Tag Archives: Spirit

The Ethiopian Eunuch

WATCH and WONDER

Acts 8:26-40 as told by Casey FitzGerald

 

A shorter TALE

This is a longer story. You might want to start out with a smaller chunk of it to learn (especially any younger storytellers out there). Consider learning only this section: 

As they were going along the road, they came to some water;
and the eunuch said,
“Look! Water! What would keep me from being baptized?”

He commanded the chariot to stop,
and both of them, Philip and the eunuch,
went down into the water,
and Philip baptized him.

When they came up out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away;
the eunuch never saw him again,
but went on his way rejoicing.

Here is a copy of the entire story Acts 8: 26-40!

Ways to Wonder

For all ages:

*Once More, with Feeling! Using either the “shorter tale” or the whole text, play this game of “emotional” telling. A sentence or a section at a time, tell the story with the emotion chosen by the spinner (link to spinner here: Once More, with FEELING!). Just click on the spinner and you’re emotion will be chosen for you! This is a fun activity to do for a group re-around (each person spins and then reads). Add another layer–at the end of the telling, have the group guess what feelings were being portrayed! If you are having a tough time understanding the emotion of a part of your story, this is a great way to explore the possibilities.

*When Philip asks the Ethiopian eunuch if he understands what he’s reading from Isaiah, the eunuch replies, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” Tell a story about someone who guides you.

*The Ethiopian eunuch is an outsider, in his baptism he becomes an insider–he is now a part of the followers of Christ! As a way of connecting to the story, tell a story about a time you felt like an outsider (or a time you experienced becoming an insider).

For the younger set:

*Find a doll and some water. Pretend you are Philip and baptize the doll. (The man in our story was not a baby, so you don’t have to use a baby doll.) Do you remember how your pastor baptizes babies? What words are said? Describe what baptism looks like in your church.

the more you know…

*Though the Ethiopian eunuch held a high rank within the queen’s court, because he was considered “half man,” it is unlikely that he was actually allowed full worshipping rights in Jerusalem. Deuteronomy 23:1 tells us that such a man would be unable to enter “the assembly of the Lord.” He was, in many ways, an outsider. What does this story show us about what God is doing in the world?ethiopian

*I believe I pronounced “Candace” wrong in the video! DOH! I used my American way of saying “Candace” because it is such a familiar name. The correct pronunciation is kan-DAY-see.Here is a great place to check on your pronunciations!  (I posted this video despite the error–there will always be changes I want to make to my stories–because I am always learning! I am actually working on learning this story for an event six months from now…there will be many changes between now and then!)

Click here for more on telling this story!

Nicodemus and the children: Lent 2 Stories and Stations

In case any of you are working on the RCL text this week–here are stations based on the FIRST HALF of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus along with our kid telling!

And check out Story Divine for a telling of the whole story!

WATCH and WONDER
Kids tell John 3:1-10, 16-17

This is a tricky story to have the kids tell–it’s hard for adults to understand! What I am learning from these experiences of putting the kids on video is that so much more of the learning of the story happens in the watching–not the participating. This is not surprising, but I continue to be surprised by how engaged the kids are in watching the story. I chose to leave out verses 11-15 because I thought it would be too much for the kids to do without a lot of unpacking. Normally when I tell stories, I do not omit verses. I also used the Common English Bible (CEB) for the telling. It is much easier for kids to speak aloud (and often for people to understand). On occasion, we changed some of the language to accommodate the kids, but I do not believe this sacrificed the integrity of the story in any way! Here is the CEB version of John 3.

If you want to hear the story told in full and begin to learn it yourself, see my previous post with links to Tim Coomb’s telling.

WORSHIP stations

Our worship stations this week included the following:

Lent prayer wall 2

Prayer wall (week 2): My husband and I constructed this prayer wall out of wood and chicken wire–then we painted it with chalkboard paint. Each week something different is written on it. Participants were asked to pray about something concerning birth, life, death, or new life–writing it one a slip of red paper (a new color each week) and putting it in the wall.Global Prayers (week 2): Last week we circled places we were praying for…this week participants were asked to write words that named the things that come into the world through the gift of God’s son.Lent globe prayers 1 Lent globe 2Water and Spirit: The notion of being born of “water and spirit” can be a bit…puzzling. Participants were asked to take a puzzle piece and draw an image of water or spirit. They were also asked to take an edge piece and write a word or phrase which described what it might look like to be born of water and spirit.Lent puzzles 2Lent puzzlesLent ROCKS: This week, remembering that Nicodemus recognized Jesus as a teacher from God, we used our rock words to teach one another. Each participant left a “teaching” for the next participant to read. (We had each person take a picture of their rock teachings.)

Lent rocks 2
Tell me a STORY: Our “story booth” continued with the recording of stories about “encounters with strangers.” Stay tuned for more info next week…we had one elementary school boy tell us about meeting his friend for the first time and their subsequent formation of the “Elemental Buddies.” LOVE.

We also played back our stories of birth, adoption, and new beginnings in the narthex. Amazing. (I hope to post some of these later…but I need some more time to edit!) Lent story stations

Finally, we set aside part of the sanctuary for telling stories of birth and adoption. Baby dolls were put out for the youngest kids. Folks were encouraged to tell their children stories of their births…and folks who did not come with children were encouraged to tell someone the story of their own birth or adoption.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, we also premiered our video.Lent video pic

 

 

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

WATCH and WONDER

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.