Christian Communicators Conference - Vagabond Group

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October 26-30, 2011
 Lake Keowee, SC

                      Optional Bonus Day
                      Writing Workshop
                       October 25, 2011
Christian Communicators Conference                                           2
October 26, 2011

  God has given each of us unique experiences from which to share His
                           goodness and grace.
         Could He be calling you to share them from the stage?

Do you have a story to tell? Would your testimony encourage and
challenge others? Are you ready to take the next step in your speaking
ministry, but don’t know where to begin? If you answered yes to any of
these questions, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!

You’re invited to join author and speaker Vonda Skelton and people-
polishing expert and speaker Carolyn Knefely for the second Christian
Communicators Conference at Lake Keowee, in the beautiful mountains
of South Carolina. Leave the chaos, forget the stress, and escape to the
comfort of God’s creation where you’ll have the opportunity to learn,
reflect, and hear from the Lord.

The five-day, four-night conference will be held in a 6000 square feet, 9-
bedroom, 7-bath, luxuriously-appointed, waterfront home
approximately 90 minutes from Greenville, SC.

Thirteen elegant, home-cooked meals, lovely afternoon teas, and daily
snacks are included in the package price. Free Wi-Fi, linens, and towels
are also included.

This is a non-smoking facility. We’re sorry, but there are many steps
and levels, and handicapped access is not available.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give
               the reason for the hope that you have.
                             I Peter 3:1
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                               As a participant in this unique
                               conference, you will learn how to:
                                   Discover your ministry focus and
                                   Create compelling messages by
                                     including Scripture and your own
                                     experiences and stories of life
                                   Incorporate drama, music, props,
                                     and humor into your presentations
                                   Use the stage to your best advantage
                                   Dress for the occasion
      Develop the forms and manage the paperwork
      Get your information into the hands of event planners
      Generate income from a product table—even if you don’t have a
       published book!
      Interact professionally with church and business leaders,
       including protocol and etiquette
      Face your fears and move forward in the call God has placed on
       your life

At the end of the conference, you will present a 5-minute message,
which will be videotaped for your use. A flashdrive of your final
presentation, which can then be used as part of a demo DVD or CD, is
included in your package price.

Learn How to Put Your Best Foot
Forward with Simplicity Teas…
Join us every afternoon for tea as people-
polisher Carolyn Knefely shares her
knowledge of etiquette, protocol, and
graceful living. You’ll never feel like a
wallflower again!
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As a graduate of Christian Communicators Conferences,
you’ll have added benefits!
Christian Communicators is more than a speakers conference . . . it’s a
community! By offering speaking opportunities through Christian
Communicators Connection and ongoing educational opportunities
through Christian Communicators ADVANCE, we can help you grow
your ministry as you grow as a speaker.

Vonda and Carolyn are committed to helping you succeed. After all,
equipping women to share their love for Christ Jesus through their
speaking ministry creates a larger army to spread God’s word!

Bonus Opportunity—One-Day Writing Workshop!
And for those interested in learning how to increase your ministry
opportunities through writing and publishing, we’re offering an
additional bonus opportunity—a one-day Writing Workshop prior to
this year’s conference! (See registration details on page 10, schedule
on page 13.)

                              Testimonials from previous

                                “The Christian Communicators Conference
                                was a treasured and valuable experience. I've
                                been to other speaker and writer's
                                conferences and felt overwhelmed by the
sheer number of attendees. In contrast, the serene setting, personal
attention, and professional coaching I received at this conference was
priceless. I felt fed physically, emotionally, professionally and spiritually by
the presenters as well as the attendees. The most valuable takeaway I
received, beyond the excellent information, was the encouragement
to continue my personal walk with God and discover His calling for me in
Jennifer Johnson, NC
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October 26, 2011

“The Christian Communicators Conference was an indepth weekend of
speaker training that was filled with encouragement, deep friendship, and
love. It helped move my speaking to the next level. Vonda and Carolyn,
thank you for sharing your heart, passion, and expertise. As a result of
what you showed me I feel more polished and confident as a professional
Patty Mason, TN
Liberty in Christ Ministries

“The Christian Communicators Conference, hosted by Vonda Skelton and
Carolyn Knefely, was a life-changing experience for me. I have never
laughed nor cried as much as I did that weekend! Interacting within a
group of people with like passions, pushing toward similar goals in
ministry allowed me to experience God in a very personal way. Vonda and
Carolyn taught from experience with humility and confidence and
nurtured us with delicious food and gentle encouragement. I felt like I
arrived at the conference with one friend, but I left with eleven more!”
Cindy Nicholson, NC

“Vonda and Carolyn were called to
place their knowledge, experience,
and wisdom into new hearts and
hands such as mine. I came to the
conference with many questions
and fears. I came away with a
greater sense of direction and focus
in ministry, more confidence in my
abilities, and a treasure chest of
Jill Smith, TX

“I feel so blessed to have been a part of the first Christian Communicators
Conference with Vonda and Carolyn. The conference far exceeded
expectations in more ways than one, and I feel I have made friendships
that will last a lifetime. Vonda and Carolyn's wisdom and insights, as well
as the perspectives and heart of the other participants, were just what I
needed to re-focus and give me the courage and the confidence to keep on
keeping on! Everyone was encouraging and supportive, and continue to be
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October 26, 2011

that way since we parted ways. I would recommend the Christian
Communicators Conference to anyone who is serious about launching a
speaking career, who just needs some deeper insight into an already
established career in the business, or who just wants to test the waters
and see if this is the direction they want to head. I can't imagine anyone
leaving this conference empty handed or empty hearted with Vonda and
Carolyn at the wheel! Thank you Carolyn and Vonda! I have memories
that will last forever!”
Liz DiGirolamo, NC

Meet Your Leaders:

                            Vonda Skelton
                            In 1998, the Lord took Vonda kicking and
                            screaming into speaking when He called her
                            to give a testimony at her church women’s
                            retreat. It wasn’t a call she wanted to hear.
                            She even reminded the Lord that she “didn’t
                            do women,” to which He most likely laughed
                            and said something similar to, “Is that so?
                            Well, watch this!”

                          Today Vonda has a vibrant speaking ministry,
                          sharing her messages with audiences around
                          the country an average of 60 times a year.
And she loves teaching others how to do the same.

She is the author of four books, including her women’s book, Seeing
through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe. This book “takes
a hilarious journey through all things female as we search for truth in a
counterfeit world.” She is also the author of a children’s mystery series,
The Bitsy Burroughs Mysteries. The third book in the series, Bitsy and
the Mystery at Hilton Head Island, was a Southern Independent
Booksellers Alliance Award Nominee.
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October 26, 2011

Vonda is a former RN and freelance writer, and her articles frequently
appear in magazines such as HomeLife, ParentLife, Christian Single, and
Focus on the Family publications. She’s a sought-after instructor at
writer’s conferences and enjoys mentoring and encouraging new
writers. She also teaches writing to public, private, and homeschooled
students and has spoken to over 22,000 kids across the country. Vonda
is a dramatist, playwright and lyricist, and loves to entertain through
her messages. She is the co-director of the Teen Intern program at the
Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival
( Vonda also is co-owner of The Story of
a Woman’s Life Productions (

She recently began speaking corporately,
offering motivational, customer service, and
team-building programs for businesses, non-
profits, and associations. Vonda is a member
of the National Speakers Association, and
Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is a graduate of
CLASSeminars and She Speaks. She is represented by Christian Speaker
Services ( and Christian Speakers 4
You ( She is founder and, along with
Carolyn Knefely, is co-director of Christian Communicators
( She also co-directs both the
NCompass Writing Retreat ( and the Upstate
Fellowship of Christian Writers. Visit Vonda’s website and writer’s blog,
The Christian Writer’s Den, at

Vonda has been married to Gary for 42 years—and they’re still happy
about it! They have two daughters and four grandchildren.

As one who tries—and often fails—to be like Christ, Vonda is thankful
God can take her messes and use them for His glory!
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October 26, 2011

                              Carolyn Knefely
                                Carolyn K. Knefely is a speaker, etiquette
                                specialist and career coach. As an
                                international speaker and trainer, Carolyn
                                has taught her professional development
                                program to educators and corporate
                                directors from 29 countries. She is a repeat
                                guest speaker for the American Marketing
                                Association and International
                                Toastmasters regional conferences. Her
                                passion is to help people go beyond
                                networking to connecting through
                                meaningful relationships. Her interactive
                                presentations are described as
                                “contagious,” “productive,” and “highly
successful.” This fall she’ll be on faculty at the North Texas Christian
Writers Conference, where she will present her programs on creating
purpose statements and purpose boards in order to help writers hone
their elevator speeches and create their own inspirational partners.

As a people polisher, Carolyn teaches soft skills, core civilities, and bold
faith living to career seekers and career changers. Her polishing came
through her education from the University of Texas, The Protocol School
of Washington, and her career experiences with an international airline
in sales and marketing; as program director and corporate relations
officer at a major university; and as the director of women’s activities
for a national non-profit organization. However, it was Christ Jesus who
polished her with His love and took her from beggar to teacher. She has
a story to tell and a heart to share. Carolyn is co-director, along with
Vonda Skelton, of Christian Communicators
( Visit Carolyn’s website at

       Continue to page 9 for Registration Details
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October 26, 2011

Registration Details
The program package includes everything—lodging and meals for five
days, afternoon teas, snacks, classes, training, handouts, reproducible
ministry forms, presentation video, critiques, individualized one-on-one
appointments, and give-aways. There are no surprise expenses!

Conference Program Package

Beds and rooms will be
assigned on a first
requested, first served basis
and include queens, fulls,
twins, and bunks. Please
understand that prime
lodging will be reserved
quickly, so first choices
cannot be guaranteed.
Four-to-six person rooms
$599 (bunks or share full beds)

Two-person rooms
$624 (twin beds or share queen beds UPDATE: I’m sorry, but all twins
have been reserved. If you prefer to sleep alone, bunks are still

Private Garage Apartment for Two to Four Friends
$649 each for three or four, $699 each for two. Queen and futon

See page 14 for registration form and choice of lodging.

            **Please note: Lodging is assigned in order of
            registration/deposit receipt and preference.**
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October 26, 2011

Bonus Opportunity—One-Day Writing Workshop!
Want to learn how to increase your ministry opportunities through
writing and publishing? We’re offering an additional bonus
opportunity—a one-day Writing Workshop prior to this year’s
conference! The $100 fee includes four writing classes, Q&A of the
publishing industry, handouts, an extra night’s lodging, three additional
meals, and snacks. Deadline for registration is October 11, 2011 (See
schedule on page 13.) $25 deposit required. The Writing Workshop is
limited to Christian Communicators Conference attendees only.

Please note: You do not have to register for this bonus opportunity at
the time of your registration for the speaker’s conference. You may
register anytime until the October 11, 2011 workshop registration

                              Early bird discount:
                              Pay the conference fee in full by August
                              5, 2011 and receive a $25 discount ($125
                              deposit will be non-refundable).

                              Deposits and Cancellations:
                               Conference: A $125 nonrefundable
                                deposit is required with your
                               Conference balance due by
                                September 26, 2011.
    No refunds given after September 26, 2011.
    Optional Writing Workshop: A non-refundable $25 deposit is
     required. Registration and balance due by October 11, 2011.

 **Due to space constraints, reservations are limited. The $125 deposit is
           non-refundable once your registration is accepted.**
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October 26, 2011

Date Reminders:
    Early bird discount ($25)—Full payment and registration form
     must be received by August 5 to receive the early bird discount.
     After August 5, regular rates will apply.
    All balances for conference are due by September 26, 2011
    Attached ministry questionnaire is due by September 26,
     2011 (See page 18 for questionnaire.)
    No refunds will be given after September 26, 2011
    Deadline for Bonus Day Writing Workshop registration and
     balance due by October 11, 2011

What to Bring:
    Comfortable clothing
    One nice outfit,
     appropriate for
     speaking event
    Bible
    Any simple props you
     may want to use in
     your 5-minute
    Laptops are welcome,
     but not required.

Other Information:
    Free Wi-Fi is available and most cell phones have good reception.
    Nearest airport is Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP), approximately
     90 minutes from the lakehouse. Atlanta (ATL) is 2 to 2½ hours
    Parking is limited. Please carpool when possible. (An email loop
     will be developed so you an “meet” each other in advance.)

Please note: Registrations can ONLY be held with the deposit and the
completed registration form.

Questions? Feel free to contact Vonda Skelton at 864-963-5892 home or
864-906-2256 cell or or Carolyn Knefely at
864-735-5420 cell or
Christian Communicators Conference                     12
October 26, 2011

       Christian Communicators Conference Schedule
                    October 26-30, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
1:00 Registration (please eat lunch before arriving)
3:30 Simplicity Tea/Orientation
4:30 Life Survey of Experiences and Stories
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Devotion
7:30 Introductions/Sharing Time
8:30 Review of Life Surveys
9:30 Free time/Private appointments

Thursday, October 27, 2011
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Devotion
9:30 Basics of a Successful Ministry Presentation
10:30 Break/Snack
10:45 Purpose with Focus Statement
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Ingredients of a Powerful Program
2:00 Break
2:15 Deliver Your Message with Style
3:15 Simplicity Tea
4:00 Like It or Not, Appearances Do Matter
5:00 Free time/Private appointments
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Purpose with Vision
9:00 Free time/Prep time/Private appointments

Friday, October 28, 2011
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Devotion
9:30 How Will They Know About You and Your Message?
10:30 Break/Snack
10:45 Details and Paper Trails: Forms
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Writing as a Ministry
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October 26, 2011

2:00    Break
2:15    Product Table Ideas to Help Support Your Ministry
3:15    Simplicity Tea
4:00    Prep time/Private appointments
6:00    Dinner
7:00    Q & A/Discussion/Practice presentation, if desired
8:00    Free time/Prep time/Consultations

Saturday, October 29, 2011
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Presentation and taping of Messages
12:00 Lunch/Free time
3:00 Presentation and taping of Messages
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Celebration

Sunday, October 30, 2011
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Breaking Your Barrier, Hitting Your Goal
11:15 Answering His Call
12:15 Lunch
1:00 Dismissed

    Bonus Writing Workshop Schedule October 25, 2011

10:00   Check-in
11:00   Orientation
11:15   Five Fatal Flaws of Fiction
12:15   Lunch
1:30    How to Have Magazine Editors Calling YOU!
2:30    Break
3:00    Teaching Children Biblical Truth Through Secular Fiction
4:00    Break
4:15    The Non-Fiction Book: Concept to Contract
5:15    Free time
6:00    Dinner
7:15    Q&A of the Publishing Industry and How to Get Started as a Writer
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October 26, 2011

                 Conference Registration Form
      Please complete pages 14-17 & submit with your deposit
      Complete & submit Questionnaire by September 26, 2011



City, State, and Zip Code _______________________________________________________

Telephone numbers (cell & home) ___________________________________________


Emergency Contact Name and Relationship ________________________________


Emergency Contact Address __________________________________________________

Emergency Contact daytime, evening, and cell phone numbers

You are registering for: ____Christian Communicators Conference $125
                         ____Optional Writing Workshop*           $25*
                         (*May register by email & deposit by 10-11-11)
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Lodging Preference:
Beds will be assigned in order of receipt. Please mark below the
lodging you will accept in order of preference. Upon receipt of your
registration, we will contact you with your assigned lodging.

Please complete form, make $125 non-refundable deposit payable to
Christian Communicators Conference, and mail to:
Vonda Skelton
205 White Meadow Court
Simpsonville, SC 29681                 OR…

…For immediate registration, you may pay by PayPal. Simply
complete the registration form, attach it as a Word document, and email
to Vonda Skelton at Then send a PayPal
“Send Money” payment for the $125 non-refundable deposit to Once it processes, you’ll have an immediate
reservation and will be notified of your assigned lodging based on time
of deposit receipt.

Please mark below the lodging you will accept in order of
preference: (Please mark only those you agree to accept.)
      _____4-6 person room               $599 ea*
      _____2-person room                       $624 ea*
      _____ Private Garage Apt for a minimum of two friends, up to four
      friends—1 queen & 1 futon: $649 ea for 4; $699 ea for 2 or 3

      Please list the friends who will be sharing this apt. (Each will need
      to complete a registration form and send $125 deposit):
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October 26, 2011

Would you be willing to share a bed?                   _____Yes* _____No*

Would you be willing to have a top bunk?               _____Yes* _____No*

*If your preferred accommodations are not available, we will
contact you for further instructions.*
If you plan to share a room or bed with a friend or friends, please list
name/s here. All must register and pay deposit to hold rooms/share
Bed: _____________________________________________________________________________
Room: ___________________________________________________________________________

Would you like to give a short devotion? _____Yes _____No

Do you give permission for your name, email address, and city/state to
be shared on an email loop of registered attendees? Yes _____ No_____

Do you have any medical conditions we should be aware of? If so, please
list and explain any special needs. We’re sorry, but the house has
many steps and handicapped access is not available.


Do you have any special dietary needs? If so, please list. Please keep in
mind that we will be feeding a variety of people, so options must be
limited to dietary needs, not preferences.
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October 26, 2011

How do you plan to travel? ______Drive ______Fly The nearest airport is
Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP) and is approximately 90 minutes from
the lake house. It’s approximately 2 hours to the Atlanta airport (ATL).

Parking is limited. Please carpool when possible. An email loop will be
developed so you can “meet” each other in advance.

Emergency cell phone contact information while at the conference:
Vonda Skelton: 864-906-2256,
Carolyn Knefely: cell 864-735-5420,

           Permission for Filming and Media Release

I give permission for Christian Communicators to take video and
photographs of me during the Christian Communicators Conference. I
understand that no videography will be reproduced without my written
permission. Photos may be used for future promotional material.

“Electronic signature” permitted if sending electronically.



 Our prayer is that this week will change your life and equip you to fulfill
                          the plan God has for you!

 Be sure to complete the questionnaire on page 18-19 and submit no later than
                             September 26, 2011.
                      By email:
                                 By mail:
                                 Vonda Skelton
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October 26, 2011

               205 White Meadow Court~Simpsonville, SC 29681

                   Conference Questionnaire
             (Must be submitted by September 26, 2011)

In order to give each person individual guidance, we ask that you
please take time to thoughtfully answer these questions.

   1. How long have you felt the call to speak? _____________________________



   2. If you’re already speaking, how many times a year are you invited

      to speak?_________________________________________________________________

   3. If you’re already speaking, do you currently have a fee schedule?

      Yes _______ No _______ If so, would you be willing to share your

      fees here? Only Carolyn and Vonda will see them.



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   4. In one sentence, please state your primary message to women.




   5. Do you have a published book?_________If so, what is the title?



   6. What is your greatest strength as a speaker? ________________________


   7. What is your greatest need as a speaker? ____________________________


   8. What is your greatest fear regarding your ministry? ________________



   9. Do you have the support of your family and friends in this call to

      ministry? ________________________________________________________________


         Please complete & submit no later than September 26, 2011
                    By email:
                               By mail:
                               Vonda Skelton
              205 White Meadow Court~Simpsonville, SC 29681

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