Category Archives: Video

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 of a time 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)

Pentecost for Everyone

Watch and Wonder

Elizabeth Adkisson tells the Pentecost story (Acts 2:1-21)

You can also listen to the Pentecost narrative on Story Divine (though nobody tells it like Elizabeth). What follows are story learning and telling prompts meant for all ages.

Wonder Word

Pentecost: The word “pentecost” comes from a Greek word which means “fifty.” Pentecost is the fiftieth day–its tradition began in Judaism as a celebration of the fiftieth day after Passover. For Christians, it is the fiftieth day after Easter and celebrates the beginning of the church.

Map It!

People were gathered from far and wide on the day of Pentecost. Check out this map–it shows you how far people traveled to worship in Jerusalem on that day! I wonder what it must have been like to be gathered in a room with people from so many different places, speaking so many different languages…

 

Pentecost lands

 

 

 

 

Can you PICTURE that?

Take a plain piece of paper and fold it into quarters. Unfold. Using the sections draw each of the following to tell the first part of the story:

1. When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
2. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
3. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.
4. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Using only your picture, tell the first part of the story to someone else!

Going Deeper

Imagine what it would have been like to be gathered with people who spoke so many different languages–to be in a room with a bunch of people you couldn’t understand for worship.

1. What might it have felt like to suddenly understand one another?
2. Sometimes it is hard to understand even when we speak the same language! Is there anything you have a hard time understanding during worship?
3. Tell a story about a time you finally understood something.

 

 

Worship Stations for Lent: Part 1

Last year I posted information on our worship stations for our Wednesday night Lenten suppers…but I posted them after they occurred. This meant I could tell you about the stations, what went well, what didn’t–and you could see pictures. This year the only pictures will be borrowed from other sites that have done the projects–my own photos to be inserted later! My thanks to my colleague Patty Chamberlain and our Children’s ministry team members for brainstorming with me!

One final note–as these are for Wednesday nights beginning the week after Ash Wednesday, and focus on the scripture for the following Sundays–there is no “Lent 1” section!

Recurring Stations

Look for a variation of these stations each week.
In addition to these, there will be 1-2 “special stations” each week.

1. Making Crosses
2. Prayer Wall
3. Book Nook
4. Tell Me a Story
5. Sanctuary Sleuths
6. Story video

LENT 2 STATIONS
Story: God’s Promise to Abraham
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

1. MAKING CROSSES
Fingerprint cross

Supplies: Watercolor paper, pen, wipes, ink pads
Prep: outline cross to guide fingerprint placement

 

(I found this picture on Pinterest!)

 

 

 

 2. Prayer Wall

Lent 5 prayer wallSupplies: Prayer wall (mine constructed of chicken wire and wood–painted with chalkboard paint), prayer prompt, small slips of paper (yellow this week), markers

On the wall: “I will be your God…”

Prayer Prompt: As God came to Abraham with promises for the future, write a prayer for your own future with God.

whoever you are3. Book Nook

Various books are there every week (general kids books about God). I used the amazing website StoryPath to choose special books for each week.

Featured story this week: Whoever you Are by Mem Fox. HERE is a link to the write up on the book. I may print out the write out and fix it to the inside cover of the book for parents to read, along with some discussion prompts.

4. Tell Me a Story

This station is simply a dedicated space for family, friends, or strangers to join in shared storytelling. This week’s prompt: How did you get your name? What does it mean? (There will also be a name dictionary available for anyone interested in looking up the meaning of their name.)

5. Sanctuary Sleuths

Each week there will be cards with clues about things people can find in the sanctuary. Each week more cards will be added. The idea is to especially engage the young children in learning about the space. I am guessing that plenty of the adults would also like to learn more about the space! (Still finalizing these…stay tuned.)

6. Story video

As we did last year, each week we will “premiere” a new storytelling video created by the children. This is just a space saver for the video–which will be inserted when it’s made!

7. Blessings and Starsglowing stars

Though our particular story is not the one about God asking Abraham to look to the stars, we thought it would be cool to give each participant a glow-in-the-dark star to take home as a reminder of God’s promises. A pastor will stand with a bowl of stars behind a kneeler…participants will be invited to come and receive a blessing and a star.

Supplies: glow in the dark stars, kneeler (optional), someone to do the blessing

 

8. Prayer labyrinth 

Prayer Labyrinth 1-27-07_Layout 1

I found this labyrinth on Pinterest (where else???) and I’m hoping to do a version of it weaving through the pews of the sanctuary. HERE is the post from which the idea comes!

Supplies: Tape (that won’t hurt the floors), Laminated signs with prompts, Instructions for the beginning of the labyrinth