Workshop Facilitators


    Facilitator: Rev. DeBorah Ogiste

                 Write Your Own Parable                     

What is a parable? What is its purpose?  Discover the what, why and how of a parable. Explore through modern teachings and self-actualization meditation with Tibetan bowls, then write your own!

DeBorah Ogiste is an ordained New Thought Minister service as Minister of Diversity Enrichment at Unity of The Blue Ridge. She is a Certified Reiki Master, sound therapist, spiritual teacher, guide and coach.



Facilitator: Sharon Oxendine, Lumbee Elder

Indigenous Mineral Ritual             

Awaken the memories in your bones to restore and identify your gifts for your greater purpose through the experience of a Mineral Ritual as taught by the late Malidoma Some.  MAX 35 participants.

Sharon Oxendine is an elder of First Nations woman from the Lumbee Tribe in NC.  Sharon is a Sacred Pipe Carrier and she works with her community in providing ceremonies, rituals and soul retrievals. She has studied abroad with many Indigenous teachers including the late Malidoma Some and has been initiated into the Medicine Lodge of J. Grate.


Facilitator:  Barbara Holland

  Create Your Mandala 

Creating a mandala is a way to explore your inner self.  A mandala can reflect your feelings and emotions, as well as be meditative and fun to create. Come discover the circle and patterns of life." 

Barbara Holland is a retired librarian and long-time Unity member.  She was born in Chicago and has been a happy resident of North Carolina for 22 years. Barbara has studied painting for years, and for the past five years has worked with Julie Gibbons Mandala Magic program to develop her love of mandalas.


Facilitator: Karen-Eve Bayne

Identify your Spiritual Gifts

Everyone has them, but what are they and what are they not?  You may have heard about them and wondered: What are mine? Do I have any? How do I use them?  You are not alone. Over 75% of People have no idea what these gifts are.  We ALL have special gifts.  This session is for you to explore YOUR gifts, how to possibly use them, and what environments you THRIVE in .  We will explore the topic, identify your spiritual gifts, and look at where/how  you best thrive when using your gifts.  NOTE: Gift Inventory Worksheets will be provided in advance and must be completed and returned prior to the workshop.   Max: 25 participants

Karen-Eve Bayne is a Unity member and former Gifts Ministry Director for Grace Lutheran Church.  She is a professionally trained group facilitator, Life Coach, and storyteller.


Facilitator: Rev. Marty Stemmerman

             The Journey - a Shamanic Experience         

The shamanic journey opens us to powerful guidance and healing available from the spiritual realms. When we become consciously connected to this guidance, our lives become our gift back to the planet. This workshop will experience and explore the wisdom held within this ancient practice.

Martha (Marty) Stemmerman is an ordained Alliance of Divine Love (ADL) minister. She currently serves as the Director of Operations at Unity of The Blue Ridge.  Marty is a  student and teacher of shamanic wisdom practices for over 30 years. She has led groups and taught numerous workshops in shamanic practices and offers guidance in accessing our own innate wisdom and communication with the unseen world.


Sound ImmersionJoey Dukes

For thousands of years, gongs have been used as tools for energetic alignment, healing and transformation.  Sound immersion uses gongs, bowl, bells and percussion to focus the awareness and restore inner harmony and balance. 

Joey Dukes is a member of the Unity Blue Ridge band.  He was a former social worker at the V. A. Medical Center in Atlanta where he successfully created a program using gong meditation with veterans who struggled with PTSD.  Joey is a songwriter and master at kirtan and music experiences for deep relaxation.


Rev. Darlene Strickland

I AM Spiritual Baptism & Chakra Activation - with sounds by Joey Dukes

As spirit being embodied, we go through a process of discovering and revealing our divine nature.  This is the ultimate goal in self-discovery and divine union.   This workshop will help you discover what you are made of, what you have to work with, and what you need to activate or release.  It will include teachings, brief sound meditations and a spiritual baptism ceremony. 

Darlene Strickland is the senior minister at Unity of The Blue Ridge.  She is an inspired speaker, teacher and singer/songwriter with a gift for helping others access the God Presence within their own being.