Choosing Joy | National Conference News 
Last summer, at the end of a week-long conference in Illinois, we were packing the car to head to Michigan. It was a hot and humid late afternoon. I felt the weight of the temperature, and my body felt the fatigue.

I had lost my dear sister a few days before the conference. I was dealing with grief as I bagged up the trash, carried it outside and trudged across the warm pavement to the dumpster. I sighed… a three hour drive awaited us.

I thought of the conference theme, “I Choose Joy”. We had learned the importance of thanking the Lord in the midst of the storm, and choosing joy over gloom. “Okay,” I said. “You can do this… Lord,” I began, “thank You for…” and began to list reasons for being thankful.
As I continued to praise Him, in that extremely hot and silent lot, with no one around, I suddenly heard an extraordinary sound. From out of nowhere, I heard a very loud, “TA-DAHH!” It was a musical fanfare! I looked around…no one in sight.

“TA-DAHH!!” There it was again! What on earth?? And again, “TA-DAHH!!” I looked up at the sky. For a brief moment, I thought, “Could it be? Was the Lord thanking me for praising Him in the midst of a dreary spirit?” I searched the sky again. Then, I recalled that I was standing not far from the university’s football field. Although I could not see them, the marching band was practicing. I sheepishly turned to head back.

Apparently, that fanfare was not for me. But I DID choose joy in the moment that I felt the most weary. I DID say to the Lord, “Thank You!” when my feelings did not match my words… and I DID hear, from out of nowhere, the loud, “TA-DAHH!!”  Hmmm…maybe…just maybe, the Chief Conductor of the Universe heard my attempt to praise Him, and at the right moment, tapped the shoulder of the orchestra director to cue the band, and said, “NOW!”
Yes, we see the effects of a sinful world… it’s tiring. But, oh believers! This is a time to SING! Sing praises to Him! The Lord will hear, and He will be pleased! The world needs to see and hear His joy as never before!
One Week Til Our Biggest Virtual Event Yet!

Imagine the opportunity to learn from and watch top Christian puppeteers, ventriloquists, puppet builders, and creative ministers in action... without having to travel anywhere!

We are just one week away from the FCP National Online Conference and it is shaping up to be our biggest virtual event ever! Our schedule is going to be jam-packed with learning, inspiration and fellowship that you won't want to miss. 

Best part? With Zoom, you'll be right in the (virtual) room with the instructors where you can ask questions, get feedback and share ideas! You can even fellowship with attendees from across the country and the world during our breakout rooms!

It all starts on Thursday, July 23 with our Pre-Conference Workshops and kicks into high-gear with on Friday and Saturday, July 24-25 with our National Conference. You're welcome to join us for one day or all three, live or on-demand, whatever works for your schedule!

We'd love to introduce you to some of our Featured Instructors... so here we go!

JJ Graves is a Children's Pastor, Digital Missionary and the puppeteer behind the popular Douglas Talks YouTube channel. He is constantly pushing the boundaries with experimental performance ideas.

JJ will be our Devotions Leader and also teach beginner through advanced puppetry techniques.

Barb Field's mime and clowning career began over twenty years ago on a mission trip to Mexico. Since then, her love for the Lord has taken her into hundreds of churches and on missions trips near and far to reach out others with the Gospel.

Barb will be how to use balloons, science and movement for ministry

Jeff Smith is a master instructor in children's ministries and creative arts and is the creative force behind Salt & Light Ministries. He may be best known for inventing the Dowel Rod ministry technique! 

Jeff will be sharing creative ministry and storytelling techniques.

Melissa Knuckles has been actively involved with creative ministries since 1990 and is an active puppeteer, puppet builder, face painter, balloonist, dowel rod performer, clown, script writer and children’s ministry volunteer.

Melissa will be teaching puppet building, choreography and manipulation.

Dotti Seitz is an award-wining ventriloquist who launched her career at the tender age of six....ty four. Dotti and her husband Steve founded the Puppet and Story Works to perform shows full of fun, laughter and Biblical truths.

Dotti will be teaching ventriloquism technique and performance skills.

PLUS Save $5 when you register by July 15!
Don't wait.

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