Telling Our Stories

8 Feb

During our weekly meetings, we gather as a community around tables, share home-cooked meals, swap stories about the past week, and engage in study of God’s Word.3

As we began the spring semester, our focus has been “Telling Our Stories,” where we learned about the meaning of “testimony.” We reflected on the biblical witness of Mary, Paul, Thomas, Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary Magdalene; stories of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Wesley and Sarah Osborn; and even a recent testimony of a victim of sex trafficking, “Melissa,” whose testimony some students had heard at Passion 2012. All the stories were unique, but all pointed to an experience of God.

After we explored these stories, it was the students’ turn to share their own. Two students shared aloud, and the large group reflected on the questions: “What was the Good News? Where was God in their stories?”

The rest of the students practiced telling their stories in small groups. Partners actively listened and then shared a one word affirmation or blessing for the storyteller.

As the “Telling Our Stories” series came to a close, I realized I had not yet shared any of my own story with the students. How could I expect them to be so vulnerable and courageous, when I had not shared my own experience of God? So I did. At our weekly worship service, I offered a couple experiences of God’s grace and love in my own life.

What a gift to tell our stories, as they intersect with the Story of God and inform our life together. What a privilege to hear and share honestly, without judgment, the way God has moved and is moving in our lives. Testimonies invite, convict, inspire and transform. What is your story, and how are you sharing it with your students?

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Meghan Roth is the campus coordinator for the Wesley Fellowship at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, GA. A recent graduate from Wesley Theological Seminary, she also has served as an intern with the campus ministries at Shenandoah University (Winchester, VA) and The American University (Washington, DC). She is a certified candidate for ordained ministry as an elder in the United Methodist Church.

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One Response to “Telling Our Stories”

  1. paul walley February 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    I’m attracted to story-tellers. Maybe that’s why the parables speak to me from the gospels and nature. I like your thoughts. And whenever you can make it really personal (sharing your own story) others are encouraged to open up and share theirs.

    Hope you are coming to Yale this summer for the Global conference.
    Love to meet you.

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