A program for speakers, interfaith clergy, seminarians,
social activists and religious leaders
Speaking without a manuscript, from the heart, is an essential art for communicating with presence, authenticity and power. TED talks, Moth Story Hour, and Story Slams are examples. Fortunately, now you can learn or further develop your skills in a supportive and exciting environment with both beginners and experienced practitioners of this art.
In this transformative workshop you will:
* learn how to practice this method
* refine your skills -- for those already practicing
* practice in a supportive small group
* learn about storytelling and the oral tradition
* learn effective ways of using your voice and body
* formulate your next steps for developing this art
Funded in part by a grant from the Fund for Unitarian Universalism
Rev. Stephen M. Shick
Stephen has practiced this style of speaking for over sixteen years. As author and video poet he considers this art a spiritual practice.Stephen’s love of the spoken word began with hosting a nationally syndicated radio program for 12 years. As a principle founder of Community Ministry, the founding Director of UU Peace Network and UUSC’s U.S. Programs, Stephen has used this style of preaching nationally in theme talks and worship, As an Urban Fellow at Harvard Divinity School he began researching the Unitarian Universalist history of this art. He is author of two Skinner House books, Be the Change and Consider the Lilies
Rev. Dr. M'ellen Kennedy
M’ellen is passionate about helping speakers find their authentic voice. She has preached in this style for over seven years. M’ellen is Co-Founder of the UU Small Group Ministry Network. She is enthusiastic about and an expert in creating small group settings that are safe, fun and, transformative. She serves two historic Universalist churches in Springfield and Washington, Vermont. M'ellen serves on the board of the Inayati Order: A Sufi Path of Spiritual Liberty. She is founding Director of Peace and Unity Bridge, a program for cultivating friendship and understanding among Muslims and non-Muslims.
A limited number of scholarships are available for this program. Make your request when your register by clicking on the appropriate box.
General Registration $70.
Students & Seminarians $25.
Bring a Friend and both of you register for $70
Or send a check with your name, contact info and affiliation to
PO Box 339, Bristol, VT 05443
What others who have taken workshops by M'ellen and Stephen are saying:
"What I found so useful was the chance to try something new in a safe setting, especially in the presence of such committed teachers/leaders and such accepting listeners.” Lay speaker from Vermont
"I took the plunge. ... People have said 'You are preaching to us from your heart.' I feel a much deeper connection with my congregation now and the process is less stressful." Utah, Pastor
“M’ellen and Stephen make a great teaching team. They both preach powerfully without a manuscript, using quite different but complementary methods of preparation. Even if you are not quite ready to go entirely ‘paperless’ there is much to be learned from this liberated — and liberating — approach to preaching.” Duluth, Pastor
“M'ellen and Stephen's workshop was exactly the nudge I needed to follow my instinct and begin preaching from my heart in earnest. …The workshop gave me the courage and confidence to try. As a result my preaching and my sermon prep have been completely transformed.... It makes me come alive. I love the intimacy it makes possible and the freedom it gives me to read a room, or my own heart, and to adjust on the fly.” Minister from New Hampshire
"What a wonderful day of learning, sharing, and practice it was! My first text-free talk went beautifully! Nothing but very positive response received so far." Environmental activist
"I preached my first 'embodied sermon' yesterday and it was a smash-success! I was extremely nervous but it all flowed into place and people literally laughed and cried along with me." Seminarian