Mission and Ministry

Spiritual well being - belonging to a community in which we can be ourselves and our story is valued - where our feelings and emotions, our search for meaning and purpose, our sense of awe and wonder, our creativity, our beliefs and our relationships are supported.
— Stories for the Soul 2018
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Community

Relationships are at the heart. The community values everyone and each person can be themselves.

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Story

The stories are presented so that we can connect our life experiences with Christian stories.

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Creativity

Creative activities give opportunities for personal response, expression and play. The present moment matters.

 

A way of sharing and exploring faith as Christian communities

Stories for the Soul offers an alternative and innovative way of mission and ministry for people of all ages and needs in many different types of gatherings: inter generational worship, adults' groups, young people's groups, schools, chaplaincy, prisons, hospitals, care settings, retreats and fresh expressions of church.
Stories for the Soul:

  • is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian formation and spiritual guidance

  • is based on long established, tried and tested approaches

  • models the worship life, stories, symbols and rituals of Christian faith communities

  • values process, openness, discovery, community and relationships

  • allows people to make make relevant and personal theological meaning

  • nurtures participants to larger dimensions of belief and faith through wondering and play

A familiar pattern is used for every session:

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Welcome

Creating a space where everyone feels comfortable to be themselves.

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Story

Telling the story using beautiful and simple materials.

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Wondering

Listening to each other as we find meaning in the story.

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Response

Choosing how we would like to respond and express ourselves through creative activities.

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Feast

Celebrating and enjoying being together.
This is when breaking of bread may take place.

Contribution to Ministry

The ‘wondering’ and ‘responding’ to the Bible’s stories is, in fact, a contemporary expression of the ancient spiritual practice of lectio divina. Instead of meditating abstractly on Christian scriptures, there is opportunity for play (in the true sense of the word)  in a creative (perhaps artistic) and kinaesthetic way. The creative process of Stories for the Soul is a means for people to explore—verbally and non-verbally—questions that include: existential meaning, spiritual identity, how to belong to the church, life-skills and acquisition of language that helps relate the religious and secular aspects of a person's identity.

The method affirms and honours elements in our Christian tradition which have been less evident in recent centuries: non-verbal communications, quietness, receptivity, awe and wonder. The practice models kindness and mutuality by how it organises space, materials, and the community of people, and seeks to embody the biblical ethic of how the people of God are to live together.

Where does Stories for the Soul come from?

Stories for the Soul is based on Godly Play, which has a Montessori foundation with 40+ years of research and practice. It is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian spiritual life developed by Rev. Dr. Jerome Berryman.

how is this inclusive for people living with dementia?

Why Does a method based on play work with adults?