Tuesday, January 10, 2012



(This is what I ran in this month's church newsletter, with pictures from the first class)

Years and years ago, before I became the DRE here, I remember the minister telling a story about a man-eating tiger and a Buddhist monk. That story has stuck with me for years – and that is the power of stories, for when they touch us they stay in our minds and hearts and inform our lives forever more.

Faith and religion are ultimately about meaning-making – how we understand the essential and core realities of the cosmos and our place in it. In my opinion, stories are one of the best forms of meaning-making, and they have served that purpose for our ancestors since the hazy days of prehistory.

This year our program at the 9:15 service was compressed into one all-ages class, and we have been using the Spirit Play format for that class. But starting in January, we will start a new program, based on the power of stories to help us make meaning.

We’ll call this program “Storytellers” and in this class the children will explore a good story for several Sundays in a row, learning the story, retelling and dramatizing the story, creating their own interpretations and illustrations and retellings of the story – in short they will take the time to make the story truly their own. We’ll also have story connections that the kids can take home with them, to share the story with their families.

It’s still fine to just drop in on this program – each Sunday will stand alone enough to be welcoming to newcomers, visitors, or those who normally come at 11:00 but this week just need to come earlier. But it will be a meaningful and complete program all by itself, and I encourage you to consider coming to the 9:15 service with your elementary aged children.

The January story will be “The Mitten”, a fabulous and funny story of animals finding what seems like a cozy way to stay warm in the winter – until too much sharing literally bursts the seems. It will be a chance to talk about sharing, making space, and what warms our hearts. There will be fiber arts, sewing, drama, and more.

Stories can connect us to that which is true, of worth, and meaning. They can ask questions, not always answer them, but point us toward an answer. They have a powerful appeal that has held true for human beings for millennia, and we can all be storytellers. With stories at its center, the Storytellers program at the 9:15 service will be something meaningful and fun!



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