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.
The old Jewish saying, “God created people because God loves stories” is an idea science has supported over the years with increasing evidence that our neurological makeup is designed for storytelling and story-listening. It’s easy to see, then, why sharing our stories of faith with one another helps us make sense of not only our world, but of God’s presence in our lives.
At First Church Fort Worth, we offer just such an opportunity through StoryArc, a creative online platform for sharing stories of God’s presence in our lives as a community of faith. To begin each new session, we invite participants to a StoryArc story circle to share a brief personal story around a specific theme in this lively, fun, and guided opportunity to capture and reflect on the story they want to tell.
Here’s how it works:
Once you sign up for a StoryArc session and participate in a story circle, we’ll help you hone your story into a finely-tuned script. Then, at your convenience over the following week or two, members of our StoryArc team will offer one-on-one support to help you narrate and record your 3- to 4-minute story, add digital media from personal photo/video files as well as online sources as needed,, and create a sound/music score for your digital story. From there we’ll complete the final production for you and, with your approval and permission, post your story on our website to share with our local and online community in this exciting digital “telling” format.
According to Rev. Tom McDermott, co-founder of StoryArc, “The experience of creating and sharing stories in this digital format is always an affirming, playful, community building, and profoundly moving experience for the participants!”
Jayna Baker, FUMCFW member and volunteer coordinator for StoryArc, says, “We have fine-tuned this digital storytelling process to keep it less time-consuming for the participants. The result is always a fun and inspirational story everyone is proud to share with others.”
Melinda Smoot, Director of FUMCFW Communications adds, “With the unique capabilities of Tom, a professional storyteller, ordained clergy, and leader of our unique eleven-eleven celebration nontraditional worship community and Jayna, an educator and doctoral candidate at TCU, StoryArc has potential to reach and connect people not only within our local faith community, but also across the nation and around the world. Thanks to our robust FUMCFW online presence and social media networks, to tell your story via StoryArc is to reach out to others in a real, profound, and powerful way,”
The new FUMCFW Listening Station, our newest venture into digital storytelling, will offer church members the opportunity to recall and record family stories, individually or with loved ones. This specially equipped mobile recording station, will be set up in the church on most Sundays (times and locations to be announced) and can be checked out to use at home for user-friendly interface to capture your favorite stories with your family members seated around your own dining room table! With hundreds of thematic prompts to get conversations rolling, the FUMCFW Listening Station will record and save your stories, and with your permission these can be posted on our website and even to a national database of Listening Station stories (National Public Radio’s StoryCorps). And of course, if you want to keep your stories more private, you can download and save your recorded stories on your own devices only.
If you would like to learn more about either StoryArc or Listening Station — or if you’d like to have a member of our Story Team speak to your group or Sunday School class, please let us know and we’ll be delighted to tell you more!
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Parish Nurse Ministry