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Hallo again to all.

An anecdote and a moment of reflection. These are the building blocks of a story, according to the veteran storyteller and journalist, American radio personality Ira Glass. In a talk we heard earlier this week, Glass spoke of this brilliant way he had invented for telling stories. While walking in a park in the Chelsea section of New York, he recounted this method to a student from General Theological Seminary, an Episcopal Seminary located in that neighbourhood. The student pointed out that this is the basis of a great many sermons: an opening anecdote, a reference to scripture, and a consideration of how this relates to us today. Glass, a secular Jew, recounts being indignant, before the seminarian pointed out that Jesus himself used this model in many of his own parables. After finding a copy of the gospels, Glass realized that rather than inventing this style, he had reinvented what was, in fact, likely thousands of years old.

Storytelling is at the core of what all of us do. A story can take many forms. It can be a news article or work of short, non-fiction, as Ira Glass's show This American Life bears out (or The Moth, to give another example). Or it can be a fictional piece, whether a novel or a poem. Explaining a phone call or interaction with a client to a supervisor is telling a story, as is recounting a film to a friend. History is full of stories and interpretation, as is the bible. We have our own personal stories, and our communal stories. We share stories with our families, our friends, and other loved ones. With our businesses, our parishes, and our cities. We share stories with our nations, and with Christians across spaces and times. And it is in being able to communicate those stories that we are able to live boldly as the people God made us to be, and that God, in Jesus Christ, has commanded us to live. Zora Neale Hurston, the great African-American writer, reminds us 'there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.'

Not every story needs to be shared. Some are minor and fleeting. Some are awkward short stories or poems that quickly find themselves in the rubbish bin or under our pillow. Some are intensely personal. But some, some we are called to share with each other, whether in print or online, over the phone, via text, at table or in sermons. Whether by word or image, music, or with action, we, and this world are made up of stories—stories of God's creation here on earth* that we are called to live out in the world.

See you next week, when we will bring you more news, articles worth noting, and letters—stories all, reflecting the topics on our mind.

See you next week.

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All of us at Anglicans Online

25 August 2019

* Dust Tracks On the Road: An Autobiography 1942.
† Or in a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away

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