Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Public Narrative

The church does not have a mission,
the mission of God has a church

Built into The General Convention are four training sessions on public narrative. 1,000 bishops, deputies and guests are taking part, including both the Georgia deputation and our Episcopal Church Women conference representatives. Pictured here is a group from the Diocese working together in practicing the first of the three stages (which are The Story of Self, The Story of Us and The Story of Now).

Marshall Ganz of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government is leading the training. Ganz says, "Narrative, story telling, is how we learn to access the courage to confront the unknown, to make choices to act upon them, choices informed not only by our head, but by our hearts," He goes on to say, "Narrative, then, is a way we can communicate our own values, experience the values that we share with one another and find the courage to confront challenges to those values that require action. Through public narrative, we learn to link our own calling to others, and action, in other words, it is a way to put Ubuntu into action"

The idea is that in very brief form (just four minutes) one learns to tell a story of a point of decision or something else in your own life, that connects then to the group you are addressing to bring them into the story, showing how it is part of their story. Then one finishes with the now piece which is the "How do we respond? What do we do now?" action component.

The training is in response to a resolution from the last convention which called for a dialogue on mission in the church. We are using this public narrative training to focus on mission.

Today, each person at our table shared a two minute story from their life which could be used in this technique. It was amazing how much we learned about people we already know through just these short vignettes. The training will continue on Saturday afternoon and will conclude Monday night.

Here, telling the story of our own conference center Honey Creek is that center's director Hamp Stevens. He is at the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center booth in the exhibit hall. Note the picture of the Honey Creek chapel in the lower left hand corner of the banner (click on this picture, or any of the photos on this page, to see a larger version of it).



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