Betsy Hoium, Pastor for Faith Formation

Our theme this year is “Telling Our Story” and as we approach Holy Week and Easter, that story really comes into focus. How are we as individuals and as a community part of Jesus’ story of arrest, torture and crucifixion? And how is Jesus part of our story?

For many of us, the story that begins with the joy of Palm Sunday, includes the very first Last Supper and then the darkness of Jesus’ death on Good Friday is so familiar it is almost ritual. It is a rite of passage to get to the celebration of Easter morning with flowers and music and lots of excitement. 

But think about someone hearing this story for the first time. How would this tragic death of God’s only son be perceived? Why does Jesus have to die such a gruesome death on the cross? Can we comprehend the magnitude of the gift that God has given to us?

This year we are immersing ourselves in Matthew’s Gospel and hearing the story from the voice of one writer. I encourage you to take the time to read the story in Matthew 21:1-10 and chapters 26-28. Dwell in the story as it unfolds.

“Telling our Story” has taken on many angles this year. We have learned to tell stories from Pastor Jodi Hauge in an Adult Forum and a Storytelling Workshop. We have heard stories from others in our community on Wednesdays in Lent. And our “Telling the Story” segment in Sunday morning worship has familiarized us with behind-the-scenes stories of many of our ministries.

At a recent gathering of congregation leaders, we asked the question “How has the ‘Telling the Story’ theme impacted you?” We got numerous responses that included:

  • Hearing the same story in worship, adult education and children’s faith formation makes it easier to understand. Kids especially pay more attention because they know this story.
  • How many times do we have to hear something for it to sink in? 7 times in 7 ways
  • Sometimes we tell the story with words and sometimes we tell the story by our actions.
  • Part of the story is community and relationship.
  • We are not only telling our own story, but also the bigger story beginning with the Old Testament.
  • Now I feel our identity is storytellers.
  • It’s been great to teach people how to tell their story and to model that.
  • Telling my story in Wednesday worship felt vulnerable, but it was a good stretch.

How has the “Telling the Story” theme impacted you? Is there more that you would like us to do with storytelling? We’d love to hear your input!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Betsy