…tells a story.
Recently a friend gave me a sweet little gift that inspired me to create an exercise for St. Alban’s annual parish weekend. The project began last Wednesday night at the first Get Fed @ St. Alban’s program when several parishioners helped me cut out 40 small cross shaped pieces of paper from card stock. The cross shapes were then folded and assembled into cubes. After the cubes were completed small images were added to each side of the cubes and voila… a story cube!
During Saturday morning’s teaching session on joy parishioners assembled in small groups and were given a set of cubes. Each person in the group then “rolled” the cubes like dice and was instructed to tell a story about their lives based on the images that turned up. From what I could tell by walking around and listening, to a person everyone was thoroughly engaged in telling their stories. People learned new things about individuals that they had known for years; some laughed, some clapped, some cried. One parishioner told me later in the day that they weren’t usually into touch-feely experiences but really enjoyed the exercise. In retrospect the only mistake I made was stopping what was designed to take up to thirty minutes of the morning program after nearly an hour.
It’s interesting to think about all of the people we interact with regularly and yet don’t have a… cube? as to where they have been and what they have experienced in life. One parishioner told me on Saturday afternoon that after many years of living a locked down life in Washington DC – guarding every vulnerability because each was a liability – the church (and our exercise) was a beautiful thing because it welcomes rather than rejects what is or has been the truth of our lives. “Being vulnerable,” in fact, may be the shortest and most succinct summary of the entire New Testament; we are saved – invited to live an authentic and vulnerable life – by God’s own vulnerability in the Son.
We ended the exercise Saturday morning by asking the participants to roll the cubes and use the images to tell a story about a joyful experience in their lives. Stories of God’s Grace abounded and relationships were deepened and strengthened. Thanks be to God.