Telling the Story
Earlier this month, CCS students Jen Carter-Morgan and Jamie Miller attended the online Festival of Biblical Storytelling put on by the Network of Biblical Storytellers Canada. They had been alerted to the festival by storyteller and songwriter Linnea Good, who had been a resource person to the Living Scripture learning circle a couple of weeks earlier.
“It was a wonderful opportunity,” says Jen. “There were participants and presenters from India, Australia and across North America. The keynote speaker was Dr. Randy Richards who led us through topics such as how our western worldview can impact how we read and sometimes misread scripture, the importance of staying true to the authors agenda rather than our own and how we can remove some of our cultural blinders that get in the way of understanding the story better.”
The plenary sessions were supplemented by discussions in small groups after each. “It was great to be able to talk with other folks about what we had just heard and delving into questions provided by the moderators.”
Workshop topics covered everything from Godly Play, the basics of Biblical Storytelling, Telling Tiny Tales, story telling reflections from a Tlingit storyteller to how to prepare scripts for telling and more. “Attending the session on the basics gave me a sense for how to build skills for biblical storytelling and a chance to practice some of these,” says Jen. “I was also able to attend a session on performance criticism, looking at how we study a text that was handed down to us via an oral tradition.”
Friday night was capped off by an Epic Storytelling where a number of different storytellers told their way through the Acts of The Apostles, with song and prayer woven throughout. Saturday evening was a concert offered by Bryan Moyer Suderman who offered a time of story through song. The Festival ended with an online worship filled with story, song, prayer and spirit.
“The extra gift that came with attending this festival,” says Jen, “was how it related directly to the material in the Living Scripture circle that I was attending during the same period. The learnings from one informed the learnings from the other beautifully and I believe they deepened the learnings I took from both.”