Creating Community at the Heart of Story

By May 19, 2014StoryArc

Sub_storyarcHow does listening to someone else’s story make your life more interesting? Why does the process of telling your own story beckon its deepest meaning? What can sharing our stories in this new way mean to our transformation as a faith community?

There is an old Jewish saying, “God created people because God loves stories.” It is an idea science has supported over the years — from psychologist Jerome Brunner arguing we are storytelling creatures who seek out and tell stories to organize our lives, to 21st century scientists like neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga who says that our brains are organized around stories to give us reassurance and a way to navigate our world. How much more powerful an experience — and an opportunity, then — when we share our stories of faith with one another?

Sharing our stories is a way to help make sense of not only our world, but of God’s presence in our lives. StoryArc is just such an opportunity here at First Church. In this creative, online platform we offer a place for sharing stories of God’s presence in our lives as a community of faith. Every month or so, members are invited to a StoryArc story circle, a unique, guided opportunity to capture, edit, and share our personal stories around a specific theme.

Over the course of two afternoons, we help participants hone their personal story into a fine-tuned script, and then add video, photos, sound effects and music to create a brief but inspirational digital story. From these StoryArc groups we will post the stories we create (with permission, of course!) in this exciting digital “telling” format to share with our local and online community.

We invite you to view and experience the brief audio-visual stories we’ve created to launch StoryArc — and to see them as metaphors (and inspirational signposts) for the stories you have to tell. And, to follow the unfolding work of this exciting new ministry, I invite you to check out this StoryArc blog each week for new ideas and inspirational tips for connecting to one another through the power of story.

We hope these digital stories will entertain and inspire. And perhaps more important, if God indeed created us for stories, may sharing our stories through StoryArc help guide us a little in our journey to be closer to God and one another.

StoryArc is our place to experience the stories of our First church community differently —  in a way that invites new discovery of our deepest connections to God and one another. If you would like to know more about StoryArc — or to participate in an upcoming story circle, please contact Rev. Tom McDermott (



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