"This is a storytelling workshop. But it's not about storytelling technique. It's about identifying the biblical, communal and personal stories that animate your faith imagination. Then articulating those stories in ways that give permission for them to be composted and recomposed as needed. It's open source storytelling to equip our communities and, ultimately, our children to grapple with the anticipated and unanticipated challenges of their time—even as we try imperfectly to do the same."
This is how Russell Rathbun and Melvin Bray described what they sought to accomplish in the inaugural attempt at this workshop. What they have found is that for most participants the workshop turns out to be about reading the biblical text in a more sustainable way. In it, participants are invited to participate in collaborative storytelling and to learn 7 attributes that more beautiful, more just, more virtuous tellings of our sacred myths tend to share.
Workshop participants are invited to contribute to The Stories in Which We Find Ourselves story project.
If you are interested in bringing this workshop to your faith community, please contact Melvin for particulars.
Feedback from workshop participants:
"I've been talking about your workshop to anyone that will listen :). I loved the way Melvin & Russell helped flesh out Scripture. While the idea of midrash wasn't a new one to me, the opportunity to practice it in community was a real treat. Thanks." ~Lori Wilson, Grand Rapids, MI
"Melvin and Russell did a fantastic job. I was telling my bride, Ann, about how you drew out amazing Exodus stories from the group. Very moving, very hopeful, very prophetic, full of grace. Thanks" ~Tim Seitz-Brown, Spring Grove, PA
"Thanks again for the inspiration, guys. I got to share my re-articulated story, 'Immigration, Power, and the All Consuming Fire,' with our community on Sunday night. Awesome! Can't wait to see where this story goes." ~David Clark, Lancaster, PA
"While asking me questions about what I liked about the transFORM conference, one friend finally asked what disappointed me. That was super easy: I was unable to thank Russell and Melvin face-to-face for the workshop they facilitated. It was a highlight of the conference for me. It was helpful and very encouraging... for me in my job (Christian college faculty), my church (as we form a new teaching team), my research (what good is communication theory if it doesn't know how to tell stories?), my art (http://salamanderslam.com), and most importantly, my family.
"I have a 3 year old kid, and every night at bedtime for the past few months she's asked for "a story about Jesus healing somebody." For some reason they have been hard stories for me to tell, but after our workshop I have more confidence. Maybe this seems a little silly. But it's kind of a big deal to me." ~Dave Huth, Houghton, NY