Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Gospel According to Facebook?

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Jeremiah 29:4-14a
as told by 22 humans in 16 cities from 6 denominations through 1 world wide web

 

a video created for the NEXT Church Conference

This video took forever to edit, but it was a gift to make. I love watching this mix of people–some of whom I know very well, others of whom I’ve only met once or twice. I love the idea of these different folks telling the story together–each from their own homes–and how that connects to the story itself. May we all seek the welfare of the cities in which we live.

Thanks to all who took the time to participate!

JOIN IN

I am more and more inspired by what we can do via social media. I had more volunteers (via Facebook) than I needed…stay tuned for more. If you or your church want to be a part of a digital story project comment below or find me on twitter @caseyfitzgerald.

FIRST TIMER?

I have been doing some different story stuff (mostly digital) during Lent. Be sure to check out earlier posts if you are interested in learning more about non-digital storytelling. Thanks for checking Faith and Wonder out!

Left Behind? Jesus as the boy in the Temple

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Luke 2:41-52
as told by children and their grown-ups
filmed and edited by Alex Bryant

We played this video today in Sunday worship to give folks a taste of what has been happening on Wednesday nights. This story was paired with 1 Samuel 16:1-13, the story of the boy David’s anointing–as told by an amazing storyteller in our church (one of a number who’ve helped lead worship this Lent). Both are stories of children being left behind. I am grateful to be in a church that seeks out intergenerational experiences and desires to deepen these relationships. As always, there is more work to be done!

HOW to WATCH

I continue to be amazed as my children seek out these videos again and again. They are learning them by heart.

*If you watch this with children, encourage them to engage with the stories by asking questions and telling you what they heard. Tell each other stories of “getting lost” as a way of discussing what it must have felt like to be 1) Jesus’ parents and 2) Jesus himself. Once you have watched it a number of times, try retelling it in your own words. What are the most important parts of the story? Here is a link to the text: Luke 2:41-52 from GoTell. If you want to go deeper, read Tom Boomershine’s written commentary on the story. Or, listen to Dennis Dewey’s audio version–how is his telling different?

The Children at the Well: Lent 3 video and stations

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Kids tell John 4

I had very limited recording time this week–and the woman at the well story is about 40 verses–so this is our abridged version! To put the story into context, I added some commentary at the beginning and end. I prefer not to interfere with the kids’ magic, but I also wanted to put the story in context. Because of the lack of time, I was also forced to film quickly–which meant a lot of choppy shots! I used some repetition to try to adjust. As we create these videos, more ideas are coming to mind about how best to prepare for them–but these ideas will probably not be enacted until after our Lent videos are done. 🙂 HERE is a link to the full story.

I was thrilled this week to get an email from our wonderful missions staff person who wanted to know if it might be possible to have some of the kids from communities (national and international) that we support help to tell these stories. YES!!! People are talking about ways this sort of format might connect people–it is truly exciting.

WEEK 3 WORSHIP STATIONS

FILMING! This week, in lieu of recording stories in our story booth, we filmed a new story to be debuted on Sunday during worship (this will help give the whole congregation an idea of what is happening on Wednesday nights). We used both adults and children to tell the story this week–stay tuned!

GLOBAL PRAYERS Our prayers with the globe continued this week as we focused on water issues throughout the world. World Water Day was on March 22, and since our story was about the meeting at the well, I could not think of a more appropriate focus. I displayed water fact sheets I found through www.unwater.org concerning water issues throughout the world. I also included some samples from their  Children’s Letters to Ministers PDF. The participants were asked to draw droplets of water on the countries they would be praying for this week.

THE WELL Using scraps of material from our storage, I turned the baptismal font into an overflowing well. well 1 well 2Inside the font I placed paper droplets of water with words on them. Instructions were as follows:

  1. Remember that Jesus Christ offers LIVING WATER for our deepest thirsts.
  2. Approach the “well” and take a drop of water from the font.
  3. Use your water word to reflect this week.

Here is the link to my PDF of the drops: take what you need water drops

glad we met 1

GLAD WE MET Jesus is a stranger to the Samaritan woman, but because of their encounter, her life is transformed. At this station, people will encouraged to write a note to a person they are thankful to know. We provided cards, envelopes, and offered to mail them for those with addresses on hand.

Gushing up

GUSHING UP! Jesus said, “The water that I give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (John 4: 14)

Jesus’ gift of “living water” is something that becomes a part of us. He says it will “gush up” in us! At this station I attempted to have people begin to create the water gushing up with their fingerprints. My idea was to then draw in a figure with lifted hands (as if behind the water)…they were supposed to stay within the lines (see image on left, where I have drawn said lines).

gushing up 2

 

Yeah, that did NOT happen (see totally out of control image on right)! At first I was trying to think of ways to “fix it”–but the truth is, they made the water truly gush up…despite my trying to control it. Somehow I’ll get a person in the picture…a person bursting with living water!!!

 

STORY BOOTH Finally, we had our story booth stories–focused on stories of meeting. These are terrific. You can find them for a limited time here. Special thanks to Alex Bryant for editing these!

My favorite tellers: Reflecting on Lent with Children


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Children tell Matthew 4:1-11
Filmed/Edited by Alex Bryant

My own kids can’t stop watching.

This is how we do it…

We filmed this in an hour. We removed kids one-by-one from our intergenerational church school program (focused on Matthew 4:1-11) to tell the story. Each child who volunteered was given a line to learn on the spot and then coached by me. They had already encountered the story in church school, but we talked about why the devil said what he said…and why Jesus responded the way he did. The kids were amazing. I imagine they’ll be proud as they watch themselves tell the story…and that the whole story will continue to grow in them through the watching. My own kids, who did not participate, have watched it many, many times. My daughter wanted to know why some of the kids were wagging their fingers! (She was engaging in discussion around gestures!) There is so much to love about this video, but what excites me is that as much as I melt every time I see these kids tell the story–I think my kids enjoyed watching it just as much (if not more). All participants in this production were authorized to be filmed and put online by our parent/guardian release form. 

TYING it all TOGETHER

We used the film as the start to our Lenten worship stations program. Following the debut of the film, people were invited to participate in worship stations set up through the sanctuary. Here is one of our activities:

lent rocks

The devil asked Jesus (who was VERY hungry) to prove that he was the Son of God by turning to a stone to bread. Jesus refused, saying, “It is written: One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

1. Read the blessing of stones left for you.
2. Put those stones back and create your own blessing to be left for the person that will come after you at the table. Be creative!
3. Before you leave this station, take a picture of your stone sentence.

Another activity was displayed on our projector–a chance to OBSERVE Lent. It was inspired by something I read on Theresa Cho’s amazing interactive prayer station website. Here is the video:

A lot more than John 3:16–Lent 2 for Telling

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John 3:1-17
As told by Rev. Timothy Coombs
Recorded for the Network of Biblical Storytellers
Link to full text HERE

This is the story for the second Sunday of Lent. I love Tim’s portrayal of Jesus and the way he tells the story as a conversation (because it IS a conversation). Jesus does not speak from “on high”–he does not condescend–he tries his best to explain to Nicodemus what it means to be born again (or, as the NRSV translates, “born from above”).

What did YOU notice about the way Tim told the story? Who is Nicodemus in this telling? Who is Jesus? To whom do you relate?

EMBODY it!

Gestures can greatly enhance the telling of a story. While it’s best not to overdo it, while you are learning the story try on gestures. Some questions for consideration when using gestures: Does the gesture feel natural? Does the gesture further the audience’s understanding of the story? Are you gesturing in the “right” direction? Are you committed to the gesture? Does it need to be a BIG gesture, or will a more subtle gesture do?

Play with the line below…what gestures might Jesus use as he explains his point to Nicodemus in your telling?

Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Go back to the video and observe the way Tim uses gesture–it is both natural and intentional.

yOUR stories

For all ages: 

*Tell a story of birth or adoption.

*Tell a story about a time you got a second chance.

For the older set:

We often hear the words of John 3:16 alone: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” These words are sometimes used as a means of exclusion. Some of us even have baggage around them. Tell a story of a time you felt included or excluded within the Christian community.

MORE to TELL

Watch Timothy Coombs as he discusses his use of performance criticism in learning the story.

Check out the website Biblical Performance Criticism for more information on performance critcism.