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Storytelling Workshop Overview

Please join us for one, two, three…or all of these sessions in the storytelling workshop. No prior experience necessary. All are welcome!

These opportunities are made possible by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Minneapolis), Edina Community Lutheran Church (Edina), Christ the King Lutheran Church (New Brighton), St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church (St. Paul), Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church (St. Paul), St. Timothy Lutheran Church (St. Paul), and Lutheran Campus Ministry, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities). These communities believe that storytelling is sacred, that storytelling engenders empathy and understanding, and that storytelling has the power to build community in divisive times.

The shortest distance between a human being and Truth is a story.
–Anthony De Mello

Mark Yaconelli is an author, storyteller, retreat leader, community activist, husband, and father. He is the founder and executive director of The Hearth: Building Community One Story at a Time, a registered nonprofit that assists cities and service-based agencies in employing personal storytelling practices to assist communities in deepening relationships, bridging divisions, and celebrating individual courage. Through The Hearth, Mark has produced and led events for The Boys and Girls Club, The Mexican American Cultural Center of Austin, The Ford Family Foundation, Asante Hospice Services, The Oregon Department of Human Services, The Center for Congregations, Austin Theological Seminary, The Church of Wales, and many other organizations across the United States and United Kingdom.

Mark has co-founded many creative ministry projects including The 787 Collective at Austin Presbyterian Seminary, The Center for Engaged Compassion at Claremont School of Theology, and The Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project at San Francisco Theological Seminary. He is the author of five books including The Gift of Hard Things: Finding Grace in Unexpected Places, Wonder, Fear, and Longing: A Book of Prayers, and Contemplative Youth Ministry.

See Mark at the Hearth Community:

Workshop Overview


Thursday, October 3 (9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.)

Location: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (2730 East 31st Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406)

The Power of Personal Storytelling

Learn how to excavate, craft, and share stories from your own life. Through presentation, contemplative exercises, and a variety of narrative practices, participants will learn the power of personal storytelling for teaching, preaching, personal growth, and spiritual formation. This is a great introduction for pastors, teachers, nonprofit leaders, business professionals, students, and community builders of all kinds. Lunch will be provided.


Friday, October 4 (9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.)

Location: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (2730 East 31st Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406)

The Art of Community Storytelling

For those interested in the transformational power of stories, The Art of Community Storytelling offers a variety of experiential exercises, individual skill-building, and hands-on practical teaching. Participants in the course will:

  • Understand how stories function in our personal and public lives.
  • Learn how to create transformative events that deepen relationships within a local community or organization.
  • Explore narrative practices that promote individual growth, social awareness, and community action.
  • Learn how to create a variety of public story-sharing platforms that engender trust and vulnerability.
  • Gain concrete skills for community storytelling including story recruitment, event promotion, audience building, public participation, media integration, and fundraising.
  • Discover methods for amplifying the voice of marginalized populations.
  • Learn how to apply storytelling techniques within families, friendships, and other informal gatherings.

Lunch will be provided.


Friday, October 4 (6:00-8:30 p.m.)

Location: Moon Palace Books (3032 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406)

Rite of Passage: Real Stories of Personal Change

Come and hear six brave souls share a personal story, told first person, without notes, on the theme “Rite of Passage.” Hosted at Moon Palace Books by Mark Yaconelli. Pizza, salad, and drink tickets will be provided. Free will offering taken at the event will benefit the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, a nonprofit agency that provides immigration legal assistance to low-income immigrants and refugees in Minnesota.


Saturday, October 5 (10:00 a.m.-noon)

Location: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (2730 East 31st Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406)

Telling Stories: A Workshop on Family Storytelling

Join veteran storyteller and parent of three, Mark Yaconelli, for an engaging workshop on using personal storytelling among families and friends. Using a mixture of storytelling, creative exercises, and practical teaching, participants will learn a variety of methods for sharing stories at the dinner table, bedtime, road trips, or special gatherings. Snacks will be provided.


Saturday, October 5 (1:30-6:00 p.m.)

Location: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (2730 East 31st Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406)

Storytelling for Community Engagement and Social Change

How do we befriend strangers? How do we amplify the voices of the marginalized in our community? What kind of practices will help us bridge divisions and address social problems? In this afternoon workshop veteran community storyteller will teach a variety of applied storytelling techniques for working with communities to address problems and build diverse relationships. Snacks will be provided.


Sunday, October 6 (1:00-4:00 p.m.)

Location: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (2730 East 31st Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406)

The Power of Personal Storytelling

This afternoon workshop will be an exploration of personal storytelling in ministry. Through presentation, contemplative exercises, theological reflection, and a variety of narrative practices, participants will encounter the power of personal storytelling for spiritual formation, outreach, social justice, and other ministries. The workshop will give participants practical skills for telling stories, creating narrative events, and assisting others in “giving testimony” to the work of the Spirit in their lives. Snacks will be provided.