Speaking and Teaching
Let's meet and share dialogue, laughter, and ideas! I offer the sessions below but am also glad to customize a talk or class to the theme or purpose of your choice. Fees depend on the length and complexity of the event we plan, and I offer a discount for churches and other faith-based organizations. Use this site's contact form to let me know your interest, and I'm confident we can develop an event that will inspire and energize your group.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, I'm doing only virtual events until further notice. We can use Zoom, your organization's web meeting platform, or the other class format of your choice.
These talks can be adapted to lengths from twenty to forty-five minutes and given to small or large groups. Each includes the option for a one-page handout that you can duplicate for participants to take home with them.
How do we find the time and focus to glimpse God’s glory amid the tasks and “to-dos,” commitments and distractions of everyday life? We just need to close our eyes for a moment and feel the “faith breezes,” the small reminders of God that caress our souls and reassure us that He is always near. From a grandchild’s surprisingly profound remark to a Biblical passage that strikes right to the heart of a struggle, faith breezes come at the exact right moment to restore, reawaken, and reconnect us to God’s love. Sharing personal experience and fun examples, this uplifting talk invites participants to pause and be refreshed by God’s presence in their lives.
Mothers and Others
Designed especially for women’s and Mother’s Day events, this humorous, heartfelt talk celebrates the women who raised us and the ways they shaped our faith. The insights and anecdotes shared are chosen to help spark guests’ memories of their own mothers and mother figures.
Hymn writers of old put Bible truth into song so that everyone in the congregation, even those who had no skill or time to read, could understand God’s word. Remembering traditional hymns can be a source of comfort, hope and inspiration in times both joyous and difficult. While I’ll focus on a few well-known examples, participants are encouraged to recall their own favorites and reflect on what those songs have meant to them.
These classes can be given at lengths from one to three hours and offered to group sizes from 8 to 30 participants. Each includes a four-page that shares brief readings, writing prompts, and resources for further exploration.
The Gospels tell diverse stories about how the people who encountered Jesus during his time on Earth reacted to him. Some of these people were eager and some were entirely skeptical; some spread the word and some stomped away angry. Using handouts, discussion and reflection questions, we’ll talk about what we can learn from their entirely human responses to the Savior. When and why do we resist what he offers? What can we do to embrace God’s presence in our lives more deeply?
Imagining the Bible
What would we feel, think, notice and ask if we were a Biblical woman like Naomi, Hagar, or the Queen of Sheba ? This unique, inspiring session invites participants to explore just that. We’ll use short readings, discussion, and brief writing exercises to put ourselves in the minds, hearts and senses of the ordinary people the Bible tells us about, stretching our imaginations and deepening our connection to Scripture. No writing background or skill is required to enjoy this class.
This workshop version of Faith Breezes adds discussion and brief writing prompts to the briefer Faith Breezes talk listed above. We’ll write and dialogue about the ways our days can fill with endless “to do” lists and what we can do to refresh our souls and reconnect with God in the midst of those obligations. Learning from—and surely laughing with—each other, we’re reminded that we are not alone in feeling overcommitted and that feeling God’s presence can be as simple as closing our eyes and savoring a cool breeze.
Talking to Ourselves: Prayerful Journaling
Journals are an age-old exercise for sitting with God and walking in faith. Writing things down in a prayerful spirit and for our own eyes only, we can reflect on our spiritual doubts and challenges, find healing in times of loss and conflict, and celebrate God’s gifts and our moments of joy. Yet many of us doubt that we have the time or the writing talent to journal. This fun, energizing class helps participants move past such blocks, find a journaling style and schedule that works, and enjoy journaling as a way to get closer to God and their own souls.
Writing Our Faith
When Christian women write about our faith, we deepen our understanding of our own journeys and offer insights that can comfort and inspire our families for generations to come. Yet writing about something as big and important as our relationship to God can feel daunting. This mini-workshop can help! Using three brief writing prompts (supplemented by short readings and lots of discussion) to focus us on key points on our faith journeys, Writing My Faith is an enjoyable, inspirational reminder that it doesn’t taking writing “talent” or experience to bear written witness to our journey with God. Participants of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels will enjoy this class whether they want to create a written memoir or just reflect more deeply on God's presence in their lives.
Old Hymns, New Insights
Sue Holbrook joins Dr. Rebecca Loar, a professor of voice at the University of North Carolina/Pembroke, for a program that brings new life to the familiar hymns of the church. We explore the insights of the early hymn writers, the Bible truths they so carefully crafted into music, and the reasons their lyrics still move and inspire us today. The program can be offered as a class, a concert, or a duo including both. Participants need not have musical knowledge or singing skill to enjoy the benefits of the sessions.