We hosted another Storytelling Event last night at Shamrock's Pub. It falls under our Theology Pub umbrella. Four storytellers told personal narrative stories around the theme: When the Sinners/Saints Go Marching In. Seasonally appropriate, don't you think? What with Day of the Dead, All Hallow's Eve and All Saints Day? Plus, everything around us here in Minnesota is dying--the frost and snow are moments away. The best way to describe this event is that it's an open-hearted thing. When you stand up in public and tell the truth about your life, not only are the listeners right there with you--but they are also making connections with their own lives. It opens up the room in a raw, insightful and often humorous way. The listeners feel as if they have received a gift. And then, we have the bonus of a guest singer/songwriter who give us stories and truth crafted into song. Sigh. It's all so good.
A few people commented as they left. "This is the most Spirit-filled experience I have had in months." Another said, "I feel like this unfroze my heart." Ultimately, we leave the bar feeling not quite so alone in the world.
I love that my role as the pastor is to walk alongside it all. It is not to correct or control or to tidy-up the theology. It's incredibly freeing. We did a storytelling altar call at the end, "If you feel like you would like to be a storyteller at our next event...if you feel a stirring within you...talk to us afterwards." We have a full list of people who want to give it a go. Can't wait for the next round.