythibodeau.  She is passionate about the Bible because it changed her life. Her main mission as a Bible journaler is to honor God.  She has a grown daughter, and a wonderful husband.  She lives in Myrtle Beach, SC. Peggy can lead one day events as workshops.   drpeggythibodeau@gmail.com

Peggy Thibodeau

Peggy's careers have included chiropractic, teaching, ministry, and art. A veteran self-taught folk artist, she uses bright colors for the joy they bring. Check out her whimsical work at www.peggyart.com. She began making art in her Bible in 2016 and has gathered fans on Pinterest and Instagram. @peggythibodeau.  She is passionate about the Bible because it changed her life. Her main mission as a Bible journaler is to honor God.  She has a grown daughter, and a wonderful husband.  She lives in Myrtle Beach, SC. Peggy can lead one day events as workshops.   drpeggythibodeau@gmail.com

Kathy Stanis Kathy Stanis worked in the floral industry for two wholesale florists as a marketing director, sales person and as a floral designer.  In 2007, her home congregation merged with a sister congregation. At that time, Kathy chose to enter full time church work as the office administrator of the newly formed congregation. In 2015, Kathy's pastor was elected to be the president of the English District, LCMS. He asked her to join him at the district level and become his administrative assistant.She happily accepted. In 2016 Kathy purchased her first journaling Bible and began her journey in Visual Faith. Since then, she has helped organize and lead Visual Faith workshops which include VBS, in-home gatherings, visual prayer and creative Bible journaling. She loves sharing Visual Faith Ministries with others. Kathy lives south of Pittsburgh, with her husband Paul and their 3 miniature dachshunds. "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." James 4:8 kathrynstanis@gmail.com

Kathy Stanis

Kathy Stanis worked in the floral industry for two wholesale florists as a marketing director, sales person and as a floral designer.  In 2007, her home congregation merged with a sister congregation. At that time, Kathy chose to enter full time church work as the office administrator of the newly formed congregation. In 2015, Kathy's pastor was elected to be the president of the English District, LCMS. He asked her to join him at the district level and become his administrative assistant.She happily accepted. In 2016 Kathy purchased her first journaling Bible and began her journey in Visual Faith. Since then, she has helped organize and lead Visual Faith workshops which include VBS, in-home gatherings, visual prayer and creative Bible journaling. She loves sharing Visual Faith Ministries with others. Kathy lives south of Pittsburgh, with her husband Paul and their 3 miniature dachshunds. "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." James 4:8 kathrynstanis@gmail.com

Beth Benham Beth is a wife, mother of three grown children and grandmother to five. She is a Pastor's wife, active in facilitating Women's Bible Study and Women's' ministry at her church. A year ago she relocated from Durham, NC to Mason, Ohio to be closer to family. Her interests involve working with women to heal from past hurt and to strengthen their relationship with the Lord. In 2012 she founded and opened Abundant Joy Center for Women's Ministries. This is a Faith based, free peer counseling service for women 18 and above. 2017 celebrates five years of ministry! In addition to helping women, Beth's interest have been Interior and Floral Design. Other interests include: reading, cooking and all things "Crafty." She is excited to share the vision and excitement of Visual Faith practices. Beth's current desire is to share with women across the Ohio area, starting with her church and beyond. babsqt@yahoo.com

Beth Benham

Beth is a wife, mother of three grown children and grandmother to five. She is a Pastor's wife, active in facilitating Women's Bible Study and Women's' ministry at her church. A year ago she relocated from Durham, NC to Mason, Ohio to be closer to family.

Her interests involve working with women to heal from past hurt and to strengthen their relationship with the Lord. In 2012 she founded and opened Abundant Joy Center for Women's Ministries. This is a Faith based, free peer counseling service for women 18 and above. 2017 celebrates five years of ministry! In addition to helping women, Beth's interest have been Interior and Floral Design. Other interests include: reading, cooking and all things "Crafty." She is excited to share the vision and excitement of Visual Faith practices. Beth's current desire is to share with women across the Ohio area, starting with her church and beyond. babsqt@yahoo.com

Belinda Bost Belinda lives in  Hickory, NC . Children's Minister at Concordia Lutheran Church in Conniver, NC. Serves families with infant children through 4th graders.  25 years experience in Early Childhood education. Leads a monthly Bible study group called "Faithbooking" . Their time includes visual prayer, Bible journaling, legacy of faith journaling and Visual Faith projects for gifts and personal use. "Writing in the margins girl" for over 20 years, and loves using her Concordia Study Bible. See more at her blog. Belinda serves on the Visual Faith Ministry Team of the Southeastern District and presents at workshops, conferences and gatherings at sister congregations. http://www.beebeeblost.blogspot.com

Belinda Bost

Belinda lives in  Hickory, NC . Children's Minister at Concordia Lutheran Church in Conniver, NC. Serves families with infant children through 4th graders.  25 years experience in Early Childhood education. Leads a monthly Bible study group called "Faithbooking" . Their time includes visual prayer, Bible journaling, legacy of faith journaling and Visual Faith projects for gifts and personal use. "Writing in the margins girl" for over 20 years, and loves using her Concordia Study Bible. See more at her blog.

Belinda serves on the Visual Faith Ministry Team of the Southeastern District and presents at workshops, conferences and gatherings at sister congregations. http://www.beebeeblost.blogspot.com

Ann Gillaspie Ann brings both the experience of an early childhood educator and elementary school librarian to her Visual Faith connections. Her passion for connecting life and faith impacts parochial school settings and she loves to encourage in settings from Chapel talks to school staffs and one-on-one coaching. She loves hand lettering techniques, colored pencils and doodle art in her Bible journaling. Her heart for children leads her to meet them right where they are in their walk with their Savior. Ann is always eager to learn new techniques and is exploring visual prayer resources. She is available for one day retreats and workshop settings.  agillaspie60@gmail.com

Ann Gillaspie

Ann brings both the experience of an early childhood educator and elementary school librarian to her Visual Faith connections. Her passion for connecting life and faith impacts parochial school settings and she loves to encourage in settings from Chapel talks to school staffs and one-on-one coaching. She loves hand lettering techniques, colored pencils and doodle art in her Bible journaling. Her heart for children leads her to meet them right where they are in their walk with their Savior. Ann is always eager to learn new techniques and is exploring visual prayer resources. She is available for one day retreats and workshop settings.  agillaspie60@gmail.com

CANDICE SCHWARK Candice Schwark has been a  Michigan teacher for more than 30 years. Although she has a multitude of interests, Calligraphy, mixed media, Bible journaling, paper arts and Apple product tutoring have been the creative part of her life. She feels that God gave her the curiosity to learn a variety of things so she could be led to teach others ways of Lingering Longer in His Word. She has led Bible Journaling groups for several years.  As an organizer, she put together a one-day Visual Faith retreat, and brought the International Assembly of Lettering Artists to Michigan. Currently she adds elementary school substitute teaching to her schedule. Through her company Studio-Mosaic, she has created products for other artists, taught various paper art classes and organized workshops. She enjoys sharing her love of art, especially the techniques that can exemplify Visual Faith. Don’t get her started talking about her special joy…. her granddaughter! Candice, her husband Jim, and Maltese dog Cricket are long-time Michigan residents. candice@mac.com

CANDICE SCHWARK

Candice Schwark has been a  Michigan teacher for more than 30 years. Although she has a multitude of interests, Calligraphy, mixed media, Bible journaling, paper arts and Apple product tutoring have been the creative part of her life. She feels that God gave her the curiosity to learn a variety of things so she could be led to teach others ways of Lingering Longer in His Word.

She has led Bible Journaling groups for several years.  As an organizer, she put together a one-day Visual Faith retreat, and brought the International Assembly of Lettering Artists to Michigan. Currently she adds elementary school substitute teaching to her schedule. Through her company Studio-Mosaic, she has created products for other artists, taught various paper art classes and organized workshops.

She enjoys sharing her love of art, especially the techniques that can exemplify Visual Faith. Don’t get her started talking about her special joy…. her granddaughter!

Candice, her husband Jim, and Maltese dog Cricket are long-time Michigan residents. candice@mac.com

Wendy Hardy Wendy is a professor of early childhood at the University of Pittsburgh & spends much of her time in the classroom working with future educators. She has three children, 9,11 & 17 and together they all enjoy Bible journaling. Wendy teaches classes and workshops on the importance of art for children.  She began Bible journaling and praying in Color in 2016.  Her husband Jamison, is the president of the English District, LCMS.   whardy74@yahoo.com

Wendy Hardy

Wendy is a professor of early childhood at the University of Pittsburgh & spends much of her time in the classroom working with future educators. She has three children, 9,11 & 17 and together they all enjoy Bible journaling. Wendy teaches classes and workshops on the importance of art for children.  She began Bible journaling and praying in Color in 2016.  Her husband Jamison, is the president of the English District, LCMS.   whardy74@yahoo.com

VALERIE MATYAS Valerie lives in Bay City, MI, with her clerical wearing husband and four young children.  She has a background in Secondary Education and has experience teaching in high school, middle school and elementary Lutheran classrooms. She began Praying in Color in the Fall of 2015 and Bible Journaling in Spring of 2016.  Valerie enjoys being a Visual Faith Coach for Visual Faith Ministries, contributing to the Visual Church Year project and leading groups big and small through Visual Faith practices.  Valerie's most recent passion is Faith Journaling where she can document her faith story creatively.  Email her at: valmatyas@gmail.com

VALERIE MATYAS

Valerie lives in Bay City, MI, with her clerical wearing husband and four young children.  She has a background in Secondary Education and has experience teaching in high school, middle school and elementary Lutheran classrooms. She began Praying in Color in the Fall of 2015 and Bible Journaling in Spring of 2016.  Valerie enjoys being a Visual Faith Coach for Visual Faith Ministries, contributing to the Visual Church Year project and leading groups big and small through Visual Faith practices.  Valerie's most recent passion is Faith Journaling where she can document her faith story creatively.  Email her at: valmatyas@gmail.com

Jamie Truwe Jamie is a left handed, right brained daughter of Christ. She is married to Greg who is an Lutheran (LCMS) Pastor. They have 5 beautiful, fun and crazy children (Naomi 11, Micah 9, Hannah 7, Abi 5 and Josiah 2). Jamie has a theology degree from Concordia University Wisconsin with minor in youth ministry and art. Jamie teaches K-8 art part time at the Lutheran School where her children attend. She also makes time to make art for others including scripture paintings, hand lettered pieces, custom home and family illustrations and anything you can dream up. She blogs at http://www.purejoycreative.com/  In her spare time she loves to play games with her family, watch movies with her husband or curl up with a good book and warm cup of coffee. She loves to share the Word of God in creative and various ways.  purejoycreative@gmail.com  

Jamie Truwe

Jamie is a left handed, right brained daughter of Christ. She is married to Greg who is an Lutheran (LCMS) Pastor. They have 5 beautiful, fun and crazy children (Naomi 11, Micah 9, Hannah 7, Abi 5 and Josiah 2). Jamie has a theology degree from Concordia University Wisconsin with minor in youth ministry and art. Jamie teaches K-8 art part time at the Lutheran School where her children attend. She also makes time to make art for others including scripture paintings, hand lettered pieces, custom home and family illustrations and anything you can dream up. She blogs at http://www.purejoycreative.com/  In her spare time she loves to play games with her family, watch movies with her husband or curl up with a good book and warm cup of coffee. She loves to share the Word of God in creative and various ways.  purejoycreative@gmail.com