Storytelling as Small Group Ministry curriculum

After leading the Storytelling Club for four years at Bates College and writing my Master’s Thesis on storytelling, I developed a storytelling curriculum that could be incorporated (or stand alone) as a Small Group Ministries resource.  It is simpler than one might ever imagine: simply: a prompt created by facilitator, and then stories told.



Photo taken by Rose at a storytelling event that was part of her Master’s Thesis. It took place in a dorm room at Union Theological Seminary.

Storytelling as Theology

Storytelling is a one of the most powerful tools we have to communicate, and therefore should be present in our education classes.  Through story we come to know the other, know ourselves, and know ourselves through the other.  Having the space to speak about our own experiences is an amazingly evocative way to explain how we are in the world.  If we plan to build, sustain, and nurture the body of the beloved community, then storytelling is our connective tissue, our heart, and our bones.  Think about how important your family stories are, or the stories you’ve been told by close friends and mentors.  The story of my family’s experience seems so important to me because it is told by my blood relatives, my flesh. But the trick is to use the feeling of intimacy that we feel for our own flesh to expand our narrative of compassion and love until all flesh becomes our flesh.

Storytelling: a Unitarian Universalist Communion

Stories are our UU communion: stories are how we break down the walls between us and braid together connections to let the possibilities of the beloved community come alive for us.  While many Christian communities bring God into their bodies through wine, and Jewish communities bring the divine in through prayer, we UU’s root our sense of the sacred in our beloved community.  We invite the divine in through our ears, as we listen and love and learn from the words of friends and strangers and family.  To believe in the power of story is to profess that we can learn about how to be sacred beings in our precious world through the intelligent and beautiful eyes of our fellow humans.