Faith Formation Focus: The Importance of Story

I have always been fascinated with how the brain latches on to stories more than anything else to make sense of the world.  Anthony de Mello put it well when he said, “you have to understand that the shortest distance between a human being and the truth is a story.”  Before science or psychology or any other field of learning there were stories passed down from one generation to the next.  All of history, world and personal, is a chain of stories that brings us to where we are now.  I don’t think the importance of story in our lives can be overemphasized.

Here is a simple story that I still remember from my childhood. There is a snake who convinces a boy to carry him up the mountain in his coat because it is cold.  When they arrive at the top the snake bites the boy.  When the boy protests the snake replies, “You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.”  (My daughter’s present boyfriend comes to mind, maybe I should remind her of this story at an opportune moment.) In any event, think of all the lectures and discourses and essays we could write on the importance of knowing what it is you are dealing with so that you are not hurt in the end.  Or we could tell this simple story and cut right to the chase.

The importance of story goes beyond the acquiring of truth.  Laurens Vander Post offers, “Without a story you have not got a nation, or culture or civilization.  Without a story of your own, you haven’t got a life of your own.”  

Without a story you haven’t got a religion either. When I found our amazing faith I was eager to learn its stories.  I think I was fortunate to be working right off the bat with kids because everyone knows that all kids love a good story so that motivated me to start digging.  The first story that really gave me a sense of satisfaction and belonging to this faith was the one of John Murray and Thomas Potter.  (If you aren’t familiar with that story the UUA Tapestry of Faith (online) has a beautiful rendition.)

Our church, Unitarian Universalism has a wealth of wonderful people and wonderful stories that brought it into being what it is today.  It is up to each one of us to treasure these stories, know them and pass them on to the next generation.  The more we all know the stories that make up our own church history, the more vital our faith will be and the easier it will be to invite those who would be one with us into this amazing faith.

Janen Wright, Director of Faith Formation            

A look at what is Coming up in our Religious Education Program for kids and teens

This year we are studying World Religions and learning about what it is to belong to our own faith through that global lens.  A special thanks to Mary Clough for arranging our first Guest Speaker and a special thanks to CM Brown who introduced us to Hinduism with insight, chanting and meditation.


Nov. 13- Family Matters Potluck at the Ells Ranch @ 4:00.  (6116 Misty Way in Longmont) Dress warmly and come to meet some animals and see this ranch!

Our Middle School Nite this month is Nov. 16th 6-8 p.m., and our High School Nite Nov. 18th 6:30-8:30

For new and visiting families…….. on Sunday we all start out in the worship service together.  When the congregation “sings the kids out” we go to Opening Circle and individual classes.  At 11:30 we go out to the playground for free play and snacks (or to the pre-school room in bad weather.) We provide supervision until 11:50. Dress your kids warmly to play and feel free to get some coffee and come join us!!