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Telling Our Story, MATTERS.  

I attended a workshop with the ‘Nanaimo Around Town Tellers’, just before COVID changed the world .  The workshop was an introduction to the art of story-telling.

That day passed quickly: each participant’s story-sharing received a short critique.
At 'end-of-day', I was filled with enthusiasm, and looked forward to future gatherings.

Then, COVID invaded our lives.              

This May long-weekend, many of our family will be gathering in Kitscoty, Alberta to celebrate a cousin’s 90th  birthday.   Flo and I are not able to attend: disappointment enough! A second regret: we will be missing out on all the stories! 

Many of us "1st-cousins" are now "the older generation”.  There will be 4 generations of Evans’ family gathered, and 4 generations of Evans' family stories shared! Some stories will have been told, and retold, over these 4 generations. Some stories told will be from 2 generations before the 4 gathered!

There will be current stories from 2nd and 3rd generations, and then, those from the 4th or newest generation.   These last stories will be retold at the next family celebration.        

 The stories we tell form us as a people.  

As most of you know, I love story, and sharing story with others. Some of you may even be prompted to say, “you must love story and sharing story! You do this every Sunday!”  

The stories shared over the next weekend will tell of who we are now, and who our ancestors are.  The stories will serve as directives for the generations to come. Some of the stories have been shared many times.  

This tradition of story-sharing holds memories of the past, the present, and the future. The story-memories tell of courage, hard work, endurance, sacrifice, hope, and faith. They are formed in the context of grace: in the understanding of the freedom, and the respect, in sharing.            

Here at  St. John’s, Duncan, I am formulating a challenge that:

"Story-telling" be our "parish-book- study” this fall.      

 In formulating this challenge, I ponder the following questions:

  • What stories should we tell?
  • What are the core values of those stories?
  • How do we steward our institutional stories?
    (What past and present stories to tell?)
  • Do we tell the easy stories AND  the neglected, uncomfortable stories?
    (thus, giving some
    honour to the lumps under the carpet!)
  • Are our stories rooted in fear, or in hope,  or (possibly) in doubt?
  • What stories do we share with our young people?
    Only those in the Holy Bible?
    Or, are they actually stories of how the scriptures have shaped our parish?
  • Do we tell stories which will attract our young people?
    (Experience tells me: story-telling allows younger generations to listen intently, and with commitment.)   

As we concluded the book-study of “The Post Pandemic Church”, I was left with the following question:

which stories from the past, and which of today, will
give promise of new start, rather than more of the same? 

Telling Our Story, MATTERS.  

Blessings in Christ, Archdeacon Brian+