Learning the sacred stories of Scripture by heart and sharing them with others is both an ancient-future art and a powerful spiritual practice. This course’s methods, developed by the Network of Biblical Storytellers International (NBSI), are for everyone who wishes to learn, to tell and to connect with God and other people through the ancient-future art and spiritual discipline of telling the sacred stories of Scripture – yes, you can do it too!
By the end of the two-week course you will be able to share at least one text with others by heart (not “memory”), and you will understand how this completely non-technological art fits into a digital communications world. Whether you work with children in Sunday School or dream of bringing Scripture to life in worship or elsewhere, your ministry and your spirit will be enriched by this art.
There is a daily assignment, usually involving a short document to read, work on your story, and online sharing. In addition to Blackboard interactions, two optional Zoom meetings will be held on the second Wednesday at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Central time, for sharing and coaching. Participants may attend either one, both or neither. They will not be recorded.
The course has been approved by Discipleship Ministries as an advanced course in Lay Servant Ministries, but it’s designed for everyone!
This course has been approved by Discipleship Ministries as an advanced course in Lay Servant Ministries. It provides the required 10 contact hours.
This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU.
About the Instructor
Rev. Beth Galbreath is a United Methodist deacon who has been Telling Scripture by heart and teaching others this art and spiritual discipline for over 20 years. She is a former vice president of the Network of Biblical Storytellers International and has presented Tellings and taught biblical storytelling online and in Bolivia, Cameroon, Haiti, India, the Philippines, and of course in churches and conferences in the United States. She led the NBSI mission teams to India and the Philippines. And during the pandemic, she led a storytelling workshop in an online State-Department sponsored leadership program for multi-faith groups of youth in Mindanao.
Beth serves on the pastoral leadership team of Compassion UMC in Brookfield, IL, a new church plant, where she often Tells Scripture in worship. She coordinates the NBSI-related Chicago-area biblical storytelling group, Prairie Wind Guild: Tellers of Sacred Stories.
Past Students Said…
“At first I didn’t understand the difference between “Memorizing” and “Learning by heart.” I now realize that making the story part of my daily life, I have involved my heart as well as my mind. I can experience and picture the scripture story more clearly each time I tell it.”
“I learned so much about this new-to-me way of telling Bible stories. The material was exceptional and the feedback very valuable.”
“I loved this course, I feel so much more comfortable with reading scripture in the storytelling style. I can’t wait to share it in my children’s sermon ministry. Beth as usual provided a wonderful course and covered every area possible to give us all the tools we needed to be successful.”
“The consistent focus on one piece of scripture was fascinating. Beth brings so much to the table and inspires me to go further. I was not sure what to expect but even if I never used storytelling, I myself have a whole new understanding of The Bible. I wish more people were aware of this art.”
“We’ve all been on a journey of ‘no return’. Never again will we read a scripture like we did in the past … ho-hum … boring. We now know how to bring the Word to life by using all the tools given to us for this adventure.” – Pearl Borum
“Needless to say, I had a blast! This is an excellent course for the Lay Speakers as well as clergy to hone speaking skills both for scripture as well as sermons.”
“I looked forward each day to the next set of instruction….I would love to see where the scripture is never “read” again, but always “told!” … I found as I studied for my Sunday School lesson to teach this week that I was telling the scriptures in my mind and heart. I think that will go with me as long as breath is in my body.”
“OH MY GOSH!!! … Today was the first time I REALLY put my story together. It was SO POWERFUL, HORRIBLE, WONDERFUL, EXHAUSTING, ENLIGHTENING, AWESOME!! I haven’t been through anything like it. It is only 7 verses! I can’t even imagine how anyone would do a Passion series! By the end I was crying like a baby and exhausted.… I thank God that he has brought this medium to me and I thank all of my classmates for everything they added to this class.”
“Great class. Congregations have already noticed the difference in how I read the sermon text.”
“I especially enjoyed Pastor Beth’s wit, guidance and personal attention to all of us taking the course. She is a powerful and gifted woman. I am deeply grateful for her guidance and attention to detail.”