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“Once Upon A Time, In A Town Called Nazareth…”

with Betsey Beckman and Kathleen Kichline

November 19-20, 2021

Program Description

As the season of Advent approaches, we invite you to join with the Abbey of the Arts Community for a time of Sabbath to journey with the young Jewish girl, Mary as she encounters the Angel Gabriel and says “yes!” to God’s call. Through creative practices, ritual, and imagination, we will explore how God calls each of us to the gift of incarnation and invites us to the birthing of new life.

Friday night sets the scene. The place: Nazareth, the Galilean home of a young Jewish girl. The time: 2000 years ago, 12 hours B.C., the night before the angel Gabriel is sent to “Miriam.” With story, song, and the Jewish prayers of Shabbat, we prepare our own imaginations for the in-breaking of the divine into human awareness.

Saturday morning the Annunciation event comes alive as Betsey enacts and engages Mary’s experience through StoryDance and shared conversation. Kathleen then guides us through a rich, thought-provoking visio divina exploring images of the Annunciation created by artists through the centuries. Conversation and reflection follow as we consider how an encounter with angels informs our own call to gestate and give birth to the holy. We end with the invitation to take time apart in the quiet of our own space.

Saturday late afternoon an optional hour is offered for participation in either a movement group led by Betsey or a poetry group led by Kathleen. (At home prompts/materials will be provided to all participants for later use if desired).

Saturday early evening as the sun is going down, we return to the spirit of Shabbat. We re-gather, hear from our movement and poetry groups, and then draw on the deep, sensual prayer of Havdalah to close Shabbat and our retreat. Enriched by our time together, we turn our hearts toward the season of Advent and the coming Christ-event of Christmas. Amen. May it be so.

The retreat will be recorded for those who pre-register but are unable to attend at the scheduled time.



Eastern Time

Central Time

Mountain Time

Pacific Time

Friday, Nov. 19th

8 – 10 pm

7 – 9 pm

6 – 8 pm

5 – 7 pm

Sat, Nov. 20th

Noon – 3 pm

11 am – 2 pm

10 am – 1 pm

9 am – noon

(optional art)

6 – 7 pm

5 – 6 pm

4 – 5 pm

3 – 4 pm


7 – 8 pm

6 – 7 pm

5 – 6 pm

4 – 5 pm

Your Guides for the Journey

In the past decade, Betsey Beckman and Kathleen Kichline have been delighted to discover their mutual passion for women in scripture, and the two have been leading retreats together annually.  Betsey is delighted to bring Kathleen onto the Abbey team for this pre-Advent offering.

Betsy Beckman

Betsey Beckman, MM

As a young teen, Betsey Beckman, MM danced the role of Mary in a high school theater production and this initiation set her on a life-path of dancing prayer. Betsey has continued dancing Mary’s story throughout the decades, (as well as many other tales of transformational encounters) as she has deepened in embodied practices of feminine wisdom. With a background in Theology, Ministry, Movement Therapy, and InterPlay, Betsey integrates the healing practices of movement, storytelling, spiritual direction, and improvisation in her unique embodied ministry.

In 2005, Betsey began collaborating with Christine Valters Paintner to develop the program and book Awakening the Creative Spirit: Experiential Education in the Arts for Soul-Care Providers which helped lay the groundwork for Abbey of the Arts. Since then, Betsey has produced 4 CDs and 4 DVDs for the Abbey community as well as co-led numerous pilgrimages and retreats. (


Kathleen Kichline

Kathleen grew up the eldest of seven sisters and followed her heart into church lay ministry at a time when such a thing was just becoming. Perhaps she was destined to forever fascinate in the intersection of women’s stories and God’s invitation. She received her Masters of Divinity from Seattle University where she later served as adjunct faculty for seven years. She also served many years as Pastoral Associate and Faith Formation Director in several Roman Catholic parishes in western Washington. In that setting, she developed scripture studies for women out of which grew her first two books, SISTERS IN SCRIPTURE: Exploring the Relationships of Biblical Women and NEVER ON SUNDAY: A Look at the Women NOT in the Lectionary.

Currently, she is authoring her third book, TAMAR, RAHAB, RUTH, and BATHSHEBA; Four Women Whose Stories You Need to Read Before You Read the Story of Jesus. This past Covid year inspired her to move her ministry, Sisters in Scripture, online. She is forever grateful for the abundant blessings that resulted. (


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

We offer a sliding scale of 3 fees for payment. The reduced fee for those who have lost their income and the sponsorship fee helps support our ability to offer scholarships. In an effort to keep this program accessible, please carefully consider both your own resources as well as honoring the expense, time, and energy required to run these programs and keep our work sustainable. Thank you!
All prices displayed in USD.


REduced Fee


Regular fee


Sponsorship fee

If you need a different payment plan or a greater scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us.

Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

These videos are made available to registered participants and may also be included in future versions of the program including self-study. If you choose to speak during a recorded gathering, you are giving us your consent to record that contribution. If you prefer not to be seen or heard, you can of course switch off or mute your camera or microphone at any time. Chat sessions are recorded and posted as well. Participation in the chat function is also giving consent to their recording. Breakout groups are never recorded.

If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.