Journaling with Vonda Drees

An Experience of Creative Journaling in Community

Creative Community with 24/7 access in a Facebook group

Creative Exercises through short tutorial videos

Creative Conversation in six 90-minute zoom sessions

Journaling can be practiced as a spiritual discipline and prayer, a way to process the Spirit’s stirring in our lives. Paying attention to moments, words, music can nudge us toward creating, so that we too can participate in the conversation. A journal is a way to mark this holy work.

This course is as much for the person who would identify as an artist, as it is for the one who would not.

Join Vonda Drees in this online course and explore imagination, attentiveness, and creative process, using a journal as a spiritual tool.


November 8 – December 14, 2021

Registration is open now.
Each group will be capped at 16.

There will be a Monday Group and a Tuesday Group.

See details for the schedules below.

Cost – $75

How does this work?

Each group will be gathered in a Facebook group set up by Vonda a few days before the session begins. There we will share the images we create and learn from one another’s journeys. Each week, Vonda will post a short instructional video with tips and optional exercises to try.

We will also gather weekly through Zoom. Each participant will receive an invitation link by email. This link will also be available as a Zoom Call Link in the Facebook group. The Zoom conversations will be recorded and viewable from the Facebook group.

The reading schedule, provided below, will keep us moving through the book together.

Online Gatherings

These conversations will be recorded and shared in the Facebook group. If you’re not able to make the online gatherings, you will have the option to watch them at a later time.

Monday Group – 6:30pm-8:00pm CT

  • Nov. 8 (Warm Up)
  • Nov. 15 (Ch. 1)
  • Nov. 22 (Ch. 2)
  • Nov. 29 (Ch. 3)
  • Dec. 6 (Ch. 4)
  • Dec. 13 (Ch. 5 & 6)

Tuesday Group – 10:00am-11:30am CT

  • Nov. 9 (Warm Up)
  • Nov. 16 (Ch. 1)
  • Nov. 23 (Ch. 2)
  • Nov. 30 (Ch. 3)
  • Dec. 7 (Ch. 4)
  • Dec 14 (Ch. 5 & 6)

What will instruction look like?

A short video will be posted each week in the Facebook group. This will allow you to watch them whenever it’s convenient for you, as well as however many times you’d like.

Through the sharing of our images in the Facebook group, there will be opportunity for encouragement within our creative community.

What will the online gatherings look like?

The 90-minute online gatherings will give us the opportunity to meet in real-time and talk about any insights, revelations, meaningful experiences from the journaling. While these gatherings are not for instruction, you are always welcome to ask questions about process.

What can you expect to create?

Each participant will establish a personal journal filled with questions, observations, insights, and imagery. Participants will also develop skills and methods to continue using the journal as a practice for deep listening and personal formation after the conclusion of the class.

Cost: $75

“Flexibility” is the name of the game when it comes to our materials, due to current supply chain issues. In each of the categories, multiple options have been given. Choose just one from each list. The hope is that you’ll be able to use materials already on hand or ones that you’ll be able to purchase in person.

  • 8.5″ x 11″ Card Stock (~10 sheets)
  • Smooth Strathmore Bristol Paper, 300 Series, 9″x12″ (~10 sheets)
  • Copic Wire-Bound Sketchbook, 5″x7″ 

The basic idea is to get heavier-weight paper because the alcohol-based markers tend to bleed through. If you are able to get smooth paper (like the Bristol or Copic brand), that’s great. Card stock will also work just fine!

  • Copic Multiliners, Tip Sizes – Brush Small, 1.0 and 0.1
  • Sakura Pigma Micron Pens, in Styles – 10, 02, Brush Pen
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens, Sizes – XS, M, B (Brush Nib)
  • Sharpies – Brush, Fine and Ultra Fine Points

The Copic Multiliners will give the best performance, as they are both water- and alcohol ink-proof. The Microns and Pitt Artist Pens will also work very well. You will experience a bit of ink bleed with the Sharpies option.

Your goal with the black markers is to have the capability to make 3 different line strengths. Look for a combination of pens that will give a bold line, a fine line and a very fine line.

  • Copic Sketch Markers
  • Blick Studio Brush Markers
  • Master’s Touch Twin Tipped Alcohol Markers (Hobby Lobby)

The goal is to get alcohol-based markers that have a chisel tip on one end and a brush tip on the other.

Artist supply stores and craft stores, like Michaels and Hobby Lobby, carry Copic Sketch Markers. You will find that many stores also offer their own versions of these markers at much less cost. Refill ink usually needs to be ordered online and can be used in any brand of marker. Here’s an example of refill ink.

The palette will be up to you!

Here are the markers that will be used in the instructional videos, as well as in Vonda’s journaling during the session: Copic Sketch Markers (YR68S Orange, Y32S Cashmere, W5S-Warm Gray 5, W1S-Warm Gray 1, 100S-Black).

One of the magical things about alcohol-based markers is that you can blend with them. Keep this in mind while choosing your colors. It may work well to go with a light, medium and dark shade of one color, then add a couple neutrals.

Click on the book image for its description and ordering information.

Reading Schedule:

Week 0  (Nov. 4 – 9) – Warm Up with Materials and One Another

Week 1 (Nov. 10 – 16) – Chapter 1, Crisis

Week 2 (Nov. 17 – 23) – Chapter 2, Contemplation

Week 3 (Nov. 24 – 30) – Chapter 3, Wounds

Week 4 (Dec. 1 – 7) – Chapter 4, The Village Response

Week 5 (Dec. 8 – 14) – Chapters 5 and 6, Healing, Futurism & Cosmic Rebirth

Here’s a two-minute look, paging through a journal created during one of Vonda’s previous online journaling sessions. This group read Oneing: Transformation, published by the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Your journal will be tuned to your creative voice and imagination, filled with the questions and insights that stir your spirit.

I have participated in three of these courses with Vonda Drees and I can’t wait for her next class. Artfuly, mindfully journaling through any book is a helpful practice. The online community Vonda intentionally gathers and leads creates a space for even deeper connection & continued conversation about books that matter.

Lori Kochanski

Assistant to the Bishop, Upstate New York Synod (ELCA)

There is wonder and mystery in making a mark to process what you’ve been reading and Vonda fosters that beautifully in her classes. As someone who has never felt comfortable with markers, blank paper or this kind of creative expression, I can tell you that the experience was life changing!

Cheryl Branz

Owner, Jim Custer Enterprises, Inc., Spokane, WA

Last year (2020), I had the privilege of being part of an online/Zoom group that studied Barbara A. Holmes book, Race and the Cosmos led by Vonda Drees. Vonda encouraged us to integrate our reflections by journaling and by making visual art. I hear that she will soon be leading a group studying Crisis Contemplation, Healing the Wounded Village by the same author. You will be glad and transformed if you decide to join the group!

Jill Ross

Pastor, currently serving Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, San Jose, CA

When I heard about the publication of this book, I was hoping there would be a journaling class–the last time we journaled our way through a Barbara Holmes book was so meaningful that it’s hard to imagine doing it any other way.

Kristin Berkey-Abbott

Campus Director, City College, Hollywood, FL