Category Archives: PC(USA)

Who Tells God’s Story?

Watch and Wonder

The Woman at the Well
John 4: 5-42

 

Do Tell!

In this story, Jesus sees this woman, this foreign woman, this woman he has NO BUSINESS being with (“Jews and Samaritans do not share things in common!”)–he sees her and reflects back to her the story of her life. In turn, in being seen, she begins to see Jesus for who he is– she sees the story of God unfolding before her. “Could this really be the Messiah?”

Suddenly her story and God’s story are bound together. She runs off to her people to tell them–I have met a man who told me my story, a man who might just be the savior of the world. 

In being known by God, and in witnessing God’s work in Jesus Christ, this woman is compelled to tell God’s story. She becomes God’s story-bearer to the Samaritans. Hearing God’s story come from the Samaritan woman at the well gives it special meaning and purpose–in her telling it, we glimpse more fully what God intends for God’s kingdom.

If I have learned one thing in my time storytelling, it is this: the stories of God belong to ALL people, and should be told by ALL people. So when I was asked to put together an ensemble of first time storytellers for the NEXT Church national gathering of the PC(USA), I was thrilled. The more we can hear these stories told and interpreted by others, especially folks who do not share the same life experience, the more fully we are able to see God’s story.

Tell a Story

As part of your reflecting on this text, tell a story you felt seen/known.

Reflect

  1. For what do you thirst?
  2. What does “living water” look like for you? What feeds and sustains you?
  3. Who in your life is able to tell your story?
  4. If you could tell God’s story in two sentences, what would they be?

 

Image courtesy of The Presbyterian Outlook from the NEXT Church National Gathering (2017)

Conference Resources!

I had the great privilege of attending and providing leadership for two conferences over the last two weeks: the Festival Gathering of the Network of Biblical Storytellers and the Go Disciple Live conference on discipleship and evangelism. You can read more about my talk at the GDL conference here.

I used a few resources over those days, and as promised, I am sharing them here.

VIDEOS

 

other RESOURCES

“To God, before whom I fall” was written and read by the amazing Sarah Agnew. You can find more of Sarah’s poetry and storytelling on her site Sarah Tells Stories. This poem was taken from the book On Wisdom’s Wings. Sarah is doing some incredible work in storytelling, and you should definitely check it out!

LoveCatena by Casey FitzGerald: A weaving of 1 Corinthians 13 with other stories from scripture. (Feel free to use, with credit.)

Hymn: “I Love to Tell the Story” with new verses by Dennis Dewey

“Justus Well”  from the Story Divine Podcast

Story on Fire –learn to tell the Pentecost story with this quick video series! (Method can be used for any story!)

To those at the Go Disciple Live Conference who want to read more regarding Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins lecture on digital/social media, I highly recommend my friend and colleague the Rev. Keith Anderson‘s book The Digital Cathedral

STORY CHOICES

To pair with the annunciation/magnificat narrative (Luke 1:26-56):

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 8.43.46 PM

To pair with the story of Jacob meeting Rachel (Genesis 29:1-12):

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 8.45.31 PM

To pair with the story of Moses fleeing to Midian (Exodus 2:11-22):

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 8.45.54 PM

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 8.46.08 PM

To pair with the story of Jesus speaking of friendship (John 15:12-17):

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 8.46.31 PM

To pair with the story of the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35):Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 8.47.04 PM

Kids Tell The Nicodemus Story!

Here is the video we filmed a few years ago! If you are interested in a family liturgy around this story–please visit Practicing Families!

 

Too strange NOT to tell: The Transfiguration

Learn the story of the transfiguration, or simply watch the video and do the “Ways to Wonder” exercises near the end of the post.

And be sure to check out Story Divine to hear more stories from the lectionary, along with personal storytelling prompts!

WATCH and WONDER

Matthew 17:1-9
The Story of the Transfiguration
as told by MaryAnn McKibben Dana

The transfiguration story is a strange one indeed. Many people have wondered what to make of this story. Storytelling the transfiguration is a wonderful way to connect with the story and to draw others into the experience on the mountain. Who knows–maybe we will be transfigured in the telling! I challenge to you to tell the transfiguration story BY HEART on Transfiguration Sunday this year. Here is a link to the text courtesy of gotell.org!

WONDER WORDS

Tranfiguration is the “act of being transfigured.” To be “transfigured” is to “change in outward appearance; transform” or “to change so as to glorify or exalt.” (dictionary.com) In this story, Jesus is transfigured on the mountain. What does the story say that transfiguration looked like?

Learn it BY HEART

1) As you are working on learning the story, considering using this Retell Wheel (just click the link)–especially if you are learning with the younger set. Just click on the wheel and answer the questions!

2) Divide your text into EPISODES. Episodes are “chunks of the story that are unified by a theme or an image,” (Story Journey, 13). Name each episode. The names for each episode should be brief (1-3 words) and easily understood. Write the names on the margin next to each episode. Choose episode names that will help you recall the content of the episode. When you are ready to tell the story, fold your paper over and see if you can tell it!

3) MAP IT OUT! On a piece of paper, map out the story. Where are Jesus, James, John, and Peter? Where do Elijah and Moses appear? Which way do they go up the mountain? Down? Where is the cloud? Where are you? Once you have mapped it out on paper, try to SEE IT in your mind. Now tell the story. (Hopefully you’ll begin to ask yourself lots of questions about location. For instance, where are you looking when you are Peter talking to Jesus?)

WAYS to WONDER

1) What would it have been like to see Jesus so transformed? Imagine the brightness. Is it blinding? Soft? Inviting? Harsh? Spend a few minutes just picturing that part of the scene. Now tell the first episode.

2) Peter says to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” Tell a story about an experience you did not want to end. Why was it so good?

Remember to flesh the story out by thinking of the KEYS TO THE STORY:
Where were you? (Consider the sights, smells, sounds, etc.)
Who was there?
What were you (or others) feeling at the time? Thinking? Has that changed over time?
What actions occurred?
Did you have a sense of God in the moment? Has that changed over time?

MORE to TELL

Watch MaryAnn’s brief commentary on the experience of telling the transfiguration story!

And be sure to check out MaryAnn’s amazing blog, The Blue Room. MaryAnn is a pastor in the PC(USA), blogger, and the author of Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family’s Experiment with Holy Time. (Put this book on your to-read list–it is amazing.) Here is a recent piece she wrote about Faith and Wonder!

The Gospel According to Facebook?

WATCH and WONDER

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!