My view: Telling stories

We must know our own story to know who we are, and it is at the intersection of each individual story that community happens

Storytelling helps us to understand who we are and where we might be headed. At the Young Adult retreat held in December, we told stories and listened to stories. On the first night, we listened to the stories of Matt and Elisa Leahy, filmmakers who had just returned from filming a documentary in Peru called The Last Bridge Master. This conversation about love of what you do and telling stories fostered conversations about bridges and connections we are making in our own lives. It also led to conversations about following what you love.

The next morning before worship, we prayed in color. We were all given paper and a media of art, either colored pencil, pastel or watercolor. From there we were told to meditate on those we wanted to give to God in prayer. Starting with a drawing or writing our name or creating an image for God in the center of the paper, we then began surrounding God with those names we were praying for. We did this in silence for about an hour. I could have prayed in this way for much longer than the hour that was given.

On the drive home, I reflected on the weekend and storytelling kept popping into my head. It is one of the most important aspects of community. We must know our own story to know who we are, and it is at the intersection of each individual story that community happens. It is also at that intersection that love and passion rise to the surface and we are able to live out our lives as Jesus.

Anny Stevens-Gleason serves as assistant youth director in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. Contact her at ayouth@diosohio.org.