A Storied Faith
Often have I marveled at the man or woman who is a gifted story teller. You know who I mean. The person who seemingly never lacks for an anecdote that brings a smile or laughter – or perhaps even a tear. The story resonates and draws forth similar memories of your own life. I will think, “Why do I not ever have such a story on my lips to make my point more memorable?”
We each have a point of view in a discussion and data to back up our point of view. Yet it is the person that buttresses their point of view with a story drawn from their own life that captures our thoughts and imagination. Too often as a father I would resort to the “because I told you” rather than illustrate why a certain behavior was bad. My father would inevitably have an example drawn from his rearing on a homestead in Nebraska. If his point – and it often was with his kids – of the evils of procrastination, he would describe an afternoon storm that damaged a wheat crop. If only he and his dad had worked the field the day earlier as they had planned. Planning and saving for a rainy day – my dad did not just say to do so but had examples where it paid off or, more importantly, where savings were neglected and bad things happened.
So, telling our stories is critical – especially for the next generation. Since September, members of Dayton Presbyterian have gone to the pulpit to tell why they are members of the congregation. Following the sermon, a scheduled volunteer will come forward and talk for five to seven minutes about why she or he has remained a vital part of the congregation. A young man several pews back records their stories with a video camera. And that is the point.
The Reverend Dr. Holly Robertson wants to preserve and to share these stories of faith. The reasons why folks gather to worship have been diverse. Some were born into the church family near a century ago. Others came but a few years ago drawn by the small but industrious congregation which took great pride in serving the children of Dayton and especially those who might be a bit short on food. Then there is the young cameraman himself, the newest member. He is 17 years old and after sharing his considerable talents to revamp the church’s website and work with the pastor, he felt the call to come and join. Surely the Holy Spirit is at work.
Ideally the stories will be mounted on the church webpage and DVDs made to give as gifts. Folks searching for a new church home can click on these accounts and hear first-hand why folks have joined and why they have stayed. I am thinking of the command of Scripture as found in 2 Timothy 2:1-2. “You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Jesus Christ; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.” These presentations are scheduled through February at this point. All are welcome to come and hear these individual stories of faith.
Submitted by: John M. Robson
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