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The Value of Story 


Three communication pieces arrived on my screen today.  

  • The first, was the ‘Word for the Day’, from SSJE.
    The word was, "JOY".
    (See the contribution from Bro. Almquist, in the body of the Email for today.)

  • The second, was an article from The Alban Institute on Story Telling.

  • The third, is from John’s Revelation - of the elders who appear to him, and he asks:

'Who are these, robed in white, and where do they come from? '           

That question gives an opportunity to speak of the value of story, of retreats, of conferences and, in general, of the sharing of life’s events. 

Within these events, our first introduction to story would have been as children, listening to the story of our elders within our family: those times when we gathered around the kitchen table, or within a family situation, listening to the generational histories, from which we have come.            

For myself, the next point (in my memory) would come from being at Church (or Scout) Camp: those moments around the campfire, when our leaders would share the story of our faith, or that of scouting movement, from generations past.  

Those stories we heard were meant to teach life-lessons, for our guidance in the future.    

Advancing on in years, there have been the many local government assemblies, college retreats, church Clergy Days, conferences, along with many sermons.

Included, are those retreats with guided reflections from someone with words of wisdom. Or, it may be from a Cursillo Renewal Weekend, or possibly the Annual Women’s Retreat.

From each of these, the measured success was 'the renewal we have been afforded', from time away. 

The product of each of these opportunities is not so much what we learn.

The upshot of these experiences is, how our lives have been recharged for the return home--the sustaining, life-giving guidance in moving forward.   

In reflection of the many opportunities I have been afforded, the outcome for myself has always been an exuberant joy to sustain me into the future.
It has not been what I learned, rather it has been about how I have been nurtured with “living” water.     

Could it be, that John’s Revelation is not so much about the heavenly beings, as about the living elders of our community: of their shared knowledge through the experiences of life.

When I read Holy Scripture, I am encouraged as I listen to the lessons for life, as experienced by the spiritual engagement of the ancient of ancients.

Surely, the Scriptures are of the living God in our midst!   

For the members of our parish, (St. John the Baptist – Duncan), we often find ourselves looking for the latest, and greatest, book for a Book Study.

Could it be: that “book” is right here in our midst?

Come fall, we could have a 6-week session of Story-Telling.
We all have a story to tell. What is yours?            

Just prior to the pandemic shutting everything down, I attended a workshop hosted by the “Nanaimo Story Tellers”.
The gift for myself was, once again, the value of story.  
I encourage each one to tell his or her story.
It is like our homiletics professor saying in seminary, ‘we all have at least one good sermon in us’.

The only problem: when you leave here, you will need another one next week!  

Blessings in Christ,
Archdeacon Brian+