Storytelling

Discovering Trinity's angel: the use of congregational formation narratives as a source of encouragement for change

Author
Timothy P Coombs
Abstract
This thesis examines how a ten-year ministry of biblical storytelling at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, New York, prepared the congregation to experience its own formative stories as a means of encouraging it to further its digital culture ministry. The congregational story project, entitled Discovering Trinity's Angel, entailed videotaping long-time members, sharing remembrances of the innovative ways the congregation communicated the gospel throughout its history. These stories were shown in worship throughout Lent, 2006, and were accompanied by presentations on the influence of media in biblical and church history. The impact of biblical storytelling and the Discovering Trinity's Angel project were measured by both survey and focus groups. The project found that by experiencing the stories of its past, the congregation understood the challenge to further develop its digital culture ministry as consistent with its historic identity and mission.

The griot's sermon, "God insists on a resurrection!" celebrating life in the midst of death: an African-American model for doing funeral sermons

Author
Eric van Smith
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to develop an African-American model for doing funeral sermons. The author uses the West African oral traditions of storytelling as practiced by the West African griot to develop the images of pastor/griot and the preacher/griot. Using these images and the Emmaus Road story found in Luke 24:13-35, the author develops the Emmaus Road model for pastoral care and the formation of the funeral sermon. The model illustrates the unique way the preacher/griot can develop a funeral sermon that brings comfort to the bereaved by reframing death through the lens of resurrection.

"As the bamboo breaks...": toward retrieving a Filipino theological anthropology using the story of "Malakas" and "Maganda"

Author
Michael Ariel Montoya
Abstract
The Filipino story is marked by hundreds of years of colonial experience. So strong is the experience that a sense of identity is oftentimes unconsciously defined from the standards of the colonizer. The "westaholic" attitude among the people acquired through years of subjugation makes it difficult to engage a story beyond that of colonial times. "As the bamboo breaks..." attempts to reveal a story and a history waiting to be understood. It looks into the people's wisdom as told, concealed and preserved by Malakas and Maganda. It is a wisdom that runs through the blood of its people even beyond the colonial experience. It is a wisdom that lives! Christianity needs to listen to this story not only for it to be relevant but for Christianity to continue to live. The dialogue that this thesis proposes comes from the challenge of "cosmodicy" within a globalized context where the subalterns speak. This dares the so-called experts to actually listen and learn. The story of Malakas and Maganda gives us some keys toward retrieving a Filipino theological anthropology. As such, this local story can be a source and resource of spirituality that can enrich not only the locals but Christianity as well. The kind of transformation that this story leads us to is hope-filled. Yet this can only be achieved as the bamboo breaks...

I will tell you a story: the use of narrative in pastoral counseling and care

Author
Darrel R Cory
Abstract
The thesis for this project was to explore how narrative is effective in making desired change for persons in a pastoral counseling or care setting. In order to accomplish this, the author first researched and developed an understanding of narrative and metaphor. Secondly, the author became conversant with the ongoing discussion concerning narrative theology. The result of the study was to present a process through which it may be understood that faith narrative intersects with personal narrative. Finally, the author examined several pastoral counseling and care experiences which evidence the use of narrative.

And God laughed: a revival of humor

Author
Anthony J Geraci
Abstract
This project was designed to enable reconciliation through humor. Specifically, this project was accomplished through the process of gathering and disseminating humorous stories. This report covers biblical, practical, and ideological bases regarding the definition and application of humor in an enabling mode. Methodology entailed determination of project thrust and project associates; preparation and study of appropriate humorous stories; and the sharing of these stories as a goal-oriented process. The project showed positive and growth results owing to the revival of humor and its enabling capacities as evidenced by the parishioners.

Telling the story: a dialectic of hope for the suffering, the dying, and the living

Author
Gregory R Tolaas
Abstract
This thesis project centers around the reality of hope in the midst of human suffering. The author contends that "telling the story" is a powerful way to foster hope in people who are in the midst of suffering and/or even the process of dying. The structure of the thesis employs the method of story, expressed in segments of a manuscript which the author wrote regarding the life and dying process of his sister. The author found that telling the story is healing for both those who are willing to share the story and those who are willing to receive it. The author presents what he calls a theology of immersion, which invites people to enter into the stories and the sufferings of those who, in the end, become our healers and teachers.

A narrative approach to evangelism in Siloam Baptist Church, Marion, Alabama

Author
W Robbins Sims
Abstract
The ministry research project consisted of a program to train laity to tell gospel stories evangelistically. The narrative approach to evangelism utilized an inductive presentation of scriptural and non-scriptural stories to prompt multi-dimensional conversion among hearers. A twelve-member experimental group participated in training in the fall of 1989. A twelve-member control group did not participate. Pretest and posttest surveys and other instruments were used to evaluate the effects of training. Participants increased their understanding of the gospel as narrative and multi-dimensional conversion. However, participants did not achieve the expected level of preparedness for narrative evangelism.

Narrative evangelism in the Parkland Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky

Author
Thomas T Curry
Abstract
The purpose of this ministry project is to train a select group in the Parkland Baptist Church (Louisville, Ky) to share their faith using a narrative presentation of the gospel. Chapter one presents the background and goals of the project. The biblical, theological, and historical foundation is covered in chapter two. The narrative model is developed in chapter three, and a review of the training seminar is presented in chapter four.
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