Saturday, April 13th

Workshop Overview

Crafting and sharing stories about our lives is a fundamental aspect of the human condition. We share mundane stories about long lines at the grocery store, misplacing our keys, and getting caught in traffic. We also share stories about the most significant events in our lives, such as birth stories, coming-of-age stories, and love stories. 

But how do we story experiences that have wounded us, such as a devastating loss, an absent parent, a debilitating accident, an abusive partner, or a prejudiced teacher? Communicating about these experiences requires courage, because past experiences of harm often teach us to be cautious showing our wounds or to avoid being vulnerable. Yet crafting a story around these wounds and sharing the harm one has experienced can be an important step toward healing. 

While we believe it is important for people to share wound stories, we recognize that such stories are sometimes received poorly. Although crafting and sharing stories is fundamental to the human condition, listening and responding to stories is not our strong suit. We too often listen with our ego, projecting ourselves onto the storyteller or refusing to accept a story that does not fit with our conception of person, event, or institution. These responses can actually perpetuate harm, subjecting the storyteller to new pain. 

You do not need to attend or be a member of Hyde Park Community UMC to participate.

Workshop Aims

The goal of the workshop is to teach folks how to thoughtfully and compassionately respond when they cause, witness, or hear about harm that has occurred. The workshop will teach participants:

  • How to support wounded people
  • How to respond differently after you’ve done harm
  • How to advocate for your own story and the kind of response/support that you need

The workshop aims to give people language and tools to be part of the healing process.  

Everyone is welcome, especially wounded people and those who love wounded people. This retreat may be particularly impactful for people in caring professions or in caring roles: 

  • Faith Leaders (professional or lay)
  • Parents
  • Caregivers
  • Supervisors
  • Mentors
  • Educators
  • Healthcare Professionals

Note: For mental health professionals with expertise in therapeutic dynamics, the content of the workshop will likely not be novel.  

You do not need to attend or be a member of Hyde Park Community UMC to participate.

The workshop will include a mix of teaching, small and large group discussion, and individual reflection. We will begin by discussing wound/scar stories as well as common, unhelpful responses. Then, we will outline several key components of responding well to stories of harm. 

As a content warning, we will discuss topics including discrimination, abuse, illness, death as well as other topics that may be distressing for some. Throughout the workshop, we encourage everyone to practice self-awareness and self-care, engaging with each topic in ways that promote healing and growth.

The workshop will take place at Hyde Park Community UMC (1345 Grace Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 45208) in the Welcome Center on the first floor of the church.

  • Free parking is available in the church parking lot. 

The cost of the workshop is $25* and includes lunch and a workbook for each person.

  • Free childcare (for ages 10 and under) is available if registered by Wednesday, April 10. 

*If you cannot afford the cost due to financial hardship, please enter code STORY during registration.

Most overhead costs for the workshop have been covered by The Bishop Colaw Endowment and Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church. 

Workshop Facilitators

Jennifer Edwell MTS, PhD


Jennifer Edwell (she/her) is an award-winning scholar and educator. She has earned a BA in English from The Ohio State University, a Masters in Theological Studies from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She currently teaches Reading Composition courses for the Fall Program for First Semester at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Oakland, CA with her wife and two children.

Social justice and ethical reflection are central to her work as an researcher, educator, and member of the beloved community. In 2021, Jen co-facilitated the Holy Troublemakers & the Arc of Justice Lenten Retreat.


Kate Smith MA, MDiv


Kate Smith (she/her) is an ordained deacon serving in the local church since 2007 and appointed to Hyde Park Community UMC since 2017. Kate has a B.S. in Organizational Leadership from Wright State University as well as a Master of Arts in Practical Theology and Master of Divinity from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. 

Asking questions, taking risks, and creating opportunities to put faith into action are all hallmarks of Kate’s calling as a follower of Jesus. One of her commitments in life is to show up for people. Not only in moments of celebration and joy, but in times of grief, hardship, crisis, etc. These highs, lows, and everything in between are all part of journeying with others and she considers this call to be sacred and holy. 

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