Sunday, November 15, 2009
Our Stories Can Save Our Lives!
(this winter scene depicts the pending winter time weather that lies right around the corner here in Chicago.)
For the last week I have been escounced at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, Canada attending the Unitarian Univeralist Ministers Association Convocation. The Convo meets every seven years. This years theme, "Tell a Tale...Touch a Life...Transform the World" attracted over 400 religious professionals that included ministers and seminarians.
Telling the truths of our lives is a way to touch each others hearts. The following excerpt from the Convo Planning Committee provides insights into how the transformative power of storytelling can be utlized to empower our lives:
"The art of storytelling is not a lost art. It may recede to corners of tea
and coffee houses, and dinner parties in this fast paced world of electronic media. But, we believe the transformative power and beauty of story telling is needed now more than ever in worship across all faiths. We belive that in hearing each other's story, we hear a version of truth that is deeply personal, and potentially life saving."
Another highlight from Convo is my attendance at the Story Telling Cabaret, not as an audience participant but as a story teller. I told the story of the Blind Begger Bedanius. It went well and it motivated me to continue my story telling efforts.
A number of workshops were offered that included: preaching, worship, anti-racism,diversity, clergy ethics, systems theory and spiritual direction. We have had wonderful worship, good food and delightful collegial conversations. I have gotten some work related tasks taken care of. It has been good and I am ready to return home.
I also was able to spend a couple of hours at the National Gallery of Canada. The gallery included contemporary art, an outside garden, a water court, Inuit art, European art, prints, drawings, library and archives and photographs. Of course I was not able to see everything but it was so renewing to view the beautiful art.
Question: What have you done recently for your professional contacts as well as the need to indulge in the visual arts? How have you nurtured your spiritual practices?
Blessings! Rev. Qiyamah