2023 SoulShops

Composition of Place:
Living Inside the Biblical Narrative

Led by the Rev Andy Lang

Short description:

“Composition of Place” is a method historically practiced in both Catholic and Protestant mysticism that enables personal participation in biblical events. In this SoulShop, after an introduction and practice, participants will choose a text from Scripture and imagine their place in the story.

Long description:

Taught by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises, “composition of place” was also a common spiritual practice in Puritan New England, especially among women and clergy. Both traditions invited meditation on a sacred text by self-location in the story as an act of imagination. What would it be like to eavesdrop on Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well? How would it feel to be part of the multitude at the Sermon on the Plain? What if you were Mary seeking Jesus at the Temple?

In this SoulShop, after an introduction and practice, participants will choose a text and imagine their place in the story. The SoulShop will begin with an introduction to spiritual practices in 17th-century New England, including “mystical union” with Christ through the celebration of the sacraments.

Andy Lang is the past executive director of the Open and Affirming Coalition, a movement of 1,800 LGBTQ-affirming congregations in the United Church of Christ. He is the editor of “The Hours of Prayer: An Inclusive Breviary for the Ecumenical Church”, scheduled for publication in 2024.

Lectio Divina into Poetry

Led by Patricia Kishpaugh-Snyder


Lectio Divina focuses on reading a section of Scripture or other holy writings and following traditional reflective steps as a spiritual practice. During the reading and reflection, there is a prayerful awareness of the nudging of the Holy Spirit toward certain words, or phrases, without any intellectual analysis. This awareness forms the basis for the rest of the reflection.

We will use the words and phrases and which come out of the Lectio Divina reflection to write two forms of Japanese poetry:  Haiku and Tanka styles.

Craigville is a perfect backdrop for this spiritual reflection. No experience with either practice is necessary. 

Patricia Kishpaugh-Snyder, M.Ed, Spiritual Director

I Love to Tell the Story

Led by the Rev Cindy Maybeck


In this SoulShop, you will learn how to tell biblical stories in new and innovative ways. By
engaging the text with our hearts, voices and bodies, we learn about God’s love. Rev. Cindy Maybeck will teach how to tell a biblical story by heart, how to create dramatic readings out of a scripture passage, and how to use improvisation to explore the text. Biblical storytelling provides the opportunity for all ages to access the power, beauty, and good humor of biblical stories, to hear the scripture as if for the first time, and to remember these stories for a lifetime.

Rev. Cindy Maybeck, founder of Spirit Story ministry, designs original presentations
blending biblical and personal storytelling to bring God’s word to life and to inspire the
church to move forward in faith with hope and joy. An accomplished preacher and
effective workshop leader, she brings passion and inspiration to stories that leave
audiences transfixed and inspired with a deep sense of God’s love. She has 24 years of
experience as a church pastor and master certification from the Academy for Biblical
Storytelling. See more at www.cindymaybeck.com.

Painting as Worship

Led by Kara Young


Painting as worship celebrates a family of faith by using canvas and paints to create a visual representation of the prayers, people, praise, and word of worship.
Creating while we are focused on the movement of the spirit unlocks a very sacred part of ourselves, allowing beauty and connection to open our senses to the Divine.

Kara has a Masters of Divinity. She uses her gifts of art, observation, and interpretation while working with congregations to prepare a visual presentation of the congregation.


Led by the Rev Scott Siciliano


Music has long been recognized as a powerful catalyst in worship–helping people to connect with the Divine (as well as their own emotions) in many ways.  Studies have shown that music registers in a completely different sector of the brain than speech, thereby eliciting a very different response.  In this SoulShop, we will explore how music affects our body and spirit, and how it can be used to convey theology as well as help worshipers connect on a deeper level with the Spirit.

Scott serves as Minister of Worship and the Arts at Colonial Park United Church of Christ in Harrisburg PA, where he joined the staff in 2008.