Creative Guests

 MHS is honored to welcome an inspiring cast of Creative Guests to Celebrating Resilience

With their gifts of art, music, and acting, these guests will use storytelling to guide Assembly attendees through new ways of creatively celebrating resilience. You won't want to miss it.


"I believe there is a healthy dose of creativity whenever resilience is at play. I am not sure the two can survive without one another. The very synonyms of creativity--inventiveness, imagination, innovation--are the action words that allow us to successfully overcome obstacles or recover from difficult circumstances." - Vanessa Hofer, Assembly Coordinator


Ted Swartz

Ted Swartz is a playwright and actor who has been mucking around in the worlds of the sacred and profane for over 20 years. Ted fell in love with acting and theater on his way to a traditional pastorate in the Mennonite church.

Coupling theater and seminary education, Ted became a theologian of a different sort. He discovered that at the intersection of humor and biblical story we often find new or different understandings of Scripture.

In addition to acting in solo and multiple cast original shows, Ted is an accomplished speaker and teacher, melding theater and comedy with issues of creativity, theology, and faith in a profound and engaging presentation.

Ted will be leading a Learning Lab on Thursday evening, entitled Secrets of Storytelling. 


Billy Funk 

Billy Funk was born and raised in Gallup, New Mexico. He attended Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana, receiving bachelors’ degrees in theater and history. He currently lives in Chicago, Illinois where he works as a bartender and performs improv all over the city. He has trained at The Second City, the iO Theater, and One Group Mind. He performs long-form improv comedy regularly at The Comedy Clubhouse with his house team, Conscious Pontius. Billy enjoys long runs, NBA highlights, and laughing with his wife, Alita Yoder.

Billy's Learning Lab, Resilience Through Improv!, will take place on Saturday morning.







Sadie Gustafson-Zook

Sadie Gustafson-Zook is a versatile singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose pure voice and hummable melodies balance with blunt lyrics to create honest and serenely cheerful music. Goshen, Indiana-grown and Boston-based, Sadie has performed alongside Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion in 2015, shared the stage with The Steel Wheels, toured with the Theory Expats, performing at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in 2015 as well as frequently collaborating with Boston-based mandolinist, Ethan Setiawan. Sadie was the 2011 award winner of the New Song Showcase at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival with her song "Unless I Loved," and was a finalist in the 2015 Anabaptist Songwriting Competition with her hymn, “You are the Love.” She is a 2017 graduate of Goshen College with a bachelor's degree in Music (vocal performance) and a minor in Communications. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in jazz voice at Longy School of Music in Boston, Mass. In September 2017 Sadie released her first original album, entitled “I’m Not Here.” Besides music Sadie enjoys photography, drinking tea, and listening to other people’s conversations.




Emily Marko

Emily Marko is a visual problem solver who combines strategy, art, and passion into clear action plans for small business owners and non-profit organizations. For over 15 years, she’s been using a visual toolbox filled with color, words, and images to solve complex problems for people who are changing our world. She’s sought after to create visual notes for conferences like TEDx, work with employees at companies large and small to measure and increase performance, and support entrepreneurs on taking their business from chaos to calm. Her new book, Wide Awake, was released in early 2017. Discover how you can organize your brain and solve problems by visiting

Emily will be sharing her knowledge in a Learning LabInnovation in the Workplace, on Friday morning. 





Ethan Setiawan

Ethan Setiawan is a Boston-based mandolin player who’s won such accolades as the National Mandolin Championship, the RockyGrass Mandolin Championship, and a full-ride scholarship to Berklee College of Music. As an involved member of the Boston alt-bluegrass scene, his path has wended its way through traditional bluegrass, to Bach partitas, to free jazz.