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Stories are for Telling

Prepared by: Pat Rode, 1999

PlanningTheme: Our older members have valuable stories to share. This workshop will provide ideas for discovering and sharing these stories.

Target Audience: Congregational leaders interested in facilitating the passing on of the faith between the generations. Participants can be from one or more congregations.

Objectives: To enable participants to:

  • Realize what a valuable asset to our congregations these older members are and how important their stories are for the generations following.
  • Explore some ways that older adults may share their faith with each other and intergenerationally in a relaxed manner and in a 'fun' environment.
  • Discover some of the opportunities where these stories can be shared.

Time required: 60–90 minutes

Materials or Resources (required or *recommended)

  • Faith Talk – 1995 Augsburg Youth and Family Institute
  • "Family Journey Scrapbook" – the game board from "Seeking and Sharing Life Stories", an ELCIC Learning Ministry design by Gerry Schroeder. Buttons for game markers. See Appendix A
  • * "The Ungame" (Christian version available from Christian book stores)
  • * "Life Stories. Remember the Time", Family Narratives distributors, 1990
  • Chart paper and markers for recording
  • Action Plan Sheets (Our Action Plan) — pdf File
  • Copies of "Faith Journey Scrapbook" as hand–out for each participant (See Faith Journey Scrapbook Gameboard)

Welcome, Introductions and Greetings: (5 minutes)

Introduce leader(s) and ask participants to introduce themselves by name and congregation.
Discuss the title of the workshop.
What might these valuable stories be?
Why do we want these older members to share?
Who would benefit from this sharing?
What makes this sharing important to others?
Why is it necessary to encourage these older members?
How can we do all this?

Process E–Experience (25 minutes)

  1. Distribute a Faith Talk card to each participant. Ask them to turn to their neighbour and each discuss their card. Call time and invite them each to get a different card and share this one with a new partner (5 minutes)
  2. Explain the "Faith Journey Scrapbook" game boards – 4 or 5 people to a board and each with a different button for marker. This is a scrapbook of our life journey, each may choose where they wish to put their marker and then share in turn. Explain that they may continue to take turns until time is called. (20 minutes)

I–Identify (5 minutes)

  1. "What happened?" "What were you really sharing?" (Answers should include "memories of significant things in our lives", "our faith stories!")

A–Analyze (10 minutes)

  1. How did you feel during this experience?
  2. How is this sharing of faith stories significant?
  3. Sharing of our faith stories is a significant ministry of every congregation.
  4. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Ask participants to discuss these questions with a neighbour and then share with large group.

G–Generalize (20 minutes)

  1. What insights do you have about what "my" story really is? (answers should include such ideas as -our stories are really about living out our baptism, the joy of seeing Jesus in each other and the feelings of inclusion in others' lives.)
  2. Remembering that our congregation is our faith family, what did you learn that might be useful in our task of passing on the faith to the next generations? (answers should include ideas about the value of our older members–encouraging them to share how God is and has been in their lives should be a ministry objective of congregational leaders) Stress here that we have too often tried only to do ministry to our older members – we need to focus on helping them to do this crucial ministry. They also minister to each other. This process values them and increases their sense of self–worth.
  3. How can we apply these insights to our congregations(s)? The two major obstacles might be – the reservations that older members might have and the need for there to be opportunities for their ministry to happen. Briefly discuss how the first obstacle might be overcome–perhaps using the game ideas that we shared as well as other ideas that the participants might have. The second obstacle could be overcome by planning events where the games were part of the activity.

Explain that the use of games is a way to get started with the sharing process. Other ways to accomplish could be intergenerational events, interviewing for newsletter, etc. Show the Action Plan sheet.

Ask participants to work together in groups of 3 or 4 to begin the process of planning, using this tool. Explain that they will have 15 minutes to work together (with a 5 minutes warning given).

When all are back in the large group, ask for one Ministry Objective to be shared by each group.

T–Theologize (5 minutes)
What happens during our baptism? What does living out our baptism mean to us?


  1. "Where can we find the answers to this?" (such resources as the Lutheran Book of Worship, the Bible and/or other writings might be quoted.)
  2. "How do we know that God's plan is for us to share stories to pass on the faith to our own and to following generations?"
  • Luther's Catechism
  • 2 Timothy 1:5 and 3:15
  • Ephesians 6:4
  • Proverbs 22:6
  • Deuteronomy 6:4–9

Conclusion (5 minutes)

Give each participant a copy of "Faith Journey Scrapbook" handout that they may copy as needed. Explain that this is an inexpensive way to get started with this exciting process of sharing our stories.

Thank participants for coming.

Pray for God's continued blessing for this ministry of passing on the faith.

Permission is granted to reproduce this module for use in ELCIC congregations. Any other use requires copyright permission. Please contact bfast@elcic.ca.

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
© Copyright 2007 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada