After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.~ English author, Philip Pullman
Much of this congregational year our Sunday services and other events have focused on stories: our own stories, the story of our congregational history, stories from other people and faith traditions. And we have explored lessons from these stories through theater, music, parables retold, and sharing our own stories with each other. Truly, as the English author Pullman asserts, “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stores are the thing we need most in the world”. Perhaps most especially during difficult times and liminal times, we need to be reminded of old stories, and at the same time, create new ones with and for each other.
I’ve been a long-time student of research, books, and all things related to the study of what makes a good life. In fact, I’m currently reading a recently published book, The Good Life – Lessons From The World’s Longest Scientific Study Of Happiness. One of the findings in the study is the importance of connection with others. Healthy relationships are a key to living a good life. My hope since entering professional ministry has been to help congregations cultivate relationships within and beyond the physical walls of it’s buildings because I agree with filmmaker and author Tahir Shah who said “Stories are a communal currency of humanity”. I’m convinced that in sharing stories with one another we nurture the connections we need for a good life.
As I prepare to close the chapter of my ministry with you, and you prepare to open a new chapter of possibility, we navigate a time of leaving and new beginnings. Let us relish moments of vulnerability, gatherings of celebration, and opportunities to face uncertainty together. How fortunate we are to share the next five months of story telling and creating!