Announcing the Holy Rollers Dungeon Masters!

Holy Rollers: Blest Marches 2023 DMs

Our Dungeon Master team is assembled! Meet the DMs for Holy Rollers: Blest Marches, and don’t forget to register for this one-of-a-kind retreat experience. Earlybird pricing ends on October 31st!

The Dungeon Master Pastor – Rev. Rory Philstrom, Retreat Leader

This will be Rory’s third D&D retreat as Retreat Leader. He currently serves as Lead Pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bloomington, MN, where he has founded a D&D Youth Group and developed a process for using the roleplaying game genre as a tool for Biblical learning and exploration. He’s also produced a resource called Biblical Verbal Components, which matches a unique Bible verse to each official spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5e (available on the DMs Guild). During the social unrest following the murder of George Floyd, Rory served as part of the Interfaith Movement Chaplain Corps, providing spiritual care at marches, protests, and relief efforts around the Twin Cities.

Outside of pastoring and dungeon mastering, Rory has been an SMA speaker both nationally and internationally, talking about life with his son, who was diagnosed at birth with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

The Geekpreacher – Rev. Derek White

Derek, aka The Geekpreacher, leads a clergy cohort group titled D&D and Discipleship showing clergy (and others) in the East Ohio Conference United Methodist Church how to use a tabletop roleplaying game like D&D as a discipleship tool. As The Geekpreacher, he has spoken at and moderated panels on Faith & Gaming at various conventions. He has also led ecumenical worship services at GenCon, Origins, and serves annually as the official chaplain for Gary Con, a gaming convention in Lake Geneva, WI that honors the life of D&D co-creator, Gary Gygax.

When he’s not pastoring and chaplaining, Derek is busy making documentaries. He’s been involved in the production of multiple documentaries, the latest entitled The Satanic Panic and the Religious Battle for the Imagination which won the Best Gamer Film award at GenCon 2022.

Rev. Ben Loven

This will be Ben’s third D&D Retreat, and second as a DM. He currently serves as Senior Pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rochester, MN. Pastor Ben loves to help God’s people imaginatively live into the mission that God gives through baptism. He moonlights as a Dungeon Master for pastors and their spouses, as well as members of his congregation.

Matt Spring

Matt co-founded Four Humors Theater in 2005, a local and touring theater company that creates original works. In 2012 he also helped co-found the Twin Cities Horror Festival, now an annual event. Since 2014 Matt has been working as a writer and consultant with Augsburg Fortress publishing house, creating materials for church youth education. When he’s not doing that, he’s parenting his two young kids and working gigs as a professional DM.

Announcing the 2019 Pastors & Dragons Curriculum!

We’ve been hard at work honing and preparing some really amazing learning sessions for this year’s Pastors & Dragons continuing education retreat. Each session will dial in on a particular aspect of the correlations between adventure, imagination, and spirit.

Self-Reflection through the Player Character

We’ll engage in the character creation process while asking, “How do we bring ourselves to the characters we imagine?” Whether as a reflection, an exaggeration, or challenge to grow, the characters we play on the tabletop are an opportunity to reflect on who we are, what we fear, and who we want to become.

Adventurers, Assemble!

In D&D you join a party of adventurers to explore fantastic and often dangerous locations. But what happens when you take that method of collective exploration and apply it elsewhere? We’ll engage our imaginations in collectively exploring the foundational stories of our faiths and our lives.

From DM Prep to Ministry Preparedness

What are some best practices for preparing to run a D&D adventure? What can the prep work we do for tabletop adventures teach us as we do the prep work for ministry? Whether it’s pastoral care, small group leadership, meeting facilitation, or presiding at worship – a bit of the right kind of prep can really pay off in a great experience for everyone.

More than Meets the Eye

How can Dungeons & Dragons strengthen our empathy muscles? We’ll open our eyes to the complexities of our real life stories. Then we’ll spend some time practicing using stories to help us enter into the experiences of others.

Fandoms: A Model for the Future Church

How can fandom help us better embody God’s unfolding story? Geek communities provide a fascinating new lens for how we can understand our faith communities. Cultures of imagination meet cultures of spirit and share a lot more than might be expected.

Read more about Pastors & Dragons: An Adventure of Spiritual Imagination and register to attend the best church/nerd retreat around.

Announcing Pastors & Dragons 2019!

We’ve been hard at work recently getting the logistics in line for our next retreat and now we are excited to announce Pastors & Dragons: An Adventure of Spiritual Imagination!

In 2019 we’ve leveled up and will be enjoying a new retreat center with a ton of additional amenities. Manicured trails and gardens… a pool, sauna, and spa… and chef prepared meals…nothing rustic here! It’s also a lot closer to the Twin Cities metro area, making transportation even easier.

For 2019 there’s also a new addition to the retreat organizing crew – Pastor Ben Loven! Ben has been a great friend, is an awesome minister, and is an equally avid D&D player. He brings his own unique perspective on how Dungeons & Dragons and ministry intersect, and will be sharing a bit about it in posts here in the coming months. Welcome Ben!