Tag Archives: Luke

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.




“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


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

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

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

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

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

Christmas by Heart: Day 1

 1 Story
12 Days

I love worshiping during Advent and Christmas…but for years, the bane of my liturgy-planning existence was figuring out my Christmas Eve message for the 5p.m. Christmas Eve service–you know, the one with hoards of children, many of whom have not been to church in a year, all of whom are a little excited with Christmas fever. We don’t preach a full sermon at that service, but have tried to stick to a standard format, which means there is time for a short meditation. Every year that I’ve been in charge I’ve struggled to create something accessible to children and adults, that can capture their collective attention. Mostly it’s resulted in fairly-lame attempts to be funny or relevant. All that changed the year I decided to tell the story by heart. What more could I possibly add to the wonder of the story of God’s coming to be with us in the form of an infant? I have come to realize that especially on Christmas Eve, especially at that service, the story is enough. If I can enter into the wonder of it as a storyteller, I can invite others to wonder with me.

Whether you’re telling at home or in worship…do tell! This 12 day series (to be released on weekdays) will help you learn and wonder as your commit the Luke 2 birth narrative to heart. If you participated in the #storyonfire series, this one will have a little overlap, but will certainly be different. I am most excited about the contributions by Mark Davis (who will help us consider the context and translation of the story), and Ann Timmons (who will provide tips for telling)!



About the Contributors


The Rev. Dr. D. Mark Davis

Ordained in 1996, Mark Davis holds a Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics and Culture from the University of Iowa and a D. Min. from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Virginia. He is the author of two books: “Talking About Evangelism,” (May 2006), and “Left Behind and Loving It (Fall 2011), he blogs intensive Bible studies regularly at http://leftbehindandlovingit.blogspot.com,and is a frequent contributor to The Politics of Scripture blog. Mark is a music lover who sings and plays the saxophone. Mark and his wife, Chris, have four children ranging in age from 12 to 23 .

Ann Timmons

Ann Timmons is a communications artist, actor, director and playwright. In her work as a communications artist, she helps clients discover and embrace their unique leadership presence. Clients include current political leaders at the local, state and national levels, as well as national association leaders and executives. Currently, Ann teaches in both the School of Communications and School of Public Affairs at American University. She also consults as a valued speech coach to nonprofit executives, business leaders, and elected officials.

Ann is committed to creating work that examines preconceptions and “received truths” through the prism of history. Her original one-woman show, Off the Wall The Life and Works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, premiered Off-Broadway at the Samuel Beckett Theatre prior to a nation-wide tour that spanned 16 years. Her most recent work is Becoming Calvin, a play commissioned by the Reformed Institute of  Metropolitan Washington. Becoming Calvin explores the lives of characters living at the crossroads of history, caught up in the complex relationships between royalty and Rome, leaders of the Church and leaders of state. The play takes the audience on a journey with one extraordinary young scholar as he realizes his destiny, as it asks the question: What would you give up for your freedom? Ann has won grants and commissions for her original plays, including Beyond Shadowlands, The Home/Place Play, and The Jamestown Adventure Express(commissioned for America’s 400th Anniversary Celebration).

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College, she received her Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Illinois. Ann is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Actors’ Equity Association and  SAG-AFTRA. Visit her website at www.anntimmons.com.

Our CHRISTMAS Story Part 1

Our Christmas Story

Over the next few days, we will explore ways to learn to tell Luke 2 (the birth narrative) TOGETHER! Though these activities are meant to be intergenerational, some activities may require reading, in which case I will note possible alternatives for non-readers. In addition, though I provide a translation based on the NRSV and CEB, for the younger set, you may want to find a good children’s version and learn it by heart–the introduction to Luke 2 might present a particular challenge. That being said–never underestimate your kids–they tend to AMAZE.


God of our story
Be with us
As we learn and share
As we listen and tell
As we seek to know you
In this story
And to be known by you
As we tell it


a walk down MEMORY lane…

1. TEST YOUR MEMORY: The story of Jesus’ birth is perhaps the most well-known story from the Bible. Before you begin to learn it by heart, see what you can remember. Without looking up the text, jot down all the parts of the story that you can recall. If you are working in a group/family, have someone keep notes for the group as you remember the story together. Jog your memory by asking yourself: Who? What? When? Why? Where? How? 

2. ORDER THE STORY: Now that you’ve got the basics down, print and cut out (along perforated lines) the actual birth story (see below). Once you’ve cut out the story into parts, mix them up…then see if you can piece the story together in the correct order. You can work in groups/pairs/individually–just make sure you have enough copies. For non-readers, proficient readers can read the parts of the story to help non-readers rearrange.


Read it ALOUD…and WALK

1. PICK AND PRINT your translation–make sure each reader has a copy (if you are working with young children, you may want to locate a children’s version of the story, create one yourself, or consider learning only a part of the story this year)

Below is my formatted-for-storytelling version of Luke 2 (Note: these are two different files due to formatting issues)

Luke 2 1_20 Name Epidsodes PAGE ONE Luke 2 1_20 Name Epidsodes PAGE TWO












2. READ ALOUD: Loudly and while moving (as able), read the story out loud twice. Notice what you notice as you read and move. Don’t worry about what other people are doing!

For younger set: Get out your nativity set! While adult reads aloud (2x), kids enact the story with their nativity set. Following the reenactment, kids should try to retell the story in their own words. Don’t have a nativity set? No problem! Make a paper one! Here is a printable–though a quick Google search will bring you to many different kinds.

3. LOOK IT UP! Are there words or phrases that are causing you to stumble? Look them up! I will have some more helpful background hints in a later post, but, to get you started, below is some pronunciation help for that pesky name “Quirinius”…

Our Story, God’s STORY

TELL A STORY of a significant birth/adoption in your life.

What do you remember? Who was there (or wasn’t)? Where were you? When did it happen? How did it come to pass? Did you sense God’s presence at that time? Do you now?

Parents or grandparents, this is a great time to tell your children/grandchildren the story of their birth/adoption!


STAY TUNED for the next “Our CHRISTMAS Story” Post!


The wait is over…almost.

It’s been a bit quiet on the blog as of late, but I am excited to report that the wait is over…almost. I am busy working on a new installment of video-learning/telling experiences centered around the birth narrative from Luke 1-2…or, as my friend Becca Messman calls them, stories that’ll make your baby-bump jump.*  **

Looking for a way to engage yourself, your family, or your congregation during Advent?
Always wanted to learn the Christmas story by heart?

This 4-week experience is for you!

There will be a number of ways to engage, so stay tuned….

Advent Storytelling

*Actual baby-bump-jumping story can be found HERE.
**Actual baby-bump not necessary for engaging in this Advent series.

You Are So Beautiful

It’s often hard for people to watch themselves on video. (This is generally true of my own experience.) But lately, as I have been making more videos of other people telling biblical stories, I have had a revelation: YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL.

It is a great joy to film folks telling the story. But the unexpected joy has come when I sit down by myself to edit. As I cut and paste and manipulate sound, as I watch the brave faces across the screen, I am filled with a deep joy. YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL. I wish that those in front of the camera could see themselves as I see them in the editing room. This must be something of how God sees us. Perhaps I will even try to see myself that way.

I am grateful for the gift of this storytelling ministry–for the people I encounter and the light that shines in each telling. Beautiful.

Here are two videos I filmed this month with the saints of Burke Presbyterian Church. I had the great joy of keynoting their 3-day intergenerational VBS experience and we filmed these two videos during that time. They are so beautiful.

Scriptural Heartburn: Hearing and Telling on the Road to Emmaus

    Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?

Watch and Wonder

Luke 24:13-35
as told by Rev. Leslianne Braunstein


Watch and TELL

Use the video below to practice speaking the dialogue of the story.
How will you portray the characters feelings as you read?



New to storytelling? Storytelling with kids? Why not learn just the ending this week? What if 3/4 of the way through reading the story, you looked up from the Bible and finished the story by telling it? Here is the ending: Luke 24 end.

Here is a link to the full text (thanks to GoTell Communications): Luke 24:13-35.

Getting SOCIAL

Faith and Wonder is on Facebook and Twitter! Please like and share. I will be utilizing those accounts to do some real-time story learning in the near future!